A quick one.
Sometimes your children go away without you or any of your family – with school or maybe Brownies or Cubs or something. It’s amazing.
I mean, it can be very scary and result in tears and tantrums. But don’t worry, you’ll have got over yourself by the time they get back.
They will get grubbier than you thought possible, and they will wear every item of clothing you pack, except the things you thought would be useful.
A few tips:
- In the name of all that is holy, give them a case/bag they can carry themselves. Make sure they recognise it. This might mean attaching ribbons or toys to the outside.
- Don’t pack a note or letter. It doesn’t end well. Instead, put an object you know makes them feel better, and hide it in an agreed place. It’s for just in case.
- For short residentials (one or two nights) pack an outfit for each morning. Lay it out with underwear on top and jumper/trousers on top. Then roll the outfit into a sausage.
- Additionally, more spares. More socks than a human being could wear during the apocalypse.
- Lots of carrier bags. Every time they take off clothing, they put the clothing into a carrier bag.
- When they get home, take all the carrier bags of clothing out of the holdall/case and put them into the washing machine. Yes, that’s right. Put the carrier bags into the machine with the clothes still inside. As the machine flops about, the clothes come out of the bags. At the end of the cycle you have clean clothes and clean bags, separately. You don’t have to touch mud.
They’ll have an absolutely amazing time. And by golly the adults who take them deserve gin. School trip? Why not leave a big tin of biscuits or chocolates in the staff room as a thank-you. Volunteers? Gin. You know it.