Good camping guide
Our good camping guide has been developed to help you prepare
Camping at the Essex International Jamboree is different to many other national camps, because we simply take over a farmer’s field for a week, unlike others that take place at County showgrounds and purpose-built campsites.
This means there’s a little bit more for you to consider when camping at our Jamboree. Put simply, it’s closer to camping at one of the more basic Scout or Guide local campsites (but with a mega stage, cinema, shops and much, much more).
We’ve put together a few hints and tips, together with some safety advice, to help with your planning.
It's a week in a field
As with any camp it is important that the camp is set up, run and taken down in a safe way. This should be no different at a Jamboree. However, more emphasis on safety is required due to the increased risk with the large amount of people camping in one place. It’s important to understand that health and safety is not there to create barriers, instead it should be seen as identifying the risks and controlling them so measures can be implemented to prevent a problem occurring.
The Scout Association and Girlguiding Uk produce a range of factsheets and videos which will also share here. If you have any questions, please contact the team.
The space you will be allocated will be based on your group size, but please be prepared for it to be a tighter squeeze than you would normally want or expect.
So our three top tips are:
- Don’t bring enormous tents
- Only bring essential tents
- Ensure that you use all your tents wisely, maximising the number of Scouts or Guides in each tent and use porches for storage
When setting up, camp cooking tents need to have at least a five-metre gap between them and sleeping tents. You need to make best use of the space by placing cooking tents next to your neighbouring group’s cooking tent. This is important as it will decrease the spread of a fire in the event of an emergency.
Key safety point – layout within the cooking tent
The cooking burner table must be separated from the young people ideally by placing a serving table in front so there is clear separation from the flammable elements and hot surfaces, and the campers.
Party tents are permitted provided they fit into your allocated space and are erected to manufacturer’s instructions and are secured appropriately for the expected weather conditions (eg ratchets & straps).
You may find the Scouting Party/Fiesta Tents Guidance factsheet a useful reference
Access and egress
Each camping group must ensure a clean easy route out of their site onto the main traffic routes. This should not be obstructed by guy lines or equipment.
Each Subcamp Team will fence the perimeter of their Subcamp.
We encourage you to fence off your group area with bunting or hazard tape, this helps to deter others from walking through your camp area.
We will also have a small Subcamp competition for the best gateway, so get your thinking camps and gadget (craft) skills at the ready.
Once you have been allocated to a Subcamp please let us know as soon as possible if you are sharing resources with any other group so we can put you next to them.
If we are not given prior notification, we will not be able to support you with sharing your resources.
Camping in close proximity to others means that you will quite possibly be in “each-others pockets” so it’s imperative that you are respectful to your neighbours and think about how you and your unit behaves.
Our top tips:
- Keep your noise levels down
- Be aware and respectful of any cultural or behavioural differences
- Become friends and support each other
- Please speak to your Guides or Scouts about this
The only fuel allowed on camping sites is gas. You should not store excess gas on your camping site, with a maximum of 100kg per plot. There will be daily deliveries of gas throughout the week.
- Any gas appliance onsite being connected to gas bottles must be designed for use with or converted for use with gas cylinders. These operate at a much higher pressure.
- All equipment needs to be in good working order with no visible damage.
- Gas hoses must be inspected before coming to camp and have been renewed within five years.
- Most gas hoses are orange and now have a date stamp so you can easily tell their age.
- If a fault does occur or damage is noticed, then the equipment must not be used.
- Spare hose, regulators and clips will be available onsite.
- During the event checks will be carried out by Jamboree staff to ensure gas safety.
Hoses must be kept as short as possible but be long enough for the gas cylinders to be positioned outside of the cooking tent and therefore accessible for the valve/s to be shut off in an emergency.
Cooking tents need to be flame retardant, of adequate size, fitted with sufficient ventilation and and exits for emergencies.
Should a fire occur on a camping site the risk of it spreading quickly through tents is a major concern.
- The following are NOT permitted: open fires, charcoal BBQs, piercable gas cartridge cookers/lights or liquid fuel appliances
- Groups must bring a fire blanket and extinguisher
- Cooking appliances must be positioned away from wall and roof surfaces in a secure position
- Full and empty LPG cylinders must be kept outside in a designated area
- If you need replace a cyclinder, you must do this in the open air
- Hoses must be kept as short as possible
- Groups must keep spare gas to a minimum, no more than 100kg
- All gas appliances, hoses and connectors must be checked prior to camp and replaced if damaged.
- Hoses over five years old are not permitted
- Cooking tents must be sited together and at least 5 meters away from sleeping tents.
- No candles onsite
- Smoking is only permitted in designated areas
- No naked flames near gas bottles or pipework
Please read and refer to the Scouting Safety Guide to Camping Fuels
Make sure you familiarise yourself with the Jamboree fire points and the evacuation procedures.
This is one of our biggest priorities, we want to keep you all safe and well. At a Jamboree, it’s very easy for infections to spread so we ask you kindly to adhere to some simple guidelines.
We strongly recommend that you provide basic washing facilities back at your site – this could be as simple as a bowl with hot water available, or a dedicated ‘wash cubicle’. Your Scouts and Guides will not be able to use the toilet facilities for full body washing or indeed brushing their teeth. It’s important that you are aware of this, and abide by this guideline.
We do not want infections spreading throughout the site, and this is a critical element of that.
The Jamboree toilets have been chosen specifically for our purposes and will work well all week provided only the toilet paper provided by the Jamboree is used. If you think paper stocks are running low, please inform a member of your Subcamp Team and encourage your Scouts and Guides to do the same.
Absolutely no sanitary items other than the toilet paper provided to be put in toilets, bins will be provided. If you notice or are aware of bins becoming full, please advise a member of the Subcamp Team.
Please note that there are minimal showers, and you should encourage your Scouts and Guides to only take showers when necessary. When they do use the showers, they should be reminded to minimise the length of shower and to be respectful of others by leaving them as they would wish to find them.
Hand washing is so important
Your health and safety is our upmost priority, so it’s imperative that you and your Scouts and Guides maintain excellent hand hygiene:
- Ensure everyone washes their hands after using the toilets with soap and water
- Always wash hands before and after preparing food
- Wash hands after eating
- Wash daily … and this doesn’t mean shower, a bowl of hot water is a good alternative
So our top tips are simple:
- Be prepared for minimal washing facilities, ensure you bring bowls, soap, and if possible a small wash cubicle
- Show your Scouts and Guides how to brush their teeth using just a mug of water, toothbrush and toothpaste
- Come prepared to leave the Jamboree having had fewer showers than normal!
It is important to take preventative measures to reduce the impact of infectious disease. Infectious disease covers a range of illnesses which are generally easily spread. They can be spread via person to person contact, hand contact surfaces and within food and water.
If two or more people in your camping group exhibit similar symptoms it is important you inform your Subcamp Team at your earliest opportunity. The Safety and Medical Team will be able to provide guidance to prevent spread of the illness.
Most infectious diseases have a range of symptoms include a variety of the following:
- Most common symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
- Other symptoms: stomach cramps, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, high temperature, muscle pain, chills
It can be more difficult to ensure food safety when camping due to difficulties of keeping food cold, as well as effectively cleaning and storing of equipment.
The guidance below is set out to ensure good practices and safe food. You may find the Scouting Camp Food Safety Factsheet useful.
As you will be onsite for a whole week planning your menu and purchasing food is important. Whilst there are no issues with purchasing ambient stable products for the whole week, you should not purchase high risk, chilled food, for the whole week. It would be advised that you purchase chilled/frozen foods on a regular basis throughout the week to ensure that this food is not affected by heat.
- Ambient goods: These should be stored off the floor, preferably in sealed boxes. Keep in mind that during hot weather food will deteriorate more quickly i.e. bread will go mouldy more quickly and fruit will spoil more easily.
- Chilled/Frozen: These foods need to be stored at their respective temperatures. Chilled, below 8°C and frozen, below 5°C (as long as it is used within one week). The exception to this is if you are going to use the frozen food within 24hrs of defrosting it. Do not store chilled/frozen food out of temperature control
NB: an ice block exchange will be available via the Food Warehouse
Preparing and cooking
- Vegetables and Salad: ensure they are properly washed in clean water and any visible dirt removed.
- All food needs to be fully cooked. You should make sure that liquid based dishes such as Spaghetti Bolognese are steaming and piping hot.
- When cooking meats ensure they are fully cooked, check to ensure the liquids run clear and that the centre of meat has changed colour. If you are using a probe thermometer the food should have a core temperature of 75°C or above.
- You should not cool protein foods for use the next day as this cannot generally be achieved safely in a camping situation.
When preparing, cooking and eating food, hand hygiene and personal hygiene is paramount.
- You need to ensure that there is clean hot water available with hand soap and drying facilities such as hand towels or paper towels.
- Hands should be regularly cleaned before cooking, after handling raw meat and in between tasks.
- Clean aprons should be used in the kitchen.
No one suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea should prepare or handle food. They need to wait 48hrs after their symptoms have stopped before they start food preparation again; this is to allow the bacteria to leave their system.
Cleaning & Minimising Bacteria
Cleaning is an important part to ensuring food safety. Prior to preparing food all equipment and surfaces need to be effectively cleaned and disinfected.
- The use of a surface sanitiser is recommended to remove bacteria.
- After preparing raw meat the area and equipment needs to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Cleaning and disinfection is a two stage technique:
Cleaning: use clean cloths and hot soapy water or a sanitiser spray (ie Dettol):
- Spray the surface and wait for a contact time so it can reduce bacteria levels. (For Dettol this is 30 seconds, for supermarket home brands it’s usually five minutes).
- Following the contract time, remove the spray with paper towel.
Clean cloths and tea towels need to be available throughout the camp duration.
We are in a field, on farmer’s land, water must be disposed of in the right way and in the right place. The site layout has been designed to keep vehicle movement to a minimum. This may mean that your Scouts and Guides need to carry full bowls of dirty water to the disposal point.
Therefore, we’d recommend that you bring one or all of the following:
- Bucket or two to carry the dirty water to the disposal point (remembering they may have to lift it high to pour out)
- A trolley to help carry/pull it; bearing in mind the site is an open field and could have ruts, possibly deep
- A “wheelie” barrel or water hog.
Please remember we want to avoid spillages as much as possible. If dirty water is spilt, please advise a member of your Subcamp Team if you feel it could become a hazard.
- Remember that all the staff, including your Subcamp Team at the Jamboree have paid to be there. They are volunteers just like you.
- Some items on subcamps are personal property or have been hired for the event. “Trophy hunting” or “Taking of souvenirs” is theft.
- Be ready to have a fun filled week and grasp every opportunity there is with both hands, we know a Jamboree is a really exciting place to come too, but make sure you get your sleep.