In less than 5 days time Bootcamp 4 kicks off! I can’t quite believe it. On Sunday 34 incredible campaigners, 6 organisers, 12 trainers and 4 Campaign Bootcamp staff members will be descending on Debden House in Essex for a week of learning, fun, and making loads of new friends. You can check everybody out here:
We were totally blown away by the quality of applications this year, and I think that’s evident from the line up we have. I think it speaks for itself so I’ll leave it there.
Just like our new cohort, this is also my first Bootcamp. As Training Manager I have a little more of an idea of what they are in for than they do. But, just like I’m sure many of our new cohort are, I’m excited, nervous and have lots of questions about what’s going to happen.
Since coming on in January I have been working with the Bootcamp team to firm up our training methodology. This is the first Bootcamp where we are formalising what we do in this regard, and how we hope people will learn.
It’s not all change, we’re still teaching the same things, from strategy, to coding a website, writing good campaign emails and looking after your mental health. Essentially we’ll still be diving into a week full of all the things that have always made Bootcamp unique and great.
But we wanted to make sure that Bootcamp works for everyone, and that everyone has a chance to learn. So now we will be doing it all with a methodology that addresses this behind us. Bootcamp was always about getting stuck into campaigning and testing out your skills in practise. The methodology I have brought to Bootcamp builds on this. It is an experiential education methodology that I learnt from the incredible Training For Change. You can learn a bit more about them, and it here:
It’s a style of training and education that comes from a long line of amazing educators. It is based on Paulo Freire's work ( if you’re looking for a place to start with him check out ‘Pedagogy Of The Oppressed’, though warning it's a dense read!). The methods he began have been adapted and worked on over many years, as educators around the world learn together how we can best teach and train, without recreating the very systems of oppression that we are fighting.
I could talk all day about training methodologies and education systems, but I won’t right now. If you ever come to a Bootcamp event and want to join me in that conversation I’ll be more than happy to! For now, what this means in practice is, that this Bootcamp will look a little different to others in some ways. For starters if you are a keen Bootcamp follower you will already notice we have a fewer trainers than in previous years, that’s part of this. Our organisers are also taking a more active role in the sessions this year. They have all been trained in the methodology and are all ready to share their wisdom with the group and help the group find the wisdom they have inside themselves.
At the end of the day adopting a training methodology is about ensuring that we are paying careful attention not just to the ‘what’ of learning but also to the ‘how’, giving lots of space for people to go deeper in their learning. All in the hope our training equips people even better for a campaigning life.
I can’t wait!
We’ll of course report back after about how it all goes.
Onwards to Bootcamp.