School Residential Trip Checklist

With so many outdoor activity centres offering school residential trips, it can be difficult to know which company to choose. Picking a provider that can fulfil your schools aims and objectives can be a minefield, especially when companies offer similar activities and accommodation.

Here at Cumulus Outdoors we would like to think we know a thing or two about running a successful school residential trip, with nearly 10 years experience in the industry. Our highly qualified team are well versed at tailoring bespoke programmes and know what works well and equally what doesn’t. With this in mind we have compiled our top 12 things to consider when selecting an activity provider to help you in your search.


  1. Accommodation: Look for an exclusive campsite, away from general public access, ask how it is situated. What is included?
  2. Child Protection: Are there public footpaths or general access to/across the campsite?
  3. Camp experience: What are you looking for from your residential camp experience? Make sure it delivers what you want
  4. Programme: A good provider will design a programme to suit your needs and student requirements, whether full on adventure or well-structured on-site activities, or a combination of both
  5. Pastoral Care: Can the provider deliver 24/7 pastoral care? Should you choose, are they able to take complete control of your group while you are on camp?
  6. Food: Where does the food come from and how/where is it prepared?
  7. Activities: Are they all on-site or do you get the opportunity to explore off-site? Can you choose from a ‘menu’ of activities? Seek assurances on qualifications and activity instructor ratios
  8. Location: How far are you from the activity sites?
  9. Pricing: This should directly reflect the make-up of your programme and your target budget, not a ‘one size fits all’ pricing policy
  10. Confidence: Make sure you speak with the senior person responsible for your programme plan, assurance here will give you confidence in their ability to deliver your programme
  11. Problem solving: What is their approach to overcoming any issues that may occur?
  12. Management: How is the programme documentation managed? Is it easily accessible/shared?



Don’t just take our word it, here’s some recent feedback we’ve received from teachers…

“All of the activities pushed the children beyond their comfort zone; from the shy to more adventurous they all had their own challenges to tackle. This kept some in check, gave the quieter ones a chance to shine and unearthed a sense of adventure in some that they never knew existed – who knew how good fresh mackerel cooked over the fire could be or that we were camped so close to our supply of groceries tasty enough to supply Waitrose. In all it was just what the kids needed and exceeded all that I could have hoped they would take from it.”

“Excellent group leader; very professional, helpful and brilliant with the students. The variety of activities during the week was great and really enjoyed by everyone. All campsite staff to management and activity staff are all extremely helpful, brilliant with the students and clearly love their jobs which makes all a very positive experience. Thank you!”

“What a fantastic time we all had with you guys at Cumulus, please pass on our sincere thanks to Roxy, SJ, Tom and the rest of the team there, they were all great. I asked the kids to write a brief sentence or two about the trip…

“This was the best experience ever!”
“The food was so tasty!”
“I loved the songs and rhymes”
“Staff were amazing”

So many great comments. I have had so many positive e-mails from parents about the trip. So, again thank you so much.”


Contact us now to find out more about our schools and youth activities…

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