Fifty women from all around the world took part in the fourth annual Women’s ArbCamp (WAC), held in Finland.
WAC 2019 was organised with STEIN through Suomen Puunhoidon Yhdistys ‐ SPY ‐ the Finnish tree care association.
The event, held at Ruissalo, Turku, brought together women from three continents ‐ Asia, North America and Europe ‐ and a total of 12 countries (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Taiwan, England, USA and Switzerland).
The sponsors have helped grow the event from 18 people and 1.5 days in 2016 to 50 people and 2.5 days in 2019. WAC 2019 included practical and theoretical workshops covering the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and gear inspection, chainsaw maintenance, Highline Science, site safety based on the ArbRisk app, i-Tree software, a botanical garden tour, potential forces when climbing, rope systems and general climbing activities. We held a fun night-time climb, had a disco tree, organised raffles (including for a battery top-held saw donated by Gustharts/STIHL UK), and enjoyed a traditional Finnish sauna.
WAC is intended for anyone in arboriculture or who is thinking about getting into the profession but doesn’t know if arboriculture or climbing trees is for them. We endeavour to make sure there is a wide range of equipment from different manufacturers on site to give participants the opportunity to try out kit that they might not otherwise encounter in the field. We have different workshops each year and incorporate a mix of practical and theoretical subjects.
The event would not have been possible without our main sponsor STEIN and their generosity in supporting WAC. We are grateful to them and to all our sponsors who help keep the event free and all-inclusive for participants: our returning sponsors this year were STEIN, Gustharts, Svenska Trädföreningen, Sip Protection, ISC Wales and Grönyte-Konsult, and the 2019 event was also supported by Freeworker and Teufelberger, amongst other companies based throughout Europe. We also appreciate everyone donating their time to help host workshops and set up and break down the trees on site, providing a fun, friendly and educational event.
Plans are already under way for next year’s event, and as 2020 will mark the fifth anniversary of WAC, we are hoping to bring together more women in arboriculture than ever before. If you want to get involved as a sponsor, workshop leader or participant, don’t hesitate to contact us on social media @womensarbcamp or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was taken form Issue 187 Winter 2019 of the ARB Magazine, which is available to view free to members by simply logging in to the website and viewing your profile area.