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Beavers Sleepover(18 Posts)
I am in the process of organising a sleepover for my Beaver Scout Colony. This will be for 1 night only, and in the hall where we usually meet. The youngest of our Beavers will be 6 at the time.
We are hoping to simply run the night away on the end of our regular Friday meetings, starting at 6:30pm. Pickup will be around 9am the following morning.
Of course, we will be running this strictly to the rules laid down by the Scout Association. However, I would really like to ask parents what they would like to see from the leadership team. I know of a few questions that are often asked, but do people here have any specific concerns or thoughts that they might have if they were in the shoes of one of our parents?
It would be easy for me to assume that everyone is happy etc etc, due to the fact that I am part of the leadership team. However, it is not always easy to see matters purely from the perspective of a parent whose child is having perhaps their first night away from home.
I would like to provide our parents with the right amount of the right information, if that makes sense.
The sleepover is not until October, so not everything is set in stone yet.
Many thanks for any insights...
I did not let my ds go to his Beaver sleep over in January partly because of the location but also because of the lack of information from his Beaver group to parents. I would have been much happier if it had been in the usual hall and also that there was some information about it from the leader. I think you are being very considerate of how the parents are feeling about it. I wish my son has been in your beaver group! Good luck with it, I hope it goes well.
DP runs a beaver colony, and he often says he forgets how young they are. So worth that in mind, and that it's probably their first time away I'd look at sharing the program with them, not all, but enough that they can reassure their child. Likewise, where boys, girls and leaders will sleep, so that if they have a nervous/bedwetting/other child they can reassure them to go find their leader, they'll be xx. Also food - often a stress point. What, and when- with an alternative for the ones that can't eat when out of their comfort zone/are picky toads.
Thanks for this though op, I'm on my first brownie pack holiday in Oct, it's got me thinking about bits I wouldn't might not otherwise have thought of.
I take my Brownies camping/on sleepovers and try to think of the information I would want as a parent.
Letter advising rough plan as early as possible (eg dates, proposed cost, location)
About 3-4weeks before:
Activity consent forms
Program(me?) of activities
Home contact (repeatedly on all letters and forms - I give a slip with the contact name and number out when they drop off too)
We have a parents meeting the week before we go to iron out any questions.
I visit 1:1 any parents of Brownies with more complex health issues (eg epilepsy, diabetes) to reassure us both that I know what is needed.
My son has just had his first sleepover with beavers and he really enjoyed it. However, he very nearly didn't go as the organisation was woeful. We had the letter about it a few weeks before and then that was it. The letter stated lots of things to be confirmed and then nothing. No one knew drop off or pick up times, what they would be doing, what they needed to bring. It was a shambles. I felt bad for moaning though as they're all volunteers.
We also have a closed Facebook page and I put all the info on there too.
Still doesn't stop the occasional snotty text/email though but I have 4dc so am always losing crucial bits of paper
I meant to say at the bottom of my earlier post - I think my favourite bit of Brownies now is taking them away, they seem to get so much out of it Enjoy!
Have specific info in the letter about it.
Have a parents' meeting a couple of weeks beforehand (15 minutes or so at the start or end of a regular meeting usually good).
Put a teddy bear on the kit list.
Ban mobile phones and electronics! Explain you leaders will have phones and give details of the emergency contact.
Plan to keep them up later than usual, and expect them to wake up earlier than you'd think possible.
Have choices for breakfast cereals.
Do a late night loo run 30 minutes after the last drink.
Don't give them coke at bedtime!
Don't go for ghost stories or sad stories.
Have spare sleeping bag for the one who will wet theirs (pee or water; It always happens).
Late night dark walls are great, but concentrate on exciting not scary bits.
The theme of the meeting itself will be 'Jamboree On The Internet'. We have done this for the last few years and always have fun talking to Scouts from many countries, but with an emphasis on staying safe online (which at Beaver age means not using the Internet without a trusted adult directly supervising).
I was thinking we could put up pop up tents in the hall. This would allow us to segregate girls and boys (leaders will be in an adjacent room) although may be complicated by the fact that we tend to end the evening with them a getting ready for bed, into their sleeping bags and then putting a movie on. We can work this though.
Beavers will have had dinner before arrival. An evening snack will be given (hoping to get a #beavers30 cake and hot chocolate.) Breakfast of cereal, toast and fruit juice.
Plenty of games.
Cost should be very low. Probably about £5 or so.
We thought that having it on a meeting night would encourage more Beavers to come, as a night away is now part of the programme, but do people feel this pits undue pressure on?
This might not relevant or helpful but if any of your Beavers come from separated families, ask parents to let you know which parent is to be phoned if necessary on the night. If parents have an "every other weekend" arrangement, it might not be the same primary contact every weekend, iyswim.
Thanks for all your thoughts so far.
Emeralds, certainly was relevant and helpful. Our group consent forms take care of that (as well as anything that may affect their participation). I plan to hand these out first meeting back after summer hols along with event information and a kit list.
The kit list for a 1 night indoor is pretty simple, but I like to encourage Beavers to help pack their own kit (so they can find things later) and it starts them off on the right foot.
A parent meeting is possible, but our parents know that they can come and see us with any question at all in confidence, so I am not sure it is required if we word the information leaflet proper.
Sorry, I meant Emerelda not Emeralds. Annoying predictive phone keyboard!
When my ds went on beaver sleepover we were given a little booklet explains the theme, some of the activities, even what they would be eating. It also had a section for parents to fill in with any needs their child might have that wouldn't necessarily be on a medical form. I found it very reassuring.
i am a beaver leader of nearly 20 years experience. and we need to remember every young person is different, and family dynamics vary and so does confidence of parents and youngsters
Many thanks for the messages of support etc. I know it is a year since we held the sleepover, but prompted by planning our next sleepover, I just wanted to say how well the last one went went!
There is a brief report at 1stwoodhall.ukscouts.org.uk/beaver-sleepover-14th-october-2016/ (hopefully Im not breaking any MN rules posting a link).
Most importantly, we had a lof of happy (if tired) Beavers, and it has spurred us on.
Thanks again eveyone
Oh this is great - I'm just about to start a brand new Beavers Colony - nervous but excited too!
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