Get ready for Sparkle and Ice!

Guides, Rangers and leaders, are you ready?

31 August 2022

Are you coming to our extreme winter camp, Sparkle and Ice, this November?

Guides, Rangers and volunteers can take on survival challenges, get involved with lots of activities and make new friends.

It starts on 9am on Saturday 26 and finishes 12.30pm on Sunday 27 November 2022, with a Friday night stay option too. There's also a day option from 10am to 6pm on Saturday 26 November 2022.

It’ll be held at Blackland Farm in Sussex, Foxlease in the New Forest, Glenbrook in the Peak District and Waddow Hall in Lancashire. And this event doesn’t require a Going Away With licence – but make sure you let us know if you don't have one! Better still, you can use this event to work towards the licence if you’re working on it.

Members will become adventurers with a programme of fun activities, including rock climbing, abseiling and tunnelling, all amidst our winter wonderlands.

They’ll also have a chance to get crafty with winter-themed crafts, pit themselves against our assault course, keep their balance on our crate stacking challenge and more. How about going to a planetarium, take part in a dance workshop or science activities?

Your campsite fee will cover food from Saturday lunch to Sunday lunch, hot drinks, onsite activities and challenges. You can also pay £5 per person to hire tents. And if you’re coming on Friday night, the extra £15 per person covers extra camping fees, Friday night dinner and Saturday night breakfast, and activities on Friday night.

You’ll need to make sure you’ve completed the required Girlguiding forms for this event, like the information and consent form and health information form.

A Residential Event Notification (REN) form will need to be completed for your local commissioner too. Make sure you do this by the beginning of September!

Camping in the winter, as you might expect, is very different to camping in the other seasons. These are our top tips for staying warm so you can have a great time:

  1. When you head to sleep, layer underneath yourself, not just over the top: Blankets on top of your sleeping bag, or even inside it, is important, but loads of heat gets lost through the ground as well. Ideally, you’ll want to bring a good quality roll mat and, if you’re still chilly, put a blanket between you and your roll mat too. It seems counterintuitive but you’ll be further away from the cold earth!
  2. Shake your sleeping bag: Most sleeping bags work by trapping pockets of air that absorb heat from your body and keeps you warm. So, to achieve maximum cosiness, give your bag a good shake before you use it to make sure it’s full of air.
  3. If you need a wee, go for a wee: Your body has to remain at a steady temperature and will use lots of extra energy keeping your full bladder warm. So go for a wee and you’ll feel a lot more toasty afterwards.
  4. Keep your extremities warm: Wear a hat to bed, keep your feet warm with one, or even two, pairs of thick socks and, if it’s really cold, wear gloves too.
  5. Put hand warmers in your sleeping bag: They work a treat, is something you may well be carrying with you anyway. Remember to bring your hot water bottle either way!
  6. Keep yourself fuelled: Your body uses a lot of energy to keep itself warm in winter, so it’s important to eat lots. Bring lots of snacks and enjoy the food made for you. And keep hydrated too!

 Here’s the full kit list, which is also in the booking pack:

  • Thermals
  • Fleece and/or a warm jumper
  • Several pairs of thick socks
  • A woolly hat, scarf and gloves
  • Another pair of gloves that are waterproof
  • Lots of warm clothes
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Either wellies, walking boots or snow boots
  • Trainers for roped activities
  • Spare shoes
  • A refillable water bottle
  • A thermal mug with a lid for hot drinks. Disposable cups won’t be available.
  • Camera
  • Pocket money
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Toiletries
  • Towel and flannel
  • Hot water bottle in cover. We’ll have hot water bottle filling areas
  • Every person coming needs two copies of your health information form
  • Day bag to carry things around with you
  • Camping mat
  • Sleeping bag, ideally 3/4 season
  • Lots of blankets
  • Small pillow
  • Tracksuit bottoms and a sweatshirt are ideal in the winter
  • Something to take home anything you make, like a bag or box
  • A bin bag for taking home muddy clothes and shoes. It will be muddy!

Leaders remember these too:

  • Enough tents for your group. Please bring small tents as that will help keep you warm and are stronger in the wind. Remember that all Girlguiding members, including parents, have access to a special discount at GO Outdoors, our recommended outdoor retailer. You can find tents, outdoor gear, and lots of other camping essentials to help your experience go smoothly. To access your discount online please use the online code that can be found on our GO membership system. You can also pop into a GO Outdoors store, and show your Girlguiding uniform at the till.
  • Groundsheets
  • Extra blankets
  • Small first aid kit, including medication
  • All your consent forms, a copy of your REN and risk assessments

We can’t wait to enjoy an action-packed weekend full of fun, mud and maybe some snow. See you at the end of November!