What’s a Bootcamp like? Our curriculum and training style

A lot of applicants contact us ahead of Bootcamp to ask what our training is like, so here's a guide to our curriculum and training style - and how and why we do it!

The Campaign Bootcamp residential is a reflective and experiential training space. This means lots of time to think about your own campaigning, to learn from other people, and to try out new things supported by our training team and campaigners from across many different movements.

By the end of the week the aim is for you to have lots of practical tools and ideas that you can apply to your campaigning and for you to be part of a strong community of campaigners from whom you can draw support after the residential is over.

Training and learning style

At Bootcamp, we use a participatory training style we call ‘Direct Education’. Direct Education builds on the idea that our lived experiences, big and small, are central to how we learn. Our training is interactive and lively and respects the knowledge you already have. We don’t believe in long lectures from the front of the room!

What is Direct Education?

‘Direct action’ means actions that directly confront and challenge the current system of injustice – which includes how people are taught.

Rather than traditional education, which gives all the expertise to textbooks and teachers, direct education invites the expertise of the people themselves. Direct education is about liberation and empowerment – going to the direct source of wisdom: the group itself!

How do we do it?

We believe that everything at a training can be used for our own learning, whether trying out a new skill in a session, or in a conversation you have with someone over lunch. We embrace this by varying our sessions to appeal to a range of learning styles. These include:

Whole group sessions
Small group reflections
Small group work practicing skills
Real life campaign scenarios
Stories from seasoned campaigners
Pair work
Understanding identity and navigating conflict


At Campaign Bootcamp, we believe in freedom. We believe that training spaces should be places of freedom, where the current systems of injustice – which includes how people are taught – are directly confronted and challenged.

We believe in ‘real’ learning. Learning that is deep and long-lasting. We believe that this happens best through experiencing things. And that it is greatest when people take risks and step outside their comfort zone.

We believe in individuals. That everyone brings into the training space their own identity and background and engages in the space based on their own learning style.

We believe in community. In being connected to something bigger. That when individuals come together to learn from each other and their history, they can create something more powerful than the individual alone.

We believe in transformation. In working with people towards personal moments of transformation. That it is these moments that lead to the larger transformation of people, policies, politics and ultimately the very systems, both written and unwritten, by which our society functions.

What do we cover?

  • Getting to know each other: Introductions to Bootcamp and each other; setting expectations for the week
  • How to strategise your campaign: You will have the opportunity to try out tools to make your campaign more effective and strategic
  • Setting your direction: Clarifying your campaign’s values; exploring who holds power; identifying goals, objectives, strategies and targets
  • How to work in your group: We will give you tools and ideas to build your campaign collective and keep it happy
  • Who’s involved?: Analysing the strengths and weaknesses of your campaign team; showing care for yourself and your team; how to bring people on board (and retain them)
  • How to reach other people: We will spend time thinking through who you are trying to target and how to reach them effectively – including how to make a viral campaign video!
  • Your campaigning story: Storytelling for campaigning; setting boundaries in storytelling
  • Constructing your message: Communicating your campaign; interacting with the media; interview skills
  • Getting your message out there: Creating social media content; making viral campaign videos with your phone
  • How to sustain ourselves while campaigning
  • … and much, much more!

We will create a space to remind people to have fun while they campaign – this will include creative activities and external campaigners and speakers. Throughout the week you’ll get to hear stories from experienced campaigners to spur you on! See more about Bootcamp’s curriculum and training style here.

By the end of the week the aim is for you to have lots of practical tools and ideas that you can apply to your campaigning and for you to be part of a strong community of campaigners from whom you can draw support after the residential is over.

Previous & Next Articles

Blog :

What’s it like to get a place on Bootcamp

Mohaned is a lawyer from Sudan, who seeked asylum in the UK a few months before applying for Campaign Bootcamp. We talk to him about his experience applying for Bootcamp.

Blog :

Recovering Outside the Western Medical System – Part 2

Bootcamp and Everyday Activism trainer Karen shares with us her top 5 tips for self-care to prevent activist burnout.