Ellen’s Charity Day helping at Guide Camp

You’re 10 years old. The summer’s here and you’re about to go away for the weekend with your friends and leave your parents behind. To try new things and have adventures. Maybe for the first time. My first Guide camp was 18 years ago. I still get excited.

But these things don’t run themselves, as I’ve discovered. There are rules and regulations to abide by, qualifications to gain, and permission to seek before even starting to plan a camp!

Volunteers are often hard to come by. Often people are too busy with life and work to give their time up. I’m no exception to this; I gave up volunteering as a Guide Leader for these very reasons. But when my friend asked me if I could help her out on her Guide camp as she hadn’t enough adult help, how could I say no? It would make the world of difference to her, and as EducationCity.com allows each employee a Charity Day to make a difference to a cause of their choice, it was a must-do as far as I was concerned.

So there I was. All the months of planning were done, but we still had equipment to fetch and check, and shopping to be done. And when I say shopping, I mean shopping! Have you ever gone through the supermarket checkout with 10 loaves of bread, 20 tins of beans, 40 sausages, 5 packs of bacon and 3 dozen eggs (and that’s just for breakfast!)? You get some funny looks. This is the kind of stuff that makes the trip, but that is often overlooked by those enjoying it.

I was a bit nervous; I’d not met any of the girls before, and from the first moment you arrive you’re important to them, a role model to set a good example. And as for the activities, you have to show them you are up for it, but there’s no doubt as an adult they make you ache a lot more!

Camp – A weekend of firsts!

They've made a tyre swing and a den.

We’ve all had a go at climbing and belaying.

They started a fire without matches or firelighters, using a fire steel. We then made muffins in scooped out oranges. They loved them and even wanted the recipe!

We had a go at archery, some of us getting golds.

We went on pedal-powered go-karts, including a dramatic leaders-only race with a couple of crashes and corners taken on two wheels.

The camp wardens led all the campers on site in a campfire sing-along.

And the weekend in short?

Everyone enjoyed it and wanted to go again for longer.

Everyone had done something for the first time and were proud of what they had done.

My friend proved she can run a guide camp safely and successfully, so earned her licence. And she has roped me in to help again!

All that’s left to do now is put the tents, mallets, gas bottles, plates, cups, bowls, beakers, knives, forks, spoons, billies, frying pans, cooking utensils, washing up bowls, washing up stands, cooker and boiler away for next time.