A very cheery publication arrives through the letterbox. It’s the latest newsletter from the Woodcraft Folk, Britain’s cooperative children’s and youth organisation.
I have to declare an interest, having once upon a time been actively involved both in my own town’s group and nationally in the work of the Woodies. The newsletter brings news of how young people I knew as teenagers are taking the skills and cooperative values they learned then into their jobs, whether, to give two examples, as a UK diplomat at the UN or as a tree surgeon. And there are tales too of recent Woodcraft Folk activities including the usual camping mishaps (“Wanting 160 eggs but accidentally ordering 160 dozen…”).
The newsletter announces a new Friends of the Woodcraft Folk scheme for those who want to support the organisation’s aims but for some reason don’t want to volunteer to play cooperative parachute games with seven and eight year olds in a community centre or eat half-cooked marshmallows round a campfire with teenagers whilst at the same time trying to sing The Mighty Song of Peace. The Friends scheme sounds an excellent initiative – details at their website, www.woodcraft.org.uk.