Canal Camp Timeline - Before Camp
You've been appointed to Leader a Canal Camp .. what next?!
Several Months before your camp (usually!)
- Receive a phone call and agree to lead camp
- Find an assistant leader if this hasn't already been done
- Get in touch with the local contact from the relevant canal society -Introduce yourself;
Plan timing of site visit; Ask what the work is; Say what you expect from them at the site visit (this is likely to include seeing the accommodation, shower facilities, relevant permissions for the work you are going to do etc.);Establish regular contact – ONGOING!
- Recruitment -Think about who might be willing to cook on your camp. Ask them! If you don’t know any cooks, email WRG HO Team or ask on WRG's facebook group. Send an email or ring up people who’ve been on your camps before and ask them back. Think ahead about van drivers/plant operators/instructors – ask a few people with WRG driver authorisation if they would like to come and join in the fun! Follow this up after your site visit when you know more accurately what plant/vehicles you will have on your camp.
Approximately 2 months before your camp
- Site visit -The site visit has several important purposes: Meeting the local canal society contact; Seeing the site; Seeing the accommodation; Gaining a good understanding of the work to be carried out on your camp; Depending on the site/work, you may need more than one site visit; Remeber to take photos of the site - it will help when planning the camp! WRG's Technical Officer can join you on the site visit to help with planning and offer advice.
Follow the link for a detailed plan of a site visit.
- Recruitment – Stage 2 Now you know what the work will be you can - Send another email to the group of people from ‘STAGE 1’ describing the work, the accommodation etc. and tell them how worthwhile it is and how much fun they are likely to have! Remind them that space is limited, so they should book on straight away!
Make sure you will have enough plant operators and van/minibus drivers. If you’re worried, ask some more people.
Ask someone who is an instructor on plant/vans if they would be able to come to the camp and do some training (even if it is just for a few days).
Think about other specialist skills that will be useful/necessary on your camp and see if you can acquire a volunteer with those skills (e.g. bricklaying).
Check that you have a cook.
- Logistics - Tell WRG logistics if you would like any specialist tools or plant; How will you get it to the camp?; Arrange van and kit movements – make contact with the leaders of the previous camp and the next camp – work out who may be able to help with van movements.
- Paperwork -Planning is key to running a safe site. It is the Leaders responsibility to ensure the following documents are created. Method statements;Risk assessments;Directions to A+E – 2 versions: from site, from accommodation – make copies (it is a good idea to put copies in the following places: both first aid kits, both vans and in the project file with risk assessments etc.); Contact information for local GP, dentist and any minor injuries centre; Copies of permissions, project plans etc; Try making a schedule for the week’s work. (This will inevitably change but it is a good idea to think ahead!)
Keep all this information in a folder that you take to site every day and remember to send copies to WRG Head Office.
- Speak to WRG Head office - Contact them to check bookings. Ask them if they can send you an update every couple of weeks. Ask them to put a cap on numbers if necessary.
Approxiamately 3 weeks before Camp
- Head office again -Check bookings – find out who has booked on. Chase up people who’ve said they’re coming but haven’t booked on yet. Give them information for the joining instructions sent out to volunteers – What time do you want people to arrive at the camp? Give them your phone number: 1) So volunteers can contact you prior to the camp. 2) In case the camp ‘phone doesn’t turn up when you think it will!
Check the directions they will send out are accurate.
Approximately 2 weeks before Camp
- Contact your volunteers - Ring them up – talk to them about what the week will entail – ask them if they have any questions – be friendly! Thank them for booking on – advise them to get steel toe-capped safety boots.
Check the bookings for: birthdays during the camp, food allergies etc. (you may want to ask them about this in advance as your cook will need to know), people arriving by public transport (ask them where they will need picking up from and at what time).