Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Reflections from the Playwork Campference: Part 2

By Andy

I can't quite believe that it's been over a week already since the Playwork Campference came to an end! What an amazing whirlwind it has been. As I get ready to depart the US and head back to Europe, I spent a moment to reflect on my experiences of our maiden conference voyage.

It's been more than a year since the discussions about the Campference began. I remember the excitement and enthusiasm about the schedule, workshops, food and the people and stories it would gather.

Despite the 'touch' of bad weather, the schedule and workshops prevailed. The food was amazing and the people with their stories glued the whole thing together.

When the rain came down, the children played.

Our amazing chef, Megan Dickerson, cooking "fire-jacks" (fire-top flap-jacks) for breakfast!

I was surrounded by such a diverse group of wonderful and knowledgeable people. Friends I'd know for years, Colleagues I'd only ever met on Skype, amazing and inspirational people I had met on my travels with Pop-Up Adventure Play and my University professor, all mixed in with a group of passionate play advocates from around the globe.

The conversation and stories throughout the weekend were exhilarating, motivating and inspirational. They fueled me to take this contagious passion back across the Atlantic with an aim of unpacking it and sharing it in a way that could help to re-ignite the increasingly suffering playwork profession in the UK.

The Campference achieved many things for me, both personally and professionally. The main point I took from it was that dwelling on the past and the 'good old days' are great but unproductive. It's time to accept that Playwork in the 21st century is a different beast, but the need is still the there, if not greater. We need to step off the playwork soap box and move forward - If we don't, who will?

If anybody wants to get involved in this discussion, throw some thoughts our way!

This is part 2 of 3 reflective pieces from Team Pop-Up Adventure Play about the Playwork Campference 2017 - part 1 is available here. If you want to find out more about us, check out our Facebook, Twitter and website www.popupadventureplay.org

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Reflections from the Playwork Campference: Part 1

By Morgan

So, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we hosted a Campference with Santa Clarita Valley Adventure Play in Val Verde, CA.

It went pretty well.

Welcoming folks at the Pacific Oak.

Children played as we talked about playwork.

Learning about ropes and knots.

Playwork professionals, students and enthusiasts came from all over to swap stories, learn from one another, and spend time on a beautiful new adventure playground site. Our fondest hope was that people would make new friends, find mentors, and confess some of their own fears or longings.

It seems like that part was a success.
“So many takeaways, but while I process those, I will just share 3 words that were repeated roughly 642 times: Fun, Freedom, Flexibility.”~ Kelsey Langley
Also not sure if you were paying attention at the time, but there was a *little* bit of a storm happening.  The worst storm in 22 years, dropping 5 inches overnight on our site and tents and carefully laid plans.  We sought refuge in a church, and then a school.  Content went ahead, if a little bit reshuffled.

Most gloriously, people rallied.  Across the whole four days, they transported baked potatoes in wheelbarrows, cut wood for the fire, raised tarps into the trees (and cut them down, when the wind gained strength).  Children scurried around the site, playing all day long.  Participants circled to discuss the politics of play and details of practice, breaking off into smaller groups to keep the conversation flowing.  People who feel isolated at home made community together, and for a short time we made a village.
"An incredible site, wonderful people....a bunch of weirdo's in the most magnificent way....it felt like I was home."~ Justine Walsh
This is part 1 of 3 reflections about our Playwork Campference 2017. If you'd like to find out more about us, check out our facebook, twitter or visit www.popupadventureplay.org.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Press Release: Local and International Adventure Play Organizations Holding Two Free and Exclusive Family Events in Castaic

By Andy

Team Pop-Up's have just arrived on the shores of California. It's the first time the three of us have been together, in-person in over 15 months. We are so excited to work on the final preparations for the first ever Playwork Campference in the USA! 

In addition to our extensive programme of talks and practical workshops we are also running two, free public events for children, families and interested individuals: a pop-up adventure playground and a film screening! The full press release for these events can be accessed here.

We are delighted to be part of this and hope to see many of you there! 



These events are part of our Playwork Campference. For more about what we do on a daily basis, check out our facebook and twitter, or visit our website www.popupadventureplay.org.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A Workshop in Evanston, IL

By Zan

We are very pleased and excited to be hanging out very briefly with our friend and PDC student Yulia in Evanston. It's going to be a short stop where Pop-Ups Morgan and I will be presenting an interactive talk entitled "Let The Children Play: workshop on the amazing benefits of play". We happened to be in the area for a keynote in Springfield, IL so this was an wonderful opportunity to get together.

With thanks to Pop-Ups friends Buffalo Pop-Up Play for the original design of this poster, and to Yulia's friend Vladimir Kleiman for this lovely version.

If you are in the Evanston area and would like to join our workshop there, please check out this facebook event. We welcome anyone who has an interest in play and are pleased also to let you know that there will be childcare available.

It's so great to be meeting more of our Playworker Development Course students and also to take the opportunity to meet more folks around the world who are passionate about play. Before that though, we will focus on the Campference! More from us soon!

For more about Pop-Up Adventure Play, check out our facebook, twitter and our website www.popupadventureplay.org