Blog O4P

What it’s like to participate in the Organising for Power Residential Training Weekend

 – by Zarah

Two people are sitting at a table laughing, they are surrounded by post-it notes and pieces of paper
Participants at the Organising for Power residential

I initially signed up for Organising for Power because my colleague asked me to join her. I didn’t know much about it, I called it “Activist camp”, and certainly had no idea what to expect. I had missed the first session, but as soon as I arrived, not only did I recognise someone (woah, what a small community) but I also realised I was going to learn a lot!

“Activist camp” helped me think about campaigning differently and more strategically. It did this through a combination of workshops and readings, and games. The interactive games were really fun.

As the weekends were in semi-remote places, as residentials, the weekends felt really intense, but it added to the experience as I don’t think that we have stayed in Glasgow or Edinburgh for day-time workshops, we would have had the same experience or sense of community and empowerment. The residential aspect helped me to focus on the learnings and feel more involved, less distracted.

Meeting new like-minded folks was great, too. I became aware of Tripod’s facilitation training which I plan on applying for. I also met a fellow Canadian.

For the final residential weekend, my colleague couldn’t make it, so our organisation benefited from me having attended as an “add on” as I ended up taking on the bulk of the campaign plan,though this was not initially expected.

I’m excited to use some of the tools I learned, especially one game we played that really made thinking about your campaign and its purpose, fun! I think our board would benefit greatly from it and have brought it up to them. To be honest I think all organisations could benefit from it.

As someone relatively new to Scotland, it was great to get an opportunity to learn campaign tools, and the incredible history of campaigning and organising in this country, including work that grassroots and small organisations work on today, to make it a better place.