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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

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Nights Away Weekender

The Nights Away Weekender is a two-night skills fest to get you ready to deliver great overnight experiences. 17 - 19 May 2024 at Gilwell Park.

Join our Nights Away Weekender

Calling all nights away assessors, permit holders and anyone wanting to be one. Gather round the campfire and join Scout Adventures for The Nights Away Weekender: a two-night skills fest just for you. 

This weekend of adventure will be packed full of workshops and practical skills for great residentials. Think programme planning, fires, outdoor cooking, equipment care and camp gadgets. This is a hands-on weekend. Prepare for mud! 

Our tailored sessions mean it doesn’t matter whether you’re an old-hand or just starting out. We’ll pitch our sessions to your level. 

It’ll also be a great opportunity to meet other volunteers, so you’ll be in good company. 

You’ll join us at our nights away marketplace. Not only will we have all the gear on show, you’ll be able to swap ideas and advice too. You’ll leave confident to deliver great overnight experiences for young people. 

Book Nights Away Weekender >


More information

  • Standard ticket: £40, includes camping and all workshops.
  • Fully catered: £90, in addition to the standard ticket plus all meals provided.
  • Individual meal booking: £40, on top of standard ticket you will be able to pre-book and pay for individual meals.

Gilwell Park will open from 13:00 on Friday for arrivals. There'll be a one-way system in operation with areas marked for parking. 

All vehicles will be parked on-site, and our Traffic Management team will be there to help you. Please follow signage and their directions, and most importantly, do be patient with us. 

If you have accessibility needs, please let our Traffic Management team know on arrival and they'll work with you to find a suitable parking space. 

We recommend arriving by 20:00 to give you time to check in and make your way to the set up your camp.

Check-in will be located at Scout Adventures reception, open from 13:00 on Friday. 

You must check in as soon as you arrive and before starting to pitch your camp.

Nights Away Weekender is a camping event. All pitches are allocated first-come first-served. 

Please keep your camp size to a minimum to help us fit everyone in. Please don’t erect fences or save space for others arriving later. 

Please keep paths, marked emergency access and any other zones closed off or signposted clear. Leave a distance of 1 m clear between tents, and 3 m around buildings and toilet blocks for emergencies and servicing. 

Attendee vehicles will not be allowed onto campsites at any times and all gates will be closed.

To ensure everyone has an enjoyable stay, please remember the following: 

  • Everyone’s welcome at Scouts – be respectful of other people around you.
  • Don’t walk through other people’s pitches and respect their privacy.
  • Washing up should be done in outdoor sinks or at your campsite, not inside toilet blocks.
  • Please report any damage or other issues at reception so we can make it safe or fix it.
  • Please respect the centre by using the bins and leaving facilities as you found them.
  • Generators should be positioned to reduce fumes and noise affecting others.
  • Quiet hours on camping fields are from 22:30 until 07:30. Please turn off generators and avoid disturbing others.

We strongly advise you to review your fire risk assessment and bring suitable firefighting equipment with you (eg a fire blanket and extinguisher) as appropriate. Here are some tips to reduce the risk: 

  • Open fires and BBQs are not permitted due to the nature of the event, and in case of, dry weather.
  • Camping stoves with cartridges must not be changed inside tents or near naked flames.
  • All gas bottles should be kept outside of tents and away from naked flames.
  • Any cooking equipment should be placed away from any canvas or other flammable materials.
  • Gas pipes and regulators should be checked regularly.
  • All areas should be kept tidy and free of combustible materials.
  • Fuel must be stored safely and in containers no larger than 5 litres. Fuel containers should be stored in a ventilated metal box capable of holding the contents in the event of a leak or spillage.
  • A fire extinguisher should be located next to every generator. 

There are a few simple things that you can do to help keep you and others safe during the event: 

  • If you see anything you think might be a hazard, please report it to a member of staff or at Scout Adventures reception. Be conscious of your own wellbeing and safety, and look out for others.
  • Complete a risk assessment for your own camping area and equipment, especially cooking equipment. 
  • Be prepared! If you're walking around after dark, take a torch. 

We’re aiming to open our event with flag break on the Saturday morning 9am and workshops will commence throughout the rest of the day.

We will finish the day with a campfire hosted by our team, but we would love for you to share your favourite songs with us.

Sunday will continue with more workshops and drop-in sessions and flag down just after lunch.

We are still working on our workshops and hope to have more details to you shortly, but here is a sneak preview of the ones we are working on:

  • Cooking on fires  
  • Catering on a larger scale 
  • Catering dietary requirements 
  • Greenfield camping 
  • How to level up from indoor to camping 
  • How to gain a permit  
  • Admin for planning a night away  
  • How to handle the paperwork  
  • Health, safety and welfare on a night away 
  • Stoves and cooking equipment 
  • Axe, saw and knife use
  • Tents - types and uses 
  • Camping equipment  
  • Free time management 
  • Fire lighting, fire lays and construction 
  • How to make your camp inclusive 
  • Updates from HQ on Nights Away 
  • Drop in sessions with HQ team 
  • Early years and nights away 
  • International camping

We are currently working on getting these all booked in and ready, we plan to have them opened for booking soon and we will update you soon.

You will then need to book onto each workshops to ensure you have a space.  

Pre-booked catering will be provided by our Scout Adventures team in our newly-refurbished Adventure Kitchen, located in the CIC building and start on Saturday morning for breakfast through to Sunday lunch.  

Individual pre-booked meals will be released soon and we will update you if you have selected this option.  

The menu and meal times will be available soon.  

Just so you know - it is subject to change due to availability of ingredients and so on. Although we'll have plenty of food for everyone, all of our food is prepared fresh and some options may run out if they're popular.  

You'll need to bring your ticket barcode with you (on a phone or printed is fine) to be able to access each meal.  

Our caterers are only able to cater for allergies and the dietary requirements you selected when booking your meals. We are not able to provide for preferences or tastes.   

Scout Adventures reception will be open throughout the weekend for anything you need. 

A charging point for mobility scooters and medical equipment will be available, as well as a fridge for any medication that needs to be kept cool.

The centre is 108 acres of open land with a public footpath and various access points. Please remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to a member of staff.

Keep valuables at home if you can, and keep anything you do bring in-sight or on your person.

Our on-site shop, The Providore, will be selling small souvenirs, gifts, sweets, cold drinks etc.

You'll need to bring your meals with you if you haven't pre-booked catering.

We are hoping to have some of our partners with us to showcase and sell some of their products, stay tuned to find out who this will be.

No pets, other than assistance animals, are permitted in the centre.

Smoking is not permitted in front of young people, and only in designated smoking areas. No alcohol is permitted at the event we will be adhering to the Green Card.

Bins are located across all areas of the centre. Please help us to recycle by putting dry, clean mixed recyclables into the large green bins; and any other waste in the black bins or litter bins.

Toilets will be cleaned regularly by our team, and hand soap and toilet roll will be provided. Accessible toilets are available.

There are no fridges or freezers available to store food and drink.

Please be considerate of others' wishes when taking photos. No drones may be flown over Gilwell Park without express written permission from the event management team.

Most networks give good signal at Gilwell Park, and Wi-Fi is available across much of the centre.

Gilwell Park will be hosting other groups, so please help us give a good impression of Scouts by leaving your pitch and other areas of the centre you use as you found them.

The majority of our event staff are volunteers who have given up their time to make your visit to Gilwell Park safe and enjoyable. Please keep the Scouts values in mind when interacting with others. We have a zero-tolerance approach to any type of abuse – you will be removed from the centre and details shared with your Lead Volunteer and/or the police. 

We expect the majority of attendees to depart from 14:00 after the programme ends. We kindly ask you to depart Gilwell Park by 16:00.

Again, there'll be a one-way system in place with vehicles exiting via the Main Drive.

If you need a hand

Scout Adventures reception will be open throughout the weekend, clearly sign-posted and marked on the map. You’ll find staff wearing Scout Adventures uniform or an event staff necker. 

For emergencies or urgent out-of-hours help, contact the Duty Manager on 0788 576 5074. 

First Aid

First Aid will be available throughout the weekend.  

Defibrillators are located in the staff car park and at Wilson Way car park. The code to access these is available from the Duty Manager or the ambulance service.

In the event of an emergency 

Immediately inform a member of staff. They will take appropriate action and call for help. 

Follow all directions issued by staff. 

All calls for emergency services should be made by the Duty Manager (0788 576 5074), except where a delay would be life-threatening. 

Discovery of a fire 

Activate the fire alarm or use a fire bell if present and warn people in the area. 

Try to control small fires using fire buckets or an appropriate extinguisher until help arrives. Don’t put yourself at risk – if in doubt, leave it alone. 

Evacuate the area immediately. 

In the event of a terror attack

In the event of a terrorist attack, follow the government run, hide, tell advice.

RUN to a place of safety. This is a far better option than to surrender or negotiate. If there’s nowhere to go, then...

HIDE It’s better to hide than to confront. Remember to turn your phone to silent and turn off vibrate. Barricade yourself in if you can. Then finally and only when it is safe to do so...

TELL the police by calling 999. 

Centre evacuation 

In the event of a full evacuation of the centre, staff will marshal you to the chosen Assembly Point using the safest route. Follow their instructions and do not leave the centre until instructed.

  • Do I need a nights away permit to attend?  
    • No
  • Do I need experience in camping?  
    • No
  • Can under 18’s attend?  
    • No, this is for over 18 members only.
  • Can I bring my child?  
    • No
  • Will there be a bar?  
    • No, we will be adhering to the green card rules as the site will have young people on it.
Book Nights Away Weekender

Bookings are now open for Nights Away Weekender at Gilwell Park.

Sign up for Nights Away Weekender >