Campfire Convention - "An ecosystem and conscious community of individuals and organisations committed to creating positive social change together".
Resisting the urge to hunker down in front of the log burner on a dark October night, hearty Campfire folks from Frome and further afield, traipsed along to the Cornerhouse and made themselves at home in the welcoming upstairs lounge.
Munching pies and fries, we listened as Sian kicked off by asking us to consider what we want from a Frome Beacon, noting that if this particular one becomes really active, then it could serve as a template and inspiration for other Beacons.
With reference to this Sian quoted a phrase created by Campout speaker Michelle Preston which encapsulates the purpose and ethos of Campfire Convention.
"An ecosystem and conscious community of of individuals and organisations committed to creating positive social change together"
Pete Lawrence then updated us on current developments on the Campfire Convention website, and revisited some of the delights of this year's Campout in Field 725.
Following this we formed 3 groups and spent an animated 40 minutes coming up with sparky definitions and ideas for activities, music evenings, book clubs, a People’s Assembly, socials, projects and more.
Narrowing suggestions down to roughly 3 ideas from each group we shared our results and wondered how to take things forward.
Finally it was time to celebrate the Firestarter's birthday. Sian had astonished herself (and possibly her oven!) by creating a plateful of flaming chocolate cupcakes for a delighted, and now very slightly older, Pete.
Once those had been duly demolished Sarah Jewell http://songlineschoir.co.uk challenged our brains by leading us in singing 3 cracking African songs in harmony. Luckily the Cornerhouse regularly hosts live bands and was unperturbed by our raucous renditions!
As we were enjoying each other's company so much there was then talk of booking author Natalie Fee to talk on her just-published book How to Save The World For Free, as well as the possibility of a Frome fireside gathering sharing food, company and song nearer Christmas .
What follows are the bullet points from the two information and discussion sections of the evening; firstly Pete's updates and then the desires and suggestions for Beacon activities raised by each of the three discussion groups.
- The upcoming Trailblazers weekend at Selgars Mill on November 8-10th. Still some places left for those interested in taking ideas forward, whilst being in an inspirational space and place.
- Pete stressed the need for folks to step up and get involved and has created a format for Circle teams with clear and well-defined roles for people to join, on WhatsApp (fort now, until Campfire site is ready)
- Here's the Bugle article detailing these.https://www.campfireconvention.uk/node/8731
- Frome Beacon Steering Group needs people and energy! Come and help set the tone and frame the future.
- Campfire website - the issues with the Drupal 8 upgrade, and the need for people to raise the energy by creating more content and thus more interest in the whole Campfire ethos.
- Campout 2020 tickets on sale NOW! Buy yours and bring a friend - you know you want to!
- Union Chapel, the original venue, now wanting to host Campfire events and revive the London Beacon
- The possibility of a summer Campfire weekend at Tucker's Grave, a local cider pub and venue.
- Campfire Book Club has formed, and we're looking at bringing Bristol author, Natalie Fee (https://www.citytosea.org.uk/home/campaigns/) to talk about her brand new book, 'How to save the world for free'. The club might also host local music and film evenings.
- Fundraising. How we all need to be exploring realistic options for this, to pay the website developers, to create funds for Campout and other events, and to offer bursaries where possible.
IDEAS FROM THE BEACON GROUPS
- What is a Beacon? A resource and a light source, an attraction and a talking shop for face-to-face (compassionate)communication which feeds our minds but is agenda-less. Not an activist group as there are many already. The new TED?!
- Campfire Convention - we need to build it, contribute and commit to it.
- A desire for these outcomes to actually create systemic change, starting at town council level. How do we get people to listen AND make a difference as well?
- Suggest having meetings at 6 week intervals, to tie-in with earth festivals/solstices.
- People's Assemblies - feeding into our town council and similar bodies.
- Frome can be working example to other Beacons
- Having a core value of recognising the interconnectedness of all of us, rather than a 'them and us' approach, which drives out efforts involving connection and community. Adopting XR's phrase 'We are one'
- An interest in, and desire for co-housing
- Collaborative music projects as per the SA TA NA MA project. An album of Campfire musicians?
- Using that as part of PR to create income source
- Online TV platform, with a series of talks/blogs on Campfire TV.
- A group with an interest in making fermented foods, foraging (for children as well), and creating talks about land and the importance of the soil
- Creating healing workshops, including meditations with Vicki Burke's harp
- Having a focus on communication techniques across Campfire and the Beacon - using Non-violent Communication and neuroscience
- How to engage young people and create Campfire community with them