Advice and Guidance

Becoming a Young Trainer - by Alice

Alice is a Young Trainer in Woodcraft Folk. Here's how it happened:

My Woodcraft background

I've grown up with woodcraft as a strong part of my life. In the past I've attended regional camps, international camps, protests against pretty much everything, played fiddle at Hamsterly's 10th birthday (such a long time ago now!), hostel weekends and bivvis. During uni I drifted away from woodcraft temporarily. But after volunteering in India for 10 weeks, I realised that global issues, helping others and all the Woodcraft morals are still really close to my heart. So I'm now an Elfin and Pioneer leader, running local group nights and providing experiences that I had growing up as a child with Woodcraft.

Justine’s story: starting a new Woodcraft group in the Midlands

Justine, Lucy and Jessica started Bournville Elfins after Jessica completed Forest Schools training and wanted to do something complementary. Justine says:

“Although we had never heard of Woodcraft Folk, we jumped at the chance! We all came from different areas and so sat down with a map and looked at where we could all get to by 5.45pm on a Wednesday and Bournville came out tops!

What other groups are around?

To locate your nearest Woodcraft Folk groups, visit the online map.

How to manage behaviour at group nights

Check out the managing behaviour web area for advice, guidance, webinars and session plans

Back to FAQs for new groups.

How groups fit into the wider movement

Every Woodcraft Folk group is a recognised branch of the UK charity. Most groups belong to a District, which operate across a geographical area (possibly county, borough or city-wide) supporting a network of groups. Visit the online map to see where Woodcraft groups are.

Do I need to do any training before I start?

At present, none of our training courses are compulsory, however experience shows you will have more confidence and will get more out of your volunteering experience if you do attend the training we offer. 

Woodcraft Folk groups are designed to be co-operative, and this includes benefiting from the skills and experience of the whole group – every volunteer is not expected to be an expert in everything, collectively it is important that you have the necessary skills across your group.

Please see the training page for all the options available. You will see that there is a lot of flexibility in what is on offer: online modules and webinars complement the face-to-face training calendars. 

Do I need to be trained in First Aid?

No, it is not a requirement that all members are trained in First Aid, but you should have someone responsible for administering first aid at each regular group night. When budgetting for your group or district, we recommend planning to invest in first aid training for some of your leaders, especially if you are planning a camp. 

When writing your risk assesment for each activity you run, consider the potential risks and provide appropriate cover for those circumstances. For example, if you are meeting in a city, where ambluance response times are 5 minutes and under, there will be less demand for extensive first aid knowledge than if you were going on a trek in a rural upland area. 

Health and Safety for new groups

Health & Safety should not be an officious burden, but common sense. You should have sensible rules and practices in place for dealing with things such as hazardous substances, knives and gas. Food hygiene is also crucial and anyone responsible for providing food at Woodcraft events should have at least a basic understanding of things such a cross-contamination, safe storage of food, hand washing etc. This should be detailed on your risk assessments.

Risk assessment for new groups

Groups should carry out a written risk assessment of both group nights and camps. For more information please see the Woodcraft Groups Health & Safety Policy, which includes a template for risk assessments.

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