Saturday, 16 May 2015

Parents meeting for Brownie camp - what happens?

When a Brownie pack calls a parent meeting for Brownie camp, I urge you to go even if you don't always attend meetings for Brownie holidays. Camps are so different and it's important to know what's happening, what's expected and why we are asking for specific kit. 
NB - these are Midlands Brownies in a tent, pic from Girlguiding Midlands news story. Not my Brownies (would love to know whose though, they look like they're having fun!)

Camping can be hard for Brownies, often it's their first time in a tent and we (leaders and parents) need to support them so they have a great time, love camping and want to continue camping as Guides when they often camp longer, further away and even abroad.

So a parents meeting is likely to focus on the importance of the items on the kit list. There's a blanket on there not just to show off any badges seen on it but because no matter how warm it is in the day, it will be cold at night.
There's a request that every item be named or identifiable right down to cutlery because when it's all washed up together, how do you expect to get it back otherwise?
Sleeping bags etc should be in a bedding roll (inside a groundsheet) or a water right stuff sack because if bedding gets wet while tents are going up, or if a tent leaks, it's nearly impossible to get dry.
Some things might be listed as optional. I'd always recommend sending those too, because there's a reason they're on there. Our optional list for the next camp includes waterproof trousers, I'll personally be taking them as they defend not just against rain but also cold wind.
Then there's the do not take items - your daughter might not want to be parted from her phone, iPod or hair straighteners but a/ where's she planning on charging them, a tree? And b/ camp is about setting those things to one side for a while and enjoying the outdoors.

Other items likely to be covered in the parents meeting include the proposed menu - dietary needs can be accounted for but when you are cooking for 30, the cook will not be making different meals  for fussy girls!

You are likely to be asked to fill in the consent form if you haven't already - remember to put contacts for that specific weekend which might be different from your normal contacts - and pay the balance for camp if you haven't done so. Health forms shouldn't be filled in until just before camp but often leaders ask you to fill them in now so they can be aware of any major issues and then update just before camp with anything that's happened recently.

What else happens depends on the unit. Our unit is lucky enough to have some old style Brownie uniform as pack holiday uniform so we issue each girl with a tshirt and jumper, and trousers if possible (we don't have many of those that fit/the elastic hasn't gone) because it's better to trash those than her own newer clothes.

We also run through behaviour and what we expect. We reinforce that on camp but it's good to mention in front of the girls when they are with their parents so they can support us.


K Ville said...

Camp is a whole different kettle of fish isn't it. I am so happy when I get experienced campers, well trained through brownies and guides that come on to Rangers. They are a joy to have on camp, watching them pitch, fire light, cook, put the kettle on...ahhhh the life of a Ranger leader LOL Brownie Leaders that are prepared to camp amaze me, You are very stoic! :)

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