… we change the world.
We support our members to celebrate and question the world around them. We enable them to bring about the changes that they want in order to create a more equal and caring world.
… we are youth led.
We support young people to participate, take the lead, and make decisions about their programme and how the organisation is run. We empower them to become active citizens locally and globally.
… we welcome everyone.
Our groups, events, centres and volunteer roles are open to all. We do our best to remove any barriers to participation.
… we are co-operative.
We practice cooperation and teamwork through all of our activities.
… we understand and respect our one world.
We think it’s important to learn about our environment and how we can take better care of it. We develop international understanding and friendship through our activities and exchanges.
… we’ve been running since 1925 and we’re still going strong!
We’ve changed over the past century, but draw on our heritage and what we’ve learnt as we move forward.
About the groupsThe groups, which are open to all children and young people, are divided by age:
- Under sixes are known as Woodchips
- Six to nine-year olds are known as Elfins
- Ten to twelve-year olds are Pioneers
- Thirteen to fifteen-year olds are Venturers
- Sixteen to twenty year olds organise their own activities, and are known as District Fellows or DFs
MembershipOur membership consists of children and young people aged under 6 to 20, and adults of all ages. They are all involved in groups, of up to 25 people, which meet on a weekly basis at a local venue. Democracy and cooperation are the central features of the way we do things. Everyone has a say, from the youngest Elfin to the most veteran adult member.
Cambridge groupsIn Cambridge there are seven groups: three Elfin groups, two Pioneer groups, one Venturer group and a DF group. Groups in Cambridge form a District which is an umbrella body to organise Cambridge-wide activities, participation in national activities, manage finances, and organise training for volunteers. District meetings are open to all adult members, and take place once a month. Groups throughout the Eastern Region also coordinate joint activities.
What do we do?Woodcraft Folk groups meet weekly, enjoying a varied programme including games, discussions, drama, craft, and singing in order to follow an educational programme based on our aims and principles. Outdoor activities, walks and camping also take place at weekends or during school holidays. Woodcraft Folk offers a place where children will grow in confidence, learn about the world, and build awareness of their place in it.
National FolkWoodcraft Folk has a UK headquarters with full-time staff based in London. An annual delegate conference, or Gathering provides overall policy direction and elects a General Council for the national organisation. Regional Gatherings enable the groups within a region to plan and discuss collaborative progress.
InternationalismWoodcraft Folk has like-minded sister organisations all over the world through the umbrella organisation, International Falcon Movement-Socialist Educational International (IFM-SEI). Young people in Cambridge Woodcraft Folk regularly take part in international activities and camps held both in the UK and abroad.
About the nameWe don’t spend all our time doing woodwork! The influential writer and naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton used the name ‘woodcraft’ at the turn of the twentieth century. ‘Woodcraft’, in this context, means the skill of living in the open air, close to nature. Woodcraft Folk, like many other youth movements founded in the 1920s, traces its origins back to a movement for a healthier lifestyle, especially for children growing up in unhealthy cities. We try to get outdoors as often as possible, especially during the summer months. Walking, hostelling and camping form an important part of our programme. Woodcraft Folk has its own outdoor centres and campsites which we use. Cambridge has its own camping equipment and equipment stores at Abington Woods.