Camps are generally either ‘car camps’ or ‘hiking’ camps. A car camp means that we can drive directly to the site we will be camping and will not be required to carry back packs and this applies to the majority of our camps. Hiking camps will require light weight packing of food and equipment and walking with your pack. You will be advised what the requirements are for each camp.
For all camps, each child provides their own food, cooking equipment, bedding and clothing. Each child will be grouped with their friends wherever possible. As part of the orientation process on your first camp, you will be paired up with 1 or 2 other children whom you will share a tent with and they and their leader will provide you with instruction on how to correctly pitch the club tents. Tents are provided by the club and are signed in and out to ensure they are well cared for and in good condition for the next person who uses the tent. Children will be allocated to share our 2 or 3 man dome tents and will be supervised by their group or activity leader at all times.
The club runs two camps per school term throughout the year. The first camp is generally run to orientate the new Pathfinders to camping. The 4thcamp is arranged by the NNSW Conference each year and is an Expedition on the June long weekend. Accordingly we plan a pre-expedition for the 3rd camp, to prepare Pathfinders for hiking and to grade them into appropriate groups based on ability and experience rather than age.
Due to the 6 year age difference between the youngest and oldest Pathfinders it is necessary on some occasions to organise separate camping events to provide a great experience for the kids. On other occasions the junior and senior Pathfinders will complete different activities on the same camp.
Generally transport has been generously provided by leaders and the parents of Pathfinders. On some occasions a bus will be hired to transport pathfinders to camp.
We strongly recommend that Pathfinders do not bring ANY electronic devices of any kind to camp. Our club insurances do not cover loss of personal items and we would prefer to avoid the distress to families, children and the club leaders. We also actively discourage the use of mobile phones. Our leaders are always available to discuss any concerns or issues with the children on a camp as they arise and are happy to contact parents if needed. If you wish your child to bring their mobile phone to camps we ask that it be handed to the leaders prior to departure for safe keeping.
We attempt to follow the guidelines laid out in the Pathfinder Staff Manual. Pathfinders are provided with a camp briefing at the start of each camp, in which camp rules are discussed. The following offenses are not permitted: offensive language, indecency, cheating and stealing, disrespect to leaders property and the surrounding environments and bullying. The Pathfinder leadership team will meet on serious discipline matters. The club takes the view that if we provide adequate and appropriate challenges for the Pathfinders, this will lessen their need to challenge the leaders by their behaviours! Please discuss any concerns you have in this area with a leader. For further information about behaviour expectations please refer to the Code of Conduct document on the club website.
Parents of first time pathfinders are invited to attend their first camp. We do ask however that if parents wish to attend other camps during the year that this be discussed with the leaders. You will be required to actively engage in club activities, to camp in a tent (no caravans or camper trailers), honour our club philosophy and culture, and to encourage your child/children to engage fully in the pathfinder program of activities. We discourage ‘helicopter parenting’, that is parents who hover and fuss over their kids. But we understand that there is a process of growth for both the children and parents attending camps for the first time and wish to make this transition to being an independent Pathfinder as stress-free and enjoyable for families and kids as possible. Parents of new Pathfinders are encouraged to prepare their children at home by practicing camp cooking and camp meal preparation in particular. Our club is staffed by a good number of enthusiastic and experienced parent leaders who are committed to the well being and safety of your children during our camps.
If any parents have any particular skill, experience or qualification in conducting outdoor activities, driving buses or other things that would be of benefit to the club please discuss this with the pathfinder director. We are always interested in finding new places to go and providing new experiences for the kids.
Apart from tents which are supplied by the club, pathfinders provide their own camping equipment. We encourage you to be mindful of space, but if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact your group leader. Also see Equipment Check List, Food and Cooking, Meal Suggestions, Packing your Backpack and Equipment Suppliers.