guideydiary

keeping track of my adventures in guiding!

Camp survived!

Over the weekend our long-planned Secret Island Camp was held!

There were many girls (27!), lots of fun, little sleep, limited rain, and lovely co-leaders!

Friday night’s bus went well, it really is an easier way to get camp started to have everyone arrive together than coming in bits and bobs (and getting lost along the way!), and I know many of the parents were positively gleeful at saying goodbye to their darlings at 5pm… especially those with only two daughters, both who came on camp!! One of our long-time mums (her elder daughter has been in Guiding 7 years now) barely said goodbye, she was so excited to hand them over and enjoy her weekend! The newer parents were a touch more apprehensive, which was quite cute 🙂

The only major drama on Friday was one of our little ones was quite sick – vomited all over herself, the table, the chair, the floor… poor kid. By the time she was cleaned up etc, it was nearly 10pm, so we decided to see how she went overnight rather than try and get her picked up. This turned out to be the right call, as she was fine overnight (although I was waking up at every sound expecting it to be her!!), and was 100% in the morning, just crazy hungry, as of course you would be after losing all your dinner!

Saturday had the epic wide game I’ve been planning for weeks, which ended up going really well. All the clues and instructions made sense, even the little ones were able to figure what they were meant to do with only the smallest of hints, and they pretty much spent the day working their way through the challenges!

The big hits of the day were using ropes to build a ‘bridge’ over the ‘river’ (extra kudos to the oldest patrol who even took the time to attempt proper knots!); hunting down the butterflies I’d carefully scattered across the campsite; cooking lunch over the fire (we did pizza pockets and chocolate cake in oranges), and finding Princess Rimi. Actually, the poor old Princess was quite the hit, especially with the younger Guides! They tried to love her to death, poor girl, so she had to be re-rescued by me and put back together… I think I’ll have to do some work to restore her skirts, as they were put quite askew!!

In the evening we had an indoor campfire as it had started to rain quite a bit, and given the trouble we had lighting the fires to cook our lunches on (when it was blue skies!)…

Before the singing began, we had the girls do their skits – some were just awful, but others were completely hilarious! The highlight was a bunch of girls dressed in grass skirts and leis who started doing hula dancing which then morphed into an ’emergency’, where they quickly whipped out the slings they’d prepared earlier, before continuing to hula!

Saturday night the majority of the older girls slept outside in tents, with the little girls and a couple of less-keen older kids indoors. MUCH QUIETER indoors without 3 noisy Rangers keeping the tiny ones awake!!

Sunday, usual co-leader and I had just the Juniors, while sister units two leaders took the older girls on a hike into the local state forest.

To keep the Juniors entertained co-leader did a shorter wide game (based on one I did years ago with a spy theme), which they all loved! I think they enjoyed competing against themselves, as they could see quite early in the larger wide game that even with some activities modified to be harder for the older girls that they were waaaaaaaaaaaaay behind the eight ball, whereas with the little wide game, they felt they had a solid chance of winning 🙂

After a quick outdoor lunch of baked potatoes (baked in the oven!!), it was time to say goodbye. It was a fabulous weekend, one almost enough to make me reconsider my generally anti-camp sentiments 🙂

It really does make a difference when you mesh well with your co-leaders. Last year’s camp I had no real issue with 2 of the other leaders, but also just didn’t really *get* them. This year I felt that all four of us were broadly on the same page in terms of our views about what the girls should be getting out of the weekend, and how we related to the kids. It also seemed like the four of us were much more in tune and consistent in how we chatted with the kids, and the rules we put down. So much less stressful!

Here’s a picture of the “beautiful” Princess Rimi, for your viewing pleasure!

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Getting prepared for the Secret Island!

Very exciting developments, our camp with Sister Unit and Rangers Unit is starting to come together! And unlike previous years where we’ve really struggled to get numbers interested, this year we’re nearly full! And its still five weeks away!

We’ve got 15 signed up from our unit, 7 from Sister Unit, and 3 from Rangers Unit, which is just fantastic. Each of the three units is reasonably small, so as a proportion of total girls possible, we’re doing amazingly.

To give you a sense of how big a change this is, our first joint camp two years ago included 5 girls from Sister Unit, 2 from my unit, and 1 from another neighbouring unit. Our camp last year was barely any better – 2 from Sister Unit, 6 from my unit, and the balance (around 12) made up by a unit from out of District.

So you can see why I’m psyched at the response rate!

Also hugely positive – I’ve started putting together the wide game, and after a slow start, its finally coming together. The central ‘theme’ is a runaway princess, who got scared by all the noise and lights of the place being invaded by a bunch of Guides! Tasks will include building a rope bridge over a ‘river’, decoding a message, using a compass (very briefly), a little bit of knotting, some crafty activities, following a trail, and of course, most importantly, cooking lunch over a fire.

All in all, its shaping up to be a great camp! Fingers crossed it stays that way!

 

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