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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.


Upcoming 2022 Opportunities Shared to Us

We do not officially endorse any of these companies or opportunities but share them to give you some possibilities:

  • Warwickshire Scouts - Volunteer at Get In! camp with Warwickshire Scouts.
    Location: Ragley Hall, Alcester, Warwickshire (B49 5NJ).
    Date: Fri 20th May - Sun 22nd May 2022 (Including days before and after for volunteers).
    Cost: £25.00 (for food)
    Description: Volunteers completing their residential at the camp will help with a wide range of activities from the initial build of the site to running of activities, catering for event staff and helping with security and maintenance. This will involve constructing, moving, cleaning, along with general operation of activities and sites facilities... see moreLink opens in a new window
  • Land & WaveLink opens in a new window - First aid and Lifesaving Awards.
    Location: Dorset.
    Dates: 5-day residential, 2022.
    Cost: £374.
    Description: 5 days camping residential, 5 Adventure Activities, NUCO First Aid qualification, RLSS Life Saving award. "Our outdoor adventure activities (coasteering, kayaking and paddle boarding and more) encourage students to step out of their comfort zone and achieve great things". Dates are given below... see moreLink opens in a new window
    • 11 - 15 April (Indoor)
    • 30 - 03 June
    • 18 - 22 July
    • 25 - 29 July
    • 01 - 05 August
    • 08 - 12 August
    • 29 Aug - 02 September
    • 24 - 28 October (Indoor)
  • Brenscombe Outdoor Centre - Programme of adventurous activities.
    Location: Dorset.
    Dates: 5-day residential, 2022.
    Cost: £300 (+ bring £30 for food)
    Description: Activities in & near Poole Harbour, on the Jurassic Coast. Rock climb up the natural crags and walk along the chalk ridges. Explore the largest natural harbour in the UK. Mountain bike to activities, high ropes course, relax in the evening around the campfire at the centre based near the village of Corfe.Dates are given below... see moreLink opens in a new window
    • Easter 4th - 8th April
    • May Half Term 30th May - 3rd June
    • Summer 25th - 29th July
    • Summer 8th - 12th August
    • Summer 22nd - 26th August
    • October Half Term 24th - 28th October
Older Opportunities

YHALink opens in a new window (Residential Opportunities).

We regularly receive information from various organisations regarding possible residential opportunities. If you are looking for some ideas for what to do for the Residential section of your award, check out the list below.

  • Operation Wallacea - Biological and social science expedition projects that operate in remote locations in Indonesia, Honduras, Peru, Cuba, Egypt, South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Guyana, and Mexico. These expeditions are designed with specific wildlife conservation aims in mind, from identifying areas needing protection, through to implementing and assessing conservation management programmes.
  • Volunteer Uganda - a unique non-profit organisation that gives enthusiastic, bright young people the opportunity to teach in our partner primary schools for between six and twelve weeks. Our programme generates funds for our partner charities which built and run four primary schools, a secondary school and a college in the Bwindi region of Uganda. These institutions make good quality education a reality for approximately two thousand people and volunteers play an integral role in this. As well as having a profound impact on the local community, VU also provides amazing opportunities to students, combining effective volunteering with exciting once in a lifetime opportunities.
  • Canal Camp (Waterway Recovery Group) - A Canal Camp is an enjoyable week's outdoor holiday spent working on the canals. It's a great opportunity to meet all sorts of new people from all walks of life, of all ages and from all over the country and abroad, as well as learning new skills. Details of Canal Camps 2014 can be found here.
  • TCV Residential Weeks - TCV has programmed in one more of its Natural Break residential weeks in 2013 specifically for The Duke of Edinburgh's Award members. The dates are Monday 28th October to Friday 1st November inclusive. This will be held at the most spectacular beaches off of the South Devon coast. The week will comprise of a mix of litter collection/surveying and educational activities. The cost of the week - currently approx £265 - includes all meals at the accommodation, and covers the cost of insurance and trained leaders. Participants will need to get to Plymouth railway station to be picked up, or make their own way to the base.