Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tent Camping--Back to Basics

Outdoor Cooking

Outdoor Adventures

ordered from E-Patches and Crests

Basic Camper

For spring camp, we tented at a local provincial campground. We didn't want to plan anything "extra" to do, other than camping activities. We planned for the girls to earn the Outdoor Adventure (OA) and Outdoor Cooking (OC) badges, along with the Basic Camper (BC) badge and a Spring Camping crest.

We arrived at camp on Friday evening and all the girls helped to set up the tents. (BC#3)  We invited the other Guide unit and the Pathfinder unit from our district, so we had 23 girls and 5 leaders. 

Once all the tents were up and organized, we had our group orientation meeting. We talked about the boundaries of the camp and where they were allowed to go. The campground wasn't open to the public yet, so we were the only group there, which was nice. (BC#4, BC#5)

Then we played an icebreaker game I found on Becky's Guiding Resource Center called Part-to-Part. The leaders played too. I'm not sure we did the "move down and go the other line" part of the game quite right, but it was fun and there's nothing like getting into someone else's personal space to get to know them!

We tasked each tent with coming up with two to three songs for campfire that night. The girls helped to start the fire and we had a great sing-a-long.  After mug up, we went to an open field and looked ath constellations, using star charts that we had printed off from the internet before we left. (OA#6, BC#7)

The girls were doing all of their own cooking for the weekend. We had four camp stoves for them to use, so they made themselves eggs (scrambled or boiled) and toast for breakfast. They were all responsible for their own dishes and clean-up. (OC#1, OC#5, OC#7, OA#3, BC#3)

Then we split up into two groups to play some games. Half went with one Guider to play a Red Light/Green Light game to help them learn what they need to know for their badges. I got the idea from Becky's site, but I adapted it to what we needed (and realized it is very close to the game I made up for the Endangered Species Wide Game I did a couple of years earlier.) (OA#7, OC#6, OC#7, OC#8, BC#4)

The other half played the Smells of Camp Kim's Game, again from Becky's site. We found small vials at the dollar store and covered them with electrical tape, since film cannisters aren't as prevalent. I filled them with lots of different things from my kitchen. (OC#6, OC#7)

After a snack, the girls got into groups again and they were each given a topic and they made up skits on how to Be Prepared in the following situations:

  • If you’re lost, stay in one place because this helps people find you.
  • Wear clothing appropriate to the weather, including footwear that will protect your feet and a hat to help prevent heat loss or protect you from the sun.
  • The buddy system helps keep track of where people are during camp.
  • Know the camp’s address, emergency phone numbers, and how to give directions to the camp. (BC#9)
For lunch, the girls cooked Kraft Dinner and hot dogs on the camp stoves again. (OC#1, OC#5, OC#7, OA#3, BC#3)

After the dishes were done and camp was cleaned, they spent some time playing in and near the river. The river was shallow and they were allowed in up to their knees. Some found tadpoles, one girl found a snake in the long grass, some skipped rocks. (BC#8)

Then we split them into two groups and they used trail signs (rocks, sticks, grass) to lay a trail that the other group then followed. (OA#4, OA#8, BC#6, BC#8)

Next, we made box ovens that we were going to use to cook our supper. We lined file boxes/paper boxes and lids with tin foil, poking a hole through the handle part for ventilation. We had found some small grills at the dollar store that we propped up on empty pop cans filled with water. We started the charcoal in tin foil pie plates. We cooked pizza on English muffins and they were delicious! It was our first time trying box ovens, but we will be doing them again and again, I'm sure! (OA#5, OC#3, BC#3)

During down times throughout the day, we played some Logic Games and Minute Mysteries. The girls loved these!

The next morning we broke down camp. The girls had to have their gear packed before they were allowed to come for breakfast. After breakfast and the tents were put away, we had our closing. We always do "Two Apples and an Onion", where everyone says two things they liked about camp (apples) and one thing they didn't like (onion). We also handed out their badges and crests and sang a few songs. (BC#10)

We had great weather for the weekend, and I would say it was a successful camp!

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