Application process

Below you will find information on the following:

  • Online application form
  • References
  • Applying for a DBS enhanced certificate

Online application form

If you would like to apply to serve on an ACORN camp, you can apply online here.

Before applying, please note:
  • All volunteers need to be available at Budapest airport from the time agreed by your Team Leader. By applying, you confirm that this is the case.
  • Acceptance onto a mission team is at the discretion of the Team Leader of the camp you are applying to, the ACORNCAMPS short-term missions coordinator and is subject to references and a DBS check.
  • Camp Planning time is compulsory for all non-Hungarian applicants. See below for more information.
  • Your application relies on your agreement with the Doctrinal Basis of Faith, found here.
  • If you wish ACORN to book your flights, you must apply by Friday 10th January 2020. Those applying after this date need to book their own flights. Please read more to make your own travel arrangements.
  • All applications must be received before 24th January 2020.
Application Process Details - please read when completing the application
If you would like to go ahead and apply to volunteer on camp with ACORN next summer, the first step is to Sign Up. Give the email you’ll check most often and make yourself a password - you’ll then have created your own account. Your details will be saved as you fill out the form, so you can take your time in filling it out.
You first need to complete the ‘My Profile’ section with your personal information, which you'll only need to add once - it will be saved for future years* to save you time! It requires 100% completion. (Notes: for Date last served with AC: YYYY; Date of DBS expiry: 3 years from the time you were issued) 
Then complete the ACORN Application Form. Please check with those acting as your Referees before you give their details on the application form.
*ACORN Privacy Notice: Your details will be held for 1 year in the event of serving with ACORN in 2020. After the time of service, you can manage your communication preferences via the emails that are sent to you from ACORN. In the case of the application not being successful, your details will be deleted from the system after our last contact with you, and you will be notified of this action.

ACORNCAMPS aims to confirm receipt of your application within one week. Further information on the outcome of the application will be provided at that time.

Planning for your mission week

Part of your service with ACORNCAMPS on mission will be meeting to plan with your team. This will be arranged within your team, and may be on one or more occasions. It is an important time to prepare spiritually, culturally and practically for your mission trip overseas.

At this time you will learn more about the week, deepen relationships with other team members and work through the practicalities of running the camp. ACORNCAMPS, as a UK Charitable Company, has the responsibility to ensure everyone is fully equipped for overseas mission, and is trained in the current safeguarding procedures. As such this planning time is compulsory for all UK volunteers, and you are are expected to make attendance at minimum one planning event a priority if you wish to apply to ACORNCAMPS.

This is why application forms are only processed if you have stated that you will prioritize attending. It is expected that your team leader will make every effort to arrange it at a time convenient to the whole team. The only usual reasons for not attending are (i) unexpected events such as the wedding or death of an immediate family member (ii) a previous commitment which has been discussed with your camp leader.


Information for Applicants

The Application Form will ask for referees to vouch for your character and suitability to volunteer in this mission context. An email will automatically be sent to the people you name as your references. You are entitled to see the reference and may request this from us.

RETURNEE Applicants – if you have served with ACORNCAMPS in the past, you are only required to provide one reference - the Church Referee. Please use the most senior member of your church who knows you well e.g. Minister / Pastor, Elder, Youth Leader, Student Leader etc. If you require a paper copy or would like to discuss anything further please contact us.

NEW Applicants – if you have not volunteered with ACORNCAMPS before, you must provide 2 referees:

  1. Church Referee – See description above.
  2. Second Referee – This should be anyone who knows you well and can account for your character and suitability to volunteer in this role.

Information for Referees

Thank you for being willing to complete a reference for someone wanting to volunteer with ACORNCAMPS. Please make sure you read the What is ACORNCAMPS?, and the Should I go? sections first to aid your understanding of who we are and what we look for in our volunteers.

Mentors: the mentors have an important role on the camp: We are asking them to model expository-style engaging youth talks for the student; give feedback on students’ talks and share life and ministry with them throughout the week.

Mentors will be:

  • Gifted, experienced Bible teachers with a passion for seeing lives changed
  • People who can pastorally care and disciple others
  • People of integrity, whose life and ministry is Christ-like and marked by humility and servant-heartedness
  • Comfortable in serving within a cross-cultural setting

Working with teenagers in a cross-cultural mission setting with a difficult language barrier is not easy. Due to the limited number of team places, it is essential that every team member is one (or a combination of) the following ‘types’:

  1. CAMP MAKER: someone who makes a camp happen. This could include a gifted speaker / large personality / older Christian who cares for the team / activity leader / program planner.
  2. TEENAGE ENGAGER: someone who is naturally gifted to pro-actively talk and engage deeply with teenagers.
  3. POTENTIAL LEADER: someone whom you feel could be involved in the future work.

We aim to use the opportunity camps provide for people to use the gifts that God has given them. This might involve being stretched out of their normal comfort zone. However, people are not forced to do things they really feel unable to do. There is opportunity on the reference form to mention particular reasons for recommending someone, for examples what skills, abilities or experience they have. Please note that the applicant may request a copy of your reference at any time before camp, so please keep this in mind as you write it.

For access to the reference forms, please see here:

  • Church Reference (New Applicants), please click here
  • Second Reference (New Applicants), please click here
  • Church Reference (Returning Applicants), please click here

If you require a paper copy or would like to discuss anything further please contact us.

Applying for a DBS enhanced certificate

ACORNCAMPS requires that all volunteers have a valid enhanced DBS certificate.

  • Returnees: you will be contacted if you need to renew your ACORNCAMPS DBS certificate.
  • Payment: your donation for the mission week covers the cost of the DBS check. 
  • Residency: if you are not resident in the UK please contact our DBS coordinator.

Application process

1. Before you start 

Before starting this process, please make sure you have your:

  • National Insurance number
  • Resident addresses for the last 5 years

2. Complete the DBS U-Check application form online

  • Go to the U-Check on-line form.
  • Select the left-hand box – Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Application.
  • Organisation Reference: ACOR5 (capitals) and Password: acorfive (lowercase).
  • Read the first page and tick to confirm agreement – ‘The Statement of fair processing
  • Complete form online.
  • For Employment – please use: Work Force Type – Child Workforce; Position Applied for – Camp Leader Children.
  • Make a note of your unique form reference number and then exit.
  • Please contact our DBS Coordinator ASAP after you have completed the online part, or if you have any problems in completing it.

3.  Verifying your 3 ID Documents

We now need to verify your identity through 3 original valid documents. (See Documents Applicants Must Provide) As we use an online service, we have to use Route 1. If for any reason you cannot follow Route 1, please contact our DBS Coordinator as soon as possible.

3 ways of having your documents verified:

  1. Bring your original 3 documents plus a photocopy of each one to the Camp Planning Day for them to be verified. [cost – free]
  2. Use the Post Office Document Certification Service where you can take your original 3 documents and photocopies which will be verified [cost – £10:50 which you need to pay]. Then post the verified copies to 31 Gables Close, Fearnhead, Warrington, WA2 0DR
  3. (Not recommended) Send your original documents registered post (together with a stamped-address envelope registered post) to the Warrington address above. [cost ~ £16 for both ways which you need to pay.]

4. Completion of Check

The DBS Co-ordinator will complete the 2nd part of the check online when your documents have been verified.

5. End of the process

We will keep you posted as to the progress of your application. If you have any questions or concerns please contact our DBS Coordinator.