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Social media is today's digital campfire
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Frome Beacon pushes positive news agenda


It was a glorious sunny spring afternoon in Frome, but that didn't stop the Campfire faithful coming out to play at Rye Bakery for the first Sunday Experience.

Campfire's Sunday Experience  event in Frome brought together talks, how to sessions, singing and live music. 'How do we create something in community that can catch on nationwide to inspire other communities?' was one of our discussion topics along with @Dana Amma-Day talking about positive news. Borrowed Light played live and Tallulah Rendall led the Campfire Circle Singers in a rousing after dinner session to finish the evening. 

After a deep and moving opening set from Frome trio Borrowed Light with highlights including their cover of 'Daydream' by Wallace Collection and a John Lennon's 'Oh My Love', @Dana Amma-Day  led the charge with a talk on positive news, centring around the agenda for her own enterprise and how she is working alongside Campfire to highlight a positive news agenda. This promoted a discussion on the merits and social media and pitfalls of social media and of mainstream media reporting of the news. 

We moved onto How To's which included some creative suggestions : How to use Campfire Convention website social media platform, How do we engage in social media with out being over loaded, How do we recycle plastic, How do we wiggle our ears, How do we work with our boundaries, How do we Plant Trees, How do we help national rail with leaves on the line?, How do we sharpen a knife?, How do we create something in community that can catch on nationwide to inspire other communities, How to we Live and How do we Die.

We decided to break into two tables, one discussing how we get the best out of social media which looked into the question of engagement, into addiction and techniques used by platforms who base their business model around advertising and the 'free' model and discussed Campfire and how it is different from other platforms in that is running real life meet ups in parallel and promoting an agenda geared towards building resources and social change. The sharing economy was discussed and how to engage other members of Campfire. We didn't come up with any obvious answers as it was agreed that time spent learning how to best use the platform is the way to be most creative and productive, but we all lead busy lives.... @David Tanner talked about initiatives that have already engaged him following March's Campfire meeting in Frome.

In the other session, we discussed how do we create something in the community that has impact and that can be rolled out nation wide to other communities. @Ben Gray and @Cate Gray proposed this question then shared their idea and project of a Community Forest - a forest for the community to walk in, heal, be part of nature, be buried there, give birth there, hold events there and create a forest for all communities for many generations to come.

We discussed the idea and how we could motivate Frome to do this, following on from recent announcements of the councils plans to start a community orchard.

We discussed how it needed to be set up was it a Community Forest Trust, what type of business would it be to raise monies, find land and buy in to the concept from local government and or farmers who have land.

We then discussed how to make the idea known or proposed by making a film, writing a story, starting a campaign, finding other projects out in the UK that may already exists or even from around the world like in France they have community forests and Japan healing forests.

We concluded that maybe this was a project for Campfire Beacon Frome to get behind and maybe demonstrate at the date for Rye Bakery during the Frome Arts Festival week in association with The Tree Conference who are holding their conference in October in Frome.

The evening finished with an hour of Circle Singing led in fine style by Tallulah Rendall - we started with meditation and grounding, some limbering up exercises and holding vocal chords with breaths, before exploring a Heart Sutra which also brought in Hey Jude, followed by rousing versions of the gospelly 'I'm Thankful' and 'Leap of Faith'.  And therein lies the joy of spontaneity... As Tallulah puts it "A Heart Sutra / Hey Jude mash up... who knew this could work! Beauty of improvisation."




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