How to start an adventure playground

(Reblogged from https://playeverything.wordpress.com)

 

Play Everything

There are some questions about adventure playgrounds that we at Pop-Up Adventure Play get asked a lot.

“What about liability insurance?”

“Who pays for these places?”

“Are they really safe?”

And, our favorite:

“How do I open one??”

When people ask this, flushed with new excitement, it’s worth taking a moment to step back and rethink the question.  On the one hand, we want to see as many adventure playgrounds as possible.  We’re thrilled to be part of this new wave of interest in adventure playgrounds, and to be helping those new sites with their staff training.  But more importantly, we want all adventure playgrounds to be great adventure playgrounds.

And that comes down to staffing.

Great playworkers can make the most of a site that is frankly crap, while uptight or apathetic playworkers can ruin the richest of environments.  We all share a burden of anti-child, anti-play education…

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Playwork ‘Campference’ announced in California for Feb. 2017

(Reblogged from Pop-Up Adventure Play)

The UK based Pop-up Adventure Play is teaming up with Santa Clarita Valley Adventure Play to host a first time Playwork Campference in Val Verde, CA 16-19 February 2017.

The Campference will headline Professor Fraser Brown, Head of Playwork at Leeds Beckett University’s School of Health & Community Studies, Erin Davis, Director of the documentary “The Land”, and Jill Wood, founder of “AP” adventure playground in Houston, TX.  Campference programming will also include a variety of hands on workshops, keynote Q&As, a screening of “The Land”, discussions and activities surrounding playwork theory and practice with National and International playworkers, and more. Early bird registration ends 2 October 2016, overall registration ends 16 October 2017. Participants also have the option to camp on site at the Eureka Villa Adventure Playground slated to be the seventh in the US.

Playwork involves in depth knowledge of play psychology, play “cues”, and risk benefit assessment. Playworkers traditionally work on Adventure Playgrounds where they make sure the children stay safe but do not inhibit the play in any way. However, playwork concepts may be applied to a variety of instances whether working with kids or adults in formal (i.e. educational or structured) or informal private, public or domestic settings. Adventure Playgrounds have been commonplace throughout Europe since World War II and are seeing a resurgence in the US.

The new wave of adventure play has been covered by various news sources including the New York Times, Atlas Obscura and The Atlantic.   The playwork campference will facilitate an international conversation between diverse individuals ranging from decades and degrees in playwork to those brand new to it.  “I’m very excited about coming and meeting all the people who will be at the Campference. … It’s going to be an opportunity to do stimulating work to get the whole idea of playwork going.. to give it a base level to work out from” said Professor Brown.  Regarding the state of play in America, he believes, “it’s very timely right now… things are beginning to develop. Right now I have three American based students doing post-graduate work with us.” Professor Brown has written numerous books on the benefits of playwork including his experiences doing therapeutic playwork with children in orphanages in Romania and Transylvania.

Erica Larsen-Dockray, co-founder of Santa Clarita Valley Adventure Play remarks about the Campference, “We could not be more delighted to host such a unique and necessary event here in Southern California.  Playwork concepts reaffirm two very important elements which I feel are lacking in the US.  One is kids being allowed more self-directed time in their days and second is adults supporting and trusting kids to take risks and practice independence.  Culturally we have forgotten how to let kids just play on their own terms as well as embrace play in our adult lives.”

Suzanna Law, Co-Founder of Pop-up Adventure Play and current Leeds Playwork Phd candidate says, “This is something of momentous occasion for me because we have been working so hard at Pop-up Adventure play to bring playwork ideas to people across the US and hopefully better play opportunities for children as a consequence. A child has a right to play, but in order to play they also need to feel safe and in an environment where they are supported.  They have a right to believe and to direct everything that is in their own lives and in the US this may be taken for granted and we need to know now in order to support play we need to support the whole child.”

Pop-up Adventure play was founded in 2010 by Suzanna Law and Morgan Leichter-Saxby and aims to help make a children’s right to play a reality in every neighborhood by disseminating playwork principles to a range of audiences.  Operating primarily in the US and UK, they provide long-distance and in-person support to play advocates in seventeen countries and recently completed a world lecture tour.

Santa Clarita Valley Adventure Play was founded by Jeremiah Dockray and Erica Larsen-Dockray in 2014 after Jeremiah began the playwork course.  While working on a course assignment he came across an abandoned 2 acre park which is now the developing home of Eureka Villa Adventure Playground.  It will be the only adventure playground in Los Angeles County.

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Aside from the park’s development, they have held numerous pop-up adventure playgrounds all over Los Angeles County for private and public events.  For more information on them please visit www.scvadventureplay.com

Anyone interested in attending or registering can visit the Campference information page at:  https://popupadventureplaygrounds.wordpress.com/playwork-campference-2017/

Early bird registration ending on 10/2/2016 is $375 for campers and $300 for non-campers.  Regular registration ending on 1/16/2017 is $475 for campers and $400 for non-campers.  Camping rates include meals, snacks, and basic camping equipment if needed.  Financial aid may be available on a first come basis.

CONTACT:

Morgan Leichter-Saxby, Co-Founder Pop-Up Adventure Play

Jeremiah Dockray, Co-Owner Santa Clarita Valley Adventure Play info@scvadventureplay.com

Check out the whole press release here.

Play Wales calls for sector response to proposed changes to playwork qualifications

The national body, Play Wales is calling for a strong response from the playwork sector to proposed new qualifications in Health and Social Care, which includes playwork.

Qualifications Wales, which published its review of the qualifications framework in July, is proposing to restrict the number of qualifications approved for funded training programmes in Wales, a move that would, according to Play Wales, weaken playwork training.

Play Wales isconcerned that … the Playwork Principles would be diluted by incorporation into a single suite of qualifications’.

In its draft response to the proposals Play Wales states that the proposed changes will ‘impact negatively on the current strategic direction in which playwork qualifications are being developed’. The draft response goes on to say that Play Wales is ‘concerned that the underpinning ethos of the National Occupational Standards (NOS), namely the Playwork Principles, would be diluted by incorporation into a single suite of qualifications’.

Play Wales believes that whatever decision is taken in Wales ‘could, in the longer term, have an impact on the playwork sector throughout the UK’ and urges the playwork community to respond.

Play Wales’ draft consultation response can be read here and the organisation welcomes comments, to help inform its final response, by email to workforce@playwales.org.uk by 28th September 2016.

Play Wales has also invited others to use its draft and final response, when published, as a basis for submitting their own response to the Qualifications Wales consultation, which closes at 6.00pm on 5th October 2016.

 

Playwork union conference to include talk on Playwork Foundation

A one day conference in Eastbourne on 19 November, hosted by Community, Youth and Play Workers in Unite  will feature a discussion about the emerging Playwork Foundation led  by Adrian Voce of the new body’s steering group, under the heading ‘Do we need a professional identity and if so how do we develop it?’.

Under the theme of ‘identifying risk and building resilience‘ the conference will ‘offer a range of seminars, expert panels and workshops facilitated and delivered by key professionals in the field, and the wider youth and play sector, that will identify, explore and offer new insight into some of the more complex and challenging issues that professionals and the children and young people that they work with face. The event will provide delegates with an excellent opportunity to discuss and debate the key issues and challenges faced in delivering a high quality service that provides children and young people with the best possible start in life’.

For full details please visit the conference homepage here