Volunteering for Camp Avalon 12-14 & 19-21 July 2019

Volunteering for Camp Avalon 12-14 & 19-21 July 2019

Bio blitz
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Youth Worker at nature camp for teenagers from disadvantaged, VME or rural backgrounds.

We desperately need volunteers from 11-15 and 18-22 July 2019 at Paddington Farm, Glastonbury.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Photo copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Camp Avalon 2011
Photography copyright young environmentalist Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Volunteer tasks
By 8 July 2019 – split between volunteers
  • to prepare an Eventbrite report with contacts for children/volunteers;
  • to finalise the camp programme and e-mail to parents/volunteers;
  • to finalise a breakdown of tasks with who is responsible for what.
Camp Avalon 2017
Photo copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

On 11 & 18 July 2019 Campsite 10 am and 6 pm

  • to help move camping equipment from storage to the campsite;
  • to help put up 6 large tents;
  • to help set up all equipment needed for the campsite; and
  • to help do food shopping.
12 & 19 July 2019 1.00 pm to 3.30 pm
  • to finish setting up at the campsite.
12 & 19 July 2019 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm
  • to travel back to Bristol with our driver;
  • to pick up the minibus before picking up children;
  • to remind parents that they need to pick up their teenagers at 4 pm on Sunday.
Camp Avalon 2017
Photo copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

 

12 & 19 July 5.00 pm to 14 & 21 July 4.00 pm
  • to be nature volunteers engaging teens in nature activities; or
  • to work as a youth worker engaging with VME children age 12-18-year-olds at our nature camp;
  • to talk to teens about nature;
  • to talk to teens about how going outside helps with mental health;
  • to talk to teens about the need to protect the environment
  • to talk to teens about what they can do to help the environment and wildlife
  • to support nature volunteers who are providing the expertise; to supervise football games
  • to help with camp cooking, supervising toasting marshmallows, washing up and tidying up, serving meals;
  • to ensure children have the equipment needed for sessions;
  • to ensure teens pack up all their belonging;
Working on our camps will leave you feeling incredibly positive about the future.
Media – to take photographs and video footage, interviewing the children about their experiences at the camp, how they have benefited and about how it made them feel from a wellbeing/mental health point of view.
14 & 21 July – 4 pm to 6.30 pm
  • to travel back in the minibus with the teens;
  • to talk to teens about the camp, how the children enjoyed getting outside, how it was good for their mental health and academic achievement, what the teens can do to carry on with that in terms of continuing to go outside and enjoy nature.
  • to if possible, video the parents/teens about what they feel the benefits have been.
15 & 22 July 10 am to 5 pm
to taking down tents, pack up campsite and put into storage
Bioblitzing
Photo copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

 

By 17 & 24 July
  • to prepare two 700-word blog posts about the camps with images.
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Photo copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Philosophy
We believe that teens learn best when they are leading and when outdoors. We do not organise play for them throughout. We are looking for volunteers who encourage children to take part without telling them off or leading them. We can pay travel expenses and provide lifts, but volunteers need to lift share as part of our commitment to reducing our environmental impact. We aim to have zero waste, zero plastic and so volunteers will need to collect plastic, sort rubbish, sort it into recycling and discuss it with children.
Qualifications needed
We do not need any specific qualifications although having a DBS Certificate would be very useful. We are ideally looking for VME volunteers who can act as role models to the VME children attending otherwise knowledge of VME communities would be useful. However, we are happy to consider applicants who are not VME especially if they have experience of any of the following, but this is not essential and we would encourage anybody interested to apply;
The experience that is helpful:
  • Experience and knowledge of nature activities
  • Camping eg putting up/taking down tents or camp cooking
  • Nature or conservation
  • Nature education, forest school, outdoor play or working with children
  • Photography or film-making especially in nature or wildlife
  • Mental health
Camp Avalon 2017
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

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Podcast “all about me” for The Sound Approach by Charlie Moores

Podcast “all about me” for The Sound Approach by Charlie Moores


 Young environmentalist and birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

This is a podcast that I did for Charlie Moores from The Sound Approach (TSA) podcast. I am talking about birding in the UK, world birding, Race Equality in Nature, racism, twitter trolls and being President of Black2Nature.

The Sound Approach Podcast interview of Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

An edited version of this podcast is going to be on the Lush shop podcast which I am very excited about as Lush is my favourite shop and perfect for my teen vegetarian/almost vegan, environmentally friendly, low impact products that actually work and smell great to. Also, Lush is a Bristolian slang word which mean lovely or gorgeous. If you Add Gert to make it “Gert Lush” that adds “very”. So Mark Constantine, if you ever read this, I’d love to be a Lush Ambassador!

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Sexism in nature

Sexism in nature

I wrote this post last September after Chris Packham published his fantastic People’s Manifesto for Wildlife and the people’s Walk for Wildlife that followed.

It was the time that I thought female naturalists should have stood up together against sexism and so I felt it was a good day to re-post my previous two blog posts about sexism in birding, nature and conservation.

The posts are from Nov 2015 and Jan 2016, but nothing has really changed since the time I wrote them, except I have now organised eight nature camps for Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) children & teenagers as well as those interested in nature, a conference about how to engage VME people with nature called Race Equality in Nature and set up Black2Nature.

This is what I wrote back then bit.ly/2jCGf13 and http://bit.ly/2kdjI9X.

In the last six months, I have had lots of criticism aimed at me for daring to say that face-to-face competitions tend to be avoided by lots of girls and some boys. This was in response to the fact that no girls had entered the Young Birder of the Year Competition at Migfest for the last two years in a row.

I was told by the organisers that it was my fault that I didn’t like competitions and that I was just afraid of losing. I explained that I had entered the American Birding Association Young Birder of the Year and had no problems with competitions, just this kind of competition which also takes place at the BTO young birders camp.

Birding and twitching in the UK are highly competitive with people keeping lists of their birds and hoping to beat others. Young birders can not help but be impacted by this macho culture. Lots of girls have stood up to tell me that they haven’t had any problems with sexism, implying it must be my problem or imagination. Why might their experience be different to mine?

Some reasons:
I stand out as competition.
I was in a BBC TV documentary as a child twitcher, from which some concluded that I wasn’t interested in birding. This made me fair game for people to “prove” this;
I was the youngest person to see 400 birds in the UK and have seen 485 birds. Young birders my age can’t beat this, but they can set out to beat me in a skills competition;
I have seen over 5000 birds in the world, with lots of adult male birders commenting on social media that they bet my skills are rubbish, whilst others feel it is their duty to demonstrate that I am a poorly skilled birder.
I am vocal with opinions.

When I have talked about sexism in conservation recently on social media, a number of White middle-class women told me how their employers were amazing. Maybe they are TO THEM, however, it is important to look at the total experience and not just a few individuals. There is lots of evidence of sexism within nature, conservation and the environmental sector. Just a quick look at the top male

What can I do to change this?

A couple of years ago, a young birder in his early twenties gave me the most honest advice. He said that if I wanted to fit in with other young male birders, I had to do the following:
Shut down my Birdgirl blog
Shut down by Birdgirl FB Page and Twitter
Stop using the name Birdgirl
Delete my BUBO birding lists
NEVER refer to how many birds I’ve seen
Set up a new twitter account, only follow birders and only RT UK bird news
Stop posting photos from birding trips abroad
Stop my diversity campaigning and shut down Black2Nature
Stop talking to any kind of media – no TV, no articles, no talks
Stop holding my Camp Avalon nature weekends
Go to the BTO young birders camp and act dumb
Chat to other young birders on social media & act dumb I know he was totally right, but I don’t want to fit in that much.  It was too much to sacrifice and I would hate myself for doing it. So instead, I stay away from young birders. I stay away from “competitions” and I stay away from the BTO camp.

 

Camp Avalon

 

Camp Avalon

I have lots of stories and examples but I don’t want to upset anyone.
So, you see, I am not afraid of losing, I am afraid of winning.
Person by person, let’s change this world of objectification and misogyny.

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Too much of a person


Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright “Too Much of a Person” toomuchofaperson.com

 

This was a project that I took part in Too much of a person curated by Diana Patient, the founder and creative director. I was really privileged to take part in this project, which empowered me so much as a young girl and one that has a lot to say about the world. Thank you so much.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright “Too Much of a Person” toomuchofaperson.com

 

“‘Too Much of a Person’ is a project chronicling the experiences of self-identifying women and non-binary people being told they were “too much” of something (nice, loud, sensitive, aggressive etc.) to dismiss or conform them to the current perception of how a woman should be.

Your too much could be your power. Let’s reclaim that, take up space together and be whatever we want.

Welcome to the home of the online gallery of this multi-media exhibition which was launched in early 2019. You can listen to the powers and waves these extraordinary people are making in the world, and know that you are not alone.”

Diana Patient

 

THEY SAID I WAS:

TOO MUCH

TOO INTENSE

A STORM

TOO INDEPENDENT

TOO SENSITIVE

I’M JUST TOO MUCH OF A PERSON

Welcome to the home of the online gallery of this multi-media exhibition which was launched in early 2019. You can listen to the powers and waves these extraordinary people are making in the world, and know that you are not alone.”

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright “Too Much of a Person” toomuchofaperson.com

This the video of my thoughts on the subject of being “too much” https://youtu.be/JxC0BXHHF0c and the podcast To much of a person – Mya-Rose Craig

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright “Too Much of a Person” toomuchofaperson.com

Media credit “Too Much of a Person” toomuchofaperson.com


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A must read for children & adults – The Adventures of Horatio Mowzl – First Purlings

A must read for children & adults – The Adventures of Horatio Mowzl – First Purlings

A must-read for children and young adults –– The Adventures of Horatio Mowzl 
 
A trilogy of illustrated novels by Paul Thornycroft 
 
Volume Two: ‘First Purlings’ 
 
 
Copyright Paul Thornycroft

 

Children –– you ARE changing the World! 

 

Mya-Rose Craig’s second interview with the author: 

Mya-Rose: Before we talk about ‘First Purlings’, Paul, I want to recall ‘Little Humans’, the first book in the trilogy, with Mowzl’s stories of his home world and his mysterious arrival in the human world. He’s upset to discover how much humans are harming Nature, and he invents surprising ways to show people what is happening. Mowzl somehow helps us to feel more deeply, and he encourages us to find out more. How does the story develop in the second book, “First Purlings’? 
 
Paul: Mowzl finds new ways to entice young people, and grown up’s too, into seeing nature differently, looking sideways at the ordinary, as it were. It’s not always easy, and Mowzl calls it being ‘re-knitted’, an expression he uses after watching LuLu unravel some knitting only to re-knit it slightly differently. 

Copyright Paul Thornycroft




Mya-Rose: That sounds like a riddle, or mystery code! Is Mowzl a Wizard? 
 
Paul: He’s more shamanic; he loves simply being part of the wild web, and his generous heart empowers him to invite children to be immersed in deep Nature. 
Mya-Rose: It sounds like the ‘re-knitting’ changes the way we see things, is this what purling is about?
Paul: Yes. Mowzl is able to purl, which means he can fly through air, water or empty space in his pouch of magic wool. The humans who are drawn to him find that they can talk with animals and experience deep Nature, but only when they are 
with him. It’s so wonderful, they want to learn purling for themselves! Little do they know how hard it will be, for some anyway, to change their ‘settings’ enough to succeed. Mowzl insists on this resetting, or re-knitting. He knows that humans need to become more sensitive in order to see how Nature really is, and what part they play in Nature’s distress. He knows, too, that this is a rediscovering of long-lost wisdom. 

Copyright Paul Thornycroft

 

Mya-Rose: How do people learn to purl? 
 
Paul: A lot of that happens by being with Mowzl, listening to his stories and being in Nature. But there are also specific tasks to be done: wool, gathered from moorland hills, is washed, carded and spun on a spindle; then crocheted into Mowzl sized pouches. These gentle, repetitive tasks weave a beingness, or receptiveness wherein the children, and some of their parents, may dream into purling. It is a rite of passage, it happens only when they are ready, when they are fully re-knitted. And yes, when the children are purling, they are the size of a mouse! 
Mya-Rose: That sounds wonderful! I’d like to do that myself. I spend a lot of time in Nature and make a big effort to go to wonderful places. But I do see Nature being damaged or destroyed by development and industry. It’s upsetting. Won’t purling make people feel this distress even more and make them feel more vulnerable and powerless? 
 
Paul: Ah! Exactly so. Becoming attuned, purlers see deep Nature, and marvel at it and love exploring the world. But they will also see that life on Earth is wounded by human activity and continues to be depleted ever faster. It is hard to bear. They are upset and angry, feeling this wounding in their own being. Feeling as they do, they release a heartfelt cry: ‘What can we DO?’. 
Mya-Rose: You’ve left that question hanging . . . What’s the answer? What do we do? 
 
Paul: Even Mowzl has no compass, but his passion is infectious, and the children are inspired to attract ever more people to purling. The first thing to do is to become aware of the state of Nature, and for everybody to join in! This is what you are already doing in your own life, Mya-Rose. 

Copyright Paul Thornycroft

 

Mya-Rose: Does the answer to the question ‘What can we do?’ get answered in Volume Three? There’s got to be more to it than lots of people jumping up and down crying out ‘what can we do?’. 
 
Paul: Volume Three is called ‘The Great Rising’. As the children become more experienced in purling and discovering the state of Nature worldwide, it becomes clear that whatever it is they must do, it won’t be rooted in the beliefs and stories of the past, but in lifeforce arising now, in their young hearts; a force that has no weapons but love and belonging. 
 
The rising is already happening in the real world, as we speak. 
 
It is my hope that these books will help to encourage and sustain what has already begun. 
 
Mya-Rose: That’s a very positive vision; Mowzl is more ambitious than his size might suggest! Thank you, Paul. 
 
Paul: Yes, that’s his lion-sized heart! Thank you, Mya-Rose, for this interview and for all that you do bringing people to Nature. 

Copyright Paul Thornycroft

 

For more information about Mowzl, visit www.mowzl.co.uk

Review of ‘First Purlings’

Amazing! I slipped right into it and simply DEVOURED, I was hungry for more all the way through! The story is deep, full of feeling and it made me think and sympathise more as the book went on. The book felt so real to me that it was a shock to be pulled out of it to find that I was not purling with the others, chatting with the animals in the glade. 
Leela (A.K.) Age 10

Copyright Paul Thornycroft

 

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