Ilkley Woodcraft Folk Group
The group is one of hundreds of woodcraft folk groups scattered about the country encouraging children to care for their environment and understand the importance of equality and social justice.
It’s 75 years since they broke away from the scouting movement. Its founders wanted to set up a group which would be less militaristic and where boys and girls could join in activities together.
The first group started off in London and had the support of the Co-operative Society. It spread from there and now there are hundreds of groups throughout Britain.
There are links with many different countries and every four years there’s an international camp - the next one is in 2001 and they are expecting delegates from 17 countries.
The Ilkley group began in March after Linda Hargreaves moved into the area.
“My kids have always been in Woodcraft so when we moved from Bradford and my son went to school in Ilkley we thought we’d have a go at setting one up in the town.
“We started last year putting up posters and we had a really good response but we’ve got room for more Elfins and new Pioneers in the new term.
“It’s not just the children who join, it’s their parents too.
“That’s one of our major aims - to get parents involved in drawing up activity timetables, working as helpers and coming along on weekends away camping,” she said.
There are two age groups in Woodcraft: Elfins for six to nine-year-olds and Pioneers from nine upwards.
The Ilkley group doesn’t have a Pioneers group at the moment but hope to start one in September.
The Elfins meet at St John’s Church Hall in Bolling Road, Ben Rhydding on a Wednesday from 5 to 6.30pm.
Crafts, singing, dancing, drama, environmental projects, rambles and camping are just some of the activities members get stuck into.
“We also work season to season and celebrates festivals from different cultures, looking at arts and crafts from all over the world too,” said Linda.
“Woodcraft has a lot to offer its members. It’s not like at school where the adults teach, here the children learn from each other, they learn about sharing and working together and caring for their environment. It’s really important stuff.”
Its organisers are hoping anyone connected with the Woodcraft Folk Group in the past, present and future will buy tickets and turn up.
Details of the event will be published and soon as all the arrangements are finalised.