Welcome to SpanThatWorld.com! The online home of the District Fellows Movement, the 16-20 age group of the cooperative children and young people's charity The Woodcraft Folk.
So, what’s the purpose of DF events?
DF events are a place where all DFs, whether you are 16 on your first event or 20 on your last, are allowed to do what they want. Do you want to lie in a field and play the ukulele, go ahead, no, it doesn’t matter that you don’t know how to play the ukulele, someone can teach you. If you want to stay up all night around a fire doing an impression of a cooked chicken, then go ahead, someone will sit with you and make you laugh. Does your back hurt, someone can give you a massage, do you feel cold, someone will share a tent with you, do you wonder about the meaning of life, someone will run a workshop on that, and if you fall asleep in said workshop, people will be there to giggle when you snore.
DF events are what makes the Movement stand out from any other youth organisation, they are what makes Woodcraft stand out from any other youth organisation. Run from start to finish by DFs themselves they stand as the perfect actualisation of youth empowerment. Not a home from home, but a home that makes the house your parents live in seem like a photocopy of a photocopy of a drawing of a home, a place it takes weeks to come to terms with leaving, the perfect form of home. We have no need of utopia for we are DFs and we do better.
What do DFs do at DF events?
There are several varieties of DF event. Many events will involve a bit from every category. But three you should definitely know about are training events (pretty self explanatory, what we do at those), business events and social events.
Business events are known as Things, represented by the Thing and headed by Althing. These are where DF politics is created and constantly reformed. DFs is a semi autonomous movement. We are governed by the decisions made for the whole of Woodcraft at AG but also by Althing. Check out our A-Z of good discussion for how we do things. If you don’t like how we do things, come and change them.
Social events are what makes the DF Movement what it is. Whether they be the three big events, Winter Wonderland, Spring Awakening and DF Camp, or a local event such as spanthatworldwith music. This is where we meet, play games, learn skills and educate each other about the world.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see some lovely photos that might give you an idea of what we get up to.
Who is responsible for DFs at events?
DFs will always look out for each other. Our events have very welcoming atmospheres, at events you will always be cared for by everyone around you. We do also have certain people responsible for upholding our policies and making sure everyone is OK,these are the event coordinators and members of DF Committee (of which at least two will be over 18, a legal necessity). There will always be at least two sober responsible people on top of first aiders and MEST-UP reps. The people are there to deal with any problems with the site and generally to make sure everything goes as it should. There are no DFs over the age of 21 (except for one or two ctte members in the last year of their role) but we are always able to contact a more experienced member of the Woodcraft Folk should we need to.
What support is there for people who aren’t confident travellers?
Before every DF event the travel information will be available online in spanthatworld posts and on the event’s page and should be emailed to you in the event’s info pack. This will include everything you need such as the nearest train station, bus route and/or some taxi numbers. Usually there will be some friendly DFs travelling from your area who you might be able to travel with. You can ask on the DF Facebook page for travelling companions. If you can’t find any then you might well meet some friendly faces when you reach the nearest train station. Look out for ruck sacks and fancy dress.
As the age range spans people who are legally children (under 18) and people who are legally adults (18 and up). How do you manage alcohol at events?
We have an Alcohol and Drugs Policy which is always read out at the start of events. The event coordinators and present members of DF Committee are responsible for making sure everyone sticks to it. DFs aim to create an environment in which everyone feels comfortable. Most events coordinating teams choose to allow alcohol at their events but they always make sure that no one is made to feel uncomfortable by drinking. Our Consent Policy includes the assertion that alcohol is no excuse for bad behavior and no one should feel pressured to do anything they don’t want to, including drinking.
How is food at events organised and prepared?
Event coordinating teams will include at least a couple of KPs (Keepers of provisions) These people are responsible for choosing a menu, making sure it’s vegan (with non vegan supplements if they wish) and that everyone who has an allergy is catered for. It’s important to book at least a few weeks in advance so that the food can be ordered with you in mind, otherwise you create extra work for our volunteers.
As in events run by the wider Woodcraft Folk we split our selves into smaller groups called “Clans” these humorously named gangs will have different jobs to do through out the camp, everything from fetching wood to cooking dinner. These clans are also a fantastic way to get to know more fabulous DFs
How do DFs deal with issues at events such as arguments and poor behaviour?
All DF events will have MEST-UP reps available to talk to with any problems you might have. MEST-UP reps are trained in peer education and/or mediation. They have good experience in dealing with a wide range of problems and can always offer an unbiased ear to hear your issues and find ways to deal with them.
We have an elected position of MEST-UP coordinator who is responsible for managing MEST-UP at events and through out the year.
DF events will also have a comments box available. The comments in here will be dealt with by DF committee members according to our dispute resolutions procedure. Each complaint will need to be dealt with in a different way so we consider each on a case by case basis. Outside authorities are only contacted in extreme circumstances, so you should not be worried about commenting for fear that you’ll get a friend in too much trouble. Our alcohol and drugs policy details some of the circumstances in which outside authorities might be called.
Again, you can check out our safeguarding practices here.
What happens if I hurt myself at an event?
We always have First Aiders at our events. A minimum of two people with up to date first aid training will be on duty at all times at events for over 50 people. You can read more about this in out First Aid Policy.
We have a First Aid coordinator responsible for managing First aid at events and organising training throughout the year.
Who can I ask if I have more Questions?
Your first port of call is the coordinating team for the event (their contact details will be on the relevant event page). They are elected to run the event and so will be able to answer almost any question imaginable. The Events Rep will be helping the team and is an expert adviser on all things events.
Next is your Regional Council Rep. Being from your local area they might be able to help you with travel plans or link you up with other DFs travelling to the same event.
You can also contact Chair of DF Committee, they will know all about our safeguarding procedures and will be able to pass you on to someone who can answer any question they cannot.
Is there someone other than a DF I can ask about this?
I love DF events and think they are the best things in the world so I would never worry about coming to one, but I might be biased. Some of you might feel more reassured if you could talk to an adult about your worries. If this is you then you can ring Folk Office on (+44) 020 7703 4173 or email them using firstname.lastname@example.org.