Thursday, 29 May 2008

Camper Advanced

Daughter is working hard in the run up to camp to earn her Camper Advanced badge:

1. Do each of the following:

** You should have spent at least four nights or more away at Brownie camp.
Will achieve if she stays the whole camp in July.

** Make a poster showing your favourite things about Brownie camp.
Done: eggy bread, archery, putting up tents and collecting water all feature!

2. Help organise an activity with your Brownie friends at camp.
Needs to do this at camp

3. Tell a Brownie who has never been to camp what camp life is like. Help her learn the following camp skills.

** How to keep bedding and clothes dry. Done, with the Brownie over the road

** Keep the camp area safe and tidy. Done, with the Brownie over the road

** Prepare, cook and serve meals. Done, with the Brownie over the road
** Wash up and clear away after a meal.
Done, with the Brownie over the road

4. Help another Brownie make something to remind her of the camp, or to keep a camp diary.
Needs to do this at camp

5. Help plan the camp, including:

** Choosing the theme or reason for going.
As theme already set, she has named the seven tents within the theme. 

** Suggesting activities, games and places to visit.
Has suggested some games and activities and though we are not going offsite, has pinpointed things we could have visited in the area.

** Planning meals and menus.
Took part in choosing options and made a pretend menu.

6. Do each of the following:

** Know how to keep safe when you are out and about on Brownie camp.

** Know how to keep the camp area safe.

** Know the Country Code, the Green Cross Code and the Water Safety Code.
This was fun! She knew the water safety code as we just did the water safety badge at Brownies and was easily able to do a quiz based on it. She knew the Green Cross Code and recited it. Country code she memorised and was able to recite it the next day so I was happy with that.

So a bit more to do but she's got a good chance of passing it. She was really thrilled, I had thought it would be impossible as the theme was already set, it being a county camp. But I consulted with some other Guiders and they all came back and said this was such a hard requirement, if it wasn't possible they let girls do theoretical responses and as long as they were feasible, they would accept it.

Sunday, 18 May 2008


The division swimming gala was last night - four Rainbow teams, somewhere between 12 and 14 Brownie teams and seven or eight Guide teams.

The reason I don't know exactly how many is that I left my programme with a Guide Guider to use after we left!

Anyway, here's how we did:
  • Newbie swimmer - our girl came second in her heat. This was a really small category so only the winners were in the final.
  • Under 8 breaststroke - our girl pulled out ill a couple of hours before so our very nervous reserve had to swim. She came second in the heat and sixth in the final.
  • Under 9 backstroke - our girl rocked this. First in her heat, second in the final.
  • Under 10 freestyle - I felt sorry for this Brownie, she is super-fast but just drew super-fast competitors too, she was fourth in the heat.
  • Any age freestyle - this was my daughter. She was second in her heat, third in the final.
  • Relay - three girls swam a length each, first one breaststroke, second backstroke, third freestyle. The girls were fabulous - second in their heat, second in the final, both times to a team of really fast swimmers who were in the team that went on to win the cup.

So, we ended up fourth overall, the highest we have ever placed.

I was so proud of them all.

We left after the Brownie section of the gala, but when we left, our Guides were doing really well, so I suspect there may be some silverware there this year.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Am I a camping convert?

I actually had a really good time. I did go in with a positive attitude, there's no point whinging about something when it has to be done after all.

We had gorgeous weather the whole weekend, we had to slather ourselves repeatedly in sun cream from 9am to about 3pm both days.

We only set up three tents in the end, as we ended up with 2 Guiders, 4 Guides and my Brownie daughter. The other Guider and her daughter came down very ill two days before, the Guider very worryingly so actually, she had quite a scary time of it though she seems to be recovering a bit now.

So we had a tent for the 4 Guides, a tent for the two Guiders and the Brownie and an enormous tent to store all the equipment and food.

I think that's what puts me off camping over taking the girls away indoors: putting up tents, cleaning all the equipment, taking down tents, drying them off (which was easy in the baking sun but obviously is a nightmare in rain or mud) and also all the equipment you need personally.

Anyway, the girls had a blast, and did so much: archery, built ballisters (google it, I didn't know either), jousted on hobby horses, made medieval hats, patrol shields and most fun of all medieval arts - which was really circus skills.

The circus instructor was fantastic, and he was also the evening entertainment - after the pig roast! He was really really funny and had everyone in the palm of his hand for 45-50 mins, it just flew by so I'm not quite sure.

There was also a campfire on Saturday night, and the leader of that was great, got everyone up, even those that didn't really want to and made suitable mockery of the cubs who were also staying on site and were invited to join us for the campfire.

Daughter raced through her camper badge without even realising, just by dint of helping cook, collecting water, making stuff, doing her bedding roll and so on. She also nearly completed her circus performer badge too, she just needed to design a clown face and since she has done that at school and you can have one requirement done at school, she's passed that too.

So that's all the news that's fit to print. I survived, and enjoyed myself, but can't see me choosing to do it beyond the next trip in July.

Oh, and I have a bit of a tan too!

Saturday, 3 May 2008


Well, since I am still online most days and have been visiting Bloglines and commenting on blogs, it seemed pointless not to be here too!

Here's a recap on my week for you, kind of like those bits at the beginning of TV programmes:
  • Got the survival bags, they are flipping enormous! I'm nearly 5' 10" but they are taller than me...I suspect we may need to cut them down a little with shears. I'd assumed they'd got a youth to pose in that pic, but I reckon it's a full grown man! So as we don't want them for survival but to keep our stuff dry (I'd like to see a Brownie drag 6ft of bag behind her) I think the shears are needed. Still fab value though, and I'll come up with something to do with the left over hoops, maybe a dressing up night?

  • The bag for my stuff is great, just what I needed.

  • Other spending this week: some bungee cord to secure stuff, waterproof trousers for daughter (I decided against them for me because I looked a right lemon when I tried them on, I may come to regret that) and a pair of navy trousers for me to supplement my clothes for camp as jeans aren't recommended - they take too long to dry.

  • Guide Camp is this Friday coming. I'm nervous, but more because I feel I have a lot to learn to be able to take my Brownies away in July than for any other reason. The Guide Guider has shown me the menu and it looks good, filling.
Some exciting Brownie news, our Nemo trip will be free! We got back so much Gift Aid, and it really should be spent by the end of the year, that we can subsidise the trip completely, which I was thrilled about. It's gone down VERY well with the parents, more so I suspect than if we'd offered it free in the first place since they know it would have cost them £20 otherwise!

I hope to have some more exciting Brownie news by midweek as well, but I need to be sure we can get tickets first, don't want to jinx it.

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