Welcome to Peace News, the newspaper for the UK grassroots peace and justice movement. We seek to oppose all forms of violence, and to create positive change based on cooperation and responsibility. See more

"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky

  • facebook
  • rss
  • twitter

What I liked about Peace News Summer Camp

Comments from the Campers' evaluation forms ...

Mohamed Moghazy and Dora Estella Munoz Atillo. PHOTO: Roy St Pierre
  • Everything! Being welcomed by people, and being with like-minded people. The very interesting workshops – the more participation the better – the laughter, games & singing. Compost toilets, etc.
  • Good food and generosity. Peaceful environment that reaches out to all. A kind and loving community.
  • Good subjects for workshops and some excellent presenters and entertainers – Zapatistas, Dora, Tayo Aluko, Mohamed Moghazy, Kofi Mawuli Klu etc.
  • Its immense friendliness, goodwill and support for participants! THANK YOU SO MUCH.
  • Tayo’s presentation on Saturday night.
  • The internationalism.
  • What a wonderful motley crew! One of the most warm & welcoming activist gatherings I’ve attended. I loved the theme and especially workshop on diversity, oppression etc.
  • Vegan food. Meeting energetic, youthful, inspirational activists (antidote to jaded everday life). Participatory ethos. Contributions from seasoned campers and PN staffers.
  • Visit to Burston Strike School. Sunny weather & night rain.
  • It being a small, participatory camp. Workshops were good. My son was very happy. The [Tayo Aluko] concert was great. Workshops I especially liked: poetry, After Chavez, Power & Privilege, ForcesWatch. A friendly, open camp. Really liked the theme – brought up a lot for me & felt I could be involved more than with some discussion.
  • Freedom for kids to run around in a safe, friendly space with lovely people. 
  • Children’s space = very child-friendly. Noticed there were a lot of resources for them. 
  • The implementation of the vision was brilliant, the quality of the workshops was inspiring.
  • Meeting all the lovely people, being with older people & families generally, than at other camps I’ve attended, ie Earth First! The singing!

What could be improved:

  • Better publicity & more people?
  • Opportunities for relaxation, massage etc would be good.
  • Would like more community-building, for example to have small ‘home groups’ – groups of 6, who would meet up at a specific time slot every day, to connect with each other and share how camp is going, if they need support etc. Also would like more emphasis on skill-sharing and forward planning rather than so much ‘information-based’ sessions.
  • Keep to 10-minute planned interval between end of morning meeting and start of morning workshops. Larger portions of food. Bikes & trailers for shopping. [Bikes were used several times – eds.]
  • More ice-breakers.
  • Would like the children’s food to be vegan also so we know what to expect. 
  • Explain why food is vegan – for many people, meat is seen as essential, even if they can’t afford it often.
  • Ask people to put the nearest town or the area of a big city where they live on their name tags under their name – this would help people make local contacts.
  • Timetable participation a bit smoother. Maybe use sign-up sheets to allocate workshops?
  • The structure of kids’ space, while more secure, created a significant amount of stress for lone parents who wanted to attend all workshops and did mean that parents were segregated.
  • Don’t like to sit on straw bales, they’re scratchy & low-down.

Other comments:

  • Overall, I thought it was really well thought out and appreciated the opportunity for a chance to be involved in a community.
  • Really appreciated the work put in by the team. Will be making a donation. Would have been happier to pay more – could you make the sliding scale longer and invite people who feel able to pay more to support the camp?
  • I’d have liked the chance to talk about Syria and Srebrenica’s 18th anniversary the other day – ie hot topics, rather than some of the ones on offer. I understand how serious the situation in Colombia is to the indigenous people, but it’s just not especially relevant to me just now.
  • Would like a movement/stretching class in the morning. Would like more stews/dhal/rice. Clear instructions for toilets at the beginning.
  • I [heart symbol] organising team :)
  • :) Keep on keeping on
  • If you come back here, it would be worth emphasising the ease of getting the bus outside Norwich railway station all the way here & only cost £3.80 for people who don’t want to walk from Diss railway station to the bus stop. [It’s a 15-minute walk between them. — eds]
  • First Peace News Camp I’ve attended. Fantastic!

These are most of the comments written on the end-of-camp evaluation forms we collected. One form deserves to be printed in full:

Esme (nine years old)

What I liked: I really liked the food and the children’s space but my favourite was the talent show. It really was a lot of fun and this camp has been a real success and the location was really beautiful.

What could be improved: More bins dotted around the area and more games at morning meeting to encourage more people (especially children) to come along. More spare tents facilities brought next year.

Other comments: I didn’t do any workshops, but my friends said they were all good. I’ll definitely come again next year.