Patrol camps are an essential part of building patrol spirit and of scouting in general. Having a camp without adults present is a great way for scouts to learn responsibility and to have fun. Patrol camps are required regardless of whether it is being run for first class or not.
To reduce pressure on the PL, First Class camp planning should be undertaken by the PL, APL and, as appropriate other scouts in the patrol. It is a great way to spread the load and also to get the more junior scouts to take responsibility. A planning meeting should be held. These can be held at houses or in the PL’s Den (the PL’s Den is encouraged for this).
Where a patrol camps is not for advancement a plan for the camp must be submitted. The plan must be submitted 2 weeks before the camp. The plan must include:
- A Front Page
- The objectives of the camp
- A schedule for the camp including times and activities
- A menu. At least one meal must be prepared at First Class level (such as Dutch Oven cooking – a braai is not acceptable). The junior scouts should be taking an active part in the cooking and the senior scouts should be training them . Other meals should be quick and easy unless the point of the camp is to do advanced cooking.
- An equipment list.
- A calculation of costs.
- The weather forecast.
- What advancement is planned for and whether a scouter is needed to attend. A scout who has achieved First Class is authorised by the troop to pass Pathfinder scouts. Remember we have a quality over quantity principle – ensure that this is applied and that scouts really know their stuff and can remember it for more than the duration of the camp. Do not be afraid to retest in a week or two.
- The gadgets that will be built. We require that one Gordon Shield level gadget be built on a patrol camp and a minimum of two gadgets in total.
- Transport arrangements.
- Emergency procedures including the addresses and contact information for the nearest state and private hospitals and the nearest doctor as well as the emergency numbers from your location to summon an ambulance.
When in doubt please discuss with the Troop Scouter. We want patrol camps to be run but we also want them to be learning experiences.
We will also require a brief report on the camp. The report should:
- Have a front page
- An assessment of the objectives against what actually was achieved
- An accounting for finances. Your actual expenditure against your actual income. Any excess must be banked with the Group. It is not necessary to include slips but it is important you learn to handle money responsibly.
- What you think could be improved upon (what did you learn)
- Comments from at least 3 participants (we suggest you give your patrol members a pen and paper at the end of the camp, get them to write their thoughts down and collect them immediately; alternatively record their thoughts on a cellphone and transcribe them).
The report must be submitted within two weeks of the camp.
Upload your advancement to Scouts Digital for approval by the Troop Scouter.
Finally a brief summary of the camp including at least 3 photos must be posted on the website (not Facebook). You should delegate this to a member of your patrol and not do it yourself. For assistance they can ask the Troop Scouter for help and authorisation.