Packing their own bags was just the first step in earning their Camper badge
Some Random Things:
Never put girls to sleep head-to-head (lice), and always check with your council ahead of time regarding the rules concerning where adults sleep. Our council rules are 2 unrelated registered female volunteers in the room where girls are sleeping, or no adults in that room at all. No male volunteers in the same sleeping area as the girls, period. Your council may have different rules, so check with them first.
Make sure you have at least one registered volunteer who is Camp certified, with CPR, and First Aid, too. It can be one registered adult, or three different ones. Doesn't matter (in our council).
Make sure you have updated health forms on all girls AND adults attending. Keep these in your leader daypack, along with all medications, and your first aid kit.
Call the camp ahead of time to find out about weather (it may be in the mountains, thus cooler than the forecast for the area, etc.). Find out about specific restrictions on activities (no jewelry, glasses must be secured, etc.), and if you need permission slips for anything while there.
Find out ahead of time exactly what the sleeping and cooking arrangements for your troop will be. I had a friend who assumed they were staying in a cabin with a kitchen, so her troop brought food that could not be prepared over a camp fire. They were not happy to discover there was no kitchen in their cabin. So when in doubt, ASK!
Below is the information I sent to my parents. It included a packing list for the girls, as they had to pack their own bags as part of earning their Camper badge. You can adapt much of this for your own troop, regardless of level. We were staying in a cabin for a weekend, so they didn't need to bring dunk bags or dishes, etc. More info on Foodstuff to bring in the next post.
By the way, be sure to include deodorant and pads on your list, for Juniors and up. Our girls are in 4th grade but some already need deodorant, and the last thing any leader wants to deal with is a girl starting her period with no one with pads on hand. This can also encourage parents to have a chat with their daughters ahead of time, regarding periods/hygiene. Also, at one point in the trip I flat out told my girls if they hadn't showered yet, they were to go do so. Stinky! Ha. They were great. :) But stinky, yeah. They all showered. It was good.
Anyway, here's the info I sent out. Information I've altered for privacy is in italics.
Information for Parents:
PERMISSION SLIPS, CHECKS, and HEALTH FORMS must be turned in at drop-off.
(Information here with camp address, contact names and numbers, etc.)
All girls are expected to abide by the Girl Scout Law as well Troop & Camp Rules. Refusal to abide by the rules and cooperate can result in having to sit out of an activity, doing additional cleanup/kapers, or being sent home. We are there to have fun, and a great troop experience. We expect all the girls to be on their best behavior.
Please print out the next page and give to your daughter. She needs to pack her own bag, but parents double check the bags to ensure everything is there that needs to be. If it is not on the packing list, your child should not bring it. We had some issues at (previous camp) with novelty items that were not appropriate for camp. If there's a question about something, contact me ahead of time. Contraband items will be confiscated. ;)
Please drop off your daughter's gear at (leader's house/date)
Bring a booster if she still uses one OR is under age 9 (check with your state laws for this. All GS must be in appropriate seats/restraints in accordance with your state law, as well as destination state law).
(Information here on specifics for departure.)
All snacks and meals for the trip will be provided (the cost is covered in the fee). If your child has special dietary needs/restrictions, let us know immediately, as we will be purchasing groceries in advance. (More on foodstuff in next post!)
We will send out a group text to parents on our way home, with the time to meet at (return location).
All medications MUST be labeled and in original/prescription bottles, with detailed instructions, and packed by parents, separate from girl's bags. Do not pack medications in with your child's things. While we will have various OTC medications and first aid items on hand, you need to provide any special medications your child may need while at camp. If your child is prone to carsickness please let me know BEFORE we leave, and provide medication for the drive there and back.
(First Aid certified, registered volunteer to dispense all medications, including OTC ones. It's always a good thing to keep a record of what you give a girl, and when.)
No electronic devices of any kind are allowed (we cannot have them at camp, and cannot ensure their safety if left in cars). However, if your child needs to reach you at any time, she is absolutely welcome to use a chaperone's cell phone. If you need to speak with her, please call (leader's) cell.
Have questions or concerns? Please call or email me. :)
We are going to have an ADVENTURE! And it'll be awesome. :) We will take good care of your child. ❤
JUNIOR INFO FOR CAMP
- Abide by Girl Scout Law at all times.
- Stay with the troop at all times.
- When away from our cabin, or doing an activity ask before leaving the troop to go to the restroom, etc.
- Work well with your Patrol.
- Don't be afraid to try something new! :)
- If you need something, ask an adult. When you're given an answer, accept it kindly and move on.
- No bickering, arguing, or whining. You are in fourth grade now, and representing our troop, our school, and your family. Be on your BEST behavior. Treat all the adults and the other girls with respect.
- Follow directions.
- If you are having a problem with another girl, work it out the Girl Scout Way. If you need adult assistance, ask for it.
- Issues with behavior can result in having to sit out of a camp activity, doing additional kapers, or a parent being called to come get you.
- This trip will determine whether or not we can take big trips in the future as a troop. So please help one another, follow the GS Law, and make yourselves proud of how well-behaved you've been!
(Details about activities here.) For all activities there will be very specific guidelines we MUST follow in order to participate safely. You will learn more about these activities when we get to camp.
We will have snack bags for your daypacks like we did at (previous camp), but this time we will be preparing some of our own meals as a troop. Everyone will have a job to do with preparation and/or cleanup for meals throughout the weekend.
Everyone is to help with cabin cleanup and any camp kapers throughout the weekend. Girl Scouts leave things neater than we found them. So clean up after yourselves please.
WHAT TO WEAR FRIDAY TO SCHOOL:
- Comfortable pants/jeans.
- GS t-shirt
- Comfortable socks.
- Old tennis shoes or boots. No Crocs or sandals or flip-flops. Wear closed-toe, comfortable shoes.
- Rain jacket or hoodie if weather calls for it (otherwise pack it).
- Do not wear Junior vests to school that day. Do not bring them to camp. (We were heading to fall camporee, before we'd even had our first troop meeting of the year. Some troops bring vests to camp. I've found they aren't necessary, and pins can get lost, etc. So we do camp shirts instead.)
At school on Friday, when you're packing up at the end of day, pull your water bottle out of your backpack so we can fill the water bottles before we leave school. These are the water bottles you are going to use at camp, so bring a good one that won't leak and is durable.
All the stuff you packed ahead of time will already be in the cars when you get out of school. (See next page.)
WHAT TO PACK AHEAD OF TIME:
Everything below, with the exception of your water bottle, should be packed and dropped off at (leader's) house ahead of time. You are in charge of packing your own gear, so follow the directions, please.
- Warm, full-sized sleeping bag, packed in a stuff sack.
- Pillow packed in garbage bag (garbage bag doubles as dirty laundry bag)
- Large backpack or duffle bag (see list on next page for what to pack in it)
- Your booster seat if you use one or are under age 9
- Small daypack with these items inside (put your name on anything of value):
- refillable water bottle (you will use the one you are bringing to school that day)
- bug spray, sunscreen face stick
- hand sanitizer or wipes
- baseball cap
- extra hair rubberbands and/or headbands
- flashlight (do NOT bring ones that make noise)
- attach Situpon with carabiner if desired
PACK IN DUFFLE BAG/BACKPACK (no rolling backpacks or suitcases):
- 2 pair Pajamas (sweatpants/t-shirts are fine. NO nightgowns (we had one issue with a girl bringing a thin nightgown and the temps were near freezing. Recommending clothes that can double as day time layers is good)
- 2 pair jeans (belt if needed)
- 1 pair comfy pants (for ride home)
- 2 short-sleeved shirts
- 1-2 long-sleeves shirts
- Rain jacket if weather forecast is wet (wear Friday if needed)
- Sweatshirt or hoodie
- 4 pair underwear (bra if necessary)
- 3-4 pair comfortable/warm socks
- Gloves if weather forecast is cold
- Boots or old tennis shoes. Pack one pair. Wear the other. So you have two pair shoes total. We will be walking a LOT and getting dirty. Your shoes should be comfortable and not brand new.
- Small bag or Ziploc with your toiletries inside:
Toothbrush with travel case or Ziploc (put your name on it)
Shampoo (conditioner if needed)
Washcloth AND bath towel for shower
Hairbrush/comb and rubberbands if your hair is long
Deodorant/pads if necessary
- Plastic bag to hold wet/dirty clothes (use garbage bag your pillow was stored in)
- Sleep mask, and/or ear plugs if necessary
- White pillowcase for tie-dyeing (write name inside it, small, in Sharpie)
- Any medications you need should be packed by your parent and given to your leader separately, along with all permission slips, health forms, and camp fees.
Do not pack anything else. No electronic devices, whistles, etc.
If you need to bring something that is not on the list, ask me ahead of time.
We will have crafts and games for indoor activities, in case of inclement weather.
That was the list the girls (and parents) were given. I had them all drop off gear, forms, and checks the night before we left. That way we could pack all three cars with everything (including coolers with food -- just added ice the next morning), so we could scoot out of town quickly the following afternoon. It worked out really well.
We had some girls ask ahead of time if they could bring a small stuffed animal to sleep with. That was fine. But we also had some try to sneak in other items as contraband. Which wasn't fine. The girls were great though, and left their contraband items in their duffle bags. Mostly. ;) We did have to remind them to check their daypacks each morning, and remove any unnecessary items, because they get heavy when you're hiking ten miles. And sit-upons are fun, but kind of a pain to carry throughout the day. I would recommend them for evening campfire times, primarily. Also, no need to bring a flashlight in daypack in the daytime, etc.
More on what the leader needs to bring, in the next post.