The success of a camp depends solely on the Leader team being likeminded and enthusiastic. If those two things are in place, then all will be well, and almost anything can be coped with.
That one participant will arrive more than 30 minutes early (on a journey that takes 40 minutes) and at least one will be picked up more than 20 minutes late.
If you fondly imagine it’ll only take an hour to heat soup and cook burgers for rolls on gas stoves (with one stove between 8 people) and then wash up (hot water centrally provided) – you’ll be sadly mistaken – it’ll take nearer two hours.
If you then assume the following night that you better send the Patrols to start collecting wood at 4.30 pm in order for them to get their fires lit and cook and eat their two-course meals before it turns dark at 7.30 pm – you’ll find that they are all cleared up before 6.30 pm and asking what happens next!
Just because the Guides all live within 5 minutes’ walk of the countryside, doesn’t mean they have ever been outside after dark outwith the range of the streetlights, and won’t find the idea of turning the torches off scary.
That the Guide who is so organised that she had her own first aid kit and made a good job of treating the cut on her foot – will nevertheless have then crossed the dew-covered field without putting a shoe on in order to get her treatment checked out by the first aider . . .
That sometimes having a coughing fit at 5 in the morning isn’t all bad – since I was too wide awake to sleep, I got up and saw a lovely sunrise over the tents . . .
That a camp of almost all first timers can actually be easier, as they all have to listen to the instructions, because none of them know it all . . .
That even if you state until you are bored of hearing yourself that everything which goes to camp should have a name put on it, the parents who will be most upset about lost property will be those who didn’t put any name or other mark on said missing item . . .
That the Leader’s kit list should always include self-inflating mat, head torch, midge net, insulated mug, pen knife/utility knife, and folding chair. All are essentials.
If in doubt, have another cup of tea. By the time it’s made, most difficulties will have resolved themselves without any need for Leader involvement.
That within a week of arriving home from camp and collapsing in a chair, your thoughts will turn to possible venues and dates for next year’s camp . . .