The Venturer Camp, a unique youth-empowering event organised by Woodcraft Folk, is running from 5-12 August, offering over 400 teenagers aged 13-17 a chance to immerse themselves in a wide range of challenging, yet enriching activities.
Set amidst the ancient woods of the Biblins Youth Campsite, an 18-acre paradise hugging the river, the camp serves as a hub for young minds to connect, engage, and learn. The camp distinguishes itself by putting teenagers in the driving seat, managing tasks typically entrusted to adults, such as coordinating events, leading workshops on vital topics like arts and climate action, organising meals, and handling logistics.
Despite the demanding task of arranging a week-long camp for hundreds of peers, these young leaders are confidently navigating the experience. In doing so, they are acquiring invaluable skills that will aid them not only in their future careers but also in their personal lives.
The excitement surrounding the Venturer Camp is palpable, particularly given its three-year hiatus, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The opportunity for face-to-face social interaction, coupled with a much-needed respite from the constraints of digital communication, makes this camp more vital than ever before.
As the pandemic has profoundly affected youth life - from interrupted studies and reduced social interaction to mental health challenges and the current cost of living crisis - the Venturer Camp, in partnership with the IFM-SEI-led E-mpACT project, has prioritised addressing these issues. This three-year project explores digitalisation, non-formal education, and international solidarity in a post-Covid-19 world, involving young participants from eight countries across four continents.
The Venturer Camp's co-ordinator, Thomas Boxall, sees the camp as a life-changing opportunity. He highlights the diverse range of activities, from rock climbing and drawing to political 'talk shows', that can potentially ignite a passion leading to global career success. The campsite's remote location with limited phone signal encourages campers to disconnect from technology, a relief for many after years of online learning and socialising.
Central to Woodcraft Folk's ethos, embodied in the camp's activities and operation, are values of cooperation, peace, and respect for the natural world. This philosophy extends to every aspect of the camp, including its energy source - renewable energy, reflecting the charity's commitment to environmental protection.
As Woodcraft Folk approaches its centenary in 2025, the charity continues to pave the way for an ambitious generation, equipped to voice their opinions and effect positive changes toward a better world.
Woodcraft Folk is an educational charity and youth organisation that aims to foster equality, friendship, peace, and cooperation among young people. Operating over 300 volunteer-led groups in England, Wales, and Scotland, it offers a space for children to explore, learn, build friendships, and cultivate respect for the planet and each other. Woodcraft Folk is a registered charity in England & Wales (1148195) and in Scotland (SC039791), and a limited company, registered in England & Wales (8133727). Registered office: Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester M60 0AS.