The Bootcamp residential is a week-long campaign training programme; followed by a year of further learning and community support. Packed full of workshops, great speakers, discussion groups and real life scenarios; you'll learn what it takes to run effective campaigns and find your place in the movement.
Our first Bootcamp took place in 2013 after a group of NGO campaigners realised the strategies and skills they were learning weren't being shared outside the NGO sector. So they put together a week-long training programme for budding campaigners.
Since then we've run seventeen Bootcamps, refined our training methodology, deepened our commitment to supporting the leadership of those most impacted by injustice, and expanded our networks amongst grassroots campaigners. We now run three immersive, hands-on trainings per year designed to give you the skills, confidence and community you need to run powerful campaigns.
If you're fired up about creating positive change, then Campaign Bootcamp is for you.
Due to the spread of COVID-19 in the UK, we are not running any residentials at present.
What will you learn?
Getting to know each other
Introductions to Bootcamp, and each other; setting expectations for the week
Clarifying your campaign’s values; exploring what strategy is and why its important; identifying allies and exploring who holds power; identifying goals, objectives, aims and targets
Working with campaign groups
Analysing the strengths and weaknesses of your campaign group; understanding conflict; understanding different working styles; how to bring people on board (and retain them)
Building your message
Constructing your campaign message; using storytelling in campaigning; interacting with the media; interview skills
Getting your message out there
Making viral campaign videos with your phone; understanding where power lies and influencing targets
Putting it into practice... and much more!
Planning the next steps in your campaign
How does the application process work?
The application process has two stages. The first is a written application form that will ask you about yourself, your experience, why you want to come to Bootcamp. There are four main questions to help us understand your potential as a campaigner, which have a 200 word limit each. If we think you’re a good match for Bootcamp we’ll invite you to a Skype or phone interview.
The interview will be about 20 minutes long and will be with two members of our Bootcamp selection team. We’ll ask you more about yourself and what you want to do with the skills you’ll learn at Bootcamp.
If you find the application difficult or inaccessible, because English is not your first language, or for another reason, please contact us for support on filling out your application; we are happy to help!
What do you look for in applicants?
We believe that campaigning works best when those directly experiencing an issue are the ones to decide how to confront it, so we love to train up ambitious campaigners who advocate for their own communities.
We believe that you can never be too old to campaign, and encourage activists of all ages to apply . So whether you’re in your teens (although you have to be over 18!), or in your seventies, you could be joining us at the next Bootcamp!
We make an effort to centre those most impacted by injustice across the board at Bootcamp. We want to train up those less likely to have access to great training elsewhere, as well as communities who are most marginalised in the UK.
We’re interested in your ambition and experience in activism, whether that’s in a community setting or a more formal NGO one. We also want to know how our training might impact your campaign work. Bootcamp isn’t about what qualifications you have, it’s about having the drive to make a change! If that sounds like you, Bootcamp awaits!
This is not your typical application – we do not look for things like good spelling and grammar, or work experience.
When is the deadline to apply?
Applications for our residential camps are closed.
How do I pay for Bootcamp?
Most people who come on Bootcamp come on a scholarship. This means that up to the whole cost of the week (the training, accommodation, meals and sometimes travel) is covered by external funding. We encourage everyone to contribute what they can to the cost of the training.
It’s easy to apply for a scholarship – you simply tick the box on the application form. We work hard to make Bootcamp as accessible as possible to campaigners from all walks of life, and our scholarships aim to reflect the value we place on diversity. You’ll be considered for all the scholarships for which you are eligible. A list of the scholarships available can be found for Bootcamp 18 and Bootcamp 19.
People who work for NGOs pay for some or all of their place on Bootcamp – this is usually funded by the NGO they work for. The breakdown is:
Annual budget of NGO Cost of Bootcamp per person
- £600,000 or more £3,600
- £200,000 – £800,000 £1,650
- £50,000 – £200,000 £550
I don't live in the UK, can I come on Bootcamp?
If you live outside the UK and work for a big organisation (such as Oxfam or Greenpeace) that will pay for your place and your travel, then you can apply for Bootcamp. If you are willing to pay for the entire cost of your place (£3,600), you can also apply.
We have full and partial scholarships for UK-based campaigners who are focussed on any issue. We also have full and partial scholarships for environmental campaigners based in Europe.
Currently we do not have scholarships for people living outside of Europe, but keep in touch as it’s something we’re looking into!
I don't think I'm eligible for a scholarship, can I still apply?
If you don’t think you are eligible for any of the scholarships and you don’t work for an NGO, you can apply under our General Scholarship (as long as you live in the UK). This is extra funding we’ve secured to cover additional scholarships for people.
If we think you’d be great for Bootcamp, then we’ll try and find a way to secure your place. Just tick ‘None of these apply, but I’d still like a scholarship, please!’ on the application form.
Please note that if you are based in Europe and not involved in environmental activism, you will not qualify for a scholarship.
I work for an NGO but I don't think they will be able to pay for my place on Bootcamp, can I still apply?
Get in touch! We’ll help communicate to your employer the impact that attending Bootcamp can have, and why they should send you!
We’ve had campaigners attending from small to large charities, such as Age UK, Christian Aid, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Sum of Us, and more. So we’re good at demonstrating the impact using case studies, as well as doing things like breaking down costs into food, accomodation, and travel, which could help deal with smaller training budgets.
I campaign outside of work, but work for a large NGO, who won't pay for my place. Can I apply for a scholarship?
Unfortunately, not right now. We’re working on more funding streams, but at the moment if you work for a large NGO, then they would have to pay for your Bootcamp place.
If you do work for an NGO, we recommend getting in touch! We’ll help communicate to your employer the impact that attending Bootcamp can have, and why they should send you!
Where does Bootcamp take place?
Gilwell Park is a training and events venue with onsite, hotel-style accommodations located deep in Epping Forest. It is easy to get to from London (only a short drive from Chingford Station). Highlights include:
- Beautiful, tranquil location and training spaces
- A rural environment only a stone’s throw from London
- Good wheelchair accessibility
- Onsite mosque, synagogue, and other places of worship
- Experienced catering staff that can accommodate a wide variety of dietary requirements
- Short distance to local shops
- Onsite bar and cafe (for when you need a break!)
Is Bootcamp is only for Londoners?
No, not at all! Bootcampers come from all over the UK, and sometimes beyond. We offer travel bursaries for any UK Bootcampers who need them. Through our environmental scholarships, we can also cover the costs of environmental campaigners based in Europe.
Where do I stay on Bootcamp?
Everyone coming on Bootcamp stays on site, in either a shared or single hotel-style room. Most rooms are en-suite, and we will check that you are okay with sharing before allocating you room. There are wheelchair accessible rooms for those who need them.
We have breakfast, lunch and dinner on site every day and use indoor and outdoor space for our training.
I have special dietary requirements. Will there be something for me to eat on Bootcamp?
Yes, we cater to most dietary requirements, however we do ask that these are allergies, intolerances, life choices (vegan, halal etc.), or similar, rather than simple food preferences.
Is Bootcamp accessible?
We strive to make Bootcamp accessible for everyone. The venue we use is accessible for wheelchair users, and has an induction loop. There are accessible bathrooms and hotel rooms, and we will work with the venue to try and meet any other requirements you may have.
For those receiving scholarships, we have funding for things like accessible taxis, coloured layovers, large font print outs, and so on. Once you have been offered a place, we will work with you one-on-one to make sure we have everything you need to make the experience comfortable and as accessible as possible for you.
If you have any concerns or questions about accessibility just get in touch.
I want a job in campaigning, will Bootcamp make that happen?
Our mission is to train a new generation of campaigners, and lots of Bootcamp graduates end up working in campaigning. However, we are not a recruitment agency and our mission is not to get people jobs in campaigning; it’s to support campaigners to choose the best path for themselves and their communities.