Anni’s BOGUK badgework blog

September 5, 2008

camper

Filed under: Uncategorized — tbird @ 1:33 pm

A – for novice Campers. Complete all clauses

1. Attend a Guide camp for the full duration, spending at least 2 nights under canvas. Show a good knowledge of Guide Camping.

Spent the full week at Bounce Camp in Northants this August.

2. Take an active role in the Guide Camp, preferably with a defined role.

Was allocated as working in the International Tent running various activities for the girls on a theme of some of the major continents.

Be aware of the roles and responsibilities of each member of staff on the camp, and how the staff could change roles in an emergency.

On a camp the size of Bounce, there were a lot of differing roles etc and some just would not be easily stepped into unless you were part of the organising team (I’d have had no hope of stepping into the Admin team but I could have taken on a craft if the need had been there) However, I am aware of the normal “jobs” within a more usual sized camp and how, for example, someone could take over and cook a meal even if not the planned one, should the regular cook not be able to.

Understand the need for Guiders “time off” during a week-long camp.

I’m a mum, I know all about needing time off!!!! Seriously though, it is important that no one is carrying the team from dawn to dusk and also that the girls get down time too, it’s not good for either side of the equation if the girls are being kept busy and entertained all the time. Being frazzled and over tired does not make for a happy time for the Guider and probably not for the girls who end up bearing the brunt, however unintentionally, of fraying nerves.

3. Help to pitch & strike two different types of tent (e.g. a frame tent, a ridge tent etc)

I regularly pitch and take down a large dome tent and a smaller tunnel tent (when I say regularly, I mean I throw up the dome every time I go camping and the tunnel in the garden to act as a sun shelter/rain refuge when we are having good weather!) I’ve also over the past year or so pitched a Kyam “rigidome” type tent with a first time camper who discovered that it wasn’t as easy as the nice man in the shop said it would be (sigh) and helped pitch more framed gazebo type things than I care to think about. I do know how to do frame tents and ridges, I think I’ve even, in the dim past,  put up a bell one but it’s been a long time……

4. Know where in your locality you can obtain the camping equipment necessary for a Camp.

My local specialist shop is Outdoor World which is somewhat of an aladin’s cave! For odds and bods I’d possibly try the Army and Navy shop in the next town to me first but as either way I need to make a special trip and I can always find other things I need round the A49 area I usually end up at Outdoor World!

5. Take part in preparing Guides for camp.

Not having any Guides to prepare, I settled for adapting this clause into preparing my very own Brownie for her first away from Mummy camping experience, even if I was only in the next subcamp to her…… I used the Go for It Don’t forget Your Toothbrush pages from Guiding and made it a series of challenges.  We had a great time working through it and I probably learned nearlly as much as she did. The only thing I omitted to prepare her for adequately was looking after her feet, she struggles with socks (she’s dyspraxic) so rather than risking being told off for being late or laughed at for not being able to dress properly at age 7 she went without resulting in blisters which she ommited to tell anyone about (rolls eyes, I have the nasty habit of forgetting her SLDs because she is usually so capable within her own environment) so by the time her camp was over they were pretty sore meaning she learned all about salt footbaths the hard way.

6. Show an understanding of the principles of camp hygiene and the importance of order and cleanliness in camp generally.

Being a seasoned “family camper” I’m fairly familiar with this.  It is more difficult to keep clean without all the comforts of home but that’s what Johnson’s invented Baby Wipes for!  Oh, and alcohol gels make life a lot easier too although I don’t really like using them too much.  We have a “posh” flushing camp toilet and obviously that needs to be maintained properly to keep it sanitary, for me that includes wiping the flush thing over too so that we know that’s clean!  I don’t currently have a washbasin stand but having now seen how easy one is to make from bits of wood I’ll probably put one together before my next big camp.

Obviously kitchen hygeine is very important as you are much closer to nature (ie rodents and creepy crawlies) on a camp than at home!  One rule I instigated on our very first camp was that we wash up after every meal, no arguements!  Actually, with communal sinks at a lot of campsites (although not at the Guide camp I went to) washing up is a sort of social thing anyway.  Again, I was aware that a stand would have been really  handy, washing up on the ground is a pain.  Also spills need to be cleaned up fast otherwise they attact pests and food wase needs to be disposed off promptly to avoid it spoiling and presenting a health hazard.  As an asside, we have a No Milk Rule in our tent as our groundsheet isn’t the best in the world and getting the milk smell out of it the one time we had a spill is an experience I do not wish to repeat.

Keeping stuff tidy is a safety issue in a tent, if it’s lying about it will get tripped over.  Also if you are in a patrol tent if it’s not in your bag it’s a good chance of being accidentally put into someone elses bag and lost or put everyone else to an inconvenience cos your stuff is in their way which is just not fair.

7. Know what clothes you need for different kinds of weather. Demonstrate that you are prepared to get out of bed in the middle of the night (eg wellies, coat, torch etc).

I would just like to point out that although I would, in theory, get out of bed, it would have to be a life and death issue.  My sleeping bag is very nice thanks!  I do keep a battery lantern in my sleeping pod as well as my wonderful head torch (I change the batteries before every camp, just in case) and my boots and coat are always by my chair just outside the pod so I can put them on in a hurry.  I sleep in trackies and socks so I’m already decent in case I need to leap into action in the night.  In fact the only time I’ve ever had to get out of bed at night was to rescue someone else’s tent in a gale last year, ours was so thoroughly guyed and pegged down that it just sat there looking nonchelant whilst some of the others were collapsing in soggy heaps.

Obviously, for British camping you need layers, usually waterproof ones.  I tend to have leather boots with gaiters for the usual sort of weather but keep something lighter handy in case it stops raining at any point.  I have a general purpose hat which keeps both rain and sun off me.  Usually I find that polycotton trousers are best, they dry faster than all cotton and seem to be not too hot and not too cold.  I’ve been known to wear a skirt whilst camping, but not often, it has to be blisteringly hot before I part company with trousers.  I have also been known to wear jeans, despite them not being really aproved of, they do indeed take forever to dry if the weather is nasty but I had to find that one out the hard way didn’t I! After that I have teeshirts topped with sweatshirts if I need them, body warmer and a waterproof, it seems to cover most of what the weather can throw at me as I can layer up or down.  This year I also discovered teh joys of neckers for camping, they really do keep the chill off your neck, I’m wondering how much of a prat I’d look on a normal camp with a necker on….. Oh, and, because I’m ever the optomist, I always have factor 20 sunscreen handy!

8. Evaluate your bedding against an experienced campers. Are there any changes you would make next time (e.g. more blankets, camp bed instead of air bed ….). Understand the advantages and disadvantages of using/not using bedding rolls.

I thought I had bedding all sussed until I discovered Bedding Rolls!  Now I am a convert! I can’t beleive how much nicer my bed is if it’s all bundled up against the dampness during the day.  the only downside is my self inflate mat takes a good 15 or more minutes to inflate these days (it’s a cheap one, it did used to be quicker I think) so I had to remember to undo it when I put the milk on for my bedtime drink otherwise it’s not ready for me to snuggle into.  I suppose it could be a downside that it takes a while to do in the morning and it does take a bit of practice to get the knack but compared to the luxury of not having clammy bedding it’s worth it!  I tried rolling just my pillow, sleeping bag and blanket but actually they don’t roll very nicely without the firmness of the bedmat to keep them under control.  I may buy just a cheap foam mat to lay ontop of the self inflate one so I can roll stuff up into that leaving the self inflate one flat.  I’m camping again in a few weeks, I will probably try it there!  The other advantage of a nicely done up bedding roll over just stuffing it into a bag is one taht we found out the hard way – stuff sacks for most sleeping bags, unless you buy an expensive one, is likely to only be showerproof.  My dd’s bedding got left out in the rain at the end of her camp and we pretty much had to wring it out.  I’m going to buy her a waterproof bag for next year, she’s not got the dexterity yet to do her own bedroll.

I abandoned air beds as a bad job after 2 years of camping, they are cold!  Even if you blanket them they just seem to suck the warmth out of you.  I currently have a very cheap self inflating mat, when this one wears out I will invest in a good quality one now that I’ve seen how good they are.  I’ve looked at camp beds but non of the ones I’ve tried seem to float my boat and actually my groundsheet wouldn’t stand up to it in all probability as we have damage to the main groundsheet from our chairs and whilst I can live with a bit of damp in my living area I don’t fancy water coming up in my sleeping area!  I have a very good sleeping bag and I would buy the same again when I wear this one out, but it’s still as good as new after 5 years of camping and sleepovers at friends houses so obviously you does gets what you pays for.

9. Take part in a Camp Fire

Did this at Bounce and also have gone to a campfire at our local Guide Campsite.

10. Lay and light a fire, either one for cooking or a camp fire.

I’ve done this at home in our fire basket, does that count?  Usually I do it with a wax and woodshavings in a bit of eggbox starter (fab things, way better than any of the fire or BBQ lighter blocks I’ve tried before) with a handful of stuff from under our May tree as kindling.  After that’s got a hold it’s whatever we have handy really, we made the mistake of doing it entirely with May a while ago, thankfully on the ground, not in our fire basket (I think it would have melted it!) and it was spectacular and very hot but not so good for toasting marshmallows on 😀  I’ve done fires in our chimnea too both for cooking (BBQ-ish) and for just keeping the chill away on nice evenings (anyone remember them?)

Advertisement

2 Comments »

  1. Wow – this is the first time I have looked at what someone has done for a badge and I am impressed by how much you have written. You’ve obviously thought it all through so in my opinion you get the badge – how many people usually say these sort of things for it to go through???

    YIG Liz

    Comment by Liz — May 13, 2009 @ 10:04 am

  2. Thanks Liz. I think usually it’s just up to one person to say yes or no, so I’ll take it as a yes and really must get arround to buying some of the patches for the ones I’ve passed….. I have a lovely big gap on my blanket ready and waiting for them!

    Comment by tbird — May 13, 2009 @ 10:43 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: