Parents & Children
Going away on a school residential can be a worrying time for parents & children. We’ve tried to answer some of the most common questions below
It is really important for us that everyone who comes on our trips:
Has a great time, finds things they enjoy and some things that challenge them.
Feels supported and knows that we take everyone’s safety very seriously.
Leaves with memories and experiences that they value and want to share with others.
Find out a bit more about us here
Top Ten Facts
It took four months to first build Balcombe camp
The zip wire is 70m long
Some of our staff have been instructors for over 25 years
Our biggest abseil is over 100ft long
The Dewerstone Cottage is 200 years old
Last year nearly 2000 children (safely) climbed, abseiled, canoed and much more with us
One of our instructors is a descendant of Sir Walter Raleigh
The children and staff cooked around 600 Pizzas last year
Some of our staff camped at least 100 nights in 2014
Every summer, Young Spirit runs summer camps for boys and girls aged 5-14.
The camp is based in our Balcombe Camp on the Raleigh Estate near Dartmouth and usually also takes in a day exploring and climbing in Dartmoor National Park.
Activities include bush-craft, kayaking, campfire cooking, tree-climbs, zip-wire and much more.
To find out more and reserve your place visit:
Frequently Asked Questions
As a parent it’s natural to have some questions or concerns when your child is enjoying the sort of activities provided by Young Spirit. We have tried to address some of the more common questions we are asked below.
"Why do these activities?"
Challenging ourselves is very much part of what makes us who we are. It can teach us what we are good at and what we need to work on. Being out of our comfort zone is where we learn most and it is our job to gently find where that zone is and work carefully with each person to get the best out of their visit. Wild living can very much challenge people’s ideas about what they can’t do without and seeing the world in a more simple way can give us real perspective.
"Are staff qualified and checked?"
A basic requirement for all staff is that they have current DBS check and first aid certificate. For those leading specific activities they will hold National Governing Body Awards for that particular discipline. Those assisting receive specific in house training. See more information here
"Do you have risk assessments?"
All our site and activities are risk assessed and we are inspected by the AALA to ensure our policies and practices are appropriate. You may see the risk assessments and policies on request.
"How many staff to children?"
The school will bring their own staff, but our normal ratio is between 1- 8 to 1- 10 depending on the activities and conditions. For things like knife work it is normally 1- 2 or even 1- 1.
"What if our child is upset or unhappy?"
We are very experienced at supporting both children and adults when anxious or upset and will work very hard resolve things for them. However this is often handled better by school staff and we will make them aware of any issues as quickly as possible.
"Can we make contact with our child while away"
Most schools do not allow children to take mobile phones and we do not recommend it. The school will provide a range of numbers to parents. We provide both mobile and land line numbers to the school. On our main site mobile phones work well and we can communicate easily.
"Do you stay overnight?"
Our staff and school staff stay overnight while camping and at least one member of Young Spirit staff is on duty in case of any problems.
"Are sites secured?"
Fences and locked gates are not what the wild is about, but we do take group safety extremely seriously. Our fixed sites are in private and/or remote areas, the children are supervised in a controlled area by an appropriate number of staff.
"What if someone is hurt or ill while camping"
In simple cases we can deal with this on site, if someone needs more help we have 4×4’s available at all times to drive children and staff to a more accessible point or directly to professional help. In the most serious cases we have well planned evacuation policies in place.
"Do I need to be sporty or fit?"
Our challenges are open to all and can be adapted to specific needs. If you have any concerns please make contact and we can discuss the best ways of making the programme accessible.
"What do we eat"
Generally we have range of normal foods like pasta, bread pizza, sausages, fruit, biscuits. Much of the cooking is done as part of the activities. We take pride in providing wholesome good quality food.
We can adapt our menus to most needs and no one goes hungry!
"Do I need any particular equipment?"
We will provide all technical equipment. Most things on our kit list are everyday items. We have stock of waterproofs and sleeping bag we can lend on request prior to the residential.
"While camping, how do you stay clean and where do you go to the toilet?"
This will depend on the nature of the camping, but in most cases we have soap and water for general washing. Alcohol gel sanitizer is also available. For two night camps most are happy to not shower, however if a shower is needed we can arrange one on an individual basis.
Spirit of Adventure