Ideabase - Nights Away



Over the years I, along with several other leaders in the district, have noticed some problems with Groups and the way that some of them use (or dont use!) camp forms. As an ADC it was a right pain getting various different camp forms for District competitions, or sometimes just scrappy bits of paper. Like most Districts we do have the occasional leader who doesnt follow the guidelines as they should and those new ones that need to be reminded when they need a home contact and such like. There have also been a variety of petty problems with certain details or bits of important information missing from certain forms or simply being unclear.

Once I joined the B&D Activity Team I set out to sort these problems. With a team of leaders and after much consultation and many drafts we have put together an internal set of documents that are 'local rule official' for all District events from then onwards.

My thanks to Terry Purcell for most of the work in designing these forms.

We sent out a clear pack for each Group which included one day activity forms, home contact forms, camp forms, activity rules and guidelines. Where necessary we will design our own stuff if we feel the official forms or sheets are lacking in any way.

Why do you have them?

Now the whole of the District is going to have to use these forms for District events we will be confident, as organsiers, that we will have all the relavent information to hand.

If they follow the checklist in their pack we will also know that all the rules and guidelines will have been followed.

Having an initial and final information sheet means that leaders/parents/Scouts cannot complain they didnt know about the event in time as the Initial form can be sent out a year before the event if need be. The Final form also clarifies very clearly the pickup and dropoff details along with several contact numbers and home contact details.

The kit lists can be varied to suit the event and are also section specific.

We have 3 seperate return forms so that the catering teams can have all their detailed info to hand to help them plan for the event. It also means that the event organiser will have the general permission form and the first aider will keep the medical form seperate. Should a trip to the hospital be required these medical forms can be taken while those back at camp will STILL have relavent details on their General form.

They have also been tuned to the requests and requirements of leaders in our District after extensive consultation.

How do you use them?

It looks like umpteen sheets of paper but used sensibly they are very useful.

Months before any event you send out the Initial Information Form. This contains basic details of the event. Dont hold back on this one.. get it out a year in advance if need be.

Several months before the event you send out the Initial Information Form, with the kit list printed on the back, along with the three permission forms (I always print the permission forms on a different colour paper and make sure each camp has its own colour. Much easier when kids are returning forms and you have 5 camps on the go).

The Final Information Form can be sent out the week before (I always print a map and directions on the back of this one).