In the face of the Covid 19 pandemic and cancellation of camps, I´ve been struck this year by the fact that so many of us have set aside time to put up tents in our gardens and light up a fire occasionally – it´s been really lovely to see the OWC members posts on Facebook, and to know we are a community despite these troubled and distanced times.
I think for a lot of us the lockdown and continuing restrictions on social contact have made us all the more appreciative of the open sky and the natural world – and we are appreciating as well the links we have with our near neighbours and friends locally. Sean and I have tried to build in regular outdoor gatherings with friends and any family that are near enough … our latest wheeze is Songs and Sausages – everyone brings their own food, we provide a fire, singing might or might not happen depending on the mood and who turns up, but chat around the fire is guaranteed – and, personally speaking, vital to our mental health.
We´ve not done a lot of actual camping this year for all sorts of reasons, but this strange and difficult year has created a nice opportunity to share with friends our love of a good fire in the open air. I often find it difficult to explain to friends exactly what it is that I get out of the Order, but getting the fire lit is at the heart of it for me – it meets both a physical and a spiritual need I guess – and doing outdoor gatherings around a fire this year has been a nice way to share with others some of what I´ve gained from Woodcraft.
Katherine Pringle, the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry, England.