This is part two of a series… preparing for camp & learning camp skills from the comfort of the meeting place, before going out to test our abilities at camp. In this installment, we learn about the ‘planning skills’ needed for camp. Looking for the previous post? Check out Bringing the Outdoors In: Part I: Camp Skills.
Have you ever arrived at camp, and posted the menu, and the girls say, “but I don’t LIKE that!”
Or how about you post the schedule for the weekend and hear, “but I don’t WANT to do that!”
In an attempt to reduce such phrases, in the weeks that followed our ‘bringing the outdoors in’ night, we would work on other camp skills, like planning.
Part of the philosophy of Girl Guides of Canada is “Girl Lead Programming.”
It is so tempting, especially with camp looming, to say, “this is just too hard for the kids so we the adults are just going to take care of it and plan it ourselves.”
But I ask you, what do the girls learn from that?
Instead, we would have the girls work in small groups, with the week’s grocery flyers, to determine a menu.
After that, the next step was to plan activities that they would like to do at camp.
Keep in mind, this was usually done in March. Camp was usually late May / early June.
Armed with their lists of food and menus, the leaders would sit down, and that was when we would ‘plan’ camp, drawing from the girls’ ideas. This way, since most of the girls were only 9, we were able to plan a reasonable menu and activities for camp, but they had had a considerable amount of input. And since the girls did their planning in small groups, we usually had four different menus and four different activity lists to draw from.
When the girls got to camp, they recognized the activities and menus that they had discussed, and were pleased that we had listened to their ideas, and involved them in the planning process. No, not all their ideas were used. But if they said, “But I don’t LIKE…..,” we could point out to them that maybe they didn’t choose the dinner, but they did choose the breakfast!
By Guest Blogger Leslie Potvin. Leslie is a Community Guider in the Town of Georgina, Ontario. Check out her personal blog The Mighty Tiny Chicken Ranch, her previous post for GirlGuidesCANblog, The Freedom to Lead [and to Fail], and part I of the Bringing the Outdoors In series: Camp Skills.
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