Page 1

odcraft The Wo reship mbe e m lk o F ar r the ye badge fo ratives e of co-op

An eclectic summer of brilliant camps page 6

Issue Three WINTER 2012 Est. 2012

The Co-operative Newspaper of Woodcraft Folk


The State of the Youth Sector

page 4


Rainbow Special Report


Radical Leadership Tactics

Rather than the same old struggling strategies Woodcraft Folk are generating experimental new ways of finding the leaders of tomorrow Pearl Ahrens, 15 and Verity Jones, 23


months ago, a camp took place on a model never seen before in Woodcraft Folk. The Blue Skies camp brought 5 experienced leaders and 10 completely new leaders to Park Farm in Lurgashall. As well as all the usual camp stuff like clans and campfires, the veteran leaders ran workshops about leadership theory and technique. After 5 days, a new set of inexperienced leaders arrived along with a number of children. The new set of leaders were taught by the experienced leaders, while the 10 leaders from week one led sessions for the children using their newly learned leadership skills. Richard Worth who attended the camp said: ‘At 23, I was surprised to be one of the oldest participants for the initial stage. I had always felt Woodcraft Folk was something fun I did in the summer but never thought of it as part of who I was. I am returning to university this September, and I go knowing I will now have some of the knowledge to be truly involved in the movement, to run groups, to take part and learn, rather than to be taught.’ This fast paced hands-on training camp is just one example

in an explosion of experimental ideas being tested that mark a dynamic shift towards more proactive group growth. Up north in Stanley, intrepid adults have teamed up to open an entirely new district in neighbouring Durham, recruiting additional leaders from around the city. Similarly, down South in London, Ealing district have challenged young adults to take on leadership roles in the new White City District, an area that Woodcraft Folk has not been active in previously.

All across the country volunteers are finding new ways to foster the life blood of the organisation - leaders. Meanwhile the District Fellows Movement (DFs) are leading a charge to engage young people, who would otherwise drift away from their districts, to take on leadership positions. For the last two years DFs have been pouring money and effort into projects to

S PAN Page 1.indd 1




help cultivate young leaders and fledgling groups. The DFs’ new focus is part of an overt effort to creatively reimagine young people’s routes through Woodcraft Folk to lead more naturally to youth work at a local level. In the summer the DF backed Roots Fund helped was a 6 week youth leader training programme organised by Southwark Woodcraft Folk which culminated in a delegation of 10 young people going to the Czech Republic on a skill sharing event to share their newly developed skills with others from a sister organisation. This renaissance in leadership is not without barriers. Sharing good practice across disparate districts while providing sustainable support for individuals and groups presents demanding challenges. One concept still in its early stages but punching well above its weight is a new, nationally orchestrated, mentoring scheme. Mentoring is not a revolutionary concept in itself but is now being used specifically to help develop leaders. We asked one mentor, Aman Saundh, about how he was helping his mentee. He said: ‘mostly it’s about her needing to improve her confidence before mentally taking the step from

Pearl is a rising star in the zine world. Verity runs the Mentoring Programme for Woodcraft Folk

group helper to group leader. Our goal for around Christmas is to have her lead a group night through from planning to execution, taking control of the other adult leaders as well’. Coinciding with the surge of pioneering activity a major new resource pack has been published entirely designed to bolster groups’ ability to nurture leaders. Venturer Leader, Lily MacTaggart from Bradford was one of the first to test drive the resource pack and said: ‘We began by cherry-picking a session that we ran each week, and examining our own ideas about what makes a good leader. This raised a lot of challenging issues. We discussed facilitation, peer education, inter-age group relationships and most especially adult levvvaders’ attitudes to young people’s rights and responsibilities’. The pack has been a particular hit with young people. Katherine Swindles, a Venturer from London told us ‘I decided to try Leading for the Future with my Venturer group because we are all nearly 16 and I think it is important we become good leaders for the Pioneers that will be moving up soon. I hope it will make us all more aware of the role we play in the whole of Woodcraft Folk and improve our confidence’. Lily Mactaggart, a Venturer in Bradford explained: ‘It was less stressful than running a session I’ve prepared entirely myself as it felt less personal if people didn’t like the activities.’ These are challenging times for all childrens’ organisations. The game has changed but with it Woodcraft Folk is adapting. All across the country volunteers are finding new ways to foster the life blood of the organisation - leaders. Woodcraft Folk has always been ahead of the curve encouraging young people to take on significant responsibilities that other organisations would not but perhaps has not been inventive enough in helping young people realise their potential as the next generation of leaders. Over the past year we’ve seen young people all over the world finding their voice in the Arab spring or taking to the streets protesting in London. The ability, confidence and creativity of the young has overcome the situations they find themselves in. This is a powerful force and Woodcraft Folk’s radical experiments in new ways of nurturing leaders will look to channel that energy into a sustainable future.

F R IEN D S H IP 23/11/2012 14:48

New Resources

Issues for Venturers

Rainbow Network A newly launched online support and

Designed to help leaders tackle complex issues with their groups from sex to religion to economics and sweatshops. Available as a big book, a CD and online ☛

discussion group for LGBT young people and leaders in Woodcraft Folk and supporters of the campaign for equality ☛ Email

Rainbow Special Report

The Great Gay Marriage Con David Cameron claims to support Gay Marriage but is it just popularist posturing? British Youth Council and Woodcraft Folk Vice Chair, Carly Walker-Dawson argues that legalising same sex marraige may undermine the fight for genuine LGBT equality

C ntly as rece Carly w ice Chair V elected British of The cil with oun Youth C ibility for s respon tion and a ip c ti r a p y diversit

ampaigning to legalise gay marriage is wrongly at the forefront today's LGBT struggle. I am for equality, but for an equal society that improves the lives of everyone. Merely extending the institution of marriage does not allow this. For me marriage is an inherently capitalist, patriarchal institution that is conservative in its conception. Marriage infers that long-term monogamous partnerships are more legitimate than other family structures and hails this model as the norm, disregarding other family structures that exist. We should be working for an institution that offers inclusion for all, celebrating different types of relationships, not the unrealistic idea in present day society of a union between two people for life. The gay marriage campaign suggests that to be a legitimate gay or lesbian couple you must embrace the architypal middle-class life, get married and form the nuclear family unit of two parents and 2.2 children. The gay marriage campaign is shying away from the history, the politices, protests and struggle since the Stonewall Riots in 1969, perhaps the most instrumental part in the fight for liberation. The fight for gay marriage is a campaign for the already privileged. It’s a form of liberal capitalism; the promise of formal rights over real restructuring, with equal marriage affecting only those who can participate in the state’s economic system over economic justice for all. It is a distraction from the real, deep insecurity that LGBT people experience. It ignores the economic and social instability that the hardest hit people in society are experiencing, which many LGBT people are among.

So what should we be focusing on? Equal healthcare access and provisions for all. Many people within the LGBT community face huge difficulties in accessing healthcare that they need, such as transgender people who seek hormone treatment or gender reassignment surgery and the treatment and support for LGBT people who are HIV positive, where the stigma is different to if a heterosexual person has contracted the Virus. Fighting against hate crime and LGBT bullying. We need to combat the ever-prevalent physical, sexual and verbal attacks that LGBT people are victim to and the high level of bullying in schools and workplaces on grounds of sexuality, which many turn a blind eye to. Education on LGBT identity and non-heteronormative sex education. The abolition of Section 28 is not enough. All schools should be positively educating about sexual diversity, alternative family structures and sexual and emotional development in general and in reference to LGBT identity. These three ambitions should be the priorities of the LGBT struggle for equality, not gay marriage. The gay marriage campaign worldwide often uses the argument that LGBT people should be able to marry in order to gain additional rights that one gains from heterosexual marriage. The solution to this is easy: give equal rights to all, inside or outside of marriage. What about the LGBT people who choose not to marry, should their choice not to marry scupper the benefits they receive from the state? The option we're presented with seems to be, either buy into the system or lose out. People should not be penalised if they’re

not married, heterosexual or LGBT. Some people incorectly use the argument in the UK that civil partnership and marriage have different rights. In reality, there is very little difference. Civil partners are entitled to the same

I do not need the state to recognise my love property rights, the same exemptions on inheritance tax, social security and pension benefits as married couples. They also have the same ability to get parental responsibility for a partner's children as well as reasonable maintenance, tenancy rights, insurance and next-of-kin rights in hospital and with doctors. In fact, the only difference is that civil partners of male knights do not receive a courtesy title to which the married woman of a knight would be entitled. Is this really something that we really need to fight for? Another argument that I’ve heard is that LGBT people want the state to recognise their love. I do not need the state to recognise my love. For me marriage is a form of state control, not recognition. Love is not something that one needs a piece of paper to prove. I don’t deny that it is entertaining to hear of some religious leaders and homophobes squirming at the thought of gay marriage, but inflicting discomfort on one’s enemies is a poor reason to call for gay marriage. Think about all LGBT people, not just the privileged, stand up to the gay marriage campaign and don't be afraid to challenge the institution of marriage as a whole.

Stonewall Champions Yinka Williams, Highgate and Holloway Leader and Secondary School Teacher Until relatively recently I had never thought of myself as an ‘LGBT leader’. I had always assumed that by virtue of being part of the Woodcraft Folk family my sexuality was irrelevant to my role in the organisation. In many ways it is irrelevant, however, my sexuality has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to think about ways to ensure that young people challenge prejudice and celebrate diversity – whether at group night, on camp, at home or in school. My first contact with the Rainbow Network came while at the IFM-SEI 2010 Train for Change camp in Austria. Aside from the fact that the whole camp was wonderful, it provided me with an opportunity to meet and share

Page 2 Page 2 and 3 Phin's editr.indd 2

r e s ou r c es

ideas with leaders and young people from across the world. I specifically remember a fantastic carousel activity where a wide range of LGBT themes were explored through workshops, music, and craft. On returning from that camp I began reflecting on my experience and wondered to what extent I could use my Woodcraft Folk experiences in my job as a secondary school teacher. When term started I met with colleagues and students to discuss how we could begin challenging the widespread use of homophobic cussing in lessons and at lunchtimes. No easy feat in any school let alone one where 1 in 4 students are refugees, 95% are Muslim and a significant number of students are newly arrived in the country.


ac c om pan y

th is

We decided upon a whole school ‘Respect Week’ which was to include activities and workshops I had learnt at the camp in Austria. The week was a fantastic success and last year staff and students at the school were recognised for their efforts by being awarded the honour of ‘Stonewall Champions’ – the only one in our local authority area! It is my experience in Woodcraft Folk as an ‘LGBT leader’ that has given me the skills to become an active LGBT advocate in my role as a teacher. This has included training colleagues, running workshops for students and teachers and using the Rainbow Resources pack in my teaching. In many ways being an ‘LGBT leader’ has enabled me to become a better teacher.

f eatu r e



pag e

8 23/11/2012 14:47

Rainbow Resources Leaders and young people from all over Woodcraft

ality and

ion on Sexu

to Compan



Folk's sister organisations around the world have collaborated to make the first comprehensive activity pack for exploring LGBT issues with young people ☛

Online Membership Its been a long while coming but Woodcraft

Folk’s membership sysem has finally gone digital. Members are now able to join, renew and update all their details quickly and online ☛

TheCourier • Issue three • winter 2012

Coming out Queer Laurie Cannell, Bradford DF

Young people at CoCamp coming together for a pride march through the festival celebrating diversity and identity

View from Lithuania Birute Sabatauskaite, Lithuania Sexuality education with children in Lithuania is almost impossible. Until age 16 I never heard the words ‘lesbian’ or ‘gay’ – not even when talking about the variety of identities. Under Lithuanian law, talking about LGBT people to children is forbidden in fear it will 'turn them gay'. Years ago, we thought about whether we should include an educational programme on sexuality, gender identity and sexual orientation in our children’s organisation, the Lithuanian Young Falcon Union. However in Lithuania even talking about issues like safe sex make teenagers’ parents angry, so the leaders were too afraid of losing not only children, but their jobs. I know it is a process that'll take time, but sometimes I ask myself how long will we have to wait to free ourselves from hatred. When can children finally explore, learn and form their own critical opinions? Hetereosexual people are allowed to demonstrate their sexuality by their looks, by the way they talk

and flirt, by wearing a wedding ring. ‘Demonstration’ of same sex couples, however, is considered to be harmful for children’s psychological development. In the Lithuanian Falcons we still don’t run activities for little children on sexuality and gender identity, but we do facilitate them for young people. We are thinking about how to start working on it with children under 14 but must keep in mind that the need to ensure the safety of our leaders and avoid scandals. When I ran activities on gender and sexuality at CoCamp, the children said: ‘we don’t understand why it is so hard for people to accept that one child has a father and a mother, another one a mother and mother, and a third one a grandfather.’ It sounded like a distant dream to hear these opinions. Realising that it will probably take many year until I will be able to hear such things in Lithuania made me cry, but it also gives me the motivation to continue working, knowing that change is possible.

rks for Birute wo ian an u h it L e th ights Human R d a e Centr n h s wit volunteer olk's F ft a cr d o Wo anisation sister org anian the Lithu ons lc Young Fa

Before coming out I tried to be attracted to women and told myself that the attraction to men would pass or that it just wasn’t there. After coming out and telling the world and Woodcraft Folk that ‘I’m gay’, I embraced being attracted to men but when I did become attracted to a woman I told myself that it wasn’t the same. I realised that the label ‘gay’ was dictating my sexuality in a similar way to the way that the label ‘straight’ did before I had challenged it. In many ways it feels like once you have challenged heteronormativity and defined yourself outside of the straight label there is still a set culture telling you how to behave as a gay person. ‘Bisexuals are just greedy’, ‘Asexuality doesn’t exist’, ‘Transgender people are just avoiding homophobia’ are some of the examples which I have heard from other members of the LGBT community. I experience it myself; I once suggested to a gay male friend that I was attracted to women sometimes and he found it laughable. Albeit to a lesser degree than the other examples, I’m sure you’ll agree that my experience is a very odd occurrence. Helped along the way by some very attractive female friends, and a few trips to the annual IFM-SEI seminar, Queer Easter, I slowly realise that I don’t fit the very limiting definition of homosexual. Instead, I am a man who is usually sexually attracted to (mostly cute) men but sometimes finds himself attracted to androgynous women...not easy to explain, is it? I could look for a word that means that, but do I even need a limiting label? The main reason I feel that we crave personal labels is to broadly, easily and fluidly define ourselves as part of a supportive community. Heteronormativity forced me to out myself as ‘not straight’ because otherwise society automatically assumes that I am. But I also want to challenge the hierarchy created by the gay community that, for example, assumes that homosexuals are more oppressed than bisexuals. The most broad, easy and fluid way to define as not straight is as Queer. Despite traditionally being a homophobic slur, ‘Queer’ has been reclaimed within the LGBT movement by people who define their indentity out of its growing list of categories and boxes, people who accept that gender and sexuality are not fixed, life-long assignments but are fluid, constantly changing and enjoyable because of that. I see queer as a label on the road to no labels, if we can dismantle their difficulties then we’ll be dismantling their necessity. Many other changes need to happen to solve these problems but redefinition would go some of the way. For me, defining as queer enables more fluidity of gender and sexuality. It empowers me to ally more strongly and struggle more effectively for equality and acceptance with all the others who feel the weight of heteronormativity. I hope that in time we can simply define as the Queer movement instead of the ever expanding lists.

CMYK Page 2 and 3 Phin's editr.indd 3

Page 3 23/11/2012 14:47


Ten Days in The West Bank

Palestine is a country of inspiring cultural resilience in the face of unyielding violent oppression. In summer four young people from Woodcraft Folk visited the occupied nation where they discovered warm openness and harsh restrictions Rachel Remedios, Alice Stott, Anna Nicholson-Lailey, Floss Smith

Introduction One of Oxford District’s highlights of CoCamp was hosting a Palestinian delegation from the Independent Youth Union (IYU), a sister-organisation of Woodcraft Folk. We welcomed them into our homes as part of our families, learning about Palestinian life and culture, sowing seeds of friendship which spanned the world. As our friends bravely shared with us their stories of life in Palestine, we decided that we wanted to learn more about the Palestinian situation and were invited to visit them, which we did this summer. It was a visit of friendship and solidarity, to strengthen our links with the Independent Youth Union, to visit our friends and experience the reality of their daily lives.

Hebron Our visit to Hebron made a particularly strong impression. It is a divided city, separated into different security zones by the Israelis and subject to varying levels of armed patrol by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). It is also home to one of the most ideologically extreme Jewish settler populations in the Palestinian West Bank. Shuhada Street, previously one of the main thoroughfares, has been closed off by blockades, supposedly to protect the settlers. This has led to many Palestinian businesses shutting down, and made access to certain parts of the city extremely convoluted. A lovely woman took us up to the roof of her home on Shuhada Street. We climbed the stairs past her beautiful mural proclaiming ‘everyone welcome’, to see an Israeli security post manned by an armed soldier on the neighbouring roof. She can only use the back entrance to her home as the front has been inaccessible since Shuhada Street was closed off to Palestinian inhabitants by the IDF; her neighbours have to climb over and through friends’ houses to reach their home. Just across the closed street is the Palestinian cemetery, where her family are buried: it is now a 20 minute walk away. Looking onto her

Page 4 Page 4 and 5.indd 4

balcony, you see a metal cage over the windows; protection from the rubbish and stones thrown by settlers. She spoke beautifully of a time, within the last 100 years, when Jewish and Muslim communities lived side by side in Hebron, peacefully intermingled as ‘milk brothers and sisters’ (with Jewish children nursed by Muslim mothers and vice versa). The presence of armed Israeli ‘security’ troops in the city was very shocking: we were told that the 4000 soldiers are there to ‘protect’ a settler population of 400. Visiting the mosque, the site of a massacre by an extremist Israeli settler in 1994, was our first experience of passing through an IDF turnstile and answering to Israeli security. We were horrified by this barrier at the entrance to a religious and community centre for our friends. On entering the mosque, we were inspired by how full of laughter it was, with children playing and friends meeting to chat and pray together. It was a testament to the Palestinian strength of mind, that such an intrusion, and the tragic history of the mosque, does not prevent them from making their spaces their own by filling them with life. It is also, perhaps, a coping mechanism; if walking through a checkpoint always distressed you, it would quickly become extremely difficult to see a way through life.

Jenin In Jenin, we visited a refugee camp, such a permanent fixture that it appears as a run-down area of the town. They have been in place since many Palestinians were forced to flee their homes in 1948. People are unable to return to their families’ homes since they were occupied by Israelis. These often now lie within the borders of the inaccessible Israeli state, and many Palestinians living in the West Bank do not have the resources to build new homes. It could be a very depressing place, and indeed people there face significant difficulties. However, we were struck by the energy Palestinians possess to work for change in so many areas. We visited the inspirational Freedom Theatre - a wonderful performance space, which enables young people





Above Left: The Dome of the Rock, a Byzantine shrine built over a crop of stone which has particular cultural and spiritual significance in Abrahamic religions. Despite the area's importance for Muslims, Israeli forces ban all Palestinian men under 35 on religious holidays. Above Right: The beauty of Palestine's architectural heritage makes a stark contrast with heavily barbed checkpoints that litter the countryside cutting off neighbouring Palestinian villages and communities

The Palestinian flag is based on the flag of the 1916-18 Arab Revolt. and was designed by British Diplomat, Mark Sykes. Israel banned the flag in Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 and even art using the flag's colours in 1980 but since 1993 the flag has been tolerated except in some parts of east Jerusalem

F R IEN D S H I P 23/11/2012 14:46

TheCourier • Issue Three • autumn 2012 Rach Reme el dios

Ann Nicholsen a -Lailey

ce Ali tt t So

Floss Smith

from the camp to express themselves and explore the world through art and culture. We also visited a women’s centre, where women are offered educational and employment opportunities. We witnessed their strength in fighting for better political representation and against domestic violence; Palestinian feminism seemed to be alive and well. Similarly, our friends from the IYU told us that their organisation teaches and campaigns about the Palestinian cause, but also about issues such as social justice and gender equality; adamant that it was not enough to focus on a single cause. ☛

Openness and Restriction The theme of similarities and contrasts recurred throughout our 10 days in the West Bank. Our experiences revealed some of the complexities involved in living under occupation highlighting not only the hardships that Palestinian people face but also their resilience, courage and most of all their own caring and warm spirit. In Ramallah, a busy city in the centre of the West Bank which serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority, we were graciously welcomed into the home of Reem, one of our Palestinian delegation at CoCamp. We were given delicious food, taught some Arabic, taken to a lecture at Reem’s university and told much about Palestinian life. Sitting in Reem’s beautiful home, chatting to her about University and her plans for her birthday, it was easy to forget the hardships that she and her family had gone through. However, thanks to the family’s willingness to share their stories of, for example, living under a curfew imposed by the Israeli Defence Forces, we gained an insight into areas of Palestinian lives that were alien to us and were made even more striking by the similarities that existed between our lives. Though Reem’s birthday celebrations were very similar to ours, with cake, balloons, and presents, the occupation's presence was highlighted when, on our

way home, we passed a thick concrete gate manned by two armed Israeli soldiers. This image of ever-present oppression contrasted so strongly with Reem’s party. We spent the following afternoon at the house of the Aunt and Uncle of Ahmad (another CoCamper). After a delicious meal we shared stories of our families and lives back in England and played an Arabic card game, Taneeb. However, as before, no matter how happy or peaceful the evening, the impact and hardships of the occupation were never far away. Just before sunset Ahmad’s aunt and uncle offered to drive us to an Israeli checkpoint 10 minutes away which stood between two Palestinian villages - limiting the movement of residents between them. This checkpoint forms just one part of the huge security barrier that surrounds the West Bank and separates many Palestinian communities. It consisted of a metal fence running along the hillside topped with fierce spirals of barbed wire and was manned by armed Israeli soldiers. This tool of oppression used by the Israelis to assert their power and dominance over the Palestinians was such a contrast to the warm, generous environment we had just left that it seemed impossible that the two could coexist so close to each other. How could people who were treated as unwelcome intruders in their own land find such generosity of spirit and welcome complete strangers into their home? This contrast between openness and restriction, warmth and oppression characterised our trip as a whole. No matter where you are in Palestine the occupation is never far away. Every family we talked to, met or lived with had a relation or friend who had suffered from Israeli violence. For every beautiful town, village or house we visited there would always be the physical scar of a barrier on the land. Indeed it seems that the Israeli regime aims to ensure that, even during ‘a quieter period’ in the West Bank, the low level intimidation and oppression of Palestinians on a day to day basis will produce a sense of powerlessness and never ending insecurity, yet we felt their spirit of warmth and friendship all around us.

Every family we met had a relation or friend who had suffered from Israeli violence. For every beautiful town or house there would be the scar of a barrier on the land

land loss in Palestine over the 20th century

Israel Palestine

Palestine before 1946

Palestine after the 1946 UN partition imposition

Palestine in 2000 after long term Israeli occupation

Far Left: A watch tower in Bethlehem where armed Israeli soldiers control a section of wall in the West Bank Left: the Oxford girls with 2 fellow CoCampers and some of their friends and relations

r e s o u r c e s Page 4 and 5.indd 5

t o

ac c om pan y

th is

ar tic le

ar e





Page 5 23/11/2012 14:46

Camping in Summer 2012

The Regional Camp Midlands Camp, Nottingham, 2 - 8 August This August in a set of fields at Cotgrave near Nottingham, people started putting up their tents for the first Woodcraft Midlands Camp in a very many years. Over 60 campers gathered from districts in Derby, Coventry, Leicester and more to spend a brilliant week making friends, learning new things from one another and running sessions of activities, from serious discussions to a week long game where everyone attempted to murder each other...or at least pretend to murder each other in a week long game complete with a news report on who been killed each day. The camp was created with the hope of bringing Midland Woodcrafters together, and it was unqualified success! With any luck, more Midlands Camps will also be happening in the future, with even more amazing people attending. For those unlucky enough not to have been at Midlands Camp, Lily Bowler captured some of the most important and interesting things about Midlands Camp for you to enjoy. Some say parachute games are only for the youngest but the sight of people of all ages flapping, running and crawling around a large rainbow parachute at Midlands Camp should change their minds.

Greg sports a practical raincoat and sunglasses combination

Night or day, at Midlands Camp you’d always be able to find a game of Ninja going on. Large circles of campers took turns swinging at and dodging each other’s hands, though with far less grace and far more noise than real ninjas.

Eggy Bread, a camp staple Coventry DFs and Venturers ran their Asylumation Activity to give people a chance to experience problems many refugees face. Midlands Campers were driven out of their homes, had to deal with obstructive bureaucrats and even sold into slavery, all just trying to find a safe home. Earwigs! Lots and lots of earwigs!

Josh, the youngest camper in the Czech Republic

No Woodcraft camp is complete without silly people in silly costumes, and with a different period of history as a theme each evening, Midlands Camp had plenty. Greg Ahrens (left), for example, delighted all with his prehistoric dinosaur onesie.

The International Camp Prague & Brno, Czech Republic, August Norwich and Luton Venturers visited the Czech Republic as guests of Brno Pionyrs in August for 10 days of fun and communal living. The group of 13 delegates travelled from the UK to Prague where they joined their Czech friends, staying in the beautiful and historical city for two days before moving onto Brno by train then bus to the site. The group were pleasantly surprised to discover that they were staying in woodland cabins, which proved to be a wonderful and enjoyable base to explore the surrounding countryside and nearby lake. Some highlights were the visits to the Punkva caves, Lednice Palace, Vivari Castle, just about all of Prague, swimming in the reservoir and hearing (but not seeing) wild boar in the woods. Josh Braithwaite found that the food was varied and a novel experience for some of the delegation but everyone really enjoyed trying new drinks made available by their hosts especially beverages like Kofola (a mix of coke and coffee) and cactus juice! Delegation leader, Lyn Bliss said ‘It was an amazing experience for us all. Our hosts were wonderful. It was a very full programme with time for many games, swimming in the lake and camp fires as well as sight seeing.  Some of the days out were very long. Our children were a credit to us. They joined in with everything, including the work and never a complaint. I particularly enjoyed the trip down the lake by boat.’ Veveri Castle on the River Svratka

‘We learnt loads of new games from our hosts which were very popular and were taken to see a palace and castle and visited a cave system which were all very beautiful’ Josh Braithwaite, 12 One of the Log Cabins

View of Prague

Page 6 Page 6 and 7v4.indd 6

23/11/2012 14:52

Trangia. A compact and efficient way to boil water

An ethical and delicious source of energy

The Moving Camp


Wales 4 - 8 August, Nant Gwynant near Snowdon Walking events; they’re often relatively small, anywhere from 2-30 people which means that you can get to know everyone really well without feeling too spread out like our larger camps. Some young people from Derby recently went on a walking event around North Wales. To keep warm and to not leave anyone on their own it was decided to have a sleeping tent and a storage tent. This worked surprisingly well considering 4 berth tents are often a lot smaller than 4 people. Joe Bowler’s little Trangia is perfect for walking events. It is the ultimate in compact, lightweight cooking. Just remember to bring washing liquid and scourer, cleaning can be hard enough if you don’t have hot water on tap.

There were about 100 small fire altars on site and you could buy logs from the warden if you woke up in time. Instead we walked around the field collecting charcoals left from people who’d packed up and left. By the evening we had the largest fire in the whole campsite.

Snacks should be a massive part of anyone's kit list regardless of the event they’re going on but it is essential for walking. They were a brilliant motivator to get to checkpoints and provided us with that little extra energy that got us to the campsite and our food reserves.

The DF Camp

Music and singing are great ways of passing the time while walking and camping. Mixing words and singing to different tunes became a staple of this camp. You may think Joe is smart to bring a whistle instead of the normal bulky guitar that we see so often on camps until you realise he also brought a didgeridoo!


Rainbow DF Camp, Lancashire, 27 July - 3 August Sometimes it’s the mini disasters that make you reminisce the most fondly, and DF Camp 2012 was certainly not without its little mishaps. From the accidental omission of lighting; (visibility is so 2011 anyway!) to the quandary of risk assessing an axe throwing workshop. It was a blur of fire shows; musical performances, river walks, open mics and ever present midges. A cacophony of ukuleles and late night singers whose voices had long since gone hoarse. Let’s not forget the bouncy castle and the human pile up with inflatable sofas and emergency blankets either. DF Camp is an annual event weighing in at around 150-200 people. It makes a bit of dosh for DFs which is then invested in groups through schemes like The Roots Fund. This year brought in many new DFs and welcomed back some oldies, and placed in the middle of rural Lancashire, in a field surrounded by forests and rivers DF camp certainly felt like someplace to get away from the triviality of daily life.

l Fire juggling: Like juggling but with fire!


Deck of cards: a camp essential especially when the rains come

The most poplar workshop at the camp, but that might just have been because of the free cake. Still, with a highly important message about how society and the porn industry present genitals in an unrealistic light, participants challenged those views armed with cupcakes and icing.

DF Camper, Emma Page 6 and 7v4.indd 7

Give DFs a few tubes of henna and it is a well known fact that within a few hours all of them will be adorned with decorative patterns. Before long arms, faces, legs and even a few belly buttons were tattooed with intricate designs. One cannot have too many biscuits, which was certainly the case at this Lancashire based camp. Plates cascading with Co-operative Digestives were perpetually in circulation.


Page 7 23/11/2012 14:52

TheCourier • Issue three • winter 2012

Resources for All Equality: a piece of cake

Woodcraft Folk in Numbers

flipchart Paper + Knife + Marker pen + 2 round cakes

This is an extract from a 1947 camping manual

x2 Asian White British


• To explore the concept of equality, including equality of opportunity, equality of process and equality of outcome • To think about measures that could be taken to increase certain kinds of equality

Activity (10-25 minutes)

• Get out a cake during a moment in an activity and say that people can help themselves. This is best achieved when not all people are present, for example during a break when some people are out of the main room. Make sure that the cake is too small for everyone to have a piece. Let people have as much as they want without regulation. The effect is also much stronger if people are a bit hungry and have not just eaten. • Bring the whole group together and explain that some people have had cake and others have not, but that everyone had the opportunity to have as much cake as they wanted. Ask the following questions: • Did everyone know about the cake? • Did everyone get what they wanted? • Was just letting everyone take as much as they could the fairest way to distribute the cake? • Explain that this cake was divided by the ‘equality of opportunity’. No one was prevented from taking cake; everyone had the opportunity to help themselves. • Present another cake and say that you are going to divide the cake up equally for everyone in the room. Just before you start cutting the cake, ask: • Is it fair that those who have already had cake have another slice? • What is a fair way to divide the cake when some people have already had something?

Wayfarer weather lore

White Irish White Non British Black/White mixed Mixed Race Black Woodcraft Folk

These weather signs belong to the country man’s weather lore rather than the Met man. They occur in nature and need no instruments to measure. The countryman reads much from the sky and natural objects around him. Here is a list of natural weather pointers usually signs of weather impending or a few hours away: Smoke rising straight up in morning haze: Fine weather Rooks, pigeons, or starlings flying high in the morning to their feeding grounds: Fine weather Swallows or other insect hunters flying and diving low means pressure is low driving insects near to the ground: Rain is coming Yellow or orange sunsets: Bad weather is coming Sun setting behind bank of clouds: Rain on the way The pink rather than the red sky at night: Fine Weather

United Kingdom

Trees and hills seem darker like silhouettes: Rain is coming Green and yellow skies after fine day or night: Changing to rain Haloes round the moon: Rain on the way When stars twinkle more than usual: Rain on the way Field animals restless: Approaching storm. (Pigs sometimes dash around picking up and carrying straw in their mouths). Poplar leaves upturned showing white downy undersurface: Rain is near

There are many others which gamekeepers and villagers may tell you about but some • Explain that if you give everyone an are pet signs and not always reliable. equal slice of the second cake, not thinking Increase in dampness in wind and draughts about what people have had before, then causes some animals to turn to face the this is ‘equality of process’ that gives oncoming storm; others turn their backs to everyone an equal amount of cake but Proceed with caution! it. The domestic cat often turns its back to doesn’t think about where people started. These graphics the fire before rain, having felt a change in • The group should now think of an appear to show a the draught of air from windows or doors alternative way of distributing the cake. close correlation feeding the fire. If the amount of cake varies depending between Woodcraft You won’t prevent rain by turning the cat. on what people have had before, explain Folk's demographic ☛ A huge archive of Woodcraft Folk’s that this is the ‘equality of outcome’, which and the UK as a makes sure everyone receives the same whole (with less old publications is available online: depending on the needs and starting point defining as Asian of everyone. Distribute the second cake. but more defining as • Sit the group in a circle. Explain again White Non British) the different kinds of equality. Write out but the data is the different concepts of equality on the incomplete. These flip chart. The definitions can be found pie charts are based online in the full version of this activity. on a data compiled from a sample size ☛ This activity was taken from the of less than 2% of Rainbow Resources Activity Pack created Woodcraft Folk's by Woodcraft Folk’s international sister adult membership so organisation IFM-SEI. The pack is are very misleading. crammed with activities designed to help To improve our data educators explore issues like families, please login to the relationships, identity, sexuality, gender, website and update bullying and discrimination with children. your information: ☛

Palestine what can Woodcraft Folk groups do to support Palestinians? TALK about life in Palestine. Every

Palestinian we spoke to was keen for us to go home and talk about our trip and what life is like in Palestine; Palestinians often felt that their story was not told in the Western press. Woodcraft groups can change this just by talking about the issue on group nights and camps. This could take lots of forms, from cooking Palestinian food, singing Palestinian songs, listening to Palestinian stories or talking about what living under occupation must be like.

LEARN more about the situation.

There are lots of ways to find out more: Joe Sacco’s reporter-cartoonist books ‘Footnotes in Gaza’ and ‘Palestine’ might be good starting points; the Palestine Solidarity Campaign has fact sheets on its website and its branches host speakers across the country; looking at maps of Palestine over time provides an interesting graphic.

GROW FRIENDSHIPS with Palestinians.

This could be through setting up pen pals, sharing music and games with a Palestinian group, sending a group friendship bracelets that match up to ones worn by your group or telling each other stories through a series of photos.

VISIT Palestine. Going to see what life

is like in Palestine, both its highs and lows, is one of the most powerful ways to learn more and show solidarity with Palestinians. Anyone interested in how we organized our trip is welcome to get in touch (

PRESSURE for change. The Palestine

Solidarity Campaign organised lobbying at the House of Commons – opportunities to come to parliament and tell your MP why you care about Palestine. For those who cannot make it to London, you can write to your MP – imagine if every Woodcrafter did that! Also you can put financial pressure on Israel or illegal Israeli settlements by boycotting Israeli goods ☛ More:

Page 8 Page 8.indd 8

22/11/2012 13:22

TheCourier • Issue THREE • WINTER 2012

Veteran View

Trustee, Northern Lass and Woo dcraft Fo lk Leader, S arah


Working Class Communities Require a Different Woodcraft They will be going home in December after spending a year with us. Eko and Angelica have given us more capacity and our children and young people have loved having them here. They will be very sorely missed! My favourite part of Woodcraft Folk has got to be the camps - the laughter, the jokes, the crack*, the way the kids jell and work together. Of course they are not always fun and sticking a load of people together who do not normally live together will always create problems but they soon get worked out in my experience. I have tried to describe Woodcraft Folk camps to new volunteers and it is so difficult. You work so hard, play so hard, you are exhausted by the time you get home and are barely able to function. But you have a bath and a good night’s sleep in your own bed and suddenly you would swap your front teeth to be back camp and you feel somewhat depressed at being back in the real world again! This year we welcomed our German friends back to the UK from Die Falken Hamm Unna Soest. We camped with them at CoCamp and had such a great time they wanted to come back and visit us. They stayed in Durham City and Stanley Town Council (one of our district’s great funders) hosted a Civic Reception for them and the Stanley group. 4 days later we all went to camp in the beautiful Budle Bay, Northumberland where we welcomed Londoners,

you work so hard, play so hard, you get home barely able to function but after a good night's sleep you would swap your front teeth to be back at camp

Spelthorne Woodcraft Folk and our friends from Sri Lanka who are seeking asylum in this country. Thanks to the DFs for funding the Sri Lankans to come to our camp! It was great to host a smaller camp with people from around the globe. We had a beach barbecue, boat trip to the Farne Islands and a trip to Alnwick Castle. It was brilliant! We are now planning our first trip as a group to Germany in Spring 2013. I also really enjoy Annual Gathering (AG) and go every year. It wasn’t until 2008 that Stanley Woodcraft Folk put forward a motion and that by chance was the first year I spoke to AG - I was so nervous and my knees literally knocked together! I have spoken a few times since then and it does get easier but I still get a bit nervous. I am so pleased that Open Space decision making has been introduced for people who find it difficult to speak to a whole of conference: Open Space is a great way for everyone to take full part in our democracy, it is invaluable. I was at Development Conference in York in October 2011 when I found out that the number of groups had reduced significantly. I was shocked and upset and decided that I wanted to help reverse the trend by nominating myself for General Council. I was elected at Annual Gathering and now I am busy volunteering for the Education and Groups committee. As part of the growth strategy Stanley Woodies decided to set up Durham City Woodcraft Folk – we wanted to help grow and sustain the group and also wanted another group in our own county. It is going really well however it takes time to enable the new volunteers to take over the reins of running their group. Beginning a new group is harder that it looks. It is also giving me different experiences – I haven’t been an Elfin leader for over a decade and I am really enjoying finding my feet again while also taking on membership secretary. It really does show that you can be in Woodcraft Folk for almost quarter of a century and still have new things to learn!

Sarah McGovern Stanley Leader Durham Leader Born Consett, 1979 Just 8 miles from Stanley Joined 1988 Folk Name Pheonix Real World Sunderland City Council Education Education & Youth Work at Durham University Woodcraft Folk Pioneer Leader Venturer Leader General Council Claim to Fame Appeared on the BBC Politics Show campaigning to save the Activity Den *The Crack Northern English phrase for fun, not to be confused with drugs! Quote ‘Some say I talk a lot. I say I have a lot to say.’

CMYK - not to be confused with RGB!

When I was 8 I asked my mam and dad if I could join a youth organisation. They looked around and were less than keen on the Scouts or other youth projects but saw a flyer in a newsletter which advertised Woodcraft Folk. In 1988 they set up Stanley Woodcraft Folk in County Durham. The rest, as they say, is history. Stanley is a very working class ex-mining town. People said that my parents could never run a middle class organisation like Woodcraft Folk in Stanley so my dad said that they would run a working class model instead. It is still going strong and will turn 25 years old next year! I did my first activity with Stanley Elfins (6-10s) when I was about 16. I still remember it, potato heads with seeds. The Elfins were so quiet and hung onto my every word – that soon changed! I began regularly volunteering until my second year at university when I dipped out for a couple of years, just like many other DFs, the 16-21 year old age group of Woodcraft Folk. I returned to Stanley District in 2001 as I could simply not stay away. As I was by then youth work trained I tended to work with the Pioneers (10-13s) and Venturers (13-16s). Stanley Woodcraft Folk moved to The Activity Den in 2001 and were the main driving force behind the 10 year campaign to save our beautiful 1891 Victorian building and develop The Den project. The Activity Den (of which I am chair) is a collaboration of different groups for children and young people. Our main aim is to improve the lives of children, young people, their families and the volunteers. We are more than just a youth project, we pride ourselves on the fact that our members and groups not only associate themselves with their group but also The Den. It was great news when we found out that Stanley Woodcraft Folk and The Activity Den were going to host two European Voluntary Service Volunteers this year. Angelica Mancipe and Eko Manurung both from Columbia.

The next Veteran View: We’re specifically looking for Woodcraft Folk leaders who have never served on General Council to write a Veteran View. If you are interested please contact the editorial team by writing to

Page 9 Page 9.indd 9

22/11/2012 13:21

The training camp 2013

Events Calendar

UK tax deadline

11 - 17 lee valley youth hostel

31 january

The first major national training camp in Woodcraft Folk history. A vast programme of workshops and crash courses to choose from. Get yourself some badass skills!

Don't forget to pay the right amount of tax. Avoiding your fair share would be deeply immoral now wouldn’t it?

From the Movement

tially A poten rbucks ta S s u libello ee Cup Coff

Hate to Say it Adam Taylor, Central Barnet Ok, I hate the word hate. No I don’t, case in point. What I actually mean is that I deeply dislike the misuse and overuse of the word Hate. To utter the word often sounds so pathetic, for example: ‘I Hate school!’ That phrase is often said and is not true nor meant. I suppose it’s a good time to define, as I see it, the true meaning of Hatred. For me it is entirely negative. It is not the flip side of Love, a more complex and necessary emotion, but let’s save that for another time. Hate is and has been the power behind genocide, serial killers, rape, murder, racism, sexism, homophobia and many more extremely unpleasant things, including, and this is the big one, war. I challenge you all my friends to find a single positive thing in this world that is born out of hatred. So let’s look at our example: ‘I Hate school!’ What is it you hate? The building? Set fire to it, or bomb it. The teachers? Kill them. Fellow students? Also kill them. School meals? Destroy the kitchens. School uniform? Burn it and go in naked. All of the above? Bomb the school while it’s open. Congratulations, you are now a psychotic, mass murdering arsonist. All in the name of Hatred. Well done you. What is really meant by ‘I hate school’ is that I don’t like getting up early, dressing in clothes that I wouldn’t

Page 10 Page 10 and 11.indd 10

normally been seen dead in, eat food that I wouldn’t feed to my cat and sit next to that irritating kid who smells whilst listening to the boring old idiot ramble about the Second World War again. But why Hate? If you do then you should take action, otherwise get on with it and buckle down, only logical decision. Hate has no logic. So in the true use of the word Hate suddenly seems to be something of a rarity. Finally to the question: Why this rant? Where am I going with this? It’s because of the line in the Woodcraft Folk Creed, or Envoi if you will, that goes: ‘We Hate war and sloth and greed, but love fellowship.’ Sloth is also known as laziness. Do we hate the Elfin whose tent looks like a nest after being asked repeatedly to tidy it up? Do we hate the Pioneer or Venturer who regards washing up as something that is done by the pixies and are happy to be fed but disappear when asked to peel a carrot? Perhaps at times we dislike that behaviour or even those people, but to Hate any of this is pointless and self destructive. Greed, now everyone wants more. Unfortunate but true. From the poorest to the richest on the planet. This is human nature, not greed. We try in Woodcraft Folk to live to the ideal of Communism: From each according to

L e tter s


th e

ed itor

The Big Picture: the terrifying but lovable illustration above is the work of designer, tailor and thoroughly lovely person Kate Bowman. Kate's distinctive style can be seen at work in many of Woodcraft Folk's printed resources and Folk Supply merchandise. More of Kate's work can be seen online


their ability; to each according to their need. Most of the time that works, but wanting more is not wrong. When greed kicks in it is when the desire for more causes behaviour that is oblivious to, and/or to the detriment of others. ‘I want the last piece of cake. You haven’t had any but I’m eating it anyway.’ That’s greed. Don’t hate this person. Pity them. Finally to war: What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, please say it again. War is wrong. A just war is an oxymoron, generally started by morons. The reasons for war are complex, again save that for another time, but are generally couched in the language of the playground: ‘I hit them because they hit me first.’ Is self defence right? I would argue that violent self defence has to be a last resort. You’ve got a brain and a mouth to express your feelings but even I can’t condemn limited self defence in certain limited circumstances. Do what you have to do then run away. So, in conclusion, I feel it is deeply wrong to encourage anyone, to profess to hate anything or anyone, whatever the provocation may be. Our organisation exists to promote peace, harmony, love and respect for others so may I suggest a new line: ‘We wish to end war, sloth, greed and Hatred, but love fellowship.’

c ou r ier @w oodcraft . org . uk 23/11/2012 14:11

Venturer Camp

Annual gathering

3 - 11 AUGUST  Drum hill, Derbyshire

26 - 28 April, Bradleywood Scout campsire, near Huddersfield

Packing possibly the most diverse programme of any Woodcraft Folk camp into a one week mini festival, Venturer Camp 2013 is themed around Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

The motions, the meetings, the tough questions and the side splitting pub quiz, it’s the AGM of Woodcraft Folk


TheCourier • Issue three • Winter 2012

Rising star in the Labour Party, Stella Creasy

Rising Risk

Another Spoilt Ballot

Stella Creasy MP

Ellie Ferguson, Luton, 17

Co-operative Party & Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy is spearheading the One Billion Rising campaign against domestic violence in the UK. She wrote The Courier this letter Dear Woodcraft Folk, Recently it was revealed the number of prosecutions and convictions for domestic violence in the UK have never been higher. Yet the cases reported represent only the tip of the iceberg of the violence and abuse women face. The British Crime Survey shows more than a million women suffer domestic abuse every year, 300,000 are sexually assaulted and 60,000 are raped. Many do not report their experiences to public agencies, but even when victims and perpetrators of domestic violence are brought to the attention of the authorities, neither intervention nor criminal prosecution necessarily follows. In 2010/11, only 8% of domestic violence incidents reported to the police actually ended in a prosecution. That is why we are joining with others across the world to call for change. One Billion Rising (OBR) is an international coalition of campaigners speaking out on how society addresses these problems – building up to a day of action on 14 February 2013 to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of V-day, the movement to end violence against women and girls. Already activists in 160 countries have joined into this campaign working to make tackling violence against women and girls a priority for all. Here in the UK we are campaigning on five areas. Safe at Home will look at how to tackle domestic violence and child-parent abuse as well as protect refuges. Safe through Financial Freedom will address the impact of universal credit changes on household budgets and support women to join the credit union movement, Safe Growing Up will explore the harassment of young women and girls, the growing evidence of abuse on and offline and the role of gender stereotypes. Safe in the Community will look at street safety and security in public spaces for women – from safety in nightclubs and the impact of cuts to street lighting to the way in which transport hubs operate. Finally, Safe in the World will look at how UK activists can support action on violence against women and girls internationally including measures to addressing trafficking and promoting the work of other OBR campaigners in other countries. ☛ There will be OBR workshops across the country throughout the coming months. If you want to join one in your area or sign up to take part in the day of action on February 14th visit our website for more information. Website: Twitter: #1billionrising @StellaCreasy

domestic violence in numbers

750,000 Children at least witness Domestic violence every year in the uk

Percentage of murder victims by gender killed by current or former partners

42%5% one incident of domestic violence is reported to the uk police every minute 14% of all violent reported crime last year was domestic violence

Domestic Violence Muggings Stranger Violence Acquaintance

l e t t er s Page 10 and 11.indd 11

m ay

In November, ballot boxes opened for millions of people to vote in the dubious Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Tall people, short people, strong people, weak people, men, women, people who don’t fit neatly into the gender binary: they were all allowed to cast their ballot. But not me, I was prevented from voting. It wasn’t a lack of information about the process or knowledge of the candidates. I’m not a young child, and I’m not medically incapable of voting. Nor am I in prison. I’m 17. I’m eight months short of being enfranchised. 241 days to be exact, which many not seem like a lot but when my friends tell me they’re not applying to university because it costs too much, when they can’t find a foster family because the local council’s family services team have all been made redundant, and when I realise my future is being cruelly cut away by the coalition, it certainly feels like eight months too many. Young people, in particular 16 and 17 year olds, are being targeted and victimised: unpaid or underpaid apprenticeships continue, shelters for LGBQ youth are being cut, as are youth centres. The minimum wage for under 16 and 17 year olds is nearly half that for over 21s, and has risen by just 4p since 2010, whereas it has risen by 26p for over 21s in the same period. Youth unemployment, which stands at 963,000 has never been higher since the Great Depression. Tuition fee caps have been raised to an extortionate and unaffordable £9,000. Meanwhile, the Government refuses to invest in renewable energy so that today’s young will have a sustainable future, yet they give tax breaks to the fracking industry and renewed the Trident nuclear missiles for billions of pounds. The situation for 16 and 17 year olds is dire. We’re forced into an awkward void by both right-wing politicians and press, determined as they are to impose ideological cuts that effect us severely. I can’t count on two hands the amount of times I’ve been told to ‘get off my backside and get a job’. I’ve applied to scores of different establishments, and never once got an interview.

The 16 year olds of Austria were first given the vote in 2008. So far there certainly hasn’t been an apocalypse. We’re told we’re not educated enough to vote, we’re told we don’t have enough ‘life experience’, whatever that means. We’re told we’re apathetic because we may not be interested in learning about a political system under whose control we live, but over whom we have no electoral influence.

Youth employment hasn't been lower since the great Depression Give 16 and 17 year olds the vote. We’ll vote for our future, our planet’s future, our society’s future. Attempting to grant 16 and 17 years olds the vote in the Scottish independence referendum is a start, but it goes beyond that referendum, beyond the Police and Crime Commissioner election, and indeed beyond any election. It’s about empowering the next generation and giving us the stake in society that we deserve. It’s about giving us some element of control; the right to choose whether we want our services stripped away, and the right to choose not to listen to the boring rhetoric of capitalism anymore. And that’s something the coalition does not want, because they’re hurting us the most. I’ll keep writing, singing, dreaming, marching, and demanding to be enfranchised until the day comes when 16 and 17 year olds can stroll up to the ballot box and cast their vote. Until then, I’ll be exercising one of the only means of political dissent available to me. I’ll be taking to the streets on 21st November and I urge you, 16 and 17 year olds and anyone else who cares about our future, to do the same.

News In Brief The second South East London Zine Festival took place in New Cross on the 10th of November. Eighteen stalls selling zines and comics set up where zinesters traded and sold their wares to dozens of fans through-out the day. Stallholders included a small contingent of international zinesters on their last stop on a tour of the UK, who performed zine readings to the modest but enthusiastic crowd. The Courier’s own Pearl Ahrens, creator of the Brighton zine Peach Melba was there although not exhibiting this year. Zines are usually small publications made more for love than money often with an overt hand made quality.



ed ited Cooking and camping, and

Page 11 23/11/2012 14:11

TheCourier • Issue three • WINTER 2012

The Back Page

Est. 2012


Cryptic Crossword


With a Midsummer Night's Dream Flavour for Venturer Camp 1












Normal Clues














1 Bickering (10) 9 Agreement (7) 10, 26 Death Penalty (7,10) 11 Teenage Stress (5) 12 Apparition - Illusion (8) 14 Beguiling (10) 15 Glowing green above doors (4) 17 North ---- (brand) ---- Off (film) ---- of Boe (DR. Who character) (4) 19 Unemotional (10) 21 Revalation (8) 22 Histrionics (5) 24 Fast moving (7) 25 Titanic’s undoing (7)

Down 21






Cryptic Clues Across

1 Half quadrilateral confused headless babbling arguing. (10) 9 Allow a letter gone to follow a trick (7) 10, 26 PENALTY for treason (7, 10) 11 Pained emotions confuse past sting (5) 12 Measure insect confuses boy for spirit (8) 14 No geranium confused induces love (10) 15 Muddled extradition without trade departure route (4) 17 Random café heads a head. (4) 19 Undemonstrative constable contains megalith replayed (10) 21 Realisation returns smoker before he begins (meany) without me (8) 22 Twice graduated? Is one produced? (5) 24 Diagonal artist reads tea in new grotto starting moving suddenly (7) 25 Lettuce impediment (7)


11th January, AGM & Editorial Elections Hosted by London AGM

A march special

Young Wo members odcraft Folk Stand up Austerity to for a Futur That Wo e rks

of The Co-oper

ative Newspa

per of Woodc

raft Folk

The Edito


Woodcraft the co-op Folk is A core messa children erative this march ge of people’s and young austerity is that We run movement. hundreds especiallyisn’t working, grassroots of people. Wefor young groups in education are towns and supporting cities acros and young children s the UK where young to be centr people people of all ages al to this march, sendi make friendplay games, about big s and learn message thatng a clear ideas from is something the future social justic change throue to climate together, thatwe build young people are gh cooperative activities. to the Tradecentral Youn movement Union in Wood g people Above: , and craft Woodcraft that Folk are march Woodcraft Woodcraft children's Folk is THE Folk has because ing today Folk works with a for those organisation long history in educa we believe co-operativ tion for campaigningof in a progrwho believe es and social chang Trade Union essive future for equalit “In Wood governmen e. The s around . and workery the UK craft Folk t is committed I’ve rights with s and taketo share values relatively seen how to spend action for children £130bn a more just ing of small and families money can sums society. weaponson nuclear If your organ pay for the space seen local- but we've isatio would like equipmentand minimal youth to affilian centres to your we need te to give childr local doors forlocking their Wood Folk group craft en really inspiring last time. the collaborate , or and empo experiences, with believe thisWe a nation to make wer them al level, us on is wrong. love to hear positive we’d contributio Our young from you. communitiens to their the next people are essential s. It’s generation co-operato of like us canyouth groups unionists. rs and trade doing this” carry on ☛ Find of our membsays one Woodcraftyour local ers in London. Folk group at wood Everyone info@wood recomm in the UK has the k or end makin or 020 g no commeright to peaceful protest. nt to any 4173 If you’re police questions,

arrested for protes and asking ting, for Bindm ans solicitoactivist networks rs, 0207 8334433. ☛ Article

Page 12.indd 12


ed inside

on page


2 Enquire (7) 3 Depp does it better than Knightly (4) 4 A slap - The worst kind of compliment (10) 5 French cake (7) 6 From German - Delight in other people’s misfortune (13) 7 German Code Machine (6) 8 Al Gore’s calling (7,6) 13 Homes for foundlings (10) 16 Little bit (8) 18 Twitter (7) 20 Globetrot (6) 23 A good excuse for popcorn (4)

2 Inquiry challenge with drunk legion (7) Last Issues's Solutions 3 Actors dismiss suggestion of F U N A N D G A M E S 0 T 2 V alternative in performance! (4) E U A L U T R A 4 Support handled without starting M 2 R E D E N T E R T A I N I T I A U A I I loving indirect praise (10) 5 Opens at end of path with golden N E U T R O N 2 A 2 W I L D S I R E L P S H start to Xerxes’ cake (7) S E E D B E D 2 S N O W2 2 2 6 Oberon feels this unravelling, M A L E hence defrauds (13) F A L C O N S 2 2 2 O D E S 2 7 This clue is in game played (6) T D G U I N S 8 A technical gem changes seasons U N I T E N2 N A P H T H A N S W B E E H Y out of mode (7,6) D I A L O G U E S 2 A C E 2 I 13 Mixed herb joins parentless R R R R S K G S to form homes. (10) A M K I N D E R S C O U T 16 Relation swallows an insect, only a little bit! (8) 18 Bird’s cry sounds like an Cryptic? Meh? admonition to happiness (7) 20 Portable nonsense versifier Cryptics are devious word confused with household appliance (6) puzzles in which each clue is 23 Faeries in low moonlight a word puzzle in and of itself. start to record pictures! (4) They are notoriously tricky to set as well as to solve.

Our Media Please Help! As a volunteer led Our Say charity, Woodcraft Folk relies on the generous help of members and supporters to keep running co-operative youth groups and camps. Please visit member and sign up to regularly support Woodcraft Folk as a member

he young are under attack. Attack from a government determined to stratify society by trampling on lower middle and working class opportunities at the expense of jobs, growth and morality. The youth sector is fast becoming a shadow of its former self yet the silence from that sector is deafening. Woodcraft Folk is punching above its weight as are the youth wings of some unions and even the Scouts have quietly asked the government not to tax their huts into extinction. But as a sector we couldn’t be putting up much less of a fight. Why is this? Britain’s political heritage is steeped with protest and speaking out. How can it be that today our youth sector has become so pliant to the whims of Whitehall? ver the last decade we’ve lured ourselves into a corner of passive reliance on centralised grants and comissioning which bring with them useful cash but at high costs. Conditional grant funding fundamentally involves a heavy element of competition and as inflation stays high with growth miserably low that competition is accelerating. In order to stay in the running organisations have had to get sharp at playing the game. No longer may targets be organic or iterative but instead measurability is paramount. The metric of an idea is no longer its quality but how closely it maps to a bid. Third parties are roped in to give glowing evaluations for a hefty fee and organisations increasingly chase the money rather than the issues. The National Citizenship Service (NCS) for many is a cynical move to dismantle effective local youth services with a PR friendly stunt in the summer. Woodcraft Folk has thrown itself into the scheme arguing it is better to be in than out with controversial results. or the next edition of The Courier we will analyse the state of the UK Youth Sector. Have we lost our institutional spine? Should Woodcraft Folk be supporting NCS? Is there ever such a thing as a social business? And has centralised grant funding weakened British youth work? Write to

Switch to and we'll donate £50 to Woodcraft Folk today!



Want to write for The Courier?

Issue 3 Winter 2012 NE NUNTIUM NECARE EDITORS: Pearl Ahrens Jake Taylor Will Knight Verity Jones Pat Dowson FEATURES EDITORS: Oonagh Ryder Carly Walker-Dawson Anna Nicholsen-Lailey EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Phin Harper SUB EDITOR: Will Barker ILLUSTRATOR: Kate Bowman EDITORIAL BOARD: Tom Dunnill Sam Sender Kate Bowman Ralph Sleigh Laurie Cannell GENERAL SECRETARY: Jon Nott COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER: Chloë Darlington PRODUCTION: Printed by Seacourt on recycled paper with vegetable-oil based ink WOODCRAFT FOLK: Folk House, Number 9, 83 Crampton Street, London, SE17 3BQ (+44) 020 7703 4173 Woodcraft Folk is the co-operative children and young people’s organisation, running hundreds of local groups in towns and cities around the UK where children can make friends, build self confidence and learn about big ideas through co-operative activities. Woodcraft Folk is a member of IFM-SEI, the international federation of progressive youth organisations. Woodcraft Folk is grateful for the support of the Co-operative Group & many other Co-operative Societies. The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of Woodcraft Folk. Woodcraft Folk is a registered charity in England & Wales (1073665) & Scotland (SC039791).

One third of The Courier is paid for by the Big Lottery Fund as part of Woodcraft Folk’s core development programme.

The Last WoRDS woodcraftfolk Without the support of Co-operative societies around the UK Woodcraft Folk's unique co-operative youth work could not continue. Thank you!

‘Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter.’ President Thomas Jeffferson

CMYK 22/11/2012 13:20

Courier 3  
Courier 3