Our Mission

We want many more British young people to benefit from well-run residential summer camps.

We hope to see tens of thousands of British children, from all schools and all backgrounds, thinking it a normal part of their lives to spend a week a year at a good summer camp.

We hope to see a good proportion of British students and young adults training to become summer camp leaders and volunteering to work with children for a week or two each year.

We hope to see a national Certificate established and valued by employers , attesting the holder had trained as a camp leader and done good volunteer work with children in this role.

We hope to see recognition that a vibrant summer camps sector would add to the work of schools and families in caring for our nation’s children and their well-being.


And above all we hope to see children who are:

  • More well-adjusted and sociable
  • Fitter and more active
  • More confident
  • More positive and independent
  • More interested and enthusiastic


UK Children on Summer Camps by 2025
UK Children on Summer Camps by 2040

“The Happiest Weeks of their Lives”

Every year millions of children and teenagers all over the world spend time at summer camps and say that these are among the happiest weeks of their lives, where they’ll play in green fields, explore the countryside, laugh and chat, enjoy songs and stories at bedtime, make friends, learn new activities, face new challenges, discover new talents and interests and enjoy spending time with other people.

“A Profound Influence on their Development”

Research has shown that time spent at camp has a profound influence on the development of young people and their attitudes to the world around them, as well as being a hugely enjoyable experience.

"But, only 2% of the UK’s children currently take part"

Despite the vast benefits, only 2% of the UK’s children currently take part in Summer Camps every year, so the Summer Camps Trust has set out on a mission to raise awareness and encourage young people’s participation in summer camps.

Residential education is moving forward


The National Citizen Service (which is an enthusiastic member of the Summer Camps Trust) has done much to show the way. By 2020 they hope to have nearly a quarter of the nation’s 16 year-olds taking part. The remarkable outcomes they have seen from the residential parts of their programmes (very like summer camps) demonstrate how powerful and life-changing such experiences can be.

Brilliant Residentials

Learning Away‘s “Brilliant Residentials” campaign, launched by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (warm supporters of the Summer Camps Trust) is working to increase the number of school residential sessions. Their research shows the many benefits residential experience gives. As Professor Sir Tim Brighouse has said:

“A week’s residential can benefit a child as much as a whole term in the classroom – that is how powerful such sessions can be.”

Please help us make our vision a reality

The Summer Camps Trust would like to hear from people who support its aims and could help to achieve them; by spreading the word about summer camps and the benefits they bring; by getting articles in the press or mentions on radio and TV; by donating money towards the appointment of a Development Officer; by getting MPs or opinion formers on board, by offering PR or fundraising skills; or just by telling as many people as possible about summer camps and how wonderful they are for children and young people.

In particular you can help by telling parents, children, schools, students and teacher trainers about our exciting 2019 programmes of Affordable Summer Camps and leader training.