Leader Handbook

Volunteer Recruitment

Woodcraft Folk is an organisation that thrives on the efforts of its volunteers. As a group leader you will almost certainly need to put some effort into recruiting and inducting new volunteers if your group is to be successful and sustainable. In particular, volunteers may leave your group or choose to support an older age group as their own children get older.


Woodcraft Folk is committed to being open and accessible to all children and young people. Our Aims & Principles make it clear that we have a responsibility to promote inclusion, but also make it a focus of our educational work with young members so that they can be part of building a more inclusive society: 
As an educational movement, we believe that equal opportunities should extend to all aspects of activity and participation in the Woodcraft Folk.

Managing Behaviour

The behaviour of young members and of volunteers is an important factor in providing a positive experience in your Woodcraft Folk group.


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.

Leadership Approaches

How your group functions will depend on the personalities leadership styles of individual volunteers, and on how you agree to work together to make the group function. It is a very good idea to spend time as a group thinking about these factors and develop a shared understanding and agreement about how responsibilities are divided up.
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