C1 Youth Hostelling

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Aim: To give the opportunity for the young people to have an overnight residential experience. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Recreation, Outdoor and adventure C1. The following is some background information about hostelling and where to stay at YHA Centres, plus website information to assist with planning the overnight / weekend away. • A hostel is a place where it is possible to spend a night without spending too much money. It’s not at all unlike a hotel, only usually a bit cheaper and you will mostly have to sleep in dormitories. • Hostels may differ a lot in standards, appearances and amenities, and will
also differ according to their locations. • Most hostels will supply you with the basic necessities you need for your stay, but to be on the safe side, it’s advisable to take your own sleeping bag and/or sheet. • The usual people staying in hostels tend to be young, but even if the hostels style themselves as ‘youth hostels’ there will very seldom be an age limit. Most of the guests are travellers and backpackers, dropping in for a few days before heading on. • There are different hostel associations to which many hostels are affiliated. Among the best known and biggest are Hostelling International (www.hihostels.com); Backpackers (www.backpackers.co.uk); and many different national Youth Hostel Associations (see below). • Hostels are found in a lot of different locations, from huge cities to small villages and remote places and on all continents.


Activity 1
• flip chart, paper and marker pens
• OHP film/sheets and pens

Activity 2
• flip chart, paper and marker pens
• OHP film/sheets and pens.

Activity 3
• Flip chart, paper and marker pens
• OHP film/sheets and pens
• 4Example Menu’ template

Activity 4/5
• flip chart, paper and marker pens
• OHP film/sheets and pens
• Example Programme’ template

Activity 6
• Flip chart, paper and marker pens
• OHP film/sheets and pens
• Example Kit List’ template


Youth Hostel Association
The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) operates a network of more than 200 Youth Hostels across England and Wales. The accommodation is open to all and everyone can experience a warm welcome, comfortable accommodation, good food and affordable prices. The YHA has more than 230,000 members, who receive many additional benefits, most notably a substantial discount each time they stay with YHA.

The charitable objective of the YHA forms the basis of all their work:

‘To help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, and appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities, particularly by providing Youth Hostels or other
accommodation for them in their travels, and thus to promote their health, recreation and education.’

The Association is committed to building bridges between town and country, and contributing to international understanding. YHA has always been a countryside and environmental organisation, founded as part of the ‘outdoors’ movement. This has further developed into YHA’s adoption of policies that encourage sustainable use of the countryside, Youth Hostels and their local communities.

Membership of YHA
YHA has membership to suit everyone. Whether you’re under 26 and want to travel the world, a family wanting to make the most of budget accommodation or an organised group there will be something for you.

You can also choose for how long you want to take your membership out. You can simply join for a year or take out life membership, paying in one instalment or over five years.

Not only does your membership card give you money off overnight stays, but it also offers a number of discounts on purchases at high street stores, travel guides and international phone calls.

For further information visit the YHA’s website at www.yha.org.uk Or contact the National Office at:

Trevelyan House, Dimple Road, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3YH
Telephone : 01629 592600 Fax: 01629 592702

Scottish Youth Hostel Association
The principal objective of the Association is: ‘To help all, but especially young people, to experience and appreciate the Scottish countryside and places of historic and cultural interest in Scotland, and to promote their health, recreation and education, particularly by providing low cost accommodation for ID them on their travels.’

The Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) is the largest Hostel accommodation provider in Scotland with 4,500 beds in more than 70 locations. Around 60% of SYHA visitors are from outside Scotland.

In addition, the SYHA provides an extensive programme of outdoor activities for hostellers of all ages, and for those with and without previous experience of their chosen activity.

For further information visit the SYHA’s website at www.syha.org.uk
or Contact the National Office at :
7 Glebe Crescent, Stirling FK8 2JA
Telephone 01786 891400

Activity 1 - Choosing a Youth Hostel for a Weekend Trip

Aim: To decide which Youth Hostel to visit, how to get there and what to do.

Get your young people to:
• Describe Youth Hostel types and facilities; locations; expected conduct.
• Choose the location, date and duration of the stay.
• Choose the mode of travel to/from the Hostel and between Hostels. o • Choose activities to follow during the day (walking, cycling, kayaking, climbing, or whatever your group might be interested in).

This activity is aimed at deciding the broad aims of the trip. For younger groups, some level of pre-planning by the leader might be required, with limited choices for the participants. The trip will probably last 2 days/i night in the local area. Older groups might be allowed to decide more for themselves, within the constraints of practicability and safety. The trip might take 3 days/2 nights in more unfamiliar territory, including abroad.

Tips / Advice:
Other Hostels (not part of the YHA) and Camping Barns are also available, or you could use contacts with other church groups to use their facilities as the base for a trip.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
• The leader should hold the Camp and Holiday Leadership qualification,
• Any adventurous activities should be risk assessed and led by suitably qualified staff only.

Activity2 - Youth Hostel Trip Costs

Aim: To set a budget for a Youth Hostel trip.

• Explain to the group the charge structure for YHA overnight stays, including temporary membership or group membership fees if appropriate.
• Get the group to think about The possible modes of transport to/from their Youth Hostel and the respective costs (car, minibus, rail, coach, ferry, etc.).
• Describe Youth Hostel members’ kitchens, equipment and meal prices and explain the cost and time difference between purchasing meals and self-catering.
• Get the group to think about the activities they might like to do and indicate the likely costs (training/adventure courses, entry fees etc.).
• Allow the group to make reasonable choices and work out a rough cost per member. At this point the group should have enough information to write an introductory letter to parents/guardians. Sign the letter from yourself and your young people.

Tips / Advice:
• Self catering (about £5 per day for food) is much cheaper than taking Hostel provided meals (about £15 per day), but it takes a significant amount of time out of each day’s programme.
• Youth Hostel kitchens vary from well equipped (including full cookers and microwave ovens) to quite simple (gas rings only), but most have fridges. Some members’ kitchens are quite small and could be swamped by large, self-catering groups. Check with the Hostel first.
• If using minibuses for transport, check with BBHQ for the latest UWEEC regulations on “hire and reward”, especially if the trip fees include any element for transport.
• Although your young people might be planning the trip, remember you have overall responsibility for their safety.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment
The group might have to underwrite some of the trip costs, especially for unforeseen expenses or late withdrawals.

Activity 3 - Youth Hostel Trip Menu

Aim: To plan a menu for a Youth Hostel trip.

• Explain the need for a nutritious, balanced menu, perhaps taking ideas from The Topic.
• Remind the group of the constraints of the budget and the limitations of the kitchen.
• Allow the group to make affordable and reasonable choices, remembering that vegetarian options might be necessary. It is important that the food is liked by all and will be eaten. The group should be encouraged to take part in the purchase of food for the trip, which might conveniently be done the evening before departure.

Tips / Advice:
• In a simple Hostel kitchen, only two-pan meals are feasible. This often prevents chips (even the oven variety) being used. Rice and pasta based meals, with pie-prepared and frozen stews, curries, pasta sauces or chilli con came are quick and easy to prepare.
• Get your young people to do the cooking.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
The leader should be aware of food hygiene precautions and general kitchen safety.

Activity 4/5 - Youth Hostel Trip Activities

Aim: To plan the activity programme for a Youth Hostel trip


Get your young people to:
• Outline the chosen activities for the trip, with estimated times.
• Make a timed programme, including some “free time” each day.
• Make detailed plans where required, e.g. route cards for walking, cycling, kayaking, or climbing trips.

This activity might spread over two 30 minute sessions, especially where additional detailed planning is required. Younger groups will need considerable guidance. Older groups could undertake this planning themselves, with the leader acting as a consultant. The leader should make a risk assessment of the activities chosen, with the young people.

Tips / Advice:
A recent YHA “Groups Away” leaflet has the following activity ideas:

• Conwy, cycling (scenic and mountain)
• Swaledale, mountain biking
• Ambleside, Lakeland art
• Langdon Beck, ecolo’ and conservation
• Hunstanton, birdwatching
• Windermere, mountain walking
• Edale, caving, kayaking, mountain navigation, climbing
• Cheddar, abseiling, caving, archeiy, orienteering
• Broad Haven, 2-day adventure (surfing/kayaking/climbing + pony trekking)
• Cardiff, Millennium Stadium tour, quad biking, paint-ball games, climbing wall

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
The leader should be aware of BB regulations concerning adventurous activities and be satisifed that staff (BB or external) leading activities are competent and qualified.

Activity 6 - Personal Kit for a Youth Hostel Trip.

Aim: To devise a kit list for a Youth Hostel trip.

• Remind the group of the Hostel facilities, the activities chosen, the need for personal hygiene and limits on how much can be carried.

• With the group, draw up a list of clothing and toiletries required to make the trip comfortable for everyone.

• Add to the list any specialised clothing or equipment needed for activities.

• Agree what items of personal entertainment will be allowed (mobile phones, electronic games, music players).

• Make suggestions for quiet indoor activities (e.g. board games, cards etc.) for evening iree time”.

The group should be able to pack most of their kit into a small holdall or sports bag, except items required for specialist activities (kayaking, cycling, climbing).

Tips / Advice:
For outdoor activities, a complete change of warm clothes, with water and wind-proof outer garments is essential. A small rucksack is useful, rather than a handheld bag. One change of clothes, including footwear, is needed for inside the Hostel and travelling only.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
The leader should be aware of BB regulations concerning adventurous activities and be satisifed that staff (BB or extemal) are competent and qualified to lead them.


  • company
  • discoverer
  • Outdoor and Adventure
  • recreation
  • Youth Hostelling

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