Camping Policy


Camping is central to our social and educational ethos. It is at camp that the principles that we hold dear: of co-operation, friendship, equality, tolerance and democracy (to name but a few), are put into practice everyday.


The following Camp office holders are elected / volunteer at District meetings prior to camp. At longer camps it is recommended that there are two office holders for each of the roles, at least one of whom has previous experience.


Camp Chief:


  • Will circulate camp letters at least one month before camp.


  • Will convene at least one meeting of office holders before each camp.


  • Will organise transport or lifts to and from camp


  • At the beginning of camp:
    • Will divide the camp into clans and provide all adults with a list of clan members
    • Will allocate tents and draw a ‘circle map’ identifying who is in every tent – to be hung up in kitchen/marquee
    • Will draw up a clan tasks rota to be hung up in the kitchen tent
    • Undertake a Health and Safety risk assessment of the site


  • Will promote an atmosphere at camp which fosters an environment where children and young people are listened to, valued and respected


  • Will act as Chair in any debate and ensure the smooth running of the camp and be responsible for the overall health and safety of all participants.


  • Will call a circle every morning and call upon office holders to give reports.


  • Will meet with office holders daily to update on any issues arising


  • Will offer an option for all adults to meet with office holders if issues arise


  • Will also ensure that all camp participants are given an opportunity to assist and comment on the camp itself.


  • Will take responsibility for the whereabouts of everyone at camp and will delegate this responsibility if they are unavailable.


  • Will ensure, with the other office holders, that we have the necessary equipment for the camp and that it is kept in good order.


  • Will judge the pace of the camp and make sure that the programme is not over-tiring.  


  • Will act as the Safeguarding Officer for the camp.


    • Ensures that requisite adult : child ratios are maintained (Appendix 1)
    • Ensures that no children leave the site unaccompanied
    • Ensures that any concerns/incidents are recorded and reported to the District Safeguarding Officer



Folk Marshall or Programme Co-ordinator:


  • Will plan the programme for the camp, taking note of ideas from members before the camp, the central theme and the aims and principles of the Woodcraft Folk itself.


  • Will ensure that we have the necessary materials and equipment for the activities.


  • Will report to the camp circles, informing the camp of what activities are planned.


  • Will ensure that there are at least two adults supervising any activity.


  • Will aim to structure the programme into three sections each day.
    • AM - after the morning circle until lunch time.
    • PM - after lunch until dinner. Dinner should be between 6 -7pm
    • Evening - after dinner until the programme ends and the children go to bed.


  • The programme is usually organised in age groups, clan groups or whole camp. A balance needs to be gained and ALL campers need to have a programme.


KP – Keeper of the Provender:


  • Will devise a menu to be prepared and cooked by clans each day, taking note of cultural requirements, food intolerances and reasonable specific dietary requirements.


  • Will work with the Folk Marshall and Camp Chief to ensure that the menus and mealtimes fit with the programme (e.g packed lunch for a hike) and that there are suitable supplies for any ‘survival’ activities.


  • Will ensure that all food is available when required and supplies are maintained.


  • Will ensure that the utensils needed for the tasks are available and will check that the kitchen is clean and safe each day.


  • Will support the clans who are cooking and provide information about food preparation.


  • Will keep within the camp budget.


  • Will ensure there is a cooked breakfast every 2 -3 days. Meals are usually – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Supper as well as drinks throughout the day.


Equipment Officer:


  • Will ensure that all the equipment required is brought to camp and help it get put up correctly and safely.


  • Will monitor equipment over the camp and fix any broken tents etc.  


  • Will ensure that everyone keeps the site clean and safe.


  • Will ensure that the clan on Garbage duty have the necessary equipment to clean toilets, training them how to do so if necessary.


  • Will oversee all waste disposal / dustbins, implementing recycling wherever possible.




First Aider:


  • Will take responsibility for first aid issues and ensure first aid equipment and supplies are complete and available.


  • Will be responsible for overseeing all medication requirements for children at camp


  • They will maintain a record of any medication administered


  • They will ensure that Clan Leaders to ensure they are aware of any child in their clan with a medical issue and remember to prompt children to take their asthma inhalers or ask for hay fever or other medicine if required.


  • Will maintain an accident book on each camp.


  • Will co-ordinate the well-being of camp (eg. sun protection) and the availability of first aid kits on all activities and outings.


  • Will be available to be contacted on a mobile phone throughout camp.


Clan leaders:


  • The role Clan Leaders is to guide and motivate their clan in all its’ activities, making sure that all members are participating equally.
  • To co-ordinate the other clan adults/DFs to act as ‘parents’ to the children: Elfins, Pioneers and Venturers.
  • It is the Clan Leaders’ responsibility to:


    • Make sure the children are fed and watered,
    • Settled in bed at the right time and warm and generally happy
    • Check all clan members are up in the morning and that they have slept well and were warm enough
    • Generally be aware of the welfare of the children and report any problems or concerns to the Camp Chief
    • Be involved in programme activities which are organised in clan groups.
    • Ensure that there is always an adult/DF from the clan attends every activity
    • Liaise with KP to ensure meal is on time and kitchen is clean after and children are involved in preparing


  • The Clan is your family at camp and the Clan Leader will give the clan an identity and encourage ALL age groups to co-operate on a more equal basis.










Appendix 1


Adult to Child Ratios


When working with groups of children or young people, it is important that the level of supervision is appropriate to their age group and their needs, which may be very specific. 

In general, younger children need to be more closely supervised and will require a higher adult to child ratio. The following are the adult to child ratios we would recommend for voluntary organisations, which are based partly on Ofsted guidelines: 


Child’s Age

Amount of adults

Amount of children  

0 - 2

















If the group is mixed gender, the supervising staff should also include both male and female workers wherever possible. 


When deciding on the number of adults required, it is important to bear in mind that these ratios are guidelines only: in certain situations it will be necessary to have a higher number of adults than our recommendations suggest. If, for instance, the children or young people have specific support needs, or a risk assessment identifies behaviour as a potential issue for the group or event, the number of supervising adults will need to be higher.


It may not always be possible to adhere to these recommended ratios. However, every effort should be made to achieve the best level of supervision of children at all times.



























Appendix 2


General Policies


Adults  - Adults are expected to come to camp and support the work of the office holders on camp. All adults should be members and have a valid CRB check. All adults are expected to abide by the aims and principles of the Woodcraft Folk and Ealing and Hammersmith District Policies.


Adult meetings -  Adults may have other meetings to raise issues not of direct concern to children and to discuss the programme (not to last more than 25 minutes)


Adults Programme – Endeavour to have an adult programme at least every third night. Rotas to look after children if people are to go off site.


Alcohol – Social drinking is only allowed in a central area, after the pioneers have gone to bed. All evidence of alcohol should be removed before adults go to bed. Alcohol will be kept in a safe place by a designated person. Respect should be shown for non-drinkers and there should not be any social separation between those drinking alcohol and those not


Bed times – Basically bedtime is when the programme ends. Not to be too rigid, but to usually send Elfins to bed ½ an hour before Pioneers. Elfins get very tired at camp and, they should be in bed by 8.30pm most evenings unless there is a party or camp fire. 

Venturers may negotiate their bed times with the leaders responsible for them on camp, however, Venturers are not to be still up unless there is an adult responsible for them up.


Behaviour -.We expect everyone at camp, adults and children to act with courtesy and consideration at all times and to try to understand and respect other people’s views.  We shall not exclude people from our conversations and activities and we do not tolerate physical or verbal abuse or bad language.

Circles – Should be at least every morning and everyone to attend if possible. Main circles not to take more than 20 minutes and reports to be positive and brief.


Clans – To be the central organisation of the programme at camp. They will contain adults and children of various age groups. Clan Leaders can encourage the DFs or Venturers to  take responsibility for some days / certain activities.


Dogs – Any adult member wishing to bring a dog to camp must get the permission of the District Meeting and the Camp Chief of each camp to be attended.  The dog owner must take responsibility for the behaviour of their dog at all times.  Dogs must be well behaved with regard to children, food and are not allowed in any tents belonging to the District. If any problem arises at camp related to the animal, the Camp Chief has the right to ask the owner to remove their dog.


Drugs – No illegal substances are allowed on the site.


Eating – A healthy well balanced diet will be offered at camp.  A vegetarian meal will be offered to anyone requiring it; a cooked breakfast every 2-3 days; usually a light lunch, and an evening dinner. If children do not like anything on offer, they may be discreetly offered an alternative bread & cheese, etc. No child will be refused food or drink. All campers will eat together near the kitchen area but only the clan on rota is to be in the kitchen.  Everyone is expected to remain seated until washing up time is called.


Families – It is recognised that children with parents on site will sometimes demand more attention. On longer camps family time out, separate from camp activities may be appropriate.


Leaving site – If you need to pop off site you need to inform the Camp Co-ordinator, so that they know where everyone is and how many adults are on site.


Medication - If children require medication it must be handed over to the first aider who will administer it or supervise administration as instructed by parents.  If adults require medication they will need to keep this safe in their tent/car.


Mobile Phones - No mobile phones or other electrical equipment are allowed on camp for children under 16. Phones can be very disruptive to camp life and activities.  If parents need to contact their child in an emergency they can phone the camp chief on the mobile phone number provided.  If a child needs to contact their parent they can borrow a mobile phone from an office holder or clan leader on camp.


Photographs- Phones are not required to take photographs. The District has its own cameras which are taken to camp.  These photographs will be taken by office holders who will be aware of those children for whom their parents have not given consent.


Pocket Money – There will be a recommended limit to pocket money for Elfins and Pioneers and this will be collected in by Camp Chief or Folk Marshall and given out on outings.  Venturers may look after their own money but will also be expected to stay within a recommended limit.


Sleeping – Children over 6 will be encouraged to share tents with their own age group. Tents will be checked each night by the Clan Leader. Adults should not enter the inner area of a tent on their own with a child.  Also adults should not remove their child from a tent to comfort them and leave the remaining child alone in the tent, who may then awake and be frightened. Ideally you should settle your child in their tent, without going fully inside.


Smoking – Smoking is not allowed in front of young people/children. Adults are asked to be discrete about their smoking as they are often seen as role models by many of the children/young people. Smokers should not ‘hang out’ in the smoking area.  There is a no smoking policy in ANY TENTS – including the kitchen and marquee.


Tent tidiness – Tents should be kept tidy and checked by the Clan Leader. Camp Chief to call a ‘Wappenshaw’ every 2-3 days.


Venturers – Venturers will be encouraged to support and shadow office holders on longer camps, this should be co-ordinated by the venturer leader with a clear brief of role for venturer and office holder.