Every day at camp is different, full of different activities, duties, and challenges! Most days run to a basic timetable, which you will have a copy of with each day’s activities. You might also find that on certain days there are special activities or it might be your patrol’s turn to take an outing!
7.30am The patrol on Cook duty reports to the kitchen and the rest of the camp starts to get up.
8:30am Breakfast is served on the main field (or inside if it is raining). Everyone eats together, with the cook patrol serving the food and the orderly patrol laying the tables. Each patrol then does its own washing up. A short while after breakfast, the camp patrol will break the flag which is followed by “Time Out In The Trees” – a non-denominational, multi-faith chance to gather together in the camp’s wooded chapel area and share a moment of quiet, music, and reflection as the day begins. There is then time to tidy the tents ready for tent inspection.
11.00am Elevenses is served and a tuck shop is available. Patrol Leader’s Meeting takes place on the veranda, where the Patrol Leaders and Patrol Seconds gather with the Camp Leader to discuss how the teams are doing, the day’s activities, and share news. The rest of the morning is available for time to complete patrol duties, try out some activities from the Activity Box, or spend time with your friends old and new.
12.30pm Lunch is available to collect from the kitchen area. You may have chosen to order a Hike Lunch to cook in the woods, or you might share in the buffet lunch that is prepared by the cook patrol and kitchen team. This is often a time when the Patrol Leaders share news from Patrol Leaders’ Meeting.
1pm The whole camp has a time for rest – a time to chill out, chat together and make friends…
3pm Afternoon activities begin. These will be different depending on the day but might include crafts, games, swimming, aerial runway, trampoline, wheelchair swing, exploring the woodland or dancing on the netball court. Swimming is always split into two sessions so that everyone can swim and still be in time to report for their duties.
4pm Afternoon tea is served at the kitchen. The second swimming session begins. There is a time for patrol duties such as Tent Inspection before the tents are bedded down for the evening.
6.30pm Supper is served on the main field with everyone eating together. There is a time for notices and announcements, using explaining the evening activity…
8pm The evening activity begins. This might be a campfire, a wide game, karaoke, a film, a quiz or game, or the week’s disco and is then followed by bedtime drinks.
10pm After a fantastic day, camp begins to get quiet and everyone gradually makes their way to bed…
During the day
You may find attending Pathfinders very demanding both physically and emotionally. Remember you’re not at camp to ‘wait’ on your camper but to ‘enable’ them to participate in everything! Most of our helpers say that they get a great sense of achievement from enabling a camper to take a full part in activities which they might not have the chance to do at home. Try to remember to pace yourself carefully and take advantage of any quiet periods or rest breaks.
Whatever you do, make sure that your camper is OK first; perhaps they might need or want to have a rest during the day. If so, make them comfortable, either on their bed or in the shade. It is important to remember that some of the campers do not spend much time out of doors and therefore their skin can be very sensitive – sun cream is a must! Please check on your buddy’s comfort regularly, especially if they find it hard to communicate their needs. The sun moves round, so a shady spot can become a suntrap in a surprisingly short time.
At the end of the day
Some campers can take a long time to get ready for bed, so, if you or they want to stay up late, it may be better to get ready for bed early. Either of you can then sit around with everyone else enjoying evening activities or talking for as long as you wish. It is then a simple matter of getting into bed when you are ready. Work with others in your patrol to make sure everyone can get to bed at a time that suits them.
If you are ready for bed but want to stay up later, make sure that you keep warm enough. There will be plenty of spare blankets available.
Remember that there will always be some people who go to bed early. The Woodlarks campsite is an astonishingly good sound trap; even the slightest noise is amplified at night and can be heard throughout the site. Some people will be in bed from 10.00pm onwards, so please be as quiet as you can, especially near the tents and the dormitories. If you prefer to stay up later to chat and unwind, just remember to keep the volume down, so that you don’t disturb others.