Camping is enjoyable – if you are prepared!For over 30 years scores of Waerenga Rally Boys & Girls have enjoyed camping in the bush up many of our beautiful local valleys. This, of ourse, would never happen without the dedication of the leaders who put in many hours of preparation to make these camps a success.There are many aspects of planning a camp that you need to consider:
- When & Where
- Information, Declarations & Parent support
- Equipment & Setup
- Program & Menu
- When & Where
When considering a campsite we think of:
Proximity to our district
- If we are close by parents are more willing to help
- We don’t want to haul equipment too far
Clearing & Bush Cover
- Sufficient flat area to set up tents and run activities
- Plenty of Bush cover for shade and seclusion
- Water is not only a necessity for cups of tea & washing up, but also masses of fun for the children, so we make sure our campsite is right beside a creek and, if possible, a swimming hole is nearby
Information, Declarations & Parent Support
Parents like to be well-informed so make sure your Camp Notices include plenty of information:
When, Where, What to Bring, Costs, Leader contact phone numbers during camp
Camper’s name & contact phone number, Health conditions, Medication, Dietary requirements, Declaration signed by Camper/Parent or Guardian & Rally Leader.
Offers of Help
Parents indicate whether they can stay at camp overnight, or attend camp during the day as a helper (make sure you have a good ratio of adults to children). They can also indicate whether their child has a tent to bring along and how many it sleeps.
Equipment & Setup
After years of camping our Rallies are well set-up with the following equipment:
Communal Area: Big Top Tent, Large woven mats for sitting on, Camp chairs & Trestles, Gas lamps
Food Tent: Tent with trestles & food safe inside for food and equipment storage
Camp Kitchen: Fire Grate/Plate, Copper for boiling water (otherwise you’ll need Billy’s), Pots, Pans, Jugs, Teapots, Tubs & brushes for washing dishes, Water containers, cups/plates/cutlery (we supply them – but you can get the children to bring their own), utensils, serving dishes, tea towels, pot mitts
Ablutions: Toilet shed, hand-wash tub, solar shower
Miscellaneous: First aid kit, matches, mantels, torches, wooden plank bridge if camp is on both sides of the creek
Your equipment needs may vary if you camp-out only 1 night, or you have facilities available to you (eg. toilet, running water, kitchen).
Program & Menu
Our camp program and menu follow the same format each year, with the exception of the Saturday afternoon & Sunday morning activity slots which we vary. Our basic program runs as follows:
(Set up main campsite earlier in the day eg. Communal Area, Food Tent, Kitchen, Ablutions)
5:00pm Children arrive at campsite. Set up tents. Prepare Dinner.
7:30pm DINNER (Sausages, Salad, Bread. Custard, Fruit Salad)
8:30pm Camp Rules & Instructions
9:00pm SUPPER (Baking, Milo)
9:30pm Bed & debrief for leaders
10:00pm Lights out
7:00am Report for exercise under Big Top
7:30am BREAKFAST (Cereal, Fruit, Toast)
8:30am Tent Inspection. Singing
9:40am MORNING TEA (Baking, Fruit, Cordial)
10:00am Hike (Muesli Bars)
12:30pm LUNCH (Rolls, Salad fillings, Luncheon, Baking, Fruit)
3:00pm AFTERNOON TEA (Baking, Fruit, Cordial)
3:30pm Build Boats for Boat Race
4:30pm Boat Race
5:00pm Swim & Free-time
7:00pm DINNER (Corned Beef, Roast Meat, Potatoes, Salad. Custard, Fruit Salad)
9:30pm SUPPER (Baking, Milo, Smores)
10:00pm Lights out & Leaders debrief
7:30am Report for exercise under Big Top
8:00am BREAKFAST (Cereal, Fruit, Toast)
9:30am Tent Inspection. Singing
10:30am MORNING TEA (Baking, Fruit, Cordial)
12:30pm LUNCH (Rolls, Salad fillings, Luncheon, leftover Corned Beef, Baking, Fruit)
2:00pm Children picked up
On the first night of camp everyone is assigned a number and a buddy, which provides a quick way to check everyone is present.
Some of the badges we have covered are Camp Cooking, Camping, Outdoor, Wildlife, Conservation, Exploring, Map & Compass, Ropework, Weather, Sport and Cycling (We swapped the hike for a cycle ride). This year we did the Pottery badge which the girls thoroughly enjoyed. Other fun activities are Scavenger Hunts and Tabloid Games during the day, and Spotlight and Eeling at night.
An area of the program you do not want to neglect is the devotions. At camp, with a more relaxed atmosphere, the children are often more open and there are plenty of moments during the day when leaders can have further casual one-on-one discussions with the children. Devotions could tie in with the camp’s activities: This year we did our devotions on the Potter & Clay to go with the Pottery badge. Another year we did Exploring the Bible to go with the Exploring badge. You might take the opportunity to invite a guest speaker along to camp.
So it might all seem like too much work, but it will most likely be the highlight of your Rally members’ year – I know it is for our girls. So consider the effort of camping as a valuable investment into your Rally Members lives.