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Mayor’s Column 17 August

I’m just back from holiday, camping with about 500 people! It’s a voice camp so we learn songs all day and it is only 20 minutes from Frome. Sounds bonkers but it works for me.

I’ve tried to work out why it works… well for one I like sleeping on the ground. As a child we went camping for summer holidays. May be it’s because I associate sleeping that close to the earth with holidays is why it feels good.

Secondly, I like cooking round a fire and joining with others to create a happy group.

This year, more than before, the idea of talking things through to keep the peace felt important. Jo Berry, who lives in Frome, was at the camp too. Her story is stunning and led her to set up the organisation Building Bridges for Peace, it’s name says it all. What Jo has experienced and lives with is way more complex than anything I have experienced but it set a back drop to the camp.

In this atmosphere not only did I have to sort out inner conflicts of what I wanted to do with what I think I ought to do but we all had to negotiate who is going to do what for the group. We needed to share the tedious things, washing up, rubbish sorting, water collecting. At camp it’s not quite the same as in a family where you know everyone. And of course added to this we went to camp knowing about the scary, social media slanging match going on between N Korea and the USA. On camp we had created a 10 day old village where we were getting along, building bridges for peace. Now I need to work out how I can mirror this for 365 days of the year!

21 August 2017
Last Updated
23 January 2021
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