Trailblazers events

Our semi-curated Trailblazers weekends (June and November 2019, Selgars Mill, Devon). have created a blueprint for socialising, brainstorming, collaborating and visioneering. What next?

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by Pete Lawrence
Created on 13 Jun 2019

Our semi-curated Trailblazers weekends (June and November 2019, Selgars Mill, Devon). have created a blueprint for socialising, brainstorming, collaborating and visioneering. What next?



Thu, 06/13/2019

Trailblazers weekend 2 - November 2019


'The most effective way to empower a population is through trust and sharing of information and inspiration'

Join us for an energising and constructive semi-curated weekend of workshops, discussions and collaborative tasks around how Campfire explores the interface between online resource building and f2f interaction and how we keep the fires burning through winter. Learn new skills, share ideas with like-minded others, refine tactics, celebrate communality, how we can use our unique skills as part of a team effort as well as creating significant local actions that can spread and inspire others and reach out beyond borders.  Plenty of time to explore, to celebrate, to programme your own sessions, relax and to connect. 

Campfire Convention - a conscious social network offering radical alternatives, is now organising as a community, following the successful Campout event in August 2019. We will be trailblazing a series of ‘How to' sessions in conjunction with Selgars Mill, a new eco retreat in Mid Devon. The weekend will have a large element of self-organising, using open space, but will also be geared towards moving forwards and collaborating around our specific skills and interests, with positive social change always uppermost in our minds and connection and feeling in our hearts. 

At Selgars Mill, over this long weekend, we will be building a framework for finding solutions, looking are ways we can individually and collectively make a switch that really will make a difference.

Click image below for ticket link (available from 10:00 GMT Thursday 12 September)

The world we once took for granted is throwing up new and terrifying challenges and it would be easy to feel overwhelmed. Ignoring those urgent issues or waiting for 'the experts' to sort things out is clearly not an option. An informed and active population challenging, creating and changing things together at a local level is the most powerful tool we have to offer solutions as an alternative to our inept, short-sighted and corrupt political mainstream. Now is our time to fight back with effective campaigns, galvanising actions and, most of all, by telling and living the truth.  

Big changes are happening at many levels - in politics, in environmental campaigning, in economic theory and in the ways we are organising socially. A new consciousness is in the air and the change starts with us, how we feel, how we listen, how we interact and how we disseminate ideas, skills and initiatives. Let’s build the networks and structures that are needed together from the ground upwards, so that we’re ready to act. Kindness is now the radical alternative and it is at the heart of Campfire.

Meet... in a glorious secluded location with excellent facilities and shared accommodation

Eat... splendid local, organic meals 

Learn... life is about learning - and teaching

Speak...your truth. Refine your ideas and realise your aims. music, to your own heart, to others

And ACT... for there can be no progress without action. 

Pete Lawrence: Founder and Firestarter of Campfire Convention. He is perhaps best known as founder of The Big Chill festival and is now building a member-led online social network, free of advertising and algorithms, which is already putting on regular face-to-face events. He passionately believes that we have potential to evolve the way we do social networking as well as stepping up and actively facilitating change, starting at local level.

Sarah Jewell: Musical Director of the renowned SonglinesInternational Choir and a composer who is often commissioned to write anthemic pieces to accompany mass political/educational actions. After 23 years in London she has now moved full time to Devon to build a new ecologically, sensitive sanctuary with music at its heart and revolution in its soul. As many of us have come together through creative connections Sarah will lead informal singing and music making sessions throughout the weekend because every significant social movement needs a soundtrack to bond and inspire! 

Michelle Preston: "Resilience for Good People Doing Great Things” How can we ensure that we all play a more active role in improving our wellbeing and this feeds into the work that we do, the communities we support and the organisitions we work with and within? A session exploring and understanding how our wellbeing, mental health and connections with others can have an impact on everything from our individual happiness to the way in which we live and work together.  Michelle will look at the challenges of agency and activism and the different ways of supporting changemakers and activists to place self care at the heart of their path with purpose.

Michelle Preston is founder of Simply Women on Purpose and has been involved with many charitable organisations, dedicating much of her life committed to the physical, social, emotional and psychological webbing of individuals and communities.

Steve Thorp: "Only the poets can save us now” someone* wrote a decade or two back. Over the weekend, Steve Thorp will be working with this theme, exploring how our creative and poetic responses to the world we live in can sustain and transform us. There’ll be a chance to go deep with the words that emerge, creating personal and collective soul manifestos.

Steve Thorp is a therapist, writer and activist living and working in Pembrokeshire. He is the author of a number of books, and is editor of Unpsychology Magazine.

Campfire Convention is a broad and increasingly diverse community of elders, experts and enthusiasts of all ages. Developing templates of expertise, building collective wisdom. More on our social network here 

The location at Selgars Mill is ideal for bringing people together to find solutions over two or three days in a quiet rural location. Cars are limited on site so the venue has arranged pick ups from Tiverton Parkway. 

We will offer a simple lunch at 12.30 Friday before the first session at 14:30 and finishing 16:00 pm Sunday - For those who would like to arrive After 5pm on Thursday for a leisurely dinner and to enjoy the mill before the work begins’ please contact  £35 for Thursday meal and accommodation. 

All attendees are urged to arrive by lunchtime Friday so we can all start the event together and all finish together on Sunday afternoon. Dipping in and out wont work! 

Prices are the same as June’s first Trailblazer. The event costs £125 including Sarah and her team’s  delicious cooking (2 meals Friday, 3 Saturday and two Sunday), accommodation for two nights is £50 single place or £140 for a private room (couples).

We have three bursary places available. Email

Mail or for more details.





Ralph Pettingill

I must make my way down to Selgars Mill sometime- I can't make this weekend unfortunately (I'm at another residential...) ..xx



Doh - I think it's going to be lovely on all levels Ralph...why not come on down to Fromesville soon, and we can convene something around a Campfire with the good folks of Frome? You'd be most welcome


Tim Regester

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