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Archive for the ‘Key to Camping’ Category

dr-seuss-clipart-dr_seussI’ve been writing this blog since January 2011 and it started as a way for our little group to keep track of the things we do year to year. We consult the blog often and walk the line between repeating the same things because they worked and introducing new things because they sound fun.

Camp is in a couple of weeks and we’re getting out of our comfort zone by introducing a THEME! I know that many of you already do themes, but we don’t. Our goal is to get our city kids out into the woods for walks, camp skills, and play time. A theme over and above that has been beyond our brains to accomplish and a packed schedule is too stressful.

But this year’s camp is over the April Fool’s day weekend and the element of silly that that brings is undeniable.

We’re going to go with the Dr. Seuss theme and now I’m looking at things like Girl Guide themed Mad Libs, and how to make Blue Spaghetti for Who Hash and Roast Beast Balls.

Oh my goodness…what have we done?

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There are lots of different names for this thing … ditty bag, dippy bag, dish bag, mess kit, dilly bag … it goes on and on. For us it is called a ditty bag and it is for dishes at camp.

  • The bag should be a cloth or net bag (or small reusable fabric grocery bag) with a drawstring or handle to hang it up with. Not too big – about the size of a folded tea towel like mine in the photo (any bigger and it drags on the floor). No plastic grocery bags – they keep the water in.
  • Inside you’ll put MARKED dishes and cutlery. Put the camper’s name on everything with labels, nail polish, sharpie markers, tape, or whatever you can do to make your stuff identifiable.
  • Dishes and cutlery should be plastic or metal. No glass please.
  • At camp, your camper will loop the drawstring over her arm, wash her dishes, then put the wet dishes in the bag to drip dry. We use a bit of bleach in the dishwater… the bag might fade or get some bleach blotches.

BrownOwlDittyBag

 

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Our unit is going camping soon and as part of the communications home to parents I found myself creating this illustrated explanation of how WE (the 119th Ottawa Brownies) would like bags to be waterproofed. I emphasize the WE part… other units may (almost certainly) have other instructions and ways of doing things.

Setting the stage: This is a residential camp (in a heated building) with bunks and mattresses provided. We want bags to be waterproofed so that they make it from the parking lot to the building (500 meters) on the way in, and so that they can be placed outside in whatever the weather to wait for parents on the way out of camp while we close the building on Sunday.

NOTES

  • All items must be marked with the Camper’s name.
  • Make sure your camper packs her own stuff. One of the first things we do at camp is to say “please find your flashlight”. Girls who packed their own bags will know where to find it. Also, girls should be able to identify their own stuff too.
  • We allow clear recycling bags for waterproofing. Anything we can’t see through might be mistaken for garbage and you don’t want that.
  • Soft sided bags are important – we need things to be able to fit (squish) underneath a bunk. No hard sided suitcases or laundry baskets please.
  • In Girl Guides (and older years) girls may be asked to prepare a tarped rolled bedroll. This is too much for our residential Brownie camp. We’d prefer to spend the time outside playing over rolling up 20 bedrolls on Sunday.

Option One – Big Zip Bags.  I like this for my bedroll. 

BrownOwlWPBedroll BrownOwlWPBedroll2

Option Two – Line a Duffle Bag with a clear plastic bag. Put the clothes in the clear bag and make sure it is sealed tight. Zip the duffle bag over top. The outer bag may get a little wet, but the stuff inside will be nice and dry.

BrownOwlWPBag

Option Three – Dry Bag – only if you have one. They’re about $20-$40 per bag – Available at Canadian tire and other camping stores.

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And there you go. Preparing to go to camp shouldn’t be expensive. Just ask questions, see what you can sub in or borrow, and do your best. Wishing you a dry camp.  =)

NEXT – look for Brown Owl Cara’s Ditty bag

 

 

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Girl Guides of Prince Edward Island shared this on their Facebook page today and I think this is COOL. We’re doing Key to the Arts (Act it Out) this year and this might be a nifty craft to make that happen.

Check out DIY Spoon Puppets from Kid Play Do.

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Brownies are going camping in the next couple of weeks and we’ve been quietly covering most of the Key to Camping requirements.  But there have been a few gaps and this meeting should fill those… but it won’t be very comprehensive for those of you covering this key (sorry about that).

compass_rose_by_draconicparagon-d6rjgqi

6:30 Arrival Game – girls choice (the girls love making games up so it works).

6:40 Circle Inspections

6:50 Brownie Circle

7:00 Key to Camping

  • Discussion – Camping know how – Organize the food and cooking plans with your unit, so that everyone has a job. How do we organize ourselves at camp? (Patrols). what kind of chores do we do? What should our patrol names be this time?
  • Discussion – Lost & found in the outdoors Hug a Tree Program 
  • Teach (Which Way badge) – what are compasses? What are cardinal points?  An instrument containing a magnetized pointer that shows the direction of magnetic north and bearings from it. (Google)

7:15 – Game – Cardinal Points game from Becky’s site

7:25 – Activity – Compass Drawings from Becky’s site.  You need dots pages or graph paper, pencils.

7:35 – Introduce Thinking day – Guiding with Jewels has a great intro.  (we’ll do the first part of the discussion)

7:45 – Songs – featuring Hey Hey Hey, it’s Thinking Day and Twelve Days of Girl Guide Camp and a few other songs.

7:55 Close and wrap up.

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We’re planning a winter camp in February and this idea from www.cottagelife.com shows us what happens when you blow bubbles (a typical summer camp activity) in the winter. This experiment was done at -40 degrees (at that point it is so cold that both Celsius and Fahrenheit match up). We are hoping (please please please) for much warmer weather than that, but anything is possible in Ottawa in February. Snowy Owl is going to be angry with me for even suggesting that it might be -40 at camp.

Go to www.CottageLife.com to see what happens.

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Our recent Brownie Camp included a Be Prepared First Aid Kit made from film canisters (launched a neat discussion about film…NONE of them had heard of film!!), stuffed with gauze (useful for covering wounds), bandages, and alcohol wipes (there are two in the kit – first aider washes hands, and washes the cut). We put a small loop of yarn on the outside for pinning to a hat – stuck with a length of electrical tape (which is useful for taping gauze down) and a safety pin (always useful!).

Our first Aid kit contents:

You could add coins. Check out this film canister first aid kit from a Cub Scout group in Utah for other ideas.

firstaidkits2014-04-12 07.54.47

All tucked into the canister.

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Final product. (Wrap the electrical tape around 3 – 4 times to get a half meter of tape around the canister)

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Now that film (and the canisters) are almost non-existent, I asked the Facebook group for suggestions for something like film canisters. Here’s what they said:

  1. Diabetic Test Strip containers – about the size of a C Battery.
  2. Pill Bottles – I’m not a fan of teaching kids to open pill bottles, but they’d do. And someone said that there are easy open ones.
  3. Altoid Tins – they’re a little big, but would do
  4. Tic Tac or Gum Containers.
  5. Snack Baggies or small Jewelry baggies from the dollar store – always useful in a pinch.
  6. Buy dollar store small containers. I think I saw 6 for $1.
  7. Someone had a stash of breast milk containers.
  8. Expired medical sample bottles (unused)… ask your Doctor.
  9. Pool Water test strip containers.

Do you have any ideas?

 

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