2019 (July) Badge Finder - Senior Section Permit
Taking The Senior Section Permit or Overnight Permit involves planning an indoor or outdoor camp with your peers. It means that you decide on the food, the activities, the people, the location – everything is down to you and your peers, which can be great fun! It is a great way to develop your leadership and organisational skills. There are two types of permits available: the Overnight Permit and The Senior Section Permit. The Overnight Permit allows you to take a group of Guides or fellow members from The Senior Section away for an overnight experience, and The Senior Section Permit allows you to do so for a longer period. Both permits may be used for a base residential or a mobile expedition camp or holiday in lowland or open country.
What you have to do
Each permit is made up of modules, which you can complete individually or in sets. Each module relates to a different area of how to plan and run a residential event. Different modules are required for different types of events. Completing modules 1 to 3 earns you the Overnight Permit. Completing modules 1 to 6 earns you The Senior Section Permit. Modules 7 to 9 are optional modules you can complete depending on the type of event you are leading. If you already have the Overnight Permit then you do not need to repeat modules 1 to 3 to complete The Senior Section Permit. See Appendix (page 17) for a table of all the permit modules.
Finding a permit assessor
Your Leader can help you identify your assessor, who will be an experienced Going Away With Licence holder. This should not be your own Leader or someone else who helps run your unit on a regular basis. Your assessor is responsible for:
- making arrangements to see you
- negotiating opportunities for relevant experience and training for you
- talking through any areas of concern with you
- assessing and returning evidence to you within agreed timescales
- visiting your event
- signing off your assessment record.
Two people may be assessed for a permit at the same venue, and may share activity sessions. However, the individuals must still plan and run separate events, with each candidate working with a group of her own of up to eight peers or Guides.
Recording what you have done
Keep track of what modules you have done using the Look Wider and More Record Book (available from www.girlguidingshop.co.uk, order code 6110). You might also like to put together a more detailed record of what you have done. This will allow you to include more information and evidence of your achievement. You can do it through video journals, blogs, scrapbooks, a display, a written journal, a calendar and so on. Not only will this information be useful for guiding but can help you give an in-depth account of how you developed your leadership and organisational skills for university and job applications. It is up to you, in agreement with your Leader and assessor, to decide how you are going to present what you have done for your permit. Be creative and use your imagination.
Check if what you are planning to do for your permit can be counted towards other awards and qualifications. For example, your permit could be counted towards phase 3 of a Look Wider octant, towards your Queen’s Guide Award or towards your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award practice or qualifying expedition. You will need to decide and plan this beforehand as the requirements for the different awards and qualifications could vary slightly, and you need to make sure you fulfil the requirements for all.
If you go on to do the Going Away With Scheme, you may be able to count what you have done for The Senior Section Permit towards it. This means it is important to record what you have done. The areas which overlap and may be counted towards the Going Away With Scheme are shown on the table in the Appendix (page 17).
Top tips: The permit modules can be completed in any order you like. You don’t have to complete all the modules needed for either of the permits in one go, and you don’t need to repeat them. Some modules are equivalent to those in the Going Away With Scheme, so if you have already done the scheme you do not need to repeat the same permit modules. If you have completed the Guide Camp Permit there may be some parts of The Senior Section Permit which can already be signed off. You may want to start by getting your Overnight Permit to gain confidence and experience. Parental consent is required for all participants under 18 years old.
There are a number of Girlguiding resources or programmes which can help you further. The Guiding Manual at www.girlguiding.org.uk/guidingmanual. Going Away With Scheme at www.girlguiding.org.uk/making-guiding-happen/learning-anddevelopment/training-for-travel-and-residentials/going-away-with-scheme/. Going Away With Guiding resource, available from www.girlguidingshop.co.uk, order code 6045. The Guiding Handbook, available from www.girlguidingshop.co.uk, order code 6052. Visit also the website for The Senior Section, www.girlguiding.org.uk/theseniorsection, and talk to your Leaders, Commissioners and Advisers.
Module 1 – Plan an event
Element 1A: Plan it
Decide on the type of event (summer camp for Rangers, training camp for Patrol Leaders, fun weekend residential for The Senior Section etc). Discuss this with your unit, the participants and your Leader. You may also need to discuss this with the Guide Leader, your Commissioner and the relevant Advisers (eg Camping, Walking, Boating). You need to agree the aims of the event with all of them, discuss programme ideas with the participants and create a programme. A full programme may not be appropriate, but decide what you want to get done at the event. Make sure the event activities are suitable for all participants.
Element 1B: Book it
Choose a guiding-approved venue. If you are not sure whether the venue you are considering is approved, ask your local Residential Adviser. Think about transport needs for participants, the food and the kit. Check that the plans are within Girlguiding regulations: by looking through The Guiding Manual, www.girlguiding.org.uk/guidingmanual or talking through them with a Leader, who will check them in The Guiding Manual. Check insurance cover with the participants’ Unit Leader(s). Book the venue. Book the activity sessions where appropriate and if necessary.
Element 1C: Check it
Think about what support you will need – talk to these people. Agree how tasks are to be shared and how participants should behave while at the event. Make sure you have up-to-date first aid knowledge – either by holding a basic first aid or emergency aid certificate, or by an experienced Leader assessing your knowledge. The Senior Section can attend Girlguiding 1st Response courses or courses run by other organisations such as St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross.
Element 1D: Discuss it
Plan with all participants. Discuss roles with each member. Involve everyone when changes are planned. Prepare and distribute a kit list.
Now is the time to start your risk assessment – this shouldn’t be something big and scary but will help you plan what you are doing to avoid unnecessary risks. Your Leader will be able to help you with this.
The Senior Section Permit Module 2 – Organise and administrate an event
Element 2A: Budgeting
Estimate overall costs and calculate fees per person based on minimum numbers. Communicate costs to members. Set up an appropriate record for income and expenditure. Collect fees from participants and provide receipts. Keep receipts and ensure records are accurate and up to date. Pay bills and prepare final accounts.
Top tips: Overall costs will include some or all of the following: site fees, transport, food, activities, days out, fuel, equipment hire and administration. Don’t forget to include a contingency for any unexpected costs, changes to predicted costs and emergencies.
Element 2B: Supplies and equipment
Find out about local shopping and delivery facilities. Identify and make a list of equipment required for the planned programme. Find out where to buy, hire or borrow equipment from and the costs involved. Obtain equipment in good time and check them. Top tip As your plans develop, don’t forget to update your risk assessment.
Element 2C: Forms
Complete the Residential Event Notification form (available from www.girlguiding.org.uk/ globalassets/docs-and-resources/residentials-and-going-away/residential-event-notificationform.pdf). Send the Residential Event Notification form to your home Commissioner. Complete and distribute Information and Consent for Event/Activity forms to participant (available from www.girlguiding.org.uk/globalassets/docs-and-resources/safeguarding-and-risk/ information-and-consent-form.pdf). Complete and distribute Health Information forms to participants (available from www. girlguiding.org.uk/globalassets/docs-and-resources/safeguarding-and-risk/health-informationform-2014.pdf). Collect Information and Consent for Event/Activity forms from participants. Provide final details and explain the emergency home contact system to parents or carers and peers. Collect participants’ Health Information forms at the beginning of the event and keep safe, but to hand, throughout.
Keeping all forms in plastic wallets in a ring binder is good practice – you can then keep info about any treatment given with the Health form for each participant.
Element 2D: Leave nothing behind but your thanks
Arrange for a final check before leaving (particularly areas like the campfire circle – you may miss litter that you couldn’t see in the dark). Ensure the facilities and any equipment used is returned in an acceptable condition to the site owner. Thank the adult who was on call.
Module 3 – Plan for the safety and security of the participants
Element 3A: Emergency procedures
Establish an adult to be the emergency home contact and ensure that they have contact details of participants’ parents and carers. This person should not be a relative of anyone attending the event. Establish the location of the nearest telephone landline if you do not have a mobile or mobile reception. Consider any participants with special needs. Discuss and agree emergency procedures (including fire) with participants.
Element 3B: Set ground rules
Ensure that all participants know about emergency procedures to be followed and site rules set by the owner (these are usually displayed in the entrance of buildings, in the rooms, or near the car park or drop off point on campsites). Ensure the health and safety of all participants (do a risk assessment).
Top tip: This will help you update your risk assessment.
Module 4 – Organise the catering
Element 4A: Cooking and storage
Identify catering and storage facilities. Visit beforehand if possible, making notes of the size of any freezer and fridge, if you need cool boxes or gas cylinders, if you will be cooking on Trangia stoves and so on. Will you have to collect wood? What if it is damp? List catering and storage equipment required. Obtain necessary equipment – go through each meal individually to assemble a list.
Element 4B: Menus
Discover the dietary needs of all participants and their likes and dislikes. Plan the menu with the participants, taking into account the budget available, the programme and the time of year as well as the cooking methods and storage facilities available. List supplies required and organise purchase. Perhaps one of your peers could help you. Arrange for the preparation, cooking and serving of food. Cook at least one hot meal – remember to include time for this in your programme.
Element 4C: Food hygiene
Set up and maintain hygienic storage facilities. Keep appropriate foodstuffs separately. Keep food preparation areas clear. Establish site requirements for waste disposal. This may include taking rubbish away with you, burning it or recycling. Ensure there is provision for hand washing in the kitchen area. Ensure safety of all participants in the kitchen area – especially if cooking on an open fire – including first aid provision (eg a grab-bag-style first aid kit with blue plasters). Top tip As your plans develop don’t forget to update your risk assessment – these plans should help reduce risk.
Make health and first aid arrangements You may have to take lots of things with you (toilet tents, wash bowls, portaloos etc), or the site may be very well equipped. Remember this when preparing your equipment list and making transport plans.
Element 5A: Water and toilets Identify a safe water supply and ensure provision during the event. Identify toilet and washing facilities available and maintain standards during the event. Keep these clean, maybe on a rota system for cleaning. Establish site requirements for waste disposal. This may include taking rubbish away with you, burning it or recycling. Find out the site procedure for disposal of the contents of chemical toilets, if required.
Element 5B: Records and emergencies
Complete a 1st Response or other first aid course before the event. Ensure details of local medical services are available. It is important to be sure that you know how to get there (ie with maps). Ensure records are kept of all treatment given and medication taken. Take a small notebook for this purpose or write it on the back of the participant’s Health form.
Top tip: Each participant should be responsible for the administering and safekeeping of any personal medication.
Element 5C: First aid kit
Establish what first aid items are required. Try to have a look at an existing first aid kit to see what is contained in it. Check existing items are in date and purchase any necessary replacement. Ensure the first aid kit is freely available during the event – everyone should know where it is.
Top tips: When cooking facilities are being used, a first aid kit, including blue plasters, should be kept within the kitchen area. Your unit may have a ready-made first aid kit that you can borrow. These plans will help you update your risk assessment.
Module 6 – Organise a programme of activities for participants
Element 6A: Check activity equipment
Prepare a list of equipment required. Ensure equipment is checked for safety and suitability before use. If you are using equipment at an external site, for example at a climbing wall, check the site has the appropriate insurance and safety measures in place. Record any damage as it occurs, and/or defects as they are noticed, and advise the owners.
Top tips: If you cannot guarantee the safety of equipment, then the guidance of an appropriate person should be sought. External providers should guarantee the safety of equipment before it is used and must accept responsibility for the safety of that equipment. Use this to update your risk assessment.
Element 6B: Use and care of equipment
Identify gaps in the knowledge of all participants. Arrange appropriate instruction for equipment to be used in activities. Activities must meet Girlguiding regulations, for example adult-to-child ratios and instructor qualifications. See The Guiding Manual, www.girlguiding.org.uk/guidingmanual, for information. Ensure equipment is cared for and used correctly. Ensure that hazardous equipment is used and stored safely.
Element 6C: Returning equipment
Check items against the list of equipment. Ensure all borrowed or hired equipment is returned on time and in good condition. Replace consumables or organise payment for those used.
Element 6D: Provide activities for participants
Make a daily plan of what you want to do. Give participants an idea of what they will be doing. Allow time for each activity. Review each activity – celebrate your successes! Have alternatives ready in case of poor weather.
Top tip: If you have completed your Leadership Qualification for another section you do not need to redo Module 1 of the Qualification for The Senior Section before doing this permit, as it is covered in this module.
Module 7 – Organise the care and maintenance of camping equipment
Element 7A: Tents and equipment
Decide on the tents and other equipment required. Remember they may be wet. In addition to sleeping tents, you may need store tents, toilet tents and kitchen tents. If you don’t have equipment you may be able to borrow it from your unit or District. Brief all participants about the correct use and daily care of equipment and facilities. Practise pitching tents before you go, make sure you have all the bits and that there is no damage. Support participants in the care of their personal kit and bedding. Find out what people know before the event, provide a kit list, and give advice on what is and is not suitable.
Element 7B: Set up camp
Lay out the site in a safe and hygienic way (think fire distances, cooking area, toilets at appropriate distances etc) and pitch the tent(s). } Ensure that the camp has the lowest possible impact on the environment. } Know how to make emergency and small repairs to a tent. } Ensure the correct care of tents in the weather conditions. } Demonstrate safe use of the cooking method chosen.
Element 7C: Strike and store
Prepare a plan for dismantling the camp and allocate tasks to all participants. Strike the tent(s). Remember to dry them if they are not completely dry – you may be able to put them up at home, or leave them to dry in your meeting place. Make arrangements for the cleaning, checking, repairing as necessary and packing and storage of equipment.
Top tip: Don’t forget to update your risk assessment throughout the event.
Module 8 – Prepare and run a mobile expedition
Element 8A: Prepare your expedition and go!
Complete any training that might be useful, for example the Girlguiding Walking Scheme, to a suitable level you will be walking at. Know the route that you are going to take on your journey and also make sure the relevant people know about it. Make sure the journey is suitable for all of your participants (remembering especially members with special needs). Do practice walks if necessary and check any personal equipment required. Plan your menu and know how and when you will buy food and other supplies. Make sure you have support from your group – someone to help you navigate! Go and have fun on your expedition!
Top tip: Training requirements will depend on where the expedition is planned. See The Guiding Manual, www.girlguiding.org.uk/guidingmanual, for information.
Adviser’s tip: Advisers will use the route plan to check that the route is appropriately followed and may meet participants during the event.
Module 9 – Travelling abroad
This module allows a holder of The Senior Section Permit to take a minimum of four and a maximum of eight members from The Senior Section, including herself, abroad. Before starting on this module, you must already hold the relevant permit and have organised and led at least one other camp or holiday as appropriate following the award of your permit. When working towards this module, check Going Away With Guiding (www.girlguidingshop.co.uk, order code 6045) and The Guiding Manual (www.girlguiding.org.uk/guidingmanual) before commencing any plans. Appropriate support must be established in the country to be visited. If any of the group members are aged under 16, the holder of The Senior Section Permit must be at least 18 years of age. The criteria in this module are the minimum standards that must be met for each event overseas.
Top tip: The Travelling Abroad Training Programme will help ensure you have all the training needed to complete this module. Find out about it at www.girlguiding.org.uk/making-guiding-happen/ running-your-unit/events-and-going-away/taking-girls-abroad/.
Element 9A: Gain permission and begin preparation
Discuss the possibility of travelling abroad with your unit or group. Information about international opportunities can be obtained from Country and Region publications, guiding magazine, Leaders, Advisers, training and brochures from commercial organisations. The Girlguiding and WAGGGS websites (www.girlguiding.org.uk and www.wagggsworld.org) and webpages of other Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting Associations have details of international camps. Discuss ideas and plans with your Leader, Commissioner, International Adviser, the Mentor appointed for the trip and other Advisers as required. A discussion with your International Adviser will provide you with more information about suitable opportunities as well as details of how to take your plans forward. With help from the group, investigate the opportunities available and their associated costs. When investigating opportunities, take into consideration the age, ability and experience of each participant. Investigate the laws and customs of the country you propose to visit and how they affect young women. Take into account the language, culture and health issues involved. Explore the accommodation available and means of travel and whether visas are necessary. Find out who is able and likely to take part. Complete a Residential Event Notification form and send to your Commissioner. Discuss fundraising and finance with participants. Your Commissioner and County International Adviser should be able to give you information on local funding sources. When considering finance, consider how you might access money quickly in case of emergency. Identify skills and allocate tasks among the group while keeping overall responsibility. Identify a source of support in the country to be visited and gain their agreement. The source of support in the country to be visited might include: the UK contingent leader at a large camp, a representative of the holiday company organising the holiday, a Guiding or Scouting unit in the country, or a manager of the Guiding or Scouting campsite or centre.
Top tip: Important information and travel advice can be obtained from the government’s Foreign Office website, www.fco.gov.uk.
Element 9B: Plan the event
Prepare and agree a budget with the other participants. The budget should include all possible costs including: meetings, travel, accommodation, insurance, event fees, equipment purchase and hire, activities, food, drink and incidentals. In addition, include an emergency fund – five per cent of the total cost of the trip is recommended. If this is unspent, it should be returned to the participants once all the invoices have been paid. Ensure clear and robust accounts are kept. By its very nature, an international trip involves more financial risk. Collate all relevant information and ensure an information sheet is prepared for participants. The information sheet should include details of travel plans, venue or accommodation, costs (including a deposit), health issues, possible programme options, timescales and a payment plan. Continue to discuss plans with participants. Provide an opportunity for parents or carers of any participants who are aged under 18 years to discuss the event. Provide detailed information to the source of support in the country to be visited. Make and confirm booking and travel arrangements. For all participants, you should devise a booking form – completion and payment of a deposit demonstrates commitment to the event. This could be included on the Information and Consent for Event/Activity. Before you reach the stage of confirming bookings and travel arrangements, ensure that you have a non-refundable deposit from all participants to cover costs incurred. Ensure Information and Consent for Event/Activity form, Health Information for International Travel forms and any booking forms are completed. Parental consent must be obtained for all participants under 18 years. Young women aged 16 years or over may complete their own Health Information for International Travel forms. Appoint an emergency home contact in the UK and ensure they have all relevant travel plans.
Top tip Don’t forget to use this information to update your risk assessment.
Element 9C: Involve participants With the group you must do the following. Plan and agree the activities for the event. Agree a group charter, which should include agreements on behaviour, expectations and roles, for example how to make decisions as a group, who will be treasurer, interpreter if needed and so on. Arrange a schedule of what has to be done, by who and when. Ensure everyone is completing their agreed tasks and meeting deadlines. Consider the potential problems that may occur while you are away, make contingency plans and discuss these with your Mentor and Leader or Adviser. Before making your contingency plans, identify any possible hazards, quantify the likelihood and severity of risk and agree how best to reduce and manage them. Think about how you might manage an emergency situation. See The Guiding Handbook (www.girlguidingshop.co.uk, order code 6052) and Going Away With Guiding for help with your risk assessment, for example to help you consider how you would cope with a medical emergency.
Top tip: You may also want to consider some training as a group.
Element 9D: Manage the event
Coordinate the event, continually assessing risk and incorporating flexibility as required and involving all participants in decision-making. Listen and respond to the participants’ ideas and concerns. Advise the source of support of any problems or changes of plans.
Element 9E: Evaluate the event
As a group, discuss what went well, any difficulties, skills learned and recommendations for the future. Provide a report and thank all those who helped you with your event. Who you report to and how depends on the nature of the group (whether you are a unit, District or Division). If your District has helped you in preparation, it is considerate to circulate a report or your County may wish to include a short report in its Annual Review. What is most important is that you share your adventure with local Guides and fellow members of The Senior Section. Prepare a simple statement of income and expenditure and show them to your Leader or Commissioner and the participants. Agree with your Leader or Commissioner and your unit how to deal with any shortfall or surplus.