I ran a Harry Potter themed camp for my Permit

Doing The Senior Section Permit meant Abby could plan her own magical Harry Potter themed camp

The Senior Section Permit is one of the most useful qualifications I have obtained during my time in guiding. It means I can now take guiding members on a range of different residential trips.

The Senior Section Permit enables you to take up to eight Senior Section members or Guides on a residential for two nights or more. I originally embarked on this challenge as part of my Queen's Guide Award, but found it to be a great qualification in its own right. It has significantly boosted my camping knowledge, experience and confidence, as well as developing my leadership skills.

A magical camping trip

For my Permit residential I chose to take a group of four friends, who are also members of The Senior Section, on a Harry Potter themed camping trip.

I had to organise everything - I booked the campsite, planned the activities and provided the food. I had a lot of fun talking to the participants about what they would like to do and coming up with a range of Hogwarts themed activities, meals and competitions, the most successful of which was a horcrux scavenger hunt on the final day.

Overcoming new challenges

The most challenging part was sorting out everyone's forms. It was difficult to keep them all straight in my head! Luckily, I had a fabulous Mentor who helped me every step of the way, from explaining the details of specific forms to helping me transport all the equipment for the trip.

There were also plenty of unexpected challenges that arose during the trip itself. For example, the rain that plagued the campsite for most of the first day (although in England one could argue such a thing is hardly 'unexpected') meant we had to move all the equipment and activities inside our largest tent, as well as figure out how on earth we could cook our dinner without burning the tent down or ending up with food too soggy to eat.

Passing the Permit

There was also the daunting thought that my Permit Assessor could appear at any moment. I had an irrational fear in the back of my mind that they would arrive and catch us in the act of doing something horribly wrong, despite the fact that we were following all plans and rules perfectly.

When my assessor did eventually arrive she was not, funnily enough, some fire-breathing dragon with a desire to fail me for the tiniest infraction. In fact, she was a lovely Guide Leader who merely had a brief chat with us, asked us how things were going, checked everything was running smoothly and safely, and gave us a few recommendations of things we could improve on. Nothing to be nervous about at all!

I'd recommend doing The Senior Section Permit

Now that I have completed my Permit I definitely feel more prepared and confident to lead a group of young people on a residential trip in the future. It was a great experience and if anyone is unsure as to whether or not they want to do it, I would say you definitely should - I mean, why not?

Doing my permit even gave me the chance to finally gain a First Aid qualification, another incredibly useful thing to have. And if an opportunity arises to be involved in running a residential event, I will no longer hesitate to get involved.

Get your Senior Section Permit

Learn how to plan your own magical trips and to take girls away.