crafty activities at Woodcraft camp

When I was growing up I wasn't in the Brownies like most of the kids I knew - I was an Elfin of the Woodcraft Folk.

Unlike the Scouts or Guides which were more militarian, Woodcraft Folk were far more down-to-earth, and had associations with CND, National Peace Council and CAAT. At an early age I was taken by my mother on peace marches and the like, so it made sense for me to join Woodcraft as opposed to any other youth organisation.

Because of their affiliations and ethos, a lot of the activities we did were very hands-on and a little "hippy-ish" - we used to make dolls out of sticks and paint pictures of owls on pebbles, we learned to distinguish all the different trees by their leaves and birds by their calls, learned the constellations and how to navigate using maps, compasses and the stars, and all sorts of other awesome nature-based activities.

{she has stars in her head by littlebighead}

When we were at camp we went on nature hikes, did scavenger hunts, played games and dug in rivers for clay. Getting dirty didn't matter - what mattered most was being close to nature, caring for the environment and the promotion of peace, respect, equality and love. Other than digging for clay, my favourite camp activities were always the crafty ones, like making friendship bracelets.

God's eyes were super duper my favourite camp craft of all though - they were easy to do, you could make them with all manner of things, and they looked neat. They are thought to have originated with the Huichol Indians of Mexico, and are symbolic of the power of seeing and understanding the unknown. The Ojos de Dios have spiritual associations, and the four points represent the four elements - earth, fire, air and water.

I'm pretty sure we were never told all this interesting stuff, just shown how to make them. Once I knew how to do it I used to make them everywhere - using skewers, cocktail sticks or garden sticks with embroidery thread, wool, ribbon, whatever I could find, and in all kinds of sizes and variations. I was a little obsessed with them at one point, but I had kinda forgotten about them until I came across these amazing creations by Jay Mohler:


In case they weren't awesome enough, check out these 3D God's eyes by Krysten Cunningham:

I never quite got to this level of expertise, though now I guess I have something to aim for!

4 hellos:

Claire said...

I've never heard of Woodcraft - how groovy!


Vixie said...

It's really awesome - I'm thinking of volunteering at my local one - I miss it!

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of it either, sounds amazing!

Vixie said...

It was super fun - there's a guy at my school who is a Woodcraft leader, so I've let him know I'm interested in volunteering, woo!

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