The TREE Programme

TREE stands for Training, Representation, Equality and Engagement.These are all things Woodcraft Folk aims to give young members. The more fully young people can participate in the organisation, the stronger our future will be.

The TREE Programme was funded by the Big Lottery over a period of five years (2009 – 2014) with the task of developing youth participation at all levels of Woodcraft Folk throughout England. We focused on making sure young people's experience of Woodcraft Folk - from playing games at a weekly group night to sitting on our national trustee board - was as good as possible, and that they could act on the issues that are important to them within the movement and outside of it.  

Woodcraft Folk has always brought children, young people and adults together to learn about and act on social issues, since we were established in 1925 by 19 year-old Leslie Paul. At local and national level, we try to create an atmosphere of equality and co-operation where people of any age can get involved in making decisions, running activities and influencing the movement.

A lot has been going on!. TREE has been a huge agent for change in Woodcraft Folk, introducing new resources, activities and ways of working to transform an already good level of youth participation into a super-strong culture of youth participation that extends beyond the organisation into the youth sector and UK society. 

Since the programme started in April 2009, TREE has developed new ways for young people to get involved in the organisation, and helped them join existing activities and committees to get their voices heard. 

Below are links to TREE projects, groups and resources. These represent a summary of what young people have achieved with TREE’s support and even though TREE projects have come to an end, all activities and resources are relevant and useful for anyone interested in working to involve young people, whether they are Woodcraft Folk volunteers, youth workers in other organisations or children and young people themselves.


The TREE Steering Group

This was the mixture of adults and young people who guided the TREE programme, making key decisions about how to spend our funding, how to prioritise our work and most importantly how to reach as many Woodcraft Folk members - and potential members - as possible. Click here to find out more.


The TREE Communications Group

The TREE Communications Group was made up of young people from Woodcraft groups across the country. They created the communications that young people asked the TREE programme to deliver, such as publicity materials; they contributed to publications including newsletters and the website, and they ran our national campaign Right to Refuge, in support of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. Click here to find out more about what the Comms group did.



Follow the Trail

What does Woodcraft Folk mean to you? As a Pioneer at group night? As a DF at district camp? As a group leader trying to get young people more involved in running the group?

Follow the Trail was a programme that helped us all answer questions like this, so that the Woodcraft Folk experience got better all the time – whatever your age or role. Although the TREE programme has come to an end, there are lots of Follow the Trail activities to run at your Woodcraft group night, devised with contributions from young people. They'll help you recognise what your group is already doing really well and what you'd like to do more of. 

Hands In!

Hands In! were UK-wide activities set by the TREE Steering Group for the spring term (January to March), when groups across our movement have been doing activities to link us together as one. In the past  we've created beautiful quilts and had fun geo-caching. Have a look here to find out more. 

Action Projects

Woodcraft Folk Action Projects was a scheme supported by the TREE programme to help groups of young Woodcraft Folk run projects. Groups and districts were able to apply for up to £500 each to run their own ‘action projects’ on an issue chosen by young people. As long as the project was created and led by young people, and had a positive impact on the community, it was eligible for support. The decision on which projects to fund was made by a panel of young Woodcraft Folk. Although funding is no longer available, Woodcraft Folk encourages youth-led projects as they are a great idea for groups to do and funding could come from your local co-op or DF groups could apply to national DFs. Click through to the Action Projects page for the latest news.


A Right to Refuge

Young people across Woodcraft Folk have chosen to campaign in support of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. They've put together activities and publicity materials to help groups learn about the issues and take action. Even though the project has finished, the aim to support asylum seekers is still present in Woodcraft Folk. Join the Facebook group for more information about this campaign.



The Mentoring Programme was developed to help support young people to take up new roles of responsibility within Woodcraft Folk. Young People might need support in anything from getting involved as volunteers at group nights, promoting or budgeting for an event or help running a campaign. The programme recruited volunteer mentors and matched them with a young person or a group of young people needing their support. Click through for more information on mentoring.

New roles for young people

TREE aimed to support young people who already had specific responsibilities in Woodcraft, for example organising a camp or representing their group at Annual Gathering. We also created some new roles which young people have suggested to us, for example trainers, mentors and reporters. Click through to the latest opportunities for young people in Woodcraft Folk

Support for group leaders

TREE offered lots of support available for anyone working with young people in Woodcraft FolkTREE also helped Woodcraft Folk to recruit and support new volunteers, including setting up new groups where needed. 

There are activity plans in the Resources section, on topics like campaigning and setting up a project. We can also come and visit your group to run a session, just give us a call on 020 7703 4173 or email to talk about the options. If you're looking for training around young people's involvement - for adults or for young people - we can help you arrange some. 

Young Trainers

The Young Trainers Programme was specifically aimed at supporting and developing young people under the age of 25 to become trainers within Woodcraft Folk. They are now able to use these skills not only within Woodcraft, delivering training to support local groups, but also use them to gain future employment as the training was accredited through the ASDAN Activity Award. If you’d like to have a Young Trainer facilitate sessions in your group, please contact

Have a look here for further information.

TREE Year 1 Report.pdf1.65 MB
TREE Year 2 Evaluation.pdf779.05 KB
TREE Year 3 Evaluation.pdf616.89 KB
TREE Year 4 Evaluation.pdf506.94 KB