Natalie Bennett talking about political activism and the Green Party at the Resurgence Summer Camp 2013. Photo: Teena Gould.
The small camp with the big message
29 June 2015
Resurgence-in-Action brings together an eclectic mix of people who care about the same things - and throws in a great dollop of fun, laughter, world class music, provocative discussions and fantastic vegetarian foods. Susan Clark looks forward to this summer's festival.
I love summer camp. I love the ethos that underpins it, I love the chance to escape technology, to eat and shower and sit and chat outdoors and I love the fact I will meet people - older and younger - that would not otherwise cross my path in my day job.
If you're looking for a small, friendly summer festival that offers something more than music, bars and great food (although it has all those too) then the annual Resurgence summer camp could be the event for you.
Billed as 'Resurgence in Action', the idea behind this annual camp is to take the core Resurgence & Ecologist magazine's message of concern for the environment and our quest for a deeper meaning to life off the pages of the bimonthly magazine and into a place I like to think of as 'Dingly Dell.'
Dingly Dell is actually the gorgeous Green and Away eco campsite just outside Worcester that hosts a number of conferences through the summer months, including the Resurgence camp which this year will run from July 30th to August 2nd.
Transforming ideas into action
Resurgence Trust is a UK educational charity with a self-appointed remit of offering environmental education through the pages of its magazine, this website (The Ecologist), and educational workshops where readers and environmentalists come together to share ideas about how we can work together for a better future.
Hosted by Satish Kumar, the inspirational editor of Resurgence for over 40 years and an internationally-known environmentalist and more recently, TedEx speaker, the camp brings together an eclectic mix of people who care about the same things - and throws in a great dollop of fun, laughter, world class music and fantastic vegetarian food.
Resurgence camp is one of my favourite events each year and from the first of July, I start the big countdown to what I know will be an inspiring three days. I worked with Satish and his editorial team for five years and so know and share the charity's core values.
What I discovered during this time is that words on a page can trigger ideas but sitting with like-minded people who share those ideas and concerns can trigger strong feelings that make you want to act on those concerns and do your bit.
I would often describe Resurgence, its readers and the values it espouses as being a key part of what the American environmentalist Paul Hawken, the author of Blessed Unrest, calls "The Movement with No Name".
Video: A song for the celebration of summer by Spiral Dance.
If you too are a part of this Movement then deep down, you will already know it. It means you already understand why the food that is served at Resurgence Summer Camp is vegetarian (no discussion needed there) and why music plays a key part in connecting and uplifting those who come to camp.
Some years there are high profile speakers - the leader of the UK Green Party, Natalie Bennett was a summer camp speaker in 2013 - and some years, the programme of activities and talks leans more toward the arts (this year, author and poet Matt Harvey is back with his arse kicking poetry) but usually, there is a brilliant mix of the two.
Activists, poets, performers and editors converge
This year's camp will feature Ecologist writers Paul Mobbs, environmental investigator and campaigner; Julian Rose, author and environmental activist; and this website's editor, Oliver Tickell, who is greatly looking forward to a few days away from his computer.
Reflecting the Resurgence themes of joyful spirituality, meanwhile, will be Joe Hoare, laughter coach, on 'awakening the laughing Buddha'; deep ecologist Nicola Peel, founder of Eyes of Gaia; and Alex Nunn of Action for Happiness, who will present his vision a happier and less self-centred world.
There will be a range of workshops including: Qi Kong - Dong Sticks (bamboo stick exercises) with June Mitchell; Harmony Singing around the fire with Janne Tooby and Toni Gilligan; and Indian Raga and embodied voicework with Will Tooby.
The Resurgence camp features music by Carolyn Hillyer & Nigel Shaw; Sika; and performances by Philip Ralph The One Eyed Man; and Indian Dance by Miti Desai.
Escape from technology and create lasting memories
Last year, I ran workshops making sourdough breads outdoors and the memory of carrying a proofing dough past the campfire and in to the 'sittting room' yurt in the quiet of late afternoon camp remains one of my most powerfully connected memories of all time. It was a moment of absolute contentment and happiness.
I think it might be fair to say I love summer camp. I love the ethos that underpins it, I love the chance to escape technology (much of camp is offgrid), to eat and shower and sit and chat outdoors and I love the fact I will meet people - older and younger - that would not otherwise cross my path in my more mainstream day job.
I always leave summer camp feeling inspired and refreshed and reassured that what I care about most - those deeply rooted values that have been with me since childhood - really are important and that I am not alone.
There are many others who share the same values who, although they may express them in different way and through different channels, speak the shorthand of the Movement with No Name. For me, Resurgence summer camp is a chance to sit and connect with those people.
It makes me feel proud to be a part of that group - for however short a time and I am already packing my little tent and sleeping bag and looking forward to showering under blue skies, swimming in the river and wheeling my little bag of belongings from the car park to the secret Green and Away site to spend a weekend immersed in what really matters to me.
Come: Resurgence Summer Camp 2015 takes place from 30th July to 2nd August (Thursday to Sunday) at Green & Away, close to the River Teme in rural Worcestershire, a few miles west of Worcester. To find out about this year's camp and book a place, visit the Resurgence website.
Special offer: £10 discount for Ecologist readers. Use voucher code: SC14 during checkout and pay just £150 for a relaxing, thought-provoking and highly enjoyable weekend (price includes all meals).
Susan Clark is a publisher and food writer and editor. Her Botanical Cooking column for Resurgence magazine was shortlisted in the Fortnum & Mason food awards last year. She tweets @suzdevonfood.
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