FAQs

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about Wintercamp. We hope you find them useful. If you have any unanswered questions please email us.

Can I join the event team as part of my Duke of Edinburgh or Queen’s Scout Award?

If you are looking for a fun and rewarding residential project to take part in as part of your DofE or Queen’s Scout Award, join the Scout Adventures team in the week leading up to Wintercamp and help us to create an amazing event experience for participants. Sign up here. For questions, email us on info@scoutadventures.org.uk.

Can you tell me whether food is provided?

Food is not provided as part of the fee. You can either camp and cater for yourselves or you can take advantage of the catered service. Details of the menu are on the booking form.

Can we bring campervans or caravans?

Unfortunately we aren’t able to accommodate campervans, caravans or similar vehicles.

Can leaders take part in activities?

Activities are intended specifically for the Scout and Explorer age ranges. In order to give the maximum opportunity to the young people, helpers and leaders are not permitted to take part in the activities during the day. This year we will try to put on a special early evening session for leaders lasting one hour.

What section is the event open to?

The event is open to the Scout and Explorer sections and is also open to Guides and Rangers. Please note the event is only open to those under the age of 18, and therefore not open to older Rangers or Network Units.

There were some long queues last year, will this year be the same?

This year we have significantly increased activity capacity in a number of areas to try and ensure queues are limited.

What should I do if I feel something is unsafe?

Please contact a member of the event staff at your earliest convenience and we will ensure that the matter is addressed.

Can we set up our camp before the weekend?

You may set up camp on the Thursday before the event, but if you are staying overnight you will need to pay additional camp fees or pay per tent. The site will not open on the Friday for incoming visitors until 2pm so we can be fully prepared for visitors.

What happens if I do not book by the closing date?

In order to guarantee a place you should get your bookings in by mid November 2015. It may be possible to book after this date but for large bookings we strongly recommend that you book as early as possible – last year the event completely sold out. Also you may not book meals or order T-shirts after this date. As there are limited quantities of pre-booked meals, we advise that you book as early as possible.

Can we stay at Gilwell or Hawkhirst and camp the week before?

We do not normally allow groups to arrive before the Thursday as this enables us to get the site ready.

Do you need help with the event?

Yes, we’d be very grateful for help at the event, particularly in the week before, when we can ensure that you’ll experience some of the fun of the event. If you are able to help for the whole weekend and/or the week before we will feed and accommodate you where possible. Should you wish to offer your services please email the Wintercamp volunteering team

Can I bring more on the day?

You may bring up to three additional participants per booking reference.

Is there an event badge?

No there is no event badge for this event, although we do sell a Wintercamp badge within the Providore at the event.

How do the activities work?

All participants can try any activity, an allocation system is not used.

Do we have to pay extra for any activities?

All activities are included in the price for participants

What refreshments will be available?

Drinks and sweets are on sale for the participants. A snack bar will also operate for the duration of the event. Those with pre-booked meals will be also be able to eat in the event restaurant.

What about special needs groups, are all activities open to them?

Please approach the instructor on the activity, who will then assess the suitability of the activity and provide additional support if required.

Will there be alternative activities in the event of wet weather?

Where it is safe to do so, all activities will continue in wet weather. Some activities will be inside, however, all participants should bring a coat.

Do I need to stay with my group during the day?

Some leaders choose to stay with their groups, whilst others allow their young people to do what they want to do. All we ask is that you are available should you be needed. It is your decision whether you stay with your group or not. A leaders’ programme will operate during the weekend.

Will we be allocated a campsite on arrival?

We will be operating an allocation system for campsites as this has been a common request in feedback.

Will it be muddy?

Gilwell and Hawkhirst can be muddy if it rains, and therefore all campers should ensure they have enough changes of clothes and shoes to allow for bad weather. The ground conditions at Wintercamp can vary due to changes in the weather, all participants and leaders are advised to take extra care when moving around the site.

Is there an event t-shirt?

Yes there is an event T-shirt, you may order this providing you place your booking before mid November.

Will there be first aid facilities on-site?

Yes, we will have the services of an external first aid provision throughout the weekend.

Is there a meeting place for groups arriving separately?

Yes. At Gilwell if your group is arriving separately, the best place to meet is outside reception. During the event at Gilwell the Clock Tower in the main camp square is the best meeting point. At Hawkhirst, outside reception is the best meeting point.

Are we allowed to bring caravan or camper vans?

Because of limited space and planning restrictions, we discourage the use of camper vans/caravans. However you may bring a camper van/caravan by prior arrangement, though numbers are limited and space is allocated on a first-come first-served basis. You should bear in mind that only specific areas are used for caravans and these may not be near where your group wants to camp. Please contact the campsite office to organise this on 020 8498 5411.

Do you have indoor accommodation available?

We do not normally have indoor accommodation available for groups to book as it is used for our staff during the event.

Can I bring Cub-aged young people?

You may only bring those younger than the Scout age range where an organised ‘link’ activity is taking place for older Cubs. Should you need to bring other children along please contact us to discuss this at  info.request@wintercamp.org.uk

What’s the situation regarding Nights Away permits?

Gilwell Park and Hawkhirst are campsites, and require you to have a campsite nights away permit. If you do not yet have a Nights Away permit, then you should either try and pair up with another group that has one, or find an additional leader from another section that does. Please note there is no blanket Nights Away coverage for this event. In exceptional circumstances where a Nights Away permit is an issue, please contact us at info.request@wintercamp.org.uk

Can we put up a marquee?

If you feel you need to bring a marquee, please contact us at info.request@wintercamp.org.uk to make arrangements

Can we come as a day visit?

Why limit yourself to just a day? Wintercamp has too much to do in a day and so we do not offer a day visit option.

Can we bring Leaders’ children with us?

Where there is no other option and the child is a member of The Scout Association through another section (or where the Scout Group has taken out additional insurance) then Leaders’ children may attend. However they may not take part in activities and should pay the Leader/Helper price. Groups should also bear in mind that the event takes place in generally harsh weather conditions.

What does ‘on-site contact number’ mean on the nominal roll form?

The on-site contact number on the nominal roll form should only be filled in for Leaders/Helpers, and would normally be a mobile telephone number. It will only be used in a situation where a young person needs to contact their leader urgently.

What happens if the event becomes full before the closing date?

Wintercamp is very popular, so unfortunately if the event fills up to capacity before the closing date we will close bookings. This will be done for health and safety reasons and to preserve the experience of all participants.

Can I buy extra t-shirts on top of what I have ordered?

There will be a small number of T-shirts available to purchase on the weekend, and we may also take additional orders up to the cut-off date. Please contact us on 0208 498 5411 if you need to amend your booking.

Can we add meal orders?

Unfortunately we cannot take meal orders after our cut-off date. Please contact us on 020 8498 5411 if you need to change your booking.

Why do you not operate an activity allocation system?

We have found that participants choose to pick and choose the activities they want to do, rather than be funnelled towards a particular set. For the more popular activities we control numbers by using ID cards, therefore allowing everyone an equal chance to have a go. The benefit of our system is where a young person wants to try an activity more than once and there is no queue, they are able to do so without hunting for a ticket.

Can we see your risk assessments?

Our Event Safety Plan is available for viewing within the event office during the event. We do not publish this in advance due to its size, complexity and the fact that event conditions and activities can change right up until the day. We also rely on a number of third parties to supply activities, and therefore our Event Safety Plan contains other material such as ADIPS certificates, copies of liability insurance etc.

Do you allow dogs on-site?

Gilwell Park and Hawkhirst do not allow dogs on-site except for guide dogs and other assistance dogs.

I have received an initial confirmation, when should I expect the full details?

We normally send full confirmation by email in late November but materials are available on the website prior to this.

Can I use our own parental consent forms?

No. Unfortunately we require the young people to have our consent form at any activity requiring it.

Does a shuttle bus operate from the station at Hexham or Chingford?

For Chingford (Gilwell Park), please take the short walk to Chingford Plains, which is one of our off site car parks. For Hexham (Hawkhirst), please contact us in advance at info.request@wintercamp.org.uk as we will operate this on request and capacity will be limited.

What do I need to bring for whitewater rafting and kayaking at Gilwell?

There are limited paces for these activities, but details of what you need can be found at the Lee Valley website.

Is there an age limit for whitewater rafting at Gilwell?

Yes this is minimum of 11 as per the consent form.

Will the roads be ploughed at Hawkhirst if it snows?

The local authority ensures the road immediately outside of the centre is cleared and we have made our own arrangements for clearing the access road.

Will you be running water activities at Hawkhirst?

Because of the likely temperature and limited drying faciltiies it is unlikely we will run water activities at Hawkhirst.

I’ve ordered merchandise. What size is small/medium/large/XL and XXL?

T-shirts and Hoodie – Small – 34/36”, Medium – 38/40”, Large – 42/44”, XL – 46/48”, XXL – 50/52”

Rugby shirt – Small – 34/36”, Medium – 37/39”, Large – 40/42”, XL – 43/45”, XXL – 46/48”

Fleece – Small – 37/38”, Medium – 39/40”, Large – 41/42”, XL – 43/44”, XXL – 46/48”