The Quartermaster Badge isn’t just for the Scouts it’s for all the Scout Leaders. Each Leader should look after the camping equipment,clean it, dry it out if it’s wet and then put it back in the correct storage area. Yer right! I hear you all say.
In an ideal world that would happen, but in reality it doesnt work quite like that. So in the blog post I’m talking about the things you should do in the run up to a Scout Camp.
Don’t wait until the week before your camping trip to sort your camping equipment out. I know what it’s like, we’ve all been there, you get your scout patrols to check the tent, they look at it and say its fine, then when you get yo camp you hear the famous “our tent pole is snapped” ” we don’t have any tent pegs.
Take your time over the summer holidays and check you equipment and even give some gear a little but of TLC.
Fill Your Gas Bottle
On a recent scout camp, me and my other leader both assumed we check the gas bottles and low and behold we didn’t, we went to pack the van and it was only then we realised that all the gas cannisters was slightly on the empty side. Yes we managed to wing it on that camp, but running out of gas isn’t the brightest of ideas.
Imagine setting up camp and going to make the evening meal for the Scout Troop only to find out u’ve run out of gas.
Check your bottle is in date – it must be tested and restamped every ten years.
Get it filled/topped up (even if you think it’s already filled!)
If you’re going on an extended trip or are feeding a patrol that likes to eat bacon and eggs three times a day, consider carrying a spare gas bottle.
Cool Your Camp Fridge Down
The weekend before you are due to head away, turn on your fridge to cool it down.
I like to turn the temperature on mine right down and freeze all my meat in preparation.
Cooling your fridge first using 240V in the scout Hall will ensure all your food stays cold on the first day.
The fridge won’t have to work so hard from the car battery if it is already cool.
Turning your fridge on early will give you a chance to test it to make sure it’s working properly.
Frozen meat will last longer and it will help keep the fridge cold for the first few days making it use less power!
Or if you don’t have a gas powered fridge and take an ice box, don’t forget to freeze the ice blocks a few days before you go away. We’ve all done it, forgot to put the ice blocks in the freezer the night before.
Check Your Tents
Okay, this one requires a bit more effort, but your tents, mess tents and Dining shelters are probably the most important thing to check!
The last thing you want is to arrive at camp only to find you have no pegs or poles, or that it’s gone mouldy! Drag it out of the Scout Hall and set it up and give it a good once over.
Make sure all tent parts are there.
Make sure the tent hasn’t gone mouldy or brittle.
Check for holes and unravelled stitching.
Check for broken poles and bent pegs.
You might even need to refresh yourself and the rest if the leaders how to pitch the tent- I still have quite mastered the classic Patrol tent to pitch it 100% perfect.
Charge And/Or Purchase Batteries
I think everyone has gone away at least once without charging up the electric lantern or getting new batteries for your torche.
Batteries do go flat whilst sitting around in your kit bag, so check all your battery powered gear.
Rechargeable batteries may need a whole week of charge to bring them back to life if they have been sitting around for a while!
Make sure all your battery-operated devices work.
Check if old batteries have leaked inside the product.
Always take a spare set of batteries!
Now, these might seem like simple things, but often it’s the simple things that are forgotten.
Have you submitted your Nan form?
This form provides the information a Commissioner requires to APPROVE an event to take place (i.e. POR 9.1b/9.1c). The Permit holder is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate Commissioner is informed about each Colony, Pack, Troop, or Unit attending a nights away event (even a District or County event). This can also be done online in the event function of Compass.
For all Nights Away experiences all of the information below should be with your District Commissioner (or appointee) SEVEN days before the event (in normal circumstances).
Young person’s health form and consent forms for activities
Heaven forbid you need to contact a parent to inform them that their darling cherub needs to be urgently carted off in the back of an ambulance to the local a and e department, but you never know – it’s bound to happen someday.
So making sure you receive all the young people’s health forms and also activity consent forms for certain activities such as Air Rifles or Archery for example.
Follow this checklist and at the end of the day have Fun when your camping!!