Questions?

Programme information for The Challenge 2011 is available online here.

Click on the questions to reveal the answers.

What meals are provided?

During the Personal Challenge and the Team Challenge (weeks 1 and 2), we will provide participants with three meals a day.  Participants will be provided with food to make their own breakfast and packed lunch, and then to prepare a hot meal in the evening.  During the Real Challenge (week 3 of the summer and the four autumn weekend days), we provide lunch only.  For all meals, we can provide halal, kosher, vegetarian, vegan or allergy alternatives if we have been advised in advance.

Is there a deadline for applications?

There is no deadline, but applications are processed (and places allocated) on a first come, first served basis.

Are all costs included?

Yes – all costs are included in the £50 fee. There may be occasions where participants may purchase chocolates etc, so participants may wish to bring some cash, but there is no need for them to do so.

How can I pay?

We accept payment by: cash, cheque, postal order or credit/debit card (online/telephone/paper form). You can fill out the consent form and pay electronically through the online application system. Apply online to secure an extra discount!

What should a parent/guardian do if the participant can’t attend?

Please let us know as soon as possible, so that we can make the space available to someone else.  In the event of a cancellation, you will lose your fee if your child has already been allocated a place.

Can parents and guardians visit during The Challenge?

All parents and guardians are invited to attend ‘The Challenge Showcase’ at the end of the Team Challenge and ‘The Pitch’ at the end of the Real Challenge Design.

Where do participants stay at night?

During the Personal Challenge (week 1) participants will stay at an outdoor activity centre. They will stay in a dorm room shared with three or four other participants of the same sex.  During the Team Challenge (week 2) participants will stay at a Halls of Residence in/near your local community.  During the Real Challenge (week 3 of the summer and the 4 autumn weekend days) participants will sleep at home.

How will participants travel?

Participants will travel to and from the Personal Challenge by a specially hired coach.  During the Team Challenge and the Real Challenge participants will travel mostly by public transport or minibus, with some journeys taken on foot or in taxi.  Participants will be accompanied by our staff during all journeys.

What ratio of staff to participants are there?

Staffing ratios exceed recommended levels at all times, including the government’s ‘Education Outside the Classroom’ guidelines. During the two and a half week programme in the summer the ratio of staff to participants is 1 to 6. During the Real Challenge Action (4 weekend days in the autumn) there will be at least 1 familiar staff member working with each team at all times.

What will you do if a participant is homesick?

Should a participant become homesick, our main concern will be the participant’s long-term happiness.  We would discuss the issue with both the participant and their parent/guardian and do all we can to help the participant complete the programme.

Is there a code of conduct for participants?

The Challenge is all about challenging and pushing yourself.  To make this happen safely we have a code of conduct which we expect all participants to follow:

Follow safety rules and the law

Only leave the site with a Mentor

No going in other people’s rooms or flats

Be in your room after 10.45pm

No alcohol, illegal drugs or penknives

Respect and include other people

Challenge yourself  (in other words, take part)

If participants seriously or persistently break this code of conduct, then we will have to ask them to leave The Challenge. In this eventuality, the young person will have to return home.

How do you ensure participants’ safety?

The safety of the young people on The Challenge is our number one concern. Throughout the programme all activities are led by a team of highly qualified, experienced instructors and mentors, all of whom have had enhanced CRB checks. They will be responsible for ensuring that the necessary safety precautions are rigorously followed and look after Challengers’ emotional and physical well-being. Please see here for further information.

Do you have an inclusion policy?

We are able to accommodate a large range of special needs as long as we are informed of them before the programme commences. If you would like to discuss our inclusion policy in-depth with a member of our team please get in touch with us.

What option will participants do during the Team Challenge?

During the Team Challenge, participants will do activities in one of the following skill areas: drama, photography, media, sport or enterprise.  All participants are asked at application to indicate their first three preferences in order.  We will strive to ensure that participants get one of their top two preferences and, where possible, their first choice.

What should my child bring?

We will send you an information pack containing packing lists for the different parts of the programme. We provide all of the specialist equipment and clothing, so you do not have to supply any extra outdoor clothes etc. To see what was on last year’s packing list see the programme information booklet.

Do you insure personal belongings?

All costs are covered on the programme, but we are not able to insure personal belongings.  For this reason, we do not recommend that participants bring very expensive pieces of equipment or unnecessary valuables.

Who is behind The Challenge?

The Challenge is delivered by The Challenge Network, which is a registered charity, and operates with the support of a group of charities with over 150 years combined experience of working with young people.  This includes the Outward Bound Trust, the Youth Hostelling Association, the Prince’s Trust, Skill Force and Envision.  It operates with the support of local councils and local schools. Read more about us, and see a list of our partners.


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