What happens at camp?
You and your camper will be members of a team and at Pathfinders Camp, we call these teams ‘Patrols’. People come to camp from all over the country (and occasionally from overseas!) and your Patrol will include a wide range of individuals. The camp has many regulars who come back year after year; however, there are always new people too. So, while some people know each other very well, others are initially faced with a camp full of strangers. For this reason, we try to create Patrols with a mix of new and returning campers and helpers. Some activities (like your outing day) are organised on a Patrol basis which will give you the chance to get to know others in your Patrol team. Pathfinders also has a team of experienced volunteers who are on the “Crew” team – they plan and run activities, manage the kitchen, swimming pool, and medical areas, and ensure that camp runs smoothly and that everyone can have a wonderful week. They are always on hand to guide and assist.
Involvement is the key to a happy and successful camp. It is all too easy to help someone get to an activity or involved with a particular task and then leave them to it. However, encouraging your camper to join in with activities and working on tasks together will usually be much more enjoyable. Camp is aimed to be fantastic experience for you as well (that’s what keeps so many helpers coming back for more!), and that doesn’t happen sitting on the sidelines but in doing things together, getting creative, and living camp life to the full.
Many of the programmed activities will be totally new to some of this year’s campers. Joining in activities together or sitting to watch before having a go might encourage a hesitant camper to try something new and push their limits. This applies to all activities including the chores. For some folk, helping to cook breakfast can be the highlight of their week at camp!
For almost all helpers, a week at camp will involve some degree of providing personal care. This may be new to you or it may be something you have great experience with, in all cases you will have guidance from the Crew team and other helpers to enable you to provide a high standard of care to disabled participants who require it. If in doubt, please ask.
As a new helper, you will attend a meeting on Saturday night which explains elements of manual handling techniques and the use of equipment such as hoists. Should you need to use any equipment, there will always be someone on hand to instruct and assist until you and your camper are confident. In all cases, your camper will be the expert in their personal care and listening, as well as asking questions, will be key to meeting their needs.
You can find out more on our Personal Care page.