Being a pack holiday assessor

In the middle weekend of the Easter holidays, I did my first holiday assessment in my shiny new capacity as Division Residential Advisor.  I now know from doing my own holiday licence that the assessors’ visit really isn’t scary: they’re just there to double-check everything is running fine, the holiday leader is working through the qualification book and knows what they need to do to finish it, and suggest tweaks to make things even better/safer/more efficient.

I’d been told that one of the good things about being an assessor is that you get to visit new sites and pick up ideas, and that was definitely true.  This pack holiday was at a field study centre not 2 miles from my house, which I didn’t know existed until reading very recently that it might be sold off.  Fingers crossed not, as it’s a great site with lots of indoor and outdoor space, lots of beds and good value for money.

Like my pack holiday, this had a circus theme, and the decorations put me to shame: they’d hung a parachute from the dining room ceiling to make it look like a tent, and there were balloons and bunting and pop-up circus tents everywhere.  They’d had a circus skills workshop (the same company I used, which I’ll mention by name as they’re really brilliant and go all over the south and midlands: Shooting Stars Circus Skills) and were having a party in the evening.  They had also been for a walk, done crafts like making juggling balls and decorating tiles, make and decorated cakes, and were doing a sort of ongoing treasure hunt over the weekend.  It sounded like great fun!

I’d also been told that you can tell a holiday is fine from the atmosphere as soon as you arrive.  When I arrived, the Brownies were outside having a group photo and laughing their heads off, and Brown Owl was rescuing a pair of giant knickers off a flagpole!  In other words, all was well.

When the other assessor arrived (a lady I know from the district next door, which is the same district as these Brownies so she knew the leaders there very well), Brown Owl took us on a tour of the building and we chatted about the holiday and checked the health information sheets, and had a look through her qualification book and the evidence she was gathering.  We spoke with some of the Brownies as they wrote in their diaries and they were obviously having a great time.  We just made a couple of small suggestions about paperwork and we were there for about an hour.  All in all I found it very interesting to visit someone’s else’s holiday and have a nosey round a new site and hope I can do it again soon!


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