Posts Tagged ‘Camping Know How’

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).


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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A ditty bag is generally a bag or stuff sack that carries personal items such as toiletries (Wikipedia).   In the context of Girl Guides, it is a fabric bag with the camper’s name on it that holds the camper’s marked dishes and cutlery at camp.

About the Bag:

A good ditty bag is breathable fabric or mesh, has a string or loop to hang it with, and is identified with the camper’s name on it!

The bags themselves are usually made from fabric (never plastic) so that when you wash dishes, you put the wet dishes back in the bag so that they can air dry.

Note – we use the three-pan dish washing method and one of the pans has a bit of bleach in it.  We’re always careful, but don’t send a ditty bag made of a fabric you’re really attached to.  Fading is almost guaranteed and bleach marks happen from time to time.

  • Commercially available ditty bags usually look like the mesh laundry bags you put your delicates in. This one from North Water looks right.   Canadian Tire offers a set of three.  The big thing to look for is a bag with a string that is breathable.   Add a piece of duct tape folded double on the string with the camper’s name and you’re good.
  • Other things that work – a small cloth re-usable grocery bag will do.  A small laundry bag (as long as it has a string) is good.
  • OR, you can make one by sewing a tea towel together like this (the pattern mentions pack cloth, but a tea towel works beautifully).  OR follow this tutorial for market bags which are essentially the same (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Six things (and only six things) go in – and they must all be identified with the person’s name.
HINT – Use nail polish, a permanent marker, electrical tape, … something unique to you.  When we camp, six things go into the bag…

  • Plastic or metal (1) plate, (2) bowl, and (3) cup
  • Metal (4) spoon, (5) fork, and (6) table knife.

Introducing Ditty Bags during a Camping Meeting

Here is a meeting plan from a couple of weeks ago where we introduced Ditty Bags.  We use the Ditty Bag Relay at least once a year.

Ditty Bag Relay

You need one set of the following per team: marked plastic/metal plate, bowl, and mug with marked cutlery and a marked cloth ditty bag, PLUS a few ringer items to stump them… plastic bag, a small toy, a comb, an empty medicine bottle, and a Glass bowl or mug, and maybe some UNMARKED cutlery and plastic dishes.

Step 1 – talk about what you should take camping.  I usually mention that it is ok to bring a stuffed toy for bedtime, plus any medication you bring should be in a plastic bag with your name on it and instructions, then go through the ditty bag stuff.

Step 2 – split the group into the same number of teams as you have sets.  Teams are on one side of the gym, and the ditty bag stuff is on the other side.

The race is a basic relay race.  Girls must run, one-at-a time to the ditty bag stuff and must select the items that should go into the ditty bag.  They sit down when they think they got it right – and a Guider will inspect it.

And that’s it.  Happy Camping!

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We’ve got a camp booked and are launching into Key to Camping.  We need to be careful that not all the girls are going camping – but they’re still going to get a lot out of the skills learned from K2C.

Here’s our meeting plan for tonight.

6:30 arrival – Camp word search

6:40 Circle inspections

6:45 Brownie Ring

6:55 Program.  Camping Know How. 

Announce that we’re going camping!  Review Brown Owl’s packed bag and go over what you need at camp.  Girls will get a copy of a Kit List

7:05 Ditty Bag Relay – a proper ditty bag includes

  • Cloth or net bag (no plastic – dishes drip dry in the bag)
  • Marked spoon, fork, and knife, plus a marked bowl, plate and cup.

This is a game I think we made up.  We have three complete ditty bags with a few ringer items (ceramic bowl, a fork that isn’t marked with the owner’s name, an empty pill bottle (medicine is to be turned in to the medicine guider at camp), a toy, etc.  The girls run back and forth making up a ditty bag.  First group finished and approved wins.

7:15 Camp Planning round robin.

In three groups we circulate three topics.  Girls must brainstorm on

  • What do you want to eat
  • What do you want to do
  • What do you want to bring

7:35 We have a tent set-up demonstration (Guiders bringing in their own tents – from storage – so hopefully my tent isn’t too funky)

7:45 Campfire – What are your favourite campfire songs.  Also propose Sing Ontario Sing!

Permission form handouts.

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