Every season has its pleasures – and as well as being beautiful, Spring heralds good things to come. Simple joys, like longer, warmer days for those of us who work outdoors. Cherished annual events, like Delrow’s Garden Party and Open Day at Botton Village.
And at summer’s end comes the biggest shared event of our year, when people from all our communities leave their homes and work, and spend three inspirational days together. We call it our Conference.
The journey, experience of staying in a hotel and being a delegate can be exciting and confidence-boosting in themselves. But there is so much more. Every day is a blend of creative and thought-provoking activities, opportunities to discuss things that are important to us, and the sheer enjoyment of being together.
Last year’s Conference revolved around the theme of ‘Our Future’ and we were thrilled to have Paralympian silver medallist Bethy Woodward with us as a guest speaker. ‘She was just amazing’, says Leo from Grange Village. ‘She has cerebral palsy and grew up in Camphill – we actually had a Camphiller in the Olympics!’
Bethy stressed the importance of Inspiration, Resilience, Respect and Responsibility, and encouraged everyone to celebrate each other and dare to be extraordinary. ‘She told us the story of her life’, Leo says. ‘She
made some of us cry at times – it was very moving.’
With Bethy’s motivational words ringing in our ears, we went on to take part in workshops and activities that a team of Camphill residents had helped to plan. Some of these were Making Choices, Good Support, and Looking Back to Help Your Future.
No wonder we always leave our Conference energised and looking forward to the next one.