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Fair play Scouts on camp love activities where the whole Troop is involved and there are ways that hosting an event can provide a focus for the Patrol in their preparation and be a great social gathering as well, says Louise Henderson

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aving a mock craft or country fair is one way. You may think that your Troop will have outgrown playing ‘shop’, but just watch and see. For best results, Patrol Leaders need to be told of the challenge before camp so that they can arrive with ideas that might work and/or materials to make the goods. If the fair is held at the end of the week, the Patrol can spend any free time they may have preparing. A useful rule is that everything must be made at camp even if the materials are brought with them. Successful ideas have included pancakes and jam, friendship bracelets, fizzy jelly, wooden bookmarks, stone jewellery, fudge, face painting, dream catchers and various fairground type games.

Generate a buzz The ‘money’ is printed beforehand in small denominations and issued in set amounts to the Patrols, as float and spending money. Try to keep the stalls in a fairly restricted area as this gives the whole event some atmosphere. Patrols are given time to set up their stall and a pre-fair meeting is held where the Patrol Leader pitches their goods to everyone else. There are obvious decisions to be

made about pricing and sometimes it is the Patrols who have a little of a good product and who are willing to hold out for a higher price who make the most money. The fair is declared open and trading begins. Patrol Leaders organise who stays on the stall and who can go and buy things. Make sure that everyone gets a turn at everything and issue money to those who are buying.

Enterprise and ingenuity At various times a leader can bank money that the Patrols have made on their stalls. Once it is recorded this money can then be put back into circulation so the Scouts go on buying each other’s goods. The fair can take up most of an afternoon and a winner can be declared on the basis of most money taken. This event is well worth a try. To see Scouts buying and selling goods that they have produced is a joy. The ingenuity and enterprise that are encouraged and displayed would do justice to anything that Alan Sugar might expect to find. I mean, when the fizzy jelly ran out, who would have thought that you could still sell the empty paper bowls?

18 Scouts February/March 2011

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