Monday, 19 May 2014

Organising a District Scout Camp for over 400 people. A how-to guide (how I did it, anyway!).

 Around October or November the previous year:

  • Get some agreement on venue.


  • The District Commissioner resigns, so as Deputy, you're now responsible for organising the camp
  • Make a proposal, with some costings and put out to the Groups
  • Based on feedback, amend proposal.
  • Book the campsite and pay deposit, book lots of activities
  • Apply for some funding to help with the cost

  • Leave ADCs to sort out the programme for their own Sections.  Except where there's no ADC
  • Ask for a deposit from everybody for camping, so that you can pay the next installment to campsite, and can amend the activities you've booked once you know how many are coming.
  • Get turned down for funding
  • Break the bad news to everybody that you will want the full amount you've asked for.


  • Buy and book any equipment needed.
  • Build a team - one person in charge of allocating camping spaces - not you!  New District Commissioner to be camp chief.  He starts chasing for volunteers for bases and for numbers and money.  Yay, you're not alone!


  • Get final numbers and money in from everybody.  Send next cheque to the campsite.
  • Send out Leader briefing with programme, health and safety information and anything else you can think of that they might ask.
  • While chasing up the final couple of Scout Groups for their money and numbers, expect the numbers to fluctuate a little over the last couple of weeks.
  • Print out all paperwork to take with you, including programmes, activity sheets for Scouts, feedback forms, scavenger hunt sheets etc.
  • Put in your order for sunshine (or at least no gales or rain/sleet/hail/snow) over the weekend.
  • Gather your own camping kit (and for your two small children).

The camp:

  • Get there early to set up the District Tent so that if you've left anything behind in District Stores, you've time to go and get it.
  • Arrive.  Let the camp happen.
  • Be there to make sure that everybody knows where to go, pick up and deal with any problems. 
  • Take photos to upload to District website and Twitter feed.
  • The sun is shining, everybody's happy
  • Run the campfire.
  • Drop into bed exhausted each night ... aahhh... not so easy, its got your three and four year olds in it.
After the camp:
  • Litter sweep.
  • Go home.
  • Enjoy a glass of wine and a bubble bath, and an early night.
  • Finalise all numbers and activity numbers with the campsite so that they can invoice the District the final amount.
  • send out feedback homes.
  • ensure that all bills are paid.
  • Get photos up on website.
  • Collate feedback forms.

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