Pack holiday parents’ meeting

Four weeks before pack holiday, we had an information meeting for parents.

It took place instead of a Brownie meeting, but only lasted half an hour.  There was a good turnout – in fact, I think we had a parent for all the girls except one.  We also had about 6 Brownies and siblings, who couldn’t be left at home, and we installed them at a table with paper and pens, and some colouring sheets and wordsearches on the holiday theme which I’d printed.

Things we handed out:

  • Site address and map
  • Home contact number
  • Kit list
  • Health info form

(all these were stapled together)

  • Receipt for full payment

Things we collected:

  • Cheques for final payment
  • Food and bedroom questionnaires (given out at Brownies the week before, for each Brownie to fill in their food preferences like pizza toppings, and people they’d like to share a room with, and preferences for top or bottom bunk.)

What we spoke about:

  • Brown Owl introduced me, as I’m not a leader with these Brownies, so most parents don’t know me.  Then I did my thing:
  • Welcome, introduce team and roles
  • The site, house, and facilities
  • Activity programme and duties
  • Kit list – went through each item, explaining where necessary
  • First Aider spoke about her role, invited parents to speak to her privately
  • Caterers spoke about the food – reassurance that no one will starve or have to eat food they’ll hate, and explaining that we’re asking Brownies/parents to bring snacktime food
  • Back to me: explained how home contact works
  • In next few Brownie meetings we’ll be doing activities to prepare for holiday

Parents’ questions

My biggest worry was that a parent would ask something I had no idea how to answer.  I needn’t have worried, as there was only one question, which was were cameras allowed?  (They weren’t on the kit list – not intentionally, I just hadn’t thought of them.)  I said yes, if they were named, and another leader added that older, cheaper ones were preferable to shiny new ones.

That was a relief.  Apparently our parents are quite mellow about the whole thing; either that or I stunned them into silence.  I think it helps enormously that three of the leaders work in the school that most of the Brownies go to, so most of the parents already see a lot of them and trust them with their children.

What was a bit strange was having the last Brown Owl in the “audience”, as her daughter is going as a Young Leader.  This is a lady with loads of pack holiday experience, at one time a residential advisor, and no doubt she found it odd being on the receiving end for a change!

Aftermath

Some of the parents stayed to chat afterwards, e.g. about medication and allergies.  Then we leaders stayed behind a bit longer to sort out the forms and cheques we had been given, and generally have a chat.  The other leaders said they thought I’d done fine at leading the meeting, which was encouraging.  I thought it did the job alright.  At least I’ll never have to do it for the first time again!

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