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What is a residential?

This involves spending 5 days and 4 nights away from home on a shared activity with people you’ve never met before. It’s a big, exciting and very fulfilling experience. It may be that you want to build on a talent you’ve developed in another section, learn something completely new on an intensive course or do something to help others.

What sort of thing can I do?

From learning to snowboard in Scotland to helping at a children’s camp, from working with the National Trust to helping on an urban recycling project, or from learning French in Paris to sailing a tall ship, there are loads of exciting possibilities to find the activity that’s just right for you. See upcoming opportunities.

Who can I do it with?

The residential is meant to get you doing something different with people you haven’t met before. This means that you’re not meant to do it in a group of people that you already know. If, however, it is only a couple of you joining a large group, then there’s likely to be some leeway there.

How do I get started?

Once you’ve found a residential you want to do and the person running it, or another adult there, has agreed to be your Assessor you MUST get approval from us first, otherwise it won’t be allowed. Once you’ve got the green light, you can make all your arrangements. Don’t forget to remind them when you get there that you want your time with them to count towards your Gold DofE programme and meet with your Assessor!

Steps to Doing your Residential Section.

  1. Find an initial idea from our lists (below) or from the Official DofE Residential Ideas ListLink opens in a new window.
  2. Check it meets the criteria on the Residential ChecklistLink opens in a new window. - If your planned activity obviously doesn't meet the criteria, try thinking of other ideas and then checking against the Residential Checklist again. If you think it does meet all the criteria or if you're not quite sure then fill in the Residential Programme PlannerLink opens in a new window and proceed to the next step.
  3. Contact usLink opens in a new window, specifically your DofE Leader who manages your eDofE approvals (likely to be the Vice-President) and ask them to check it is valid.
  4. If you have the go-ahead from your DofE Leader, upload your planned residential to eDofELink opens in a new window and then make the necessary arrangements to take part in the Residential activity.
  5. Do your residential and ask one of the people running the Residential Activity to fill out an Assessors Report (if they have not filled one out before show them this informationLink opens in a new window).

Residential Ideas

Check out a range of current opportunities here, or for more ideas see the Official DofE Residential Ideas List. Below, we have put together a few of our favourites:

Helping Others

  • Assist at a summer camp for children, e.g with Brownies.
  • Charity work in under-developed communities.
  • Helping out on a pilgrimage, eg. HCPT to Lourdes.


  • Any course when you stay away from home eg. Language course in France, sports course

Activity Based

  • Stewarding at a music festival (not paid).
  • Helping the National Trust on a “ Working Holiday”.
  • Spending a week on a boat, with Ocean Youth Trust South for example.
  • White-water rafting / horse trek etc.