As youth workers we know that one of the most powerful, memorable and sometimes life-changing ways to work with young people is to send them or take them away overnight – on a camp, to a residential centre, to a festival, on a mission team or a pilgrimage….
But the choices of what’s out there can be overwhelming. What’s best for YOUR group?
Or maybe you go to the same camp or event every year and aren’t aware that there might be something else more suitable out there?
We’ve tried to find as many residentials as we can, group them into “types” and give a brief description so you have an idea of if it might be good for your group. We’ve also added links so that you can go directly to their websites to find out more and book in. Where we know dates for this year, we have added them.
We’ve also added in Youth Leader training conferences and gatherings, and Young Leader residentials.
If we have missed any that you can recommend, please get in touch and let us know.
Pilgrimages and joining Communities
Usually popular with those in the catholic traditions, but not exclusively by any means; going on a pilgrimage or joining an established Community can be a profound spiritual experience for young people.
Taize The huge gathering of young people from all over Europe in France, led by the Brothers of the Taize Community.
Iona On the beautiful remote island off the Western coast of Scotland, there is a Christian Community who host groups of young people (and adults).
For the very brave, there is the ambitious Santiago walking pilgrimage in Spain.
Camps & Houseparties
Mostly but not exclusively run by evangelical and ecumenical Mission agencies, there are many holiday options to choose from for your young people.
Youth for Christ organise residential options for young people .
Ventures & Falcons run by CPAS, 90 camps over Easter and Summer, across the UK. Fun Christian camps, Falcon Camps are especially designed for young people facing disadvantage in their lives.
Urban Saints similarly offer a wide range of Christian Holidays for young people across the UK
If you’d like to take your own young people away for a weekend but need some help resourcing and running the weekend, why not ask Pulse Ministries to help.
Young Leaders’ Opportunities
Young people who show signs of leadership can often grow and develop in their ministries and gifts by putting their skills to the test and joining a team.
Scripture Union have many ways that young people can volunteer and be part of teams
All the major festivals/conferences have opportunities to volunteer in their teams eg Spring Harvest, Greenbelt, Soul Survivor, New Wine etc
We have our own weekend away for Young Leaders in the Diocese: Inspire
There is a spectrum of Christian festivals for young people of different ages and personalities….
Spree – Urban Saints’ fun camping festivals, full of activites, teaching and discipleship for 8-15 year olds
There are festivals across the country but the local Spree to us is in our Diocese at the Rock UK, Frontier Centre in Irthlingborough.
Soul Survivor – the hugely popular charismatic worship event is in its final year, so book early!
New Wine is for all the family but there are opportunities for Young people to work on teams and there is a full programme for children and young people.
Greenbelt Arts, Faith and Justice Festival, that defies pigeon-holing, recently moved home into our Diocese to the beautiful Boughton House near Kettering. It is always held over the late August Bank Holiday. As the host Diocese we run the Youth Cafe at the event – so come and join the team or find us on site.
Creation Fest in Cornwall is a FREE(!) music, skating and Bible teaching festival, for all the family but great for those who love skateboarding.
Big Church Day Out is a large low key evangelistic event, where big numbers gather for music, fellowship and worship in West Sussex.
Spring Harvest is a teaching and worship event that is held over Easter at various Butlins sites around the UK. There is a full youth and children’s programme and opportunities to volunteer for young people.
Youth Worker Conferences
As well as resourcing and inspiring your Young people, it can be vital for our youth workers to be re-charged, trained and encouraged.
Youthscape’s Youth Ministry Weekend is at the cutting edge of current thinking and the biggest gathering of Christian youth workers in the UK.
The Soul Survivor Youth Leader training wing is Soulnet Retreat
Places where you can take your group, in the local area or within reach.Some are outward bounds type centres, with activities as part of the rental agreement, or as optional extras, some are just places to stay. Click on the links to find out more.
There are two search websites plus YHA general search
Using Youth Hostels as a base for a group: YHA
St Marks College, Audley End (Saffron Walden)
Chellington Centre, nr Bedford
Greenhedges – Sheringham
Abbey Woods House, Norfolk sleeps 10 (with indoor pool)
Buckden Towers, Huntingdon
Letton Hall, Thetford
Asheldham, Essex (Chelmsford Diocese)
Mandate House, Clopton, nr Thrapston, Northants
Woolhope Centre, Oxfordshire
Harby Centre, Melton Mowbray,
Caldecotte Xperience, Milton Keynes, with activites
Sir John Lowther Scout Centre, Kettering, with activity options
Grendon Hall, Northampton (incl Yurts) Longtown Outdoor Centre, Hereford & Everdon Field Centre (incl bunkhouse)
Aldwincle Champing (camping in a church!)
Some camps or organisations represented above offer ways that they can help with costs of sending young people away, see individual websites.
The Diocese also has the 450 Fund to help send young people on camps and Christian holidays, contact Pete White for more details