Services for Young People Hertfordshire Services for Young People

Residential courses feedback

Here are some of the comments we received from young people who took part in our residential courses

Young people creating a fence out of natural materials as part of a conservation activity.

Feedback received in August 2023 from young people attending John Muir Award residential course as part of the DofE Gold Award 


"One of the most fulfilling and fun courses I have taken part in."

“There was a huge variety of tasks and challenges, so I always felt like I was experiencing something new. It was by far one of the cheapest and most fulfilling and fun courses I have taken part in. The instructors were helpful, making me feel comfortable and supported, giving useful tips if I was struggling with activities. I always felt safe and the staff walked us through the crucial safety precautions before starting an activity. I enjoyed the challenge obstacle course the most, finding creative and inventive solutions. It was great to also do things off-site and explore the local area. It was very interesting to learn about all the (often overlooked) aspects of the natural world and how important it is to preserve our surroundings. The catering staff were very patient, offering a wide range of choices and using high quality ingredients. The accommodation facilities were excellent and clean.”


"Badger spotting, outdoor activities and long-lasting friendships"

“The best week! I made new friends and became closer to an old friend during my time at Hudnall. I felt safe before doing anything. I liked all the activities, particularly archery, the zip wire and having a campfire. My favourite was the badger hide activity and staying up to see if we would see any and the off-site visit to the zoo. I loved the food, it was amazing and there was plenty of it”.


"Beyond expectations!"

“I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did! Staff stuck to the itinerary, making sure activities ran to time. I enjoyed the go karting, campfire, archery and the off-site visit to the zoo.”


"Well organised, great instructors and excellent food"

“All of the activities were well organised. The instructors were great, always open to questions and I learnt a lot through the activities. The food was excellent (coming from a picky eater!)”


"Calm and peaceful environment with understanding instructors"

“A great mixture of activities and downtime. The instructors varied the learning approach depending on the activity and were kind and extremely understanding of my anxiety, which made me feel calm. I loved the night trail and butterfly activity. I enjoyed having a project to work towards throughout the week. It gave me motivation with the progress we made. Hudnall Park is a calm and peaceful environment and there was an amazing variety of food, which you could order the night before. ”

"Spotless accommodation, good value and interesting activities"

“This course was good value for money, with extensive activities and the conservation part was particularly interesting. I felt extremely safe at Hudnall. It had the best accommodation that I have been to for young people- it was spotless. The grounds are excellently maintained. The food was varied so we didn’t get bored and were well-sized and filling.”

"Delicious food, lots of new learning and an incredible view"

“[The course] wasn’t what I had expected… it was better! I had the best week. I learnt a lot of new things and the instructors were very knowledgeable. I felt very safe before each activity and my favourites were the low ropes, go-karting and the butterfly survey. The view at Hudnall Park is absolutely incredible. The food was a highlight – delicious!”

"Insightful and enjoyable"

“The course was very insightful and enjoyable . The staff gave clear instructions, were approachable, helpful and encouraged me to try new things. I enjoyed the bike ride. The food was yummy and allergies were well catered for.”

"A good mix of extensive activities"

“ The accommodation was lovely and I always felt safe. The catering staff were nice and accommodating and there was something on the menu for everyone.  I enjoyed the mix of extensive activities, including sport/games and the John Muir conservation part. This side of the course was very interesting and probably my favourite.



"Thank you for such a splendid week, I don't want to go back to normality! I will remember the residential for a long time, it was brilliant.”

"Lots to learn"

“I learnt lots about John Muir himself, as well as many facts about wildlife. The residential was even better than I expected. Such a range of things to do!”


“It was more than expected, it was amazing!”


"Activities to develop my skills"

“The week is full of a range of activities.  There was lots to learn and many opportunities to develop a range of skills.”


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