Camp Planning - ScoutHelp

First steps in planning your camp:

In the UK at least, and I suspect everywhere else in the Scouting world, the first thing to be dealt with is official Forms - these have to be completed and sent in at least six weeks prior to the date of your proposed camp. Forms are a necessary evil. You may hate the very thought of yet more paperwork, but they are for your protection as well as the scouts.

You can't take your unit camping on your own, and anyway you wouldn't want to, it is simply too much for one person to cope with. There needs to be a camp license holder in overall charge and a First-Aider. If you are taking large numbers, you will need additional adults that are CRB checked to ensure the official scout-adult ratios are met.

Choosing a suitable camp site:

This is largely a matter of personal taste. You may go by experience or, if you are new to this camping lark, you may have to trust recommendations from friends and associates. Most regions have one or more official Guide campsites and most Scout Association campsites also welcome Guides.

Campsites vary in amenities, from a basic field with nothing else provided to fully-equipped sites where all you have to provide is the scouts and their own personal kit. Be aware that camping in a farmer's field may sound fun, but it will probably involve erecting, using, emptying and cleaning chemical toilets! Fully-equipped sites will usually supply tents, cooking equipment, on-site water, flush toilets and showers, and may even arrange activities for you. We prefer the middle road and usually camp on a local Scout Association site which has hot and cold running water, flush toilets and showers but where we take all our own equipment.

You need to make sure the camp site fits the needs of your camp. If you want an activity camp make sure that you can do activities. Having found your camp site, try to visit it if at all possible. Work out how long it takes to get there, what you can do, what equipment you will need and make sure you can prepare the scouts enough to be ready for whats a head of them.

Getting organized:

Make lists of everything you need to take and do. KIT LIST's are a must to tell the scouts what they need to take with them. You need to make sure that everything is planed and you have a backup plan if something goes wrong. If you end up getting lost on a walk or an activity being canceled make sure everything is planed don't leave anything to chance it doesn't work. If you are going to have a theme weekend make sure you take everything you will need for the theme weekend with you any craft stuff or clothes or costumes anything.

You need to make sure you plan out what food you going to have, most scout leaders know that scouts can eat a lot of food all the time, you need to take enough with you to last but not so much you have loads left at the end. Its food that gives everyone energy make sure you plan out what you want to eat and that it is balanced. Also draw up a menu so that you know what food will be used when. A day or two before you leave you need to go round the shops and by everything for the camp.

Rotas are a must to ensure the smooth running of your camp. Once you have numbers (and names) confirmed, divide the troop up into groups plan out what they will be doing and when. Make sure that everyone has a fair share of all the jobs. You will always get one or more people complain that it is unfair but life isn't always fair.

Transport to and from camp:

This can often be one of the biggest headaches of all. Depending how far from home you are camping, you may be able to rely on parents to deliver the girls to the campsite, leaving you to get the equipment there, or you may have to arrange transport for everyone and everything. If you do have to arrange for transport ask around scouting friends they may have access to a minibus or another form of transport.

Costing your camp

MUST be done accurately - you will have to keep detailed accounts for auditing along with the rest of your books. You will need to take into account camp site fees, food, craft and games equipment, consumable materials (toilet rolls, washing up liquid, etc. etc.), transport (including days out) and ANYTHING else to do with your camp that you have had to pay out - postage, forms, badges etc. Until you have actually done your shopping some of these amounts will only be estimates, but make sure you OVER-estimate and don't leave yourself out of pocket.

Once you have reached a final total, divide it by the number of campers and inform the parents how much camp is going to cost - and be prepared to justify your price.

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