Information for Parents –2018
Camping plays an important part in our social and educational programme and we would like every child to have the opportunity to experience life at camp.
At camp the principles of co-operation, friendship, equality, tolerance and democracy are put into practice everyday.
Parents at camp: we need the help of parents at camp. Parents participate in the activities and this includes sharing in cooking, childcare and games etc. We can all relax around the camp fire or in the kitchen tent, after the younger children have gone to bed.
Young siblings of any age are also welcome to attend camp with a parent, except for those camps which have a stated minimum age or limited accommodation (e.g Survival camp and Cudham).
The relationship between parents and their children at camp can sometimes be difficult. It is not practical or fair for parents to give their children special treats (e.g going offsite for an ice-cream), as this may upset children who are there without their parents. Therefore, please be aware, and in the spirit of fairness, you will not be in the same clan as your child at camp and would be asked to not treat your own children any differently from the others in our care.
Camp organisation: A properly run camp is a collective. The camp committee, made up of leaders, parents and D.F.s (older teenagers), will organise the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the camp. This includes the tents and other equipment, the food, the programme of activities, first aid, and all the paper work (health forms, letters, etc.).
There is a nominated Camp Chief for each camp. However, all the children and adults are involved in what happens at camp, including setting up the camp and taking it down, preparing meals and making suggestions during the daily circle meeting. Any ideas or problems at camp should be reported to Camp Chief and discussed at one of our daily Circles as appropriate.
It is important that the children participate in all these activities and should not be taken away before the final ‘leave-taking’ Circle at the end of the camp.
We particularly need the help of parents who are NOT staying at camp when we are setting up, even if they are only dropping off. If you can come early to collect your child at the end of camp and help with any outstanding jobs it would be greatly appreciated. Being on time to collect your child at the end of camp is essential as we have still the task of returning the equipment to our store before we can go home.
The Clan and Clan Leaders: The camp is organised as a mini-society and the unit of this society is the Clan. All camp members are sorted into a number of clans, which are often named according to the theme of the camp. It is during clan duties and activities that the children, young people and adults get to make friends and learn to work together co-operatively. Each clan will have at least 2 parents or other adult leaders to lead it (or one adult with a DF or experienced Venturer).
The role of these Clan Leaders and any other adults is to guide and motivate their clan in all its activities, making sure that all members are participating equally and to act as ‘parents’ to the children, especially the younger ones.
It is the Clan Leaders’ responsibility to: know which children are in their clan, make sure they are fed and watered, settled in bed at the right time and generally happy, seeking help from other adults in the clan as necessary. We usually try to arrange the clans so that children are not put into the same one as their parents or siblings.
Some specifics of camp life….
The food: The KP(s) (Keeper of the Provender / Provisions) devises the menus, brings all the ingredients to camp, supervises the preparation of meals, and makes sure that basic hygiene principles are followed.
Each clan prepares the meals on a rota basis, with all ages encouraged to take part in the peeling, chopping, cooking, etc. EVERYONE is expected to wash up their own plate kit. We are usually very well fed at camp, and if you have any special dietary requirements, please make sure you let the organisers know in advance.
ALL CAMPS ARE NUT FREE TO AVOID RISK OF ALLERGIC REACTIONS – please do not bring any nut containing products to camp.
The tents and equipment: These are supplied and maintained by the Equipment Officer. He or she makes sure all the equipment gets to the site, that it is well looked after during camp, and is stored back in the garage afterwards. It is not necessary for participants to bring their own tents, but they may do so at their own risk.
Any damage or breakages to Woodcraft property should be reported to the Equipment Officer who will co-ordinate repairs. We expect all campers to respect the equipment and keep their tents clean.
Alternate mornings, weather permitting, we all do a ‘wapenshaw’ where we take everything out of the tent and lay it out on a groundsheet. This allows the children to air the tent, find lost clothes and other possessions. Food and drink are not allowed in tents, as they attract animals and rodents which can chew through the canvas.
The programme: The Folk Marshal(s) organises the social programme of events and activities during the camp. Everyone is asked to support them and assist in arranging the games, entertainments and campfire songs.
The Camp Chief does all the paperwork prior to camp, calls and leads the camp Circles, makes sure that the timetable is adhered to as much as possible (allowing for ‘Woodcraft Time’!), that wapenshaws are done, that health and safety guidelines are adhered to, and generally keeps an eye on everything so that the camp runs smoothly. Any important issues must be reported to the Camp Chief.
Health and Safety: Please read the District Health and Safety Policy and Safeguarding Policy. These will be available at camp.
A qualified First-Aider will be appointed for each camp (2 for summer camp). He/she also ensures the first aid box is well stocked and that all campers have provided a properly filled out Health Form which will be kept by the First Aider for reference in case of emergency.
There are some important ground rules:
- No one under 16 is allowed out of camp on their own, unless agreed by the leaders.
- Everyone else must let one of the organisers know if they are leaving the site.
- Everyone at camp is expected to uphold the aims & principles of the Woodcraft Folk.
- Any group of children should be supervised by sufficient adults according to childcare guidance.
- No mobile phones or other electrical equipment are allowed on camp for children under 16. Phones can be very disruptive to camp life and activities and cause difficulties if lost or misplaced.
- If you need to contact your child in an emergency please phone the camp chief on the mobile phone number provided. If your child needs to contact you they can borrow a mobile phone from an office holder or clan leader on camp.
- Phones are not required to take photographs. The District has its own cameras which we take to camp to record our fun. These photographs will be taken by office holders who will be aware of those children for whom parents have not given consent.
- Adults should never go into a tent on their own with a child (other than that child’s parents).
- All campers are encouraged to have a Woodcraft Folk garment to wear at Circles and on outings.
Woodcraft Camps - Equipment List
Please pack all your belongings in a rucksack or holdall, (wheels etc. damage the tents).
Bring only old clothes as you can expect to get filthy and/or wet at camp! The following should be enough for a weekend camp and can be added to for longer camps:
Please mark all items, especially everything in the plate kit, with your name or your child’s name (it’s not for you, it’s for the people who find them!) You can imagine that with a camp of 50 people there are an awful lot of things that look the same. Lost property is ALWAYS a problem at camp and is unlikely to be returned.
- 2 (4 for summer camp) complete sets of clothes including a warm jumper and spare socks.
- Wash kit – soap, flannel, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush/comb, (shampoo for summer camp)
- Cuddly toy?
- Tissues, insect repellent and sun block
- Torch with spare batteries, book to read, notebook, pencil.
- Plate kit - plate, bowl, cup, knife, fork, spoon and tea towel in a drawstring bag not a carrier bag. All should be labelled with your name.
- Waterproof (NOT Shower-proof) coat, sunhat, woolly hat, gloves and folk shirt
- 3 pairs of shoes : 1 pair of walking shoes, 1 pair of Wellingtons and 1 pair of sandals
- Sleeping bag,
- Foam mat to go underneath, if possible. Makes a big difference to how warm you are!
- Extra blanket? Depends how good your sleeping bags are.
- Groundsheet – for Wappenshaws and to keep things dry in the mouth of the tent
- Small rucksack and water bottle for walks
- Swimming costume – if nice weather as we do sometimes have a water slide
- Arm bands or swimming aids if required at summer camp
- Plastic bag for wet/dirty clothes
It is a good idea if you can get your child involved in packing for camp, as this way they know which clothes they have brought with them and where everything is in their bag.
If you need any more information on what to take to camp, or need help sourcing anything, please speak to your group leader or contact the District Leader (Currently Monika on 020 8567 5613 or 07890 004794).