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wake up wild

How to Host a Wild Camp for Wake Up Wild

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How to Host a Wild Camp for Wake Up Wild

This blog is primarily for anyone who would like to lead a wild camp for the YesTribe. In 2019 the YesTribe has committed to hosting 100 free (or nearly free, in the case of a site charging for places) wild camps around the UK, as part of a campaign called Wake Up Wild. We’re also raising funds for a charity called Tree Aid, because we really like trees.

This is a simple step-by-step guide to hosting a campout. These steps are written assuming you’re a comfortable wild camper already, and are happy to lead and welcome a crew of people - many of whom you won’t know. If you’d like a little training before hosting your camp, then be sure to drop us a line and then attend an existing wild camp. Shadowing someone else is the best way to learn.

Ok, so assuming you’re ready to go, here’s what to do:

1) Decide on the location of your camp. If you’re not sure where to host a camp, or if you’d like some suggestions, drop Team Yes a line.

Setting up an event on Facebook

Setting up an event on Facebook

2) Set up an event on the Wake Up Wild Facebook page. Events > + Create Event > then fill in the details, ideally copying and pasting the main body of text from a previous Wake Up Wild camp and substituting your specific location and meet-up details.

The rule of thumb for organising these campouts is to make the camp as simple and easy to attend for everyone, experienced and beginner campouts alike. It’s ensure more people come along, and will also keep your admin workload down because folks ask fewer questions when they’re given all details up front.

3) Ensure the Event Name begins with ‘YesTribe Wild Camp at"‘ and then add the location or region afterwards.

The key details to enter into a Facebook event

The key details to enter into a Facebook event

4) Add ‘Wake Up Wild’ as a co-host

5) Ensure your event timings match the meet-up time you’ve scheduled for the start. Home-time the next morning is up to you, it might be a school morning so everyone will disappear fast, or a more loungy weekend. People are free to leave when they like, but put the End time as the time that YOU want to head out.

6) Feel free to leave the ‘details’ field clear.

7) Add this Justgiving link to the Tickets field: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wakeupwild2019

Enter the justgiving link for Wake Up Wild and Tree Aid into the Tickets field

Enter the justgiving link for Wake Up Wild and Tree Aid into the Tickets field

8) Finally, ensure that this text is towards the top of the description (in case you wrote your own or copied from an event that didn’t already have it:

We don’t ask for any payment for these wild camps, it’s essentially a group of folks who like camping meeting up with other people who like camping! You just need to organise your own kit (feel free to ask for help/spares on the event page) and get yourself to the camp. Please remember you come along at your own risk, nature is wonderful but there are trip hazards sometimes.

If you’d like to say thanks we’ve got a couple of options - donate to Tree Aid, the Wake Up Wild charity partner @ www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wakeupwild2019 and/or give a pound or two to your camp leader to cover their expenses and admin time. They’re very nice people who host campouts out of the goodness of their heart :)

9) Once your event is live let the team know by posting it here. This way they can ensure it’s shared on the SayYesMore calendar, newsletter and Facebook pages/groups.

10) The Build-Up: Keep an eye on your event in case people ask questions. Remember that people sometimes click ‘interested’ or ‘going’ and then won’t turn up, so keep an open mind on attendance.

11) The day before a camp out it’s always nice to post an update, encouraging folks to sign up and remind them that it’s still happening. (When you create the event try to make it habit to set a reminder in your personal calendar to write this pre-camp post). Be friendly and open and kind and you’ll set the culture for the event in real life. It’s also a good time to remind them about social media posts. Social media is a great way to get other people interested in wild camps, and this is a really nice use of social media as well.

Here’s a bit of text to copy/paste the day before a camp. Feel free to add your own flavour :)

Hello everyone! The campout tomorrow is still on! The weather is looking (FILL IN THE BLANK HERE!) and I’m excited to spend a night outside with you. Please do post on social media about your experience before and after the event and remember to tag @theyestribe and #wakeupwild and #sayyesmore if there’s space. If you’d like to film your experience of preparing for, travelling to and enjoying the campout, we would love to add your footage to a film we’re making as we go. Send for free to events@wakeupwild.co.uk on wetransfer.com.

[Image: A screenshot of the weather app is a nice image to share here, especially if it’s sunny! If it’s rainy, maybe just a picture of a smiley person outside! The Upsplash website is a good place to get copyright-free photos]

11) Depending on the meet-up and location (ie. if the camp is a hard place to find unless you guide people) you might want to share your phone number on the event. You do not have to do this, it’s totally up to you.

12) Event time: It’s over to you now. Have a great time, look after people, perhaps start the camp by getting everyone in a circle and doing a painless introduction (ask each person to spend no more than 20 seconds sharing their name, why they came along to the camp, and something different, like the best thing that happened to them that week, or a cool fact that nobody else would know!).

13) Make sure you take a group photo before it gets too dark (or if it’s dark already, do a headlight campfire photo!). Remember to pack a little tripod for this, they’re very handy and to take a few nice photos showing the group, the approach to the camp and the site itself. Then send for free to events@sayyesmore.com (use wetransfer.com if files are big). We love archiving photos of YesTribe wild camps!

A group of people on a wild camp surrounding a pile of headtorches on the ground, which look a bit like a campfire!

A group of people on a wild camp surrounding a pile of headtorches on the ground, which look a bit like a campfire!

Finally, thank you. We think it’s important to get outside with good people, and the more wild camps you put on the more opportunity folks will have. You’re brilliant, and we’re here to support you so please, if you ever have a question or ten, say hi.

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March 22nd 2019: SayYesMore Round-Up

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March 22nd 2019: SayYesMore Round-Up

Our first round-up of the year, keeping you up to date on general plans for SayYesMore, upcoming events and campaigns, and some stories from the YesTribe.


News from SayYesMore HQ

After an admin-heavy first few weeks of the year our team is making progress towards restructuring SayYesMore’s official structure from Limited Company to Community Interest Company. In reality, the structure won’t much impact how we run - reinvesting any profit into new events and spaces that bring people together - but it feels like a good step to make towards a more transparent organisational structure which we’re refining this year.

After three years of largely successful volunteer led campaigns, the reality is that running SayYesMore day to day comes with too many responsibilities and commitment to expect volunteers to shoulder the work for much longer. This has also led to regular turnover of volunteers over the years, which in turn means more retraining and time asked of the core team.

A one-off grant and ongoing training and advice from the Facebook Community Leadership Programme in 2019 has given us a thrust towards running this year’s events without financial pressure, with the aim of creating a sustainable team structure into the future, run by one or two part-time staff, with much less responsibility on volunteers.


Creating a countryside haven

With our fourth birthday approaching we’re finally feeling like the future is becoming clearer. The growth of SayYesMore has always been organic, built on random, spontaneous ideas that felt like the right thing to do. Whichever way the wind has blown we’ve tended to sail, but now our voluntary and ambassador team has over 80 people, regional and international YesTribes are popping out of the woodwork all over the place, and the online community is growing by around 100 people a week, it’s only natural to consider where this is all going.

What’s for sure, is that (as mentioned above) running SayYesMore isn’t always easy. Simplifying our methods going forwards is a big part of the plan, which will enable the core team to have more fun and not sacrifice their own lives. Of everything we do, the YesBus has become the biggest burden. While it’s a superb outdoors space that offers a really unique slant on learning and recharging in the countryside, the politics, costs and time it takes to keep the YesBus running is becoming unsustainable.

Our dream future involves finding a plot of land for SayYesMore to create a more permanent basecamp (our current running contract with Brinsbury Campus, the current YesBus home, ends in 2020/2021). This would give us a long-term plan to work towards, a basecamp to build and expand, and an opportunity to create a sustainable income from one site that would cover the rest of SayYesMore’s events, campaigns and team building.

Here’s the perfect dream: we find our own land with an existing glamping business (ideally with pods, cabins or huts as opposed to tents) that has enough land for that business to continue, a space for the YesBus to live, and open spaces for campgrounds, firepits, walking routes and an annual Yestival. If you ever see a site for sale that sounds like it fits the bill please do drop us a line! (Where we find the finance for a project like this we do not know, but we’ve managed to do some pretty incredible things on a shoestring so far and like to think that nothing is impossible!).

The YesTribe is a growin’

The main YesTribe Facebook group, where it all began, is approaching 8000 members, and when combining members of all SayYesMore groups and pages, we have a social media audience of well over 15,000. Make sure you join the Tribe!


Wake Up Wild 2019: Treely, treely cool!

Each year we try to harness the power of our growing tribe for good, by holding at least one large-scale event that creates a positive environmental and social impact. Although the Waterbike Collective in 2018 was a resounding success, including hundreds of people across the five month, 1000 mile journey around the UK’s waterways, collecting over 100 tonnes of trash along the way, it was a total bitch to run! Emma Fairey and Dave Cornthwaite were on call 24/7 for five months, ensuring the waterbike kept on moving despite mechanical failures, riders dropping out last minute and other spontaneous challenges.

So this year we’re going back to our roots with an event that we’re calling Wake Up Wild. For one night only, on September 28th, we’ll be hosting multiple group campouts for YesTribers all over the UK.

We’re aiming for an early April launch, with two thousand and nineteen places available for the event. The cost to each camper will be £5, with £1.50 going to SayYesMore to cover expenses, insurance and general admin of the event, and the remaining £3.50 donated to Tree Aid, a tree planting organisation with whom we’re working to create voluntary and educational opportunities, and a UK-based woodland space open for use by the YesTribe.

Get involved

We've started to confirm a number of camping locations, and if you know of some land that we could host a camp on, or would like to become a YesTribe Campout Leader for Wake Up Wild and other campouts throughout the year, drop a quick line to Emma at events@sayyesmore.com.

We’re also really lucky to have been supported by the Facebook marketing and creative departments, who are working with Creative Review to champion an up and coming artist who will help to create a unique advertising campaign for Wake Up Wild. The campaign will be based around the benefits of time in nature to our wellbeing. Earlier this week Dave Cornthwaite spent time with the team at Facebook, developing concepts for the campaign which will launch in a few weeks. Watch this space for more!

DC (right) with Phil, James, Sammy and Liv at Facebook HQ in London, after a planning session for the Wake Up Wild campaign. Sammy spent the whole session drawing on the walls!

DC (right) with Phil, James, Sammy and Liv at Facebook HQ in London, after a planning session for the Wake Up Wild campaign. Sammy spent the whole session drawing on the walls!

Camp Yestival: Going, Going, Gone! (With a Caveat)

In 2015 it took a touch over 6 weeks to sell 125 tickets for the first ever Yestival, so when the clock struck 10am on February 17th we held our breaths. "Ping!" sung the first confirmation email as it dropped into the inbox. Then, "Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!..."

It took less than two hours for Camp Yestival to sell out this year, and for the first time we can now focus on making the event as good as can be, rather than pushing tickets right up to the final day. Woo hoo!

If your fingers weren't on fire that morning, don't worry. A couple of tickets have been refunded and no doubt a handful more will be looking for a new home, so in May we'll gather them all together for a second sale. We'll keep you posted.

If you’ve visited past Yestivals you may notice that Camp Yestival will be smaller this year, 1/3 the size of the last three years, to be precise. It takes a huge amount of effort to bring together Yestival for our team, who all have real lives and jobs outside of their contribution to SayYesMore. So we decided to have somewhat of a rest this year, and the hope is that with Camp Yestival nestled mostly within the familiar YesBus field - a place where we run events multiple times a month - we’ll be able to create a wonderful event without putting our lives on hold for a few weeks. We can’t wait for this one.

The YesWood: a space for safe wild camping and forest bathing

Part of our long-term plan at SayYesMore is to work with private and corporate partners to buy up little plots of woodland all over the UK as little mental health havens and safe wild camping spots. Thanks to the generosity of a Yestival-goer who wanted to do some good, an offer on the first ever YesWoodland has been accepted and by the end of Spring we'll have our very own 6 3/4 acres (that's about 3 and a half football pitches) of conifer forest west of London. 

If anyone else is interested in helping us to buy some more forest, we'd love to hear from you.

Fill that Joypot

Looking after our mental health and a direct connection between exposure to nature and wellbeing has been a regular feature throughout the life of the YesTribe, so a few members of the YesTribe have put our minds together to create a “mental health department” for SayYesMore.

The idea is simple. When we’re low, our stresspot fills up. And in order to combat that, we need to empty the stresspot and fill our joypot.

We’ve started building a page full of handy content, links, contacts and events to offer a helping hand to anyone feeling low, or worse. We plan to launch this in early April, along with the first Joypots Cafe, a low-level regular gathering for people to come together over a steaming mug of tea of coffee to chat safely about how we’re doing, and how we can look after ourselves better. Watch this space.

Ambassadors & Team Summits

In February we enjoyed two weekends with the wider team who keep SayYesMore ticking.

On the first weekend of the month we gathered at the YesBus to train up 25 of our 40 volunteers around the UK. In the next few weeks two of the SayYesMore team will head around the country to meet up with those Tribe Leaders who couldn’t make the Team Summit. The camaraderie has gone on to help break our events record for Jan-Mar, with numbers of get-togethers up by over 50% on 2018.

And for the first time, SayYesMore now enjoys a team of ambassadors, from Paralympians to weekend warriors, microadventurers to Everest Summiteers, we’re so proud to be represented by folks who live by the SayYesMore ethos, they’re out there blazing a trail with their mission-based work, all of which inspires and encourages others to get outside and live courageously.


Events

The YesBus has been open for two weekends in March, with over 50 people visiting for Tribe Days and workshops teaching filmmaking and camping skills. Earlier this week we opened up for two days of plastic pollution workshops, attended by over 100 students and staff from Brinsbury Campus, who own the land that the YesBus rents. Part of our ‘rent’ is to commit 100 man hours towards hosting or helping events for the campus, so we started nibbling into our annual quota with the workshops this week.

This month saw the first ever YesStories in the Netherlands, thanks to Emmelie Van Dongen, who met some of the SYM team during a surfing trip last year and ended up delivering a wonderful improv session at Yestival in October.

The YesTribe East Midlands camp out

The YesTribe East Midlands camp out

Kim Brenan, leader of the YesTribe East Midlands, has rallied her regional tribe and last night they enjoyed their second campout of the year.

YesTribe London have had a break from YesStories in February and March but Andy Bartlett is back in April, and the 17th April is in the diary for the next one.

A YesTribe London social in a Covent Garden pub on Wednesday evening saw around 20 YesTribers pop in for a chat and a beer. Often the seeds of adventures are planted at gatherings like this but rarely do they happen immediately. Following a gentle dare SayYesMore Ambassador Jen George headed straight to Heathrow and ended up in Iceland the next morning! See the stories below for more on this!




Stories from the YesTribe

It pays to dream

SayYesMore Ambassador Darren Edwards was paralysed during a climbing accident a few years ago. His story has inspired so many since then, and just this week his recovery took a few steps forward. We dare you not to cry a little watching this!


A Signature Run

SayYesMore Ambassador Michelle Ellison is nearing the end of a cross Britain run. Along with her friend Johnny, Michelle has run 300 miles in two weeks and has amassed almost 4000 signatures along the way for the Suicide Guarantee.

Did you know that there is no current policy to deal with suicidal patients who walk into hospitals looking for help? Michelle is raising awareness of a petition calling for the UK Government to implement a standardised suicide support procedure in A&Es across the country. Every km Michelle runs represents approximately 10 lives lost to suicide in the UK in 2017 (5821 lives).

Please sign this petition and share it with your networks, and check out this map to see Michelle and Johnny's progress and how the signature count is going. Best of luck to both of them, almost there!

To the pub, and then far far away

SayYesMore Ambassador Jen George came along to a YesTribe social in a London pub last night, and then asked a question that at the very least changed her week. "What adventures could I do tonight? I've got about three hours."
"You could be in Barcelona in three hours."
And with that Jen hugged everyone goodbye and set off. She was too late getting to the airport, but we woke up to a message saying she was about to jump on the first morning flight to....wait for it...Iceland.

Here’s the Facebook page for Jen, who this year has committed to taken on 365 new adventures. Nothing like a little spontaneity!


Opportunity knocks: A Pacific Mission

Now and then we get sent some brilliant job or volunteer opportunities, you can find them here.

The latest was from the team behind Ben Locomte's Pacific Ocean swim, looking for volunteer crew for a three month sailing voyage in support of Ben as he front crawls across the world's biggest ocean. Expect marine life, plastic pollution research and a good tan!


Lost Sleeping Bag Found, Tribe style

When Chris Lee left his sleeping bag on a train it ended up at the other end of the country. Luckily, the YesTribe came to the rescue and Chris was reunited with his lucky bag a few days later! Now that’s what social media is for!


Handy Links

  • The YesTribe is our main online community home

  • Our website tells you everything you need to know about SayYesMore

  • Here are all the events our various Tribes and Groups have in the calendar

  • We've regional and overseas Tribes all around the world, see if there's one close to you

  • The Ripple Effect is a place to share ideas and events for those who actively care about the environment

  • The YesBus is our countryside basecamp in West Sussex, it's very cool

  • Wake Up Wild is our nationwide campout on September 2018 - signs-ups open next week

  • The YesList is a group for self development and creative living ideas

And if you’d ever like to get in touch, get involved or ask questions, drop us an email via the Contact Page. Thanks for your support!

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