Who we are and what we hope to achieve
Earthsong Camps began as the vision of Angie Pinson and John Bowker who were inspired by similar events in the UK, most notably the Unicorn Village Camps. They recognized that organizing a space for people to come together, camp on the earth and interact through music, dance and creativity could be an incredibly nourishing and valuable experience. They ran the first Earthsong Camp in July 2007 with a team of people who emerged from the Tribal Spirit Drumming Retreats that John facilitates in Co Clare. The Camp was a well-earned success and Earthsong has been running at capacity ever since, with a second camp happening annually since 2010.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
Earthsong Camps aim to create an environment that allows people to connect with themselves and others in a positive way through the sharing of music, movement, new and ancient wisdom and healthy lifestyle options. Our hope is that when given the time and space to slow down and focus on what nourishes us we are more able to notice what is lovable about ourselves and others. Earthsong Camps recognise the value of allowing space for people to learn, play, laugh and cry, as well to remember how to give careful respect to each other, our environment and ourselves.
Earthsong Camps are not affiliated with any specific belief system. We aim to celebrate our personal connections to community and spirit through the many magical experiences available at Earthsong Camps. Workshop facilitators are encouraged to refer to anything of a spiritual nature as possibility rather than fact and to maintain an awareness of the diversity of workshop participants.
At Earthsong we honour and respect all spiritual paths and beliefs; we are not affiliated to any particular belief system. Workshop leaders are encouraged to talk about possibilities rather than fact when dealing with spiritual ideas, and we try to avoid Dogma. Through the many magical experiences of Earthsong, such as making powerful music together, we can celebrate our connection to community and spirit.
A vital aspect of what makes Earthsong unique is the strict policy of no alcohol, no drugs, no electric music and no late night noise. Mobile phones are switched off and calls made off site. These boundaries allow people to be present in the moment and facilitate the digital retreat space that is Earthsong. These policies also contain and create the “magic” we feel at camp that deepens our experience of nature and human connection.
While we welcome the use of cameras, we request that everyone is sensitive and respectful in both the use of them during camp and the circulation of photographs after the camps. It can be a good idea to ask for permission.
Earthsong Camps have been organised by a Core Group since 2007. The current members of this group are Ben Coombs, Doris Affeldt, John Bowker, Padraig O’Nuallain and Ruth Pinson, who joined in 2018. Members of the Core Group oversee day to day practicalities during the Camps and ongoing work updating policies and practices throughout the year.
Since September 2018 they have been joined by a Management Team. This change acknowledges the ever expanding administration work required throughout the year and aims to allow the Core Group to focus on the vision and holding of Earthsong Camps. This Team is headed by Fiona Gannon, with Lily Pinson taking on the management of the Programs and Service Areas, Morganna Pearse on Finance and Bookings and Martijn Cornelissen focusing on Public Relations and Online Communications.
LIVING ON THE LAND
In living simply on the land we gradually attune to the rhythms of the natural world and become more aware of the impact we are having on the environment. We learn to appreciate and respect the land, to feel part of it and then we naturally wish to seek out ways to minimize our footprint and tread lightly on the earth. Our aim at Earthsong has always been to have a camp that is as gentle and harmonious as possible. This involves leaving the land as we found it, respecting animal and plant life, recycling as much as we can, and also looking at ways we can offset our fuel consumption by tree planting, lift sharing and communal cooking.
WELCOMING TEARS AS WELL AS LAUGHTER
Many of the magical ingredients that made Earthsong what it was last year have come out of the Tribal Spirit gatherings that John Bowker has been leading for the past number of years. As well as the heart opening and healing gifts from the spirit in singing, drumming and dancing there are other ways that enable us to feel safe, included and more in touch with ourselves. One of these seems to be that we have come to trust how completely normal and natural it is to cry as well as laugh when we need to.
Once we know tears are welcome we may find we shed healing tears as we listen to beautiful singing or receive a friendly hug.
Listening wholeheartedly to each other without judgment, advice or opinions is another thing that people have found very valuable at the Tribal Spirit gatherings. This can be helpful in our camp circles too. If you have any questions the core group are an identifiable resource and will happily answer them.
PHOTOGRAPHY & FILMING
We welcome the use of cameras, however we ask that everyone exercises sensitivity and respect around the taking of photographs. If unsure always ask . You can also offer a copy to whomever you have taken a photo of.