Here at Bootcamp we’re best known for our week long residential that aims to give campaigners the skills, confidence and community to get out there and change the world. However the Bootcamp programme doesn’t stop when the Bootcampers all go home. We offer everyone a year of support following the residential. Currently this includes providing them with a mentor, as well as follow up trainings throughout the year.
For the last few months I have been talking with and listening to our community about whether this is enough, and if not how we can best support them in that year following the Bootcamp residential.
Having taken all that I’ve heard on board, today I’m really excited to be launching the first part of a new follow up programme that aims to meet the needs of our community as they get out there and change the world.
CAMPAIGN BOOTCAMP COMMUNITY DAYS
Beginning in June this year every few months we will come together for a day as a community and take part in a non campaigning (or training) based activity. With the aim of nourishing ourselves individually and building community collectively.
When talking with Bootcampers about what they need to keep campaigning I heard over and over again a desire for us to incorporate some form of self care activities into our programme. Karen, a grad of Bootcamp 4 and Organiser on Bootcamp 5 outlines the reasons why, in this blog she wrote to help us launch the new programme.
As activists we are are often working on the frontlines, with marginalised communities that are unheard and erased by the mainstream, where people experience violence and brutality. We are often waging prolonged campaigns for justice and social change in the midst of our own oppression, bereavement and loss.
Our work is hard and we often feel that we don't have the luxury of switching off at the end of the day when our work is so urgent and there's a lot of it to be done.
But the fight is long, and we need to be able to keep going. That’s why I believe, as activists, we need to prioritise self care. In ourselves, and in our communities.
I also heard that the Bootcamp community was a nourishing space for many and that they would like more opportunities to just be together. To me those two needs fitted perfectly with each other. After all, as Karen goes on, community, in itself, can be a form of self care.
Our communities.. are collective spaces where we can return to ourselves. They also help us develop the self compassion, vision and clarity needed to heal from the wounds of oppression and societal assaults on our wellbeing.
So after taking this all on board Campaign Bootcamp Community Days were born!
The first Bootcamp community day will be on June 25th. In the coming weeks collectively we will decide what we want to do on that day, to take care of ourselves, and our community.
I’m really excited to have had the chance to really listen and respond to our community. Over the next few months we’ll be rolling out a couple more new parts to the follow up programme that address other needs our community has. So check back here for more info when we do. Moving forwards I hope everything we can offer will support Bootcampers to get out there, run campaigns that win, and ultimately change the world.