Information about catering, toilets, food, health and safety, etc.
Q. Is Folk Camps an environmentally friendly holiday?
A. Yes, it absolutely is! Folk Camps has very little impact on the sites we visit, often leaving them cleaner than they were when we first arrived. Also, we always work with local suppliers and farmers, ensuring that the food and drink we have on camp is both helping the local area and the planet! Once you’re on site, you don’t need to travel far: there’s a massive range of things to do and activities to try at the camp itself, and there’s often local sightseeing or a beach that’s just a short journey away!
Q. When should I arrive and leave?
A. For a summer catered camp, please arrive in the afternoon, after 2pm. Typically there will be a bun/doughnut/similar and hot drink available at 4pm.
If you intend to make it for dinner (usually about 6pm) but may be late, please let someone know to save you a meal.
For a summer catered camp, on departure day, please leave in the morning, ideally by noon.
For weekend self-cater camps, ideal arrival time is usually mid-afternoon to early evening. Departure time varies depending on camp. See the camp page for more clarity.
Q. Can I bring my caravan?
A. Yes, of course. Just tick the relevant box on the booking form if you will be bringing a caravan or campervan.
Q. I haven’t got a caravan – can I bring a tent?
A. Yes, of course. We have all sorts of campers at Folk Camps – some with small tents, some with palatial dwellings – domes, pop-ups, frame tents, ridge tents, trailer tents. Also caravans and camper vans.
Q. What if I don’t like camping?
A. Some people have been known to find a local B+B to sleep in, but they enjoy spending the daytime and evening at the Folk Camp. This is more practical for a weekend camp than a whole week.
Q. What should I bring with me?
A. For a catered camp you need to bring the following essentials:
- Tent (or campervan or caravan)
- Sleeping bag, airbed, etc.
- a set of crockery and cutlery plus a container for it
- tea towels
- personal toiletries
- wellies or boots
- a torch
- a fire bucket to keep by your tent
Optional extras include:
- your musical instruments (if you play anything)
- a music stand if you need to read music (we do not provide them)
- a box for packed lunches and drinks container
- the EFDSS book “Join the Band” is often used for the for the warm-up part of music workshops. This can be purchased direct from EFDSS or from the Publications page. You can ask the office to confirm whether a particular camp musician uses this resource or not. At some camps “The Unexpected Polka” book might be used.
- a hot water bottle if you feel cold at night
For a self-cater camp you should also bring your own food and the means to prepare it.
Q. What sort of food do you provide at a catered camp?
A. At catered camps we provide 3 meals a day, and also there are breads and spreads available for much of the day in case you need anything extra. Breakfast includes cereals, cooked breakfast and bread and spreads. Lunch is a selection of salads (and possibly soup) followed by cake and fruit. The evening meal is a cooked main course with a choice of vegetarian or meaty main course, followed by desert such as crumble, sponge, custard, or fruit salad. Most of the meals are prepared from fresh ingredients, locally sourced where possible. Tea, coffee, hot water, bread and spreads are available on a help-yourself basis 24 hours a day.
Q. I have a food allergy; will Folk Camps be able to provide food suitable for my diet?
A. We have some capacity to cater for people with the more common special diets. If you have further questions, please contact us to discuss the topic further.
This document explains what Folk Camps can and cannot help with regarding food at catered camps: Special Diets at Folk Camps.
Q. Who does the cooking at a summer catered camp?
A. The food preparation and cooking are done by a volunteer team for the whole camp – a different team each day so that the work is shared fairly. It is likely you will be asked to be in one of those teams. We find that cooking and eating together like this increases the feeling of community and it can be a great way to get to know other people.
Q. I don’t know the first thing about cooking or kitchens so will I will be able to come to a catered Folk Camp?
A. Yes, of course. You might do one of the many other jobs that are required, rather than spending a few hours in the kitchen. But if you are assigned cook’s duty, don’t worry because there will be other people cooking with you and a caterer who will ensure that you have all the right ingredients and instructions and will provide you with enough supervision.
Q. Can I get real coffee on camp?
A. Folk Camps provides tea, instant coffee and squash. If you love your real coffee then bring your own cafetiere and coffee supply, there is always plenty of hot water available. You can help yourself to a hot drink at any time of the day.
Q. What do I do with my crockery between meals?
A. It will be useful to bring a container such as a small bucket, box or bag to contain your crockery as most people leave them in the marquee/hall for convenience.
Q. What should I do about eating on a self-catered camp?
A. Most people bring their own food to prepare and eat at their tent or caravan, or eat at local pubs etc. At most self-catered camps the hall has a kitchen of some kind which can be used for some food preparation. You can ask the office for more details of what facilities there will be at each particular camp. In bad weather you might eat in the hall, and in good weather it is lovely to eat outside, possibly with other new Folk Camp friends.
Q. What kind of food sharing might there be on a self-catered camp?
A. Some self-catered camps organise an optional “bring and share” / “pot-luck” supper for those that want to join in, but this is at the discretion of the camp Leader. They will let you know before you get to the camp if this will happen. Lunchtime sessions in a local pub are also an opportunity for eating with others. And you can always invite others to eat with you at your tent/caravan.
Q. Will there be someone to look after my children?
A. No, no-one other than you will take responsibility for your offspring. Children are in the care at all times of the responsible adult who accompanies them. You might come to an arrangement during your holiday, with another responsible adult to act in loco parentis, but if so that will be a private agreement between the two of you. Children should not be left on site without a responsible adult in charge. Some of the workshops on each camp will be suitable for children, but our volunteer staff are not child-minders. There are more details of your responsibilities for your children in the Booking Conditions and in the Folk Camps Safeguarding Policy.
Q. What are the toilets like at a Folk Camp?
A. All Folk Camps have flush toilets. At some camps there will be additional loos – of the ‘tardis’ portable type – just to provide extra facilities, should they be required. So don’t worry about being “caught short”!
Q. What about hot water and personal washing facilities?
A. All Folk Camps will provide a supply of hot water. At a hall camp this will be from a tap inside the building. At a marquee hot water is provided from gas boilers. You collect your hot water from the boiler, filling it up with cold water afterwards so that there is always a constant supply. There will also be shower facilities – sometimes within a building, at others a shower tent is provided and portable shower equipment of the pump-up spray variety. Don’t worry, we’ll give you instructions for using it.
Q. How is washing up managed?
A. At a self-cater camp held in a hall you can either collect hot water and take it back to your tent, or you may be able to use the hall facilities for washing up. At a summer catered camp there are tables, washing up bowls and liquid provided. All you need to do is collect your hot water from the boilers – see the FAQ on hot water. It’s a sociable time washing up with other campers.
Q. My friends tell me I must bring my own cutlery and crockery – is that correct?
A. Yes. Of course for a self-catered camp you’d want to do that anyway but you need to bring your own eating things to a camp where food is provided for you too. Each person or family brings their own eating utensils and washes them up. You might like to consider marking your belongings so you can identify them if they become separated from you.
Q. Will I be able to charge my phone/tablet/iPad etc?
A. Yes, electricity is available at all Folk Camps; at a marquee camp there’s a generator providing electricity at specific times of day and a special area is set aside as a charging point. We cannot guarantee that all our camp locations will have a good mobile phone signal however.
Q. I might need to wash some clothes while I’m at the camp. Is there anywhere I can do this?
A. At weekend camps we don’t provide facilities for clothes washing but at week-long camps there’s a specific table, with bowls and an area set aside for the purpose. At a marquee camp you will also find an old-fashioned mangle too! Or you could find a local launderette.
Q. Can you give me some advice on buying a tent as I’ve never been camping before?
A. Yes, indeed. The rule is buy a tent larger than the manufacturer’s recommendation – so if there are two of you then get a three or four man tent, and so on. Tent manufacturers don’t seem to appreciate how much space you really need! It’s far better to have too much than too little. Though at a catered summer camp you may find that you spend little time in your tent apart from sleeping if you choose to join in many workshops, or just sitting around chatting with new friends.
Q. Can I bring my dogs?
A. Yes, up to two dogs per family are allowed on a Folk Camp but you must follow the Folk Camps Dogs Rules.
Q. Can we bring our bikes to a Folk Camp?
A. Yes, of course. The only rules with bikes are: no cycling in areas that could be a danger to others (The camp Warden will explain where is unsuitable), and please keep your bikes where other people won’t trip over them in the dark.
Q. How do you manage feedback from campers to staff and council?
A. Every camp has a sealed comments box where written feedback can be submitted either anonymously or signed. Every comment from every camp is read by the camp staff that day and then forwarded to Council for review at the end of the season. We always encourage feedback whether commendation or suggestion to be given in person as soon as possible. If it’s a suggestion then it gives an opportunity for action to be taken there and then. And if it’s a commendation then it’s always beneficial to give and receive that. You can also send us feedback via the forms on the Contact Page or Reviews Page.
Q. What about Health and Safety on your camps?
A. We have a properly developed H&S policy covering our activities. See Policies. As well as the warden who will check each site for hazards, it is of course every person’s individual responsibility to act sensibly and with due care and attention of themselves and others. For instance, see the question about bikes.
Q. What do you do about First Aid?
A. We have a well-stocked first aid kit at every camp for the thankfully rare occasions when it’s needed.