Let’s see what we can create together on these days; let’s reimagine the world we’d like to live in and get active to make it happen together.
Campfire Convention is floating an idea..
We are inviting our members to light Beacons simultaneously across the UK and around the world to come together and join hands.
The Beacon concept began late last year, bringing communities together face-to-face so they could identify areas for change and put plans into action or just be together and get to know their neighbours. The Bournemouth Beacon, after just one meeting, has already set out its calls to action and is making an impact at local level.
On June 21, the summer solstice, each Beacon want to make a pledge (three would be even better! for how they wish to make the world a better place. If it works, we could to repeat this formula at every seasonal solstice and equinox celebration.
Setting up a Beacon is easy. Here are some guidelines and areas for potential focus for social change initiatives.
Campfire Convention emerged in response to people wanting to talk about our rapidly evolving world and the changes we face - from local to global - as well as wanting real action, the opportunity to carry ideas forward and to facilitate change.
Like a traditional campfire gathering, the web community encourages members to tell their story, celebrate song, discuss issues of the day, explore new possibilities, start a movement, showcase work and ideas, formulate a campaign and to start an ongoing dialogue.
The solstice and equinox Beacons are a timely reminder that we need to put the planet first and look at correcting imbalances in terms of how we co-exist productively and harmoniously. We can learn from the ancients’ belief that the sun was a reflection of the light within everyone. Spring and autumn equinoxes are moments of total equality for all mankind and the solstice celebrations bring us peak light and maximum darkness.
The Campfire is a great leveller. The symbolism of the fire also offers a useful framework for creating outcomes from our Beacon meetings. The logs and coals are our resources, our talents and passions which create the energy, the flames are our ideas and calls to action and the smoke signals the impact our ideas could have in the wider world. People have celebrated the changing seasons for thousands of years but not combined these occasions with practical solutions for social change. We believe that four focused meet ups a year is the optimum for each of our Beacons to maximise its potential to make a difference, but Beacons should also be free to make their own agendas and stage meetings when they want.
Spring = Hope, Summer = Light, Autumn = Gratitude, Winter = Reflection.
The idea to bring communities together by way of regular meetings or celebrations is not a new one and most of our current traditions have their roots in ancient civilisations. The celebrations of the passing of the seasons is widely practised in our harvest festivals, Easter and even Christmas which were pagan festivals long before they were adopted by the church. Easter celebrated new life with eggs and chicks being symbols of rebirth and spring, harvest festivals were about giving thanks for what has been reaped. Ancient civilisations across the world understood the significance of the equinoxes and the solstices and built incredible temples and monuments to celebrate and capture the moment the sun passed from one side of the equator to another or to mark the longest and shortest of days. It seems only fitting that Campfire Convention should align itself with these events and the significance of them which widely reflect the values and ambitions of Campfire itself.
It is therefore the plan to encourage Campfire Beacons, here and across the world, to create gatherings in their communities at any time but with particular focus on the summer and winter solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes with the purpose of setting goals and intentions to create harmony and collaboration with a like-minded but diverse group of people across their areas. Each Beacon should be autonomous but the cumulative effect of putting events on the same day could have potential to create a significant impact.
These events can take any form and some already have included music, food, entertainment and discussion. Beacon members may like to invite a speaker or focus the event around a particular theme but it would be hoped there would be a fire of some kind and call to action - a pledge to tackle an issue that by collaborating, the group can empower themselves to help solve problems in their locality. If a group is large and the will is there, then more than one call to action could be agreed. It should be the decision of those present.
Here are a few guidelines and suggested programs that may help Beacon administrators put together seasonal events:
Spring equinox occurs when the days and nights become equal in length and we begin moving towards lengthening days. It is a time for spring cleaning, rebirth and renewal, of hope and of planting seeds for food but also for life. A spring gathering could incorporate this theme and members could discuss ideas they would like to give birth to in their community. It could be anything from pledging to raise awareness of plastic pollution, helping at a soup kitchen, starting a community allotment, creating a listening project for the lonely, campaigning for something needed in the community - the possibilities are endless. If the community already has a great deal of excellent projects the group could simply pledge to support an existing cause.
The summer solstice represents long days of activity and nurturing the seeds that were planted in the spring. It is about light and lightness, growing and expanding. The summer Beacon event would reflect this with updates on the projects adopted in the spring and with the choice of music, food and talks.
The autumn equinox is about celebrating abundance, giving gratitude and preparing for the darkness that looms. There are many ways a Beacon could incorporate this theme into a call to action.
Winter solstice is a time for reflection and hibernation, of facing the darkness physically and metaphorically. It is of things dying and the knowledge that the world will burst into life again come spring. It is about acceptance, nurturing and planning what seeds need to be sown when the darkness passes.
Each event could be framed around these principles.
Let’s see what we can create together; let’s reimagine the world we’d like to live in and get active to make it happen together.