This is part four of a series – camp prep, brushing up on camping skills from the comfort of the meeting place, and enjoying the camping adventure. In this installment, we learn about the evaluation skills needed to figure out how to make your next camp even better.
Post Camp Evaluation
As important as all of the pre-camp prep work is, it’s just as important after camp to go through with the girls and Guiders what worked and what didn’t. The girls had input into the menu and activities, and it’s just as important for them to be involved in the post-camp evaluation.
Scheduling a water fight in during a May camp, and there was a cold front that weekend? Maybe we should have had an alternate activity planned. Eggs cooked on Buddy burners for breakfast, with the girls setting up on a slight hill so they all slid off as soon as they were cracked? Oops, hope we have bread and honey as a backup. (Yes, this did happen. Luckily, only to the first two girls and we saved the rest, but if they had all cracked their eggs at the same time?)
It’s important for the girls to discuss what worked and what didn’t, with both menu and activities. It’s also key to talk about backup plans with them – that sometimes, activities take less time than we expect, so we need something else to fill in the space.
And while you’re at it, discuss the idea of ‘flexibility’ with them. Sometimes, we need to re-arrange our plans, due to weather, the group’s energy level, or any number of reasons. At one camp we went to, it rained all weekend. Rather than dividing our girls into five tents, plus one for the leaders, we divided them into four tents, and used the fifth tent as the ‘craft tent.’ On Saturday afternoon, the girls took turns having a rest and doing quiet crafts. This showed the girls that we don’t have to stick firmly to the schedule. That sometimes, our plans don’t work quite the way we had planned, and that is okay, as long as we have a backup ready to run with.
By 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 GirlGuidesCANblog posts: The Freedom to Lead [and to Fail]; Bringing the Outdoors: Part I Camp Skills, Part II: Camp Planning, and Part III: Getting Along with our Camp and Tent Mates. ——————————————————————
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