I absolutely love The Woodcraft Folk. For those of you who don't know who we are: you're idiots. The Folk are the antithesis to everything that's wrong with the God-fearing, military-based anti-homosexual Scouts - holding meetings in a circle, promoting all races, creeds and skins (as well as sexualities and even hair colours), singing songs around campfires in a rabble (rather than rows) about whatever-takes-your-fancy, breaking out the alcohol and in some cases drugs, and occasionally reporting back to General Council - most of whom are under 18.
And we're not that obscure, either. There are hundreds of Woodcraft groups all around the country, with international ties to the IFM and other youth-empowering, politically-left organisations. I've been brought up on a diet of Woodcraft, so much so that if you were to cut me in half, I'd have red, yellow and green blood (just don't try it). At the age of 24, I'm pretty much too old to be that involved in the Folk too much any more - short of becoming a leader and I decided some time ago I didn't want to do that - but I'm still a full member in that curious distinction known as "Kinsfolk" (aka. lazy full members) - and I'm proud of that.
But where does the sex come into this entry? Well, from the age of 16 to 21 (well, 20 actually, as you leave at 21) a lot of young people are rather confused as to what they are, so Woodcraft made it easier for them in one aspect and introduced the concept of "District Fellows"... abbreviated, of course, to DFs. As a semi-autonomous, politically active and very high-powered section of the Folk, DFs kept a lot of Folk stable, and somewhat comforted in the fact that, whoever you were, you were still a DF. Damn near got me through university single-handed, that thought - so when DF camps were mentioned, my interest was peaked.
DF Kamp (we were so cool, we even spelled kamp with a K) comprised, essentially, a load of young hippies self-organising a camp, so of course there was sex. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that, in terms of discussing sex, the DFs are the least inhibited group of people I've ever met. Nary a night (characterised in no uncertain terms by dancing crazy-crazy to tunes from a clapped-out-but-serviceable DJ system in a huge mess tent, or the biggest room in wherever we were staying) passed without at least one person pulling another person, and which would end with various couples sloping off to make love in a bedroom (or a tent, or the attic or bathroom or wherever they could find). Bizarre relationships would form and break, people would kiss for the sake of it and it was just a given that they would, x would have sex with y and then next day we'd all sit down and discuss how to raise money for the Palestinians.
It was all wonderfully surreal, these times of my life where we'd shine a light on a tent and see shapes sheepishly moving inside it, or I'd walk into a room and find my mate holding onto a pipe to stop himself from falling over laughing when he found a couple in a sleeping bag in the middle of a public dormitory, or when we auctioned off the DF Committee to raise cash for the tsunami victims, which ended with lesbian kisses (although Glod knows exactly how...). And, although I never actually had sex with anyone from Woodcraft,* I certainly made it happen, slyly manipulating people into couples at certain points, using my ILB hugs to make people feel comforted, and even crying over my mate's shoulder when everyone was pairing up but me.
I didn't mind not scoring, actually. I wasn't really expecting to get anywhere and so the feeling of acceptance was a massive bonus. I once got a kiss from a girl I was quite attracted to - I mean, she was drunk, but then again so was everybody else, so it didn't matter too much. And here was a group of people who, despite the British upbringing, were liberated enough to admit that young people have needs, and with our fantastic sex programme and free condoms, DFs were up to satisfy them, to the point where a diagram was created to show how everyone in DFs was connected through who had kissed who.
Happy, sad, crazy, organised, fun, depressing, whatever. DFs was a rollercoaster ride for me, and what a reverie I was in last night when I was going through some mementoes and came across a picture of us in Denmark (but that's another story).
"Hmmm, DF Kamp," I thought.
Lots of sex...
...sex and tents...
...sex in tents...
...sex in a tent, perhaps with TD? Might it happen some day?
And so my evening's fantasies were dictated, once again, by The Woodcraft Folk. Thanks, guys. Peace.
* Excepting TD, who tells me she went to Woodcraft a couple of times in her youth. Bizarre!