Hundreds of young people across the world set to unite at special camp in Northamptonshire

With the theme of international friendship and solidarity, Common Ground promises youth action, collaboration, problem solving and fun

Thursday, 7th July 2022, 8:40 am

More than 2,600 young people from around the globe will be attending a summer camp in Northamptonshire to promote international friendship and solidarity.

The International Falcon Movement - Socialist Educational International (IFM-SEI) camp, hosted by UK youth organisation Woodcraft Folk, is set to take place at Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens from July 29 to August 8.

IFM-SEI international camps take place every five years in different locations. The UK has not been a host since 2011 and the camp - named Common Ground - is expected to be even “bigger and better” according to the event’s organisers.

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With the theme of international friendship and solidarity, Common Ground promises collaboration, problem solving and fun.

Camp volunteer Eva Chatrain said: “Common Ground will be my first experience of an international camp. I am really looking forward to seeing all the cultures and nationalities living together for ten days.

“It will be a real life changing experience that will provide a great opportunity for attendees to learn from each other and share our customs and habits.”

The camp will be split into ‘villages’ comprising 100 people. Each village eats, sleeps, cooks and cleans together with a kitchen area and a space to run activities. Groups of five to six villages form towns of around 500 attendees, where there is a communal area and cafe.

A central area in the camp provides a space where everyone in the camp can come together and take part in a diverse range of activities.

The Common Ground camp is set to take place this month at Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens.

There will be campers from 26 countries in total with some having experienced conflict, displacement and other hardships.

Young people input into how the camp is run and devise rules for their village so they are provided with an engaging and educational camp democracy experience.

There will be a programme of activities and games designed to exude underlying messages for social change, rights and equality. This includes bushcraft activities, creating radio programmes in the media centre and attending a variety of workshops on conflict and peace, anti-racism, children’s rights and more.

There will additionally be volunteer opportunities for young people to get stuck into including sound and stage engineering and wellbeing support.

Common Ground Chair Tom Brooks said: “Once every five years our movement comes to camp as one, reminding us of our strength and our diversity, it galvanises us to reach out to new communities and builds bonds between the communities which already exist within us. It's also just a lot of fun.”

Woodcraft Folk is a member of IFM-SEI, which is made up of organisations from across the globe that all share the same values and educate on social change. International camps such as Common Ground bring these organisations together in a bit to build bridges, make friendships and to learn from each other.

Woodcraft Folk CEO Debs Mccahon said: “I'm delighted that our team of young leaders have been able to put together such an engaging programme.

“Personally, I am really looking forward to the youth-led workshops on Children's Rights and the food foraging workshop.”

Due to the huge scale of the camp, Woodcraft Folk is asking local organisations or individuals if they can help with supplying equipment such as spare tents, sporting equipment, musical instruments and technical equipment. Anyone, who can help, is asked to contact [email protected]

Find out more information about how to get involved by visiting https://woodcraft.org.uk/