The power of casual connectionsType: Blogs
Topic: Camphill | Intentional communities | Mental health | Spirituality
Published on: 26th February 2021
When the dust settles, we will realise how very little we need, how very much we actually have and the true value of human connection.
During the first lockdown, I missed the people whom I love the most – family, close friends, people I would see most weekends for playdates with my son. As we move towards the first coronavirus lockdown anniversary, I still undoubtedly miss them, but for the most part we have been able to use technology or socially distanced laps of the park to get by.
The connections that I yearn for the most right now are the casual ones. The stranger at the bus stop to pass the time of day with, the librarian, and the many people with whom I would cross paths as I moved through my world.
Camphill is rooted in connection
Connection has always been at the heart of the Camphill ethos. Be it social or spiritual, through work or with nature, meaningful connections at Camphill are embedded in everything we do.
I’ve been in post for eight months now, and the pandemic has restricted my ability to travel across Scotland. My initial plan to visit and work in one community each month has had to be temporarily shelved. I had intended to have met so many Camphillers by now and to have struck up meaningful connections with the wider Camphill family. This will come.
Reaching out with new networks
The team at Camphill Scotland may not be able to visit you right now, but we want you to know that you can always reach us. To this end we have created three new networks reaching across Camphill in Scotland. One is for families of people who you support, and the other two are for people who work in Camphill. I encourage you to join, share and connect with them.
Our Members’ Meet-Up is held every three weeks on a Thursday evening and it is open to everyone who works at a Camphill in Scotland community – staff, international co-workers, volunteers and foundation students. It has the relaxed feeling of meeting up with friends for a cuppa.
The meet-ups are loosely themed around mental health and wellbeing with conversations ranging from ideas on how we can prioritise self-care to supporting the people you work with. We also chat about our families and plans for the weekend. I’ve hosted two Members’ Meet-Ups so far and it’s wonderful to see long-term Camphillers meeting new co-workers or catching up with people they haven’t seen in years.
Next Members’ Meet-Up: Thursday 11th March, 1800 hours. Contact us for log in details.
Co-Worker Buddies Chat Room
The first Members’ Meet-Up stimulated lots of discussions about how we can use technology to both socialise across Camphill, and also to support our teams of young people who join us from across the world. The international co-workers are doing an incredible job, and for many this is their first time away from home – and during a global pandemic. We are now set to host our first Co-Worker Buddies call.
International co-workers are invited to join a Zoom call, and depending on how many people join the call, we will pop you into small groups where you can meet up with other co-workers from across Scotland for a chat. There will be tips and ideas on how to get conversation flowing, and a suggestions chat box for you to post ideas on how we can bring you together in other ways online (Camphill Scotland book group, anyone?!)
First Co-Worker Buddies Chat Room: Thursday 18th March…drop in any time between 6.30pm and 9pm. Contact us for log in details.
The ways in which we can meet others may continue to be distanced for some time to come, but one thing remains the same. The sense of connection is an internal, spiritual concept (that’s why we can feel lonely in a crowded room).
The opportunity to meet new people, to share stories about our day and the combination of being nostalgic whilst dreaming of when the world opens up again are connections that we can all depend upon. I hope to meet you soon.
Written by Emma Walker, Director of Camphill Scotland