Campfire, stick bread and missing socks

Campfire, stick bread and missing socks

Children around the campfire at Pentecost camp © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

Many children and young people make this weekend again on the way to the Pentecost camp. But what all has to be in the luggage? Scout leader Marc Andre Rosema advises at our site to a look at a checklist.

Interviewer: You are probably already standing on fully packed suitcases, or?

Marc Andre Rosema (Leader of the German Scout Association Saint George/DPSG Holy Spirit Tribe in Hattingen Winz-Baak): Yes, already. But of course we don’t have suitcases. A good scout has of course a backpack.

Interviewer: From the memory of earlier Pentecost camps the weather has stuck. It has actually always rained. Is that still?

Rosema: I have also already experienced everything in Pentecost camps. Sometimes it is as if the second ice saints come by once again. When I was a kid, I used to get through seven pairs of socks. But we hope for the best from the weather for this year. Let’s see how it will be.
Interviewer: For it we press the fingers. What will happen this year at your Scout Pentecost camp??
Rosema: We prepared a little something, as we do every year when we go on a trip. The leadership team always thinks about a story for the children, a background, so to speak. After we have built up tents and banner mast, we will also fully enter there on Saturday.

Most of you surely know the game "The Settlers of Catan". We followed this example and this year we are the "Settlers of Winz-Baak". We will do something like a 24-hour game. There are indeed rules, too. We have also tried this in the summer camp in Sweden, where we were once for two weeks. But we do it a little differently now: with resources, harvesting and scoring points for it.

One of the leaders will be the robber who keeps stealing resources and can get caught. Children can meet each other to bargain for resources. The food in the camp is still so, but the dessert must actually be "bought".

Interviewer: Do actions like making stick bread still belong to scout camps??
Rosema: Definitely. We always traditionally make a fire. If we rent a meadow from a farmer, then of course we have to follow regulations and see how we can do it with a campfire. But we also have a large yurt for all together and a large fire bowl to be able to play it safe in case of doubt. There we also make stick bread and sausages and all other things that you can make at the fire.
Interviewer: Packing for the Pentecost camp is always such a thing. Is there then still a professional tip for it, which should be present then in any case?
Rosema: We will send out a packing list at least one week before the start of the Pentecost camp via a parents’ email distribution list and by distributing slips of paper in the group lessons. The older ones, who also pack their own things, usually already know what they should take with them. They’ve already done several Pentecost camps and you can’t teach them much anymore. But in general, a packing list is already a good thing. I still catch myself squinting at the list and asking myself if I have really thought of everything.

I think parents should let their children pack their own backpacks. You can just sit there, watch, drink a cup of tea and see if the children can manage on their own. I have seen children who had to unpack their entire backpacks because they did not know where their socks were because their mother had packed their backpacks. When there just the sleeping bag is a little under water and you get a little crisis in the tent. because the child can’t find the socks, then even as a leader you are sometimes at the edge of your strength. But so far we have managed to get through every Pentecost camp.

The interview was conducted by Silvia Ochlast.

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