Volunteer Leader Training

Become a Volunteer Leader in 2019

Training week in July 2019

The course will be fully residential and intensive, with morning, afternoon and evening sessions each day. There will be discussion and practical sessions of both indoor and outdoor activities. You will be expected to attend the whole course and join in all sessions.

Recommended read - see the full brochure here.

When/where is it?

At Padworth College, Padworth, near Reading.

Tuesday July 2nd (be there by 6.30pm)
Tuesday July 9th (leave after breakfast)

How old should I be?

You must be over 17 1/2 at the start of the course.

How much does it cost?

All tuition and training is free, but you will be asked to make a contribution of £75 towards your board and lodging costs.

How do I get there?

You will need to arrange and pay for your own travel. Lifts will be available from Aldermaston Station. Instructions for those coming by car will be sent nearer the event.

What should I bring?

A list (which will include bedlinen or sleeping bag) will be sent to you in good time.

DBS Checks and References

You will need to provide a written reference from an appropriate person who knows you well, confirming that you are suitable to work residentially with children, also to provide evidence of an up-to-date DBS check, or be ready to have one done.

Working in a summer camp

You will need to offer some dates in the summer when you could work in a summer camp, preferably one or both of the "affordable summer camps" being promoted by the Summer Camps Trust, August 15 to 22 and / or August 23 to 30 - though other days in July or August may also be possible.

What's in it for the children?

A well-run residential summer camp is unlike anything else in children's lives. It brings fifty or so 9 to 15 year-olds together from all kinds of school, all parts of Britain, and many different backgrounds. Within a week they become a relaxed, happy community of friends, playing and laughing together, exploring a new area and getting to know each other in a setting of green fields, woods and hills. Summer camps help children become more self-confident, more enthusiastic, and above all happier. It offers them time to be children, away from the pressures of the modern world.

What role do the volunteer leaders play?

One of the key elements in the success of a summer camp is the great work done by the young adult leaders. Being more like older brothers or sisters than teachers, they become a central part of the children's community and can offer real care and support, as well as being great role models. The enthusiasm of the leaders transfers itself to children, and leads to a happy, positive and active community of which everyone can feel an important part.

And what's in it for me?

Many volunteer leaders the experience can be life-changing, It offers enormous benefits - increased confidence, organisational and management skills, the ability to work successfully with people and a positive attitude to life in general. Many former volunteer leaders who have moved on to hold responsible jobs in later life, have often paid tribute to all they gained from being given such thorough training and real responsibility at the age of 19 or 20.


Working in summer camps provide a great addition to Personal Statements and CVs. The training week can also count as a residential course for the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

Am I committed to the work?

No, There is a (hardly ever used) get-out clause on both sides. Anyone who felt after the training course that working in summer camps was after all not for them would be free to say so and withdraw from their commitment. Equally those running the course reserve the right to refuse for summer camp work anyone who they feel has shown they would not cope with the responsibility or could even be a danger to children. Neither of these is likely to happen, and almost all trainees are left eager to try it out for real in a summer camp.

Times spent in a summer camp with children are enormously enjoyable. They help people understand the
value of doing things not because they earn you a lot of money but because they are worthwhile, fulfilling and fun.

Please let us know if you are interested in attending the July course by completing the application form below.

Application Form – Volunteer Leader Training