Out of Doors – Phase 3

Phase 3 of an octant is a long-term commitment and should take at least 30 hours, can include gaining a qualification or teaching something to others. My Phase 3 is something Ispent months researching and planning for, and spent a full weekend working towards…

Phase 3: Complete Brownie Holiday Licence

After completing my Adult Leadership Qualification I wanted to get involved in organising a Brownie Holiday for the unit. Our unit had not been on a holiday recently so I spent a lot of time researching, getting advice from District Commissioner, and reading the ‘Going Away With…’ book from cover to cover.

After visiting a couple of holiday homes I settled on Thriftwood as it had a lot of outdoor space and new activities the Brownies hadn’t tried before.

Gaining the licence took a lot of work, I first planned a budget so I knew how much to charge each girl. This was based on the costs of accommodation, two on site activities, food, sundries and contingency. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough girls take us up on the trip and therefore invited girls from another local unit to take our numbers from 8 Brownies to 11.

I then set about asking the Brownies what sort of activities they wanted to do on holiday. They chose an Olympic theme, aiming to complete the On Your Marks Sports badge over the weekend, plus they asked to do archery and the cresta run. We also looked at the menu and they were happy with the options I had set up. I also asked each girl to fill in a survey on what food they liked and didn’t like. This went okay, but the following year we decided to give this to the parents to complete on their behalf.

Once the programme was decided I created packs of information for the parents. This included the weekend programme, menu, kit list, directions and emergency contact details. I held the parents meetings at the end of a Brownie meeting with our young leaders occupying the girls. I introduced the team, went through each piece of paperwork and answered questions.

I completed a massive order for the food from Tesco and this was delivered on the night before we went. I also collected boxes full of craft and activity equipment, had three different first aid kits with updated inventories and packed my own weekend bag too!

The weekend went smoothly. I was lucky to have a couple of girls from a neighbouring unit who had been on holiday before to show how it is done to our new campers. The only downside was the rain; some outdoor games had to be taken indoors but the two onsite activities ran fine. The Brownies got very muddy at archery, and many said their favourite activity was the cresta run.

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It was difficult to get the Brownies to sleep on the first evening, I learned that I should try to get them worn out on their arrival!

I brought along an empty notepad and asked the Brownies to sign the first page and write something they enjoyed and this has started our ‘pack holiday memories book’.

Since this weekend in 2012 we have taken the Brownies on four more Brownie Holidays. In 2013 we took a small group of 8 older girls to Chigwell Row for a weekend of toy making, climbing, pedal karts and a treasure hunt. In 2014 we held a bigger holiday with 13 girls going to Belchamps for a party weekend to celebrate the Big Brownie Birthday. The Brownies tried mini crossbows, geo caching, the assault course and pond dipping, we also had a piñata and the Sixes led party games. In 2015 the Brownies adventured in the jungle, with a blind trail, water walkerz and the wobbley pole. And in 2016 we returned to the Olympic theme with cork guns, slacklining, and lots of time spent out doors.

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