Volunteer FAQs


Applying as a Volunteer for Camp

How do I apply for camp?

Applications for Summer Camp volunteers usually open in February of each year, with places for up to 200 volunteers each summer. We operate an online application process, please click here to access the Summer Camp Volunteer application form. You will be invited to indicate your preferred week of camp, as well as a second choice. Upon receipt of your completed application, a member of our team will be in touch to arrange a brief and informal in-person interview and to answer any questions you may have. Upon acceptance of your application, we will undertake an Enhanced with Barred List DBS check and seek up to 2 references. Once your DBS certificate is received, the DKC management team will require sight of the certificate in-person, in order to approve and complete your application.

I don’t have a DBS, can I still do camp?

All residential volunteers attending DKC Summer Camp require a current Enhanced with Barred List DBS check, obtained through Derby Kids’ Camp. New volunteer applicants will be contacted by the relevant Camp Leader Team to arrange completion of a DBS check which will require an in-person meeting to verify the required proofs of identity. Derby Kids’ Camp requires Enhanced DBS checks to be undertaken by its returning volunteers a minimum of every 3 years. In certain circumstances, proof of existing Enhanced with Barred List DBS checks from external third parties (such as the volunteer’s employer) may be considered as an alternative.

I am only 16/17, can I still apply?

Derby Kids’ Camp welcomes applications from 16/17 year olds, who would be considered as ‘junior volunteers’. Junior volunteers will be considered as a valued member of the team and will be expected to undertake the majority of similar activities and responsibilities as over 18s. However, due to safeguarding requirements, some activities such as night duties and welfare team will be restricted to over 18s only. Due to these restrictions, we are only able to accept a limited number of Junior Volunteer applications per week of Camp. Junior volunteers will be given full training and will be supported by an experienced volunteer ‘buddy’ and the nominated ‘Junior Volunteer Mentor’ for the week.

Why do you need a picture of me in my application?

As part of the volunteer application process, you will be asked to provide a passport-type photograph. This will be required to produce your DKC identity badge, to be worn at all times on duty during your week of camp.

Do I have to volunteer for the full week?

In order to provide full support for the week’s rota, we ask that all volunteers commit to a full week of Camp (normally Saturday to Saturday). In certain circumstances, a partial week may be considered, but a request in advance to your Camp Leader must be made as part of your Volunteer Application.

Preparing for Camp

I have no experience with kids, what training will I receive?

For many of our new volunteers, Summer Camp will be their first experience of working with/supporting young children and this may initially seem daunting. However, all new volunteers will be paired-up with an experienced member of the volunteer team who will not only show you the ropes with regards to tasks and where to find things but, most importantly, how to work with, engage with and support the children to ensure that they – and you! – enjoy a fun and memorable summer break. In addition, you will be expected to attend our volunteers’ training day (held in June before Summer Camp), during which the backgrounds and general needs of the children we support will be explained.
All volunteers receive an information pack that outlines the basic running of camp, key points to remember and key contacts for support.

What do I need to bring on camp?

A week on camp is long and tiring (but lots of fun, of course!) and, therefore, we always advise our volunteers to bring as much and as many creature comforts as you wish, in order to have a comfortable and warm week (it can get surprisingly cold at night!). Most of our volunteers bring their own tent and camping gear, but we may be able to loan tents, beds, sleeping bags, etc if you require (please speak with your Camp Leader team). You will not need any cooking equipment as our amazing team of cooks will feed you regular and plentiful delicious meals 3 times per day! Please do not bring non-essential mains-powered electrical devices as our electrical infrastructure will be unable to support it. Bring lots of warm bedding (don’t be shy – bring a duvet!), lots of warm clothes as well as clothing & footwear for every weather and activity eventuality! For a full recommended packing list, please click on this link.

I don’t have a tent – can I still come?

Though most volunteers choose to bring their own tent for Camp, Derby Kids’ Camp are able to provide helpers’ tents for anyone who does not have their own. Alternatively, some volunteers choose to share with other volunteers, which can be arranged in advance. If you would like to borrow a tent for the week or be introduced to a volunteer to share with, please speak with your Camp Leader team.

Can I charge my phone/smartwatch? Can I plug in my straighteners?

Power sockets for charging low voltage devices such as phones and smart watches are available in the cooks’ marquee. There are a limited number of USB points available to all volunteers for charging these devices. Please label your devices (phones, chargers, power banks, etc) as they will be left in a communal area. Devices are left during charging at the owner’s own risk although the area is usually staffed and is not at any expected risk of loss.

Please do not bring any devices which require direct mains power (essential devices will be considered upon application and will require written permission from the Committee Equipment Officer).
Please don’t make a request to bring hair straighteners! Our electrical system is unable to support high voltage devices and we recommend wearing a hat as an alternative! 😁

During Summer Camp

How much does it cost for me to come on camp?
Do I need spending money?

There is no charge for Derby Kids’ Camp residential volunteers. All costs are covered by the Charity including meals, transport during the holiday, ticket entry during trips, etc. However, there will be opportunities during the week (such as off-site trips and children’s shopping trips, etc) where volunteers may wish to make some personal purchases. Therefore, we recommend bringing your debit card and a small amount of cash, just in case.

Can I get money to cover my travel expenses?

Reimbursements for travel expenses to and from Camp or while undertaking certain essential duties on behalf of the Charity will be considered upon application. Please contact a member of your Camp Leader team to make a claim for expenses, ensuring any fuel receipts, transport tickets and proof of mileage are included. We encourage car sharing with other volunteers to and from Camp wherever possible. Please speak with your Camp Leader team if you require assistance with transport.

I have to take medication every day; is that ok?

If you are required to take medication during your week of Camp, we would ask you to register your medical needs with the Week’s nominated Medical Officer. We recommend that, where possible, volunteer medication is stored by yourself in a secure location such as your vehicle on Camp, or in a lockable cabinet to be arranged with the Camp Leader team. Should your medication require refrigerated storage, please discuss this with the Cook team on Camp. If you need to go off duty during the day to administer your medication, please advise your Camp Leader.

Do I need to bring food? Does camp cater for dietary requirements?

All meals will be provided throughout your week on Camp. Each day, our cook team provide cooked breakfast, picnic lunch and a full cooked meal each evening. Vegetarian options will be available as standard, but should you have any additional dietary requirements, please highlight these in your Volunteer Application and mention them to your Week of Camp’s cook team in advance, who will provide a suitable alternative to meet your needs. Feel free to bring your personal, preferred snacks! It is a long and tiring week! So if you have any preferred snacks/sweets to keep you going, please feel free to bring them to be kept (and consumed) in your tent / away from the children.

Is there wifi on camp?

There is no available Wifi on Camp and only limited data signal. Some network providers have a better signal on camp than others and you may need to experiment for ‘hot spots’ throughout the field. Please note that we ask all our volunteers to refrain from using their mobile phones/devices when supporting the children or while the children are present.

Do I have to do night shifts? Do I have to stay up all night?

Night shifts are an essential part of our residential volunteers’ roles & responsibilities, in order to ensure the safety and welfare of the children 24/7. Each night requires 2 shifts (eg. 9pm-1am, 1am ’til 7am) each with a team of 2 volunteers, to patrol the field, check on the children and deal with any immediate welfare issues, etc. Each volunteer is usually expected to be scheduled for just 1 nightshift in the week. However, if you feel there are reasons why you may be unable to undertake a night shift, please advise your Camp Leader team. Please be assured this will not affect your application as a volunteer.

Do I get a day off/breaks?

A residential volunteer week of Camp runs from a Saturday lunchtime to Saturday lunchtime, with all team members on duty from Saturday-to-Saturday inclusive. Though volunteers do not have a day off during the week, there will be regular opportunities for breaks and should you need to take a rest, please discuss with your Camp Leader who will arrange for cover of your duties while you take a break.

How far are the walks? Do I have to join-in with all of them?

There are a number of countryside walks with the children throughout the week, with varying distances and degrees of difficulty (though all walks are designed to be accessible to children aged 7+ years). Walks range from 1 mile activities to a 7 mile walk which takes most of the day to complete, with plenty of rests and activities along the way. Walks may include some steep hills and rough/slippery surfaces.
Should you have any concerns about your ability to complete any or all of the walks, please discuss with your Camp Leader team. Suitability or otherwise to complete the walks will not affect your application as a volunteer on Camp.

What activities do you do on camp? Do I have to take part in all of them?

There are a wide variety of activities throughout the week on Camp, in order to provide the children (and volunteers!) with a fun, safe and comfortable holiday. We expect all our volunteers to get involved in the vast majority of activities (play, craft, sports, walks, campfires, paddling, day trips, etc!); however, there are some activities which will be undertaken only by nominated team members (such as welfare, equipment, cooking, etc). In addition, if there are general activities you are unable or feel uncomfortable to take part in (such as swimming, long walks, etc), please speak with your Camp Leader team who will be happy to work around your needs.
We do take people’s preferences, experience and skills into consideration when allocating volunteers to activities and roles, so if you have a particular interest in one area please let your Camp Leader know.

Can people visit me on camp?

We love to welcome visitors to Camp to promote the hard work of the Charity and to allow our volunteers to show close family/friends why we do what we do! Please note, however, that for safeguarding and welfare purposes we do have to strictly limit the numbers of visitors and when they visit us on site. Please speak to your Camp Leader team for details of preferred visit days and times and to advise of any visitors who would like to attend.

I’d love to do more with Derby Kids’ Camp, what other opportunities are there for me?

As well as residential volunteering during the summer, there is also a variety of other volunteer opportunities to get involved with throughout the year with Derby Kids’ Camp. From supporting additional weekend holidays, to fundraising, equipment support and committee membership, the Charity continues to operate in the background throughout the year and your support would be much appreciated! Click on this link to find out more.