Just to be completely upfront and honest: I don’t get anything from any of the links posted on this site.  None of them are monetized.  If I am recommending an item, it is because I bought it with my own money and liked it.  Why do most of my item links go to Amazon?  Because I’m lazy. 😉  It’s much easier to keep an Amazon page open and grab links to items there so you can see what I am talking about rather than run around my house taking and uploading pics of everything.

I’m not saying I won’t ever try to make some pocket change from this site, but I’ll be upfront about it if I do. KK?

Packing List for Camp (The Other List)

**Guess what, I actually made a downloadable “other” list!  Check it out here!**

Wait, other list???  What other lists could there be, you ask?

Well, first, there’s the food list.  Sorry, I can’t help you with that one in this post.  You need to base that off a menu that you and your troop come up with together.  Perhaps I will write a post about menu planning at another time.

Nope, this is about the all-important craft box. 🙂  It wouldn’t be Girl Scout camp without crafts!  And this won’t be a list, so much as a guide, because you can take at least two different tacks to building your craft box.

Tack 1 – The Event Specific Box

This craft box can be as small as a shoebox like the box above, or as big as your Troop Camp Box (18gal storage box).  The way this box works is, you figure out what activities you will be doing, and then pack only what you need for that.  This is best for trips where you plan a lot of activities, or you will have a long way to carry your gear.

When I say activities, I mean either badge work, or general camp crafts, or service activities.  For instance, for one campout, my troop earned our Council’s Native American Heritage patch since we were sleeping in teepees.  I only brought the tools and supplies for the activities we were doing that weekend: loom-making and weaving, jewelry making, and box decorating.  It all fit easily in a little basket.

Tack 2 – The Everything Box

This is the box  where you keep EVERYTHING: glue, scissors, felt, foam, wiggly eyes, chenille stems, pompoms, stickers, markers, crayons, and lots and lots of safety pins!  Okay, I don’t mean everything.  Chances are you won’t have any outlets, so don’t pack a glue gun.  Think about temperature and don’t pack melty stuff (like crayons) when it will be really hot.  Also, expect this box to be shaken AND stirred quite a bit, unless you have it in OCD-type organization; so check that bottles are tight and zip bagged.  Beads should be put into small containers that are easy to open and close for the age of your troop. And make sure you stock enough scissors (I like 1 pair per 3-4 girls).

And I’m serious about the safety pins.  Camp is a great time to make SWAPs, especially if you’re at a Community/ Service Unit Weekend.

Activities

Here are some Pinterest boards which I created which could have some cool camp ideas:

Packing List for Camp (First Aid)

**Think this packing list is a little boring?  Want the updated version?  Check it out here!**

Now for one of the most important packing lists you will need for any campout: the First Aid Kit list.  And to be perfectly honest, the only things I have used out of my first aid kit over the 6 years of camping has been alcohol wipes, antibiotic cream, bandaids, and tweezers.  And Advil – for me! 🙂

The tweezers are really the most important thing.  When our All Camp Nurse asked about buying things to stock our First Aid Kit for the big campout last month, I said get two sets of tweezers, and she agreed, because she knew that the two main things you will be dealing with for your troop is scrapes and splinters.  A good set of tweezers is NOT made of plastic, and WILL cost more than $1.  There are lots of “how to painlessly get rid of splinters!!!!” pins on Pinterest, but here’s an article from WebMD on how to get rid of both tiny splinters and big ones.  I would rather not use one of my girls as a test subject for an unreliable fad cure.

Also, bandages.  I don’t care what brand you get, what color, what character (although you know Daisies will squeal for Princess bandaids!); but get LOTS.  As many as you can fit.  Get plenty of the standard 3/4″x3″,  but also get the larger ones, too.  I’m also fond of having some Telfa pads in my kit.  They will not stick to the wound, and are nice and large for those big scrapes kids always get on their knees.  I like the ones with self adhesive tabs on the sides (like the ones I linked to).  Get them in bulk at Amazon, though.  You can either spend $30 for 100 or $10 for 3 at the drugstore!!

Alcohol wipes are also something great to have in bulk.  They’re not only good for cleaning wounds, but also good for cleaning that “whatever-it-is” a girl got on her finger.  Also, if you buy bandages, telfa pads, and alcohol wipes in bulk, you can use them to make personal First Aid kits with your Juniors for their badge requirement, or at any level.  Once the girls are Juniors, I would add .5g packets of antibiotic cream, as they are usually past the “I’ll stick something I’m not supposed to in my mouth” stage by then, but YTMV (Your Troop May Vary).  I feel uncomfortable giving anything more than antibiotic cream to any girl to carry around under 18, especially without parent consent.  I think now that my girls are Cadettes, I might be okay with them bringing their own pain medicine (Advil or Tylenol) or OTC allergy medicine from home with (parents’ permission) and keeping it with them, as long as they give me a heads up.  Because they may not necessarily want to come to me for Midol.

Which brings me to the next important things you should have in your kit once your girls get to a certain age.  Like say, Cadettes.  Put some supplies in your kit, make sure the girls know they are there, and make sure they know you are not going to make a big deal about it.  Once my girls were in 5th grade, I sent out an email to my troop parents and asked them to let me know when their daughter started having a period, so that I could start stocking the First Aid Kit.  I don’t need to know the details, I don’t need to know their cycle (although it might help me plan campouts and meetings for best participation – I dread the meeting when half of them are hormonally challenged and the other half are grumbling from cramps!), but I do need to know when to start carrying the appropriate supplies.

My troop’s First Aid Kit started as one of these travel kits, and then I started adding things(because it does not come packed to the gills, there is plenty of space to add).  The first thing that got added was a good pair of tweezers!  Then I added:

  • more wipes (6?  seriously?)
  • Telfa pads
  • a tube of antibiotic cream (the packets are best for making up girl kits)
  • Advil
  • Tylenol
  • Benedryl
  • Pepto tablets
  • insect bite relief

This is by no means a prepared for anything kind of kit.  Nor will it ever be.  It is a “prepared for what I can deal with at camp” kind of kit.  There are many situations where my best option is put a girl in a car and get her to the emergency room, or call 911 and care for her until the ambulance gets to camp.  We are going to be hiking a mountain for a week, miles from civilization and adequate cell phone coverage.  If we were, I would pack a different kit.

These are some additional things that would be worth the weight to add to your kit (remember, you have to carry this with you when you go hiking):

  • poison ivy relief (I like the no touch aspect, and the no liquid aspect of these pads)
  • roll of tape (for splinters)
  • small scissors
  • moleskin
  • cotton swabs

I also wanted to mention something that I pack in our troop box, but could be considered first aid equipment: hand warmers.  Down here on the Gulf Coast, we don’t get snow, really, so when it gets down to the 20s or 30s or 40s on a camping trip, it really chills the girls to the bone (I have considerably more internal insulation).  So, I learned (and then taught) how to sleep very warmly, thanked my lucky stars I did a backyard campout so I could tell some of the parents that they needed to get their daughter a REAL sleeping bag for their birthday, and keep a stash of hand warmers to slip into sleeping bags on really cold nights.  The girls love them, the sleeping bags trap the heat all night long, and I don’t get woken up by pitiful waifs with chattering teeth. 🙂

And finally, I found so many cool/cute ideas as I was poking around Pinterest that I made a board of First Aid Badge ideas.  And since we’re Girl Scouts, I’m including SWAPs and snacks (those disgustingawesome graham cracker bandaids are in there).  Check it out here.

First Aid Kit Packing List (one of these days, I’ll have to pretty these up, they’re pretty spartan at this point, huh?)

Packing List for Camp (Troop Edition)

**Think this packing list is a little boring?  Want the updated version?  Check it out here!**

My troop packing list is something which has been handed down from Camp Trainer to student, from Camp Director to Troop Leader. I’m attaching one that I literally was emailed as part of the paperwork for a long past Service Unit Campout, and it was what I used to start my troop camp box. When my mother took Standard Troop Camp training earlier this year, she took my box and went through it piece by piece and added and subtracted according to her list from her training session (it was mostly replacing things which we ran out of, like detergent and soap).

The list I am attaching is NOT geared specifically towards going to one of our Council camps, which has a full cabinet of pots, pans, dishes, and silverware. This list works for Girl Scout camps (not all of which are fully stocked), and it will also work for State and National Parks, which do not have the amenities offered at our Council camps, so this is a good list to have.

If you are camping at a Girl Scout Camp like ours, which has all the cooking and dining gear, you will not need:

  • all pots and pans
  • peelers
  • mixing bowls
  • long handled spoons
  • stove top coffee pot/ tea kettle
  • 3 buckets for dishwashing
  • plates
  • bowls
  • silverware
  • cups (but have each girl bring a plastic one, anyway, because hot chocolate in a metal cup is hard to drink!)
  • shovel
  • water bucket

But, I still bring my own teapot to boil water for my coffee. Those Coffee Singles are, BTW, the greatest camping invention ever. I’m just saying.

Also, and I cannot stress this enough, buy a GOOD MANUAL CAN OPENER.  Your camp may say that it has can openers, and there might be can openers – but 9 times out of 10 it’s broken or rusty or too warped to be usable, and I have end up using the can opener on my multitool, which is not fun.  The one I linked to is an OXO, which is a brand I love, especially for small girls who may not have a lot of strength yet – just like the adults with arthritis or hand injuries OXO designs for.

And yes, I get all of this into an 18 gal storage container, which gets stored in the garage when not at camp.  I recommend getting the more heavy duty Roughneck series from Rubbermaid.  Mine has survived 5 years of abuse so far, and has served as a seat more than once.  It has our troop number and “Camping Supplies” written on all sides and the top, so that I know which box is ours whether it’s in a row of similar troop boxes at camp or on the shelves in my garage.

Troop Packing List

My husband is a big Lord of the Rings fan (we have EVERY version of the original trilogy, I think).  But I have always loved the idea of a hobbit hole.  Our dream house includes a hobbit hole in the backyard.  This would be a good starter hole (but where would the kids sleep????):

Hobbit Hole Trailer

 

No, there is no Girl Scoutiness in this post.  No packing.  But plenty of ADVENTURE, right?  In an “Up” kind of way. 🙂

Packing List for Camp (Girls’ edition)

**Think this packing list is a little boring?  Want the updated version?  Check it out here!**

As a Troop Camper, I have three different packing lists that  have to worry about: the girl packing list, the troop packing list, and the food packing list.  A good troop campout will also have a first aid packing list and a crafts packing list.

Today, let’s talk about the easy one: the Girls’ packing list.  This is the list that you give to every girl to take home and pack from.  Try to stress that the GIRL should be the one packing – because the GIRL is the one who needs to know where everything is, and the GIRL should know that everything she needs is in the bag.

I have a stash of about four packing lists which vary on the length of the campout and the season, but they all started from one list.  That list got modified and altered and changed and updated, and continues to be every time we go camping.  Are we going to the beach in summer?  Allow the girls to bring shorts and water shoes.  Are we staying for 3 nights? Add in an extra set of clothes, and if there’s someplace to take a shower – shampoo, soap, and body towel.  Are we day camping?   Don’t need anything but the trail bag and maybe the mess kit (unless there’s a good chance they will get wet and/or muddy, then pack an extra set of clothes and leave in the car).  Are we going to be somewhere where there are dishes available for us (most of our Council’s camps do)? Then nix the mess kit.

It may seem like a lot of work, but if you start with a good base list and add or subtract as necessary, it really takes no time.  And here is my original list to get you started, in .doc format so you can edit and adapt as necessary.

2 Night Winter Packing List

(Isn’t my daughter a cutie?  This was her all packed up and ready to go for her first summer camp.  This list doesn’t work for summer resident camp, though, sorry.  Just a cute pic!)

Getting Intel . . .

One of the things I have been doing over the past few weeks is reaching out to some of my fellow delegates, the “dinosaurs” (her words, not mine!) who have been there, done that.  Still just trying to figure things out.  My Council’s Annual Meeting, at which we will either be elected or not is about two months away, and I’m still not sure what is going on.

But I do have more information.  Council sent me a packet of information, and it was addressed to “National Delegate”, and all of my contacts assure me that the election is really a formality.  The great thing was that they had a list of the National Delegates listed (which I think is exactly as long as our Council is allowed to have) – and there were several names on the list I recognized as other Trainers.  The confusing thing was that none of it related to being a National Delegate – it was all information related to being a Council Delegate.  Even though I am a CLT (Community Leadership Team member, or Manager, if you will), I was not sure I could be one of the delegates from my Community.  It seems like a conflict of interest, and one of our staff partners said that this was true – it was a conflict of interest.  But apparently, that is not the case, according to someone who, as a Council Delegate, has voted for herself to be a National Delegate. She said the explanation she was given is that the Governor is allowed to vote for himself.

Which makes sense.  Yay, I don’t have to twist someone’s arm to get them up to Camp for the Meeting. 🙂

She also gave me some information I was not happy about.  That Hall of Exhibits (Experiences) I mentioned in my last post?  I will not get much time to see it.  Apparently the National Council Sessions take ALL DAY.  I had read somewhere that they were in the morning, but that is not what the voice of experience says.  And there was another mention of people from the audience going up to a microphone, with a sigh.

But, my friend did give me a helpful insight.  She said that GSUSA uses the National Council Sessions as a kind of focus group, giving us a heads-up of what is coming down the pipe.  Journeys were introduced at a National Council Session way before they appeared on the website.  And she said that GSUSA actually listened to the feedback given at the Council Session, tabling some ideas based on negative reactions.

It will be an interesting process to watch and be part of.

The 52nd Girl Scouts Convention

One of the things I really want to know about is what it will actually be like at the Convention.  There is so little information available online, seriously.  There’s not even a lot of information on what happened at the LAST Convention.

Well, that’s going to change.  A little.

GSConv with uniform

The 52nd National Convention was in Houston, Texas, at the George R. Brown Convention Center.  As it happens, that is less than an hour drive from my house.  Yep, I’m in San Jacinto Council, host of the last Convention.  In 2011, I did everything I could at Convention since it was on my home turf!  I volunteered to sew one of the historic uniforms for the Opening Ceremony (see, that’s why my daughter and I took a picture with the mannequin).  I stuffed goody bags with our local Camp Rangers and Volunteers from the Utah Council who were in Houston seeing how the Convention was run before they had to do it (great policy, btw).  I also volunteered to help out at one of the Delegate luncheons (but since GSUSA brought their own volunteers for that, I ended up directing traffic to the luncheon). I think my size contributed a lot to people thinking of me as a bouncer, because I also ended up checking credentials at a GSLI luncheon and guarding hundreds of stuffed goody bags.  IMG_1195Yes.  I was set to guard bags.  And I had to chase girls away from them! 🙂

One of the perks of volunteering at Convention was that you got a free pass to the Hall of Exhibitors for each uniform you sewed or each 4 hour shift you participated in.  I used two for my daughter and I to go the first day after school.  We were going to stay for the Opening Ceremony, but we were exhausted!  The Hall of Exhibitors was maybe half the bottom floor of the Convention Hall filled with booths from anyone and everyone you can think of in relation to Girl Scouts or girls in general.  Joanns, Michaels, Little Brownie and ABC Bakers, all of the World Centers, camping gear, religious organizations, Hostels International, GEMS booths, everything! IMG_3300And they were all handing out stuff!

It was a good thing that we got the big tote bags with our entrance, because we filled them walking through the hall.  Here’s a picture of some of the stuff I got the first night.  Then I went back with my Troop on Saturday.  More swag.  I don’t have a picture, but I ended up with a stack of patches at least 2 inches thick, more food goodies, a purse from a long past Cookie Sale, a stuffed tie-dye owl, and oodles of other stuff.  If you go to Convention, be prepared to say no to a bunch of stuff, or be prepared to bring a lot home!

My girls loved going, it was definitely a hard thing to top, since it came at the beginning of our year.  They got lots of swag, lots of SWAPs, got to hang out with lots of cool Girl Scouts from around the world, and all the parents that came really appreciated it, too.  We got to listen in on a conversation with Girl Guides from Kenya.  We got to meet the first woman on the Harlem Globetrotters.  We got to see the amazing mobile Council unit that our neighbor Council (Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas) uses to get information and program materials to girls in some of the far flung less populated areas of their Council. Some of my favorite moments:

IMG_3289

My daughter playing with a circuitry kit.

IMG_3315

Some of my girls dressed in saris at the Sangam World Center booth.

IMG_3303

Little Brownie Bakers had a karaoke booth set up with Girl Scout songs.

IMG_3308

One of my girls sat with these lovely Historians at lunch, and had a great conversation.

So, as a volunteer and a visitor, this is what you can expect.  A lot of fun, a lot of great information (and some that is less useful), and a great experience for your Troop.  The Hall of Exhibitors (or Hall of Experiences, as it is being called this year) was designed for girls to come and visit.  If you are local, I would highly recommend it, but bring a lot of chaperones, and seriously consider Troop T-shirts, because there must have been a thousand Juniors running around in the uniforms, and easily double that in Older Girls.  It will easily take you a whole day with your Troop to visit the Hall and do more than a cursory glance over at all the booths.  There were crafts to make, samples to try, shopping to do, information to discuss, friends to meet, SWAPs to swap, games to play, and prizes to win!