Leader Handbook

Child Development

To meet young people’s needs you will need to get to know them as individuals. However, there are also some theories and practical techniques that it is helpful for volunteers to understand to help understand how to support young people as they grow and develop.
Woodcraft Folk works with children and young people from birth through to adulthood. During their time as part of our organisation, young people grow and develop, physically, intellectually, emotionally and morally.

Features of Woodcraft Folk’s Age Groups

Much of the advice contained in these documents is intended to support Woodcraft Folk leaders regardless of the age group that they have chosen to work with. There are many features of Woodcraft Folk’s philosophy, principles and practice that apply to working with young members at any age (although obviously how these are addressed and prioritised may vary from group to group according to the needs of young members).

Termly Tasks

It is good practice to make sure that everyone involved with the running of the group comes together regularly to review how things are going, resolve any issues or queries that have come up, and plan for the period ahead. Coming together for a meeting at the start or end of every term is a good way to make sure that this happens.
Programme Planning

District Organisation

If your group is part of a larger District, there will be a small group of volunteers who work to manage the District’s activities, providing a link between local groups and the wider Woodcraft Folk. The District will hold regular meetings that are open to all Woodcraft Folk members in the area, but most day-to-day decisions will be taken by a District Committee, which includes a representative from each group, along with elected officers such as the Chair and Treasurer.


From time to time, even the most effectively run group will need some input to ensure that it continues to thrive.

Next Steps

These support materials have focused mainly on running group night activities, and on supporting the smooth administration of a Woodcraft Folk group. However, camping trips and international exchanges provide immense scope for young people to put what they have learned into practice.

Staying Safe

Membership of Woodcraft Folk is open to everyone who supports the organisation’s aims, from birth to adult. However, we are principally an organisation for children and young people, and every leader has a responsibility to put the needs of our young members first.
Volunteers have a legal responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of the young people they come into contact with.

Being part of the Folk

Woodcraft Folk is a UK-wide movement, and while there is a lot of flexibility about how groups work to deliver our Aims & Principles, our volunteers and young members are supported by a structure and by ways of doing things that are common to the whole of Woodcraft Folk.


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