Sam eased the pack on his shoulders, and went over anxiously in his mind all the things that he had stowed in it, wondering if he had forgotten anything: his chief treasure, his cooking gear; and the little box of salt that he always carried and refilled when he could; […] flint and tinder; woollen hose; linen; various small belongings of his master’s that Frodo had forgotten and Sam had stowed to bring them out in triumph when they were called for. He went through them all.

“Rope!” he muttered. “No rope! And only last night you said to yourself: ‘Sam, what about a bit of rope? You’ll want it, if you haven’t got it.’ Well, I’ll want it. I can’t get it now.”

– JRR Tolkin, Fellowship of the Ring

A Very Magical Camp

A Residential Camp for Guides

Theme: Harry Potter and other magical stories

Guide Program: This camp should complete the Chemistry badge and/or the Camp Out badge.

Patrols: Start your camp with a sorting ceremony to divide your girls into Houses.  You can use the traditional four houses from the Harry Potter books, the North American school houses, or make up your own.

You could give each house a chance to design a house banner based on their house colour and an animal they pick.


We did the classes as a round robin o activities with 4 stations 20 – 30 minutes at each.  

  1. Care and Handling of Magical CreaturesElephant Toothpaste (Hippogryph Beak Scrub) and Dancing Raisins (Dancing Sewer Grubs) 
  2. TransfigurationChromatography butterflies and colour changing potion
  3. Defense Against the Dark ArtsExploding Apples 
  4. Potions – Goop and Methos in Diet Coke 

Note: Making slime with borax or laundry starch would fit the theme of these classes too but I can’t recommend it after the Health Canada’s warning about making crafts with Borax.




Magic in Our Friendship
The Gift of Happiness

“We do not need magic to change the world; we carry all the power within ourselves already; we have the power to imagine better…”
– J.K. Rowling

“Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.”
– Nora Roberts

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Outdoor Activities

Hike to Hagrid’s or do a night hike though the forbidden forest depending on your camp site

Hold a scavenger hunt where the items to find are all made up things from the Harry Potter universe such as

  • Doxy Eggs
  • Fluxweed
  • Shrivelfig
  • Bezoar
  • Veela Hair

Let the girls imagination determine when they find something


There are lots of ways to incorporate Harry Potter themed food into your camp, here are a few:

  • Polyjuice Potion: Sprite with lemon or lime sherbet
  • Butter Beer: Vanilla Cream Soda and butterscotch ice cream
  • Chocolate Frogs
  • Calderon Cakes
  • Pumpkin Pasties



Magic Penny

When I was young I thought the stars were made for wishing on
And every hole deep in a tree might hide a leprechaun
Old houses all had secret rooms, if one could find the key
I do believe in magic, I believe.

Magic is the sun that makes a rainbow out of rain
And magic keeps the dream alive to try and try again
Magic is the love that stays when good friends have to leave
I do believe in magic, I believe.

Growing up the grown-ups said someday I’d wake to find
That magic’s just a childhood dream I’d have to leave behind
Like clothes that would no longer fit and toys that I’d ignore
I’d not believe in magic anymore.

When I grew up I learned again, that much to my surprise
Magic did not fade away, it took a new disguise
A child, a friend, a smile, a song, the courage to stand tall
I do believe in magic, after all.

Last Chorus:
Magic is the sun that makes a rainbow out of rain
And magic keeps the dream alive to try and try again
Magic is the love that stays when good friends have to leave
I do believe in magic, yes I do believe in magic,
Love is the greatest magic, after all.


Camp Awards

It is often good fun to hand out awards to your campers at the end of a camp.  This is a little easier to do at a smaller camp or a longer (ie week long) camp when it is a little easier to observe all the girls.  Although it is a good idea to have a list of award ideas before you go to camp, it is best to stay flexible.  For example, I once saw a girl awarded a “night nurse” award for following a roommate who was sleep walking around the building to make sure she didn’t trip over something.  Awards can be themed to your camp or more generic.  If you look online it is easy to find candy bar themed awards but I would stick to certificates or small hat crafts as awards.  The trick is to catch the girls being good.  When possible you want to recognize each girl for something she did that was exceptional, which can be harder for the quiet girls that exist in each unit.

Here are some ideas:

  • Tidy camper
  • Positive camper
  • Accident magnet (for the most bumps and bruises)
  • Loudest laugh
  • Busy Beaver
  • Book Worm
  • Peacemaker
  • Early Bird
  • Night Owl
  • Persistent Award  (for the girl who was homesick but stayed at camp anyways)
  • etc.


If your girls are a little bored with building camp gadgets and you want to challenge them to make something new why not consider a catapult.  This can also be a fun bridging activity between Guides and Pathfinders or a competitive activity between two groups of Guides.

For a traditional catapult, try going to Glenn’s Scouting Pages for directions.  This style of catapult is fired when one or two girls pull back on a rope, causing the swing arm to flip over.

Another popular style of catapult for lashing is a Viking catapult.  There are several Instructables for building this style.   In this style a small bucket (such as a large ice cream container) is mounted inside a triangle of lashed sticks on elastics.  The bucket is pulled back and launched.  Although this style is not what you might see represented in movies as a catapult, it is easier for the girls to adjust the angle and pull on the elastics, so it can lead to more experimentation to see how far you can fire your ammunition.

Finally, if you are planning to build catapults, give some thought to what you will fire and where.  You want to make sure there is a large open field to fire in.  Pick ammunition that won’t to serious damage if they hit someone or something. Water balloons or bean bags can be good choices.  You may also want a target of some sort if you are having a competition.  This can be a circle on the ground (who can get closest), a wall of blocks to knock over, etc.

Waterproofing a Sleeping bag

The goal when you are waterproofing a sleeping bag is to ensure that the bag does not get wet either during transportation or at camp. Dry and warm campers are happy campers.  I often find that parents are surprised that we really do expect our girls to carry their own bags.  And at some of the camp site sites we go to, the bus can’t get right to the site so it may be several hundred meters from the bus to the campsite.  So the bag must be waterproof and strong enough that it can take a couple of bounces as the girls take their bag to their campsite.  These are the three options I provide the girls…

Traditional Bedroll


  • ground sheet
  • rope (not the yellow plastic rope it doesn’t knot well)

This may be the most cost effective option and girls often need tarps and rope at camp anyways.

Lined Stuff Sack


  • Large stuff sack
  • Heavy duty plastic bag

If you are using a foam pad, make it into a tube with about a 1.5 foot hole in the middle.  Wrap plastic bag around that and the stuff sack around that.  Put the sleeping bag, pillow, PJs and stuffed bed friend inside the middle of the foam pad.  Twist the plastic bag  closed and stuff the end down the side (or seal it if it is a giant zip lock) and then seal stuff sack.  If you aren’t using foam pads (i.e. staying in cabins) then you can follow this video.

Dry Sack


  • One large dry sack

Make sure it is large enough for your bedding and still has enough room to be properly sealed.  Dry sacks can be the most expensive option but if the girls already have one or if the family does a lot of camping they can be a good option.