Advice and Guidance


Woodcraft Folk sometimes sees groups start up, thrive for a few years, and then decline. This can make it feel like a group has a ‘natural lifespan’. However, in reality a group just needs regular maintenance to ensure that it continues to work effectively. As older children leave at the top end of your group’s age range, or progress to the next age group, you need to recruit younger children to maintain the size of the group.
If Woodcraft Folk is well known in your area, you may find word-of-mouth means that you get a steady trickle of new members.

Sources of Support

As your group grows and develops, you will discover new challenges. With experience, volunteers will grow in confidence, and teams will find ways of working together that suit them – but this is a job that is never finished! In a movement as large and diverse as Woodcraft Folk there are many opportunities for volunteers to access support and training as and when they need it.
Woodcraft Folk’s most valuable asset is the thousands of volunteers who work in our groups across the UK.

Annual Tasks

There are a small number of issues that need to be addressed by groups and districts less frequently. Most importantly, groups need to complete the annual registration process to ensure that the details held by Folk Office for each group are up to date, and that the groups are covered by Woodcraft Folk’s insurance.
Group registration
All groups are required to register with Woodcraft Folk’s central office on an annual basis.

Training Opportunities

A willingness to take part in learning and development activities is one of the essential requirements for all leaders outlined in Woodcraft Folk’s Leader Standards. Woodcraft Folk provides a variety of different opportunities for leaders to participate in training to help them develop skills and knowledge that will help them in their role.

Weekly Tasks

There are lots of things that a successful group will need to ensure are completed or monitored on a regular basis. Depending how your group works it may be that these are always done by the same person or by different people on a rota basis.

Managing volunteer teams

Managing the input of volunteers into the running of the group can be a demanding task. It is important that you think about whose role it is in your group to make sure that people are working together effectively and that people have the support they need to do what they have agreed to deliver.

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


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.
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