Duties at a Folk Camp

To make the camp run smoothly we all help out with something. Here is some information on the jobs that Folk Campers help with.

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Q. I believe that you have to work hard at a catered week Folk Camp – so is it really a holiday?
A. Well, it’s true some campers say they have to go home for a rest afterwards! But this is usually as a result of staying up late, dancing and enjoying themselves. There will be jobs that need doing, and a day in the kitchen cooking for some can be tiring. But just think of the satisfaction at the end of the day when you know that you have successfully fed over a hundred people and that, for the rest of the week, you won’t have to plan food or cook anything. Believe it or not, some people find their time in the kitchen is the best part of their holiday. A camp duty is part of the community feel of a Folk Camp; if you don’t want to be in the kitchen then there are other helpful activities that the warden can arrange for you to do. Some are for a part of just one day, and others are shorter periods spread over several days.

Q. If I’ve spent a day in the kitchen will I have to do the kitchen washing up too?
A. No. Once you’ve cooked and served the evening meal you can relax. Everyone is expected to wash one cook’s pot at each meal along with their own dishes; that way we share the task. After washing cook’s pots are rinsed in clean water and allowed to dry naturally. There’s a special table set aside for the purpose.

Q. What if I’m not up to doing a ‘full’ duty?
A. Ask the warden who will do his best to arrange a lighter duty or perhaps a duty-share with someone else. We always want people to have a good time and come back to another camp so we do our best to make the camp work with willing volunteers.

Q. My children are very young and I know it will be impossible for me to spend a whole day working in the kitchen; will this be a problem?
A. We understand how onerous it is when you have small children. Talk to the warden when you arrive at camp and a suitable camp duty will be arranged to suit you. The warden will take into account experience, and circumstances when allocating duties to ensure that the camp runs smoothly and fairly.

Q. Why do you have duties at Folk Camps?
A. Partly it is to foster a feeling of community and participation. And it is to ensure that everything necessary gets done. Folk Camps staff are volunteers, but they are busy with their own responsibilities so we all help out to some extent or other. Amazingly: teenagers even get satisfaction and gain social skills from potato peeling with other people.

Q. What about duties at self-cater Folk Camps?
A. At a self-cater weekend there are fewer duties, which are much lighter. E.g. helping to make hot drinks for refreshments after a workshop, a bit of tidying up, or cleaning of the hall. Any duty at a weekend camp won’t take you long, but will help keep the weekend running smoothly.

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