Harry Potter Camp with the Brownies

Snowy Owl (My Mama) with the jelly made in potions class.

Snowy Owl (My Mama) with the jelly made in potions class.

I recently took my Brownie unit on camp to Somermead a guiding lodge and campsite located here in Somerset. Before going on camp we had a Pow wow to find out what theme the Brownies wanted they chose… Harry Potter!! Well as you can imagine there are no Harry Potter badges so at first deciding on activities was a bit difficult. After a lot of thinking I managed to piece together a programme for camp based on their chosen theme… Well no one can say that I don’t like a challenge, I was even able to include some badges!!

We went to camp on Thinking Day weekend so after the sorting ceremony where the talking hat – a recording on my iPad that my brother kindly put together for me – we kicked off with Muggle Studies class. I chose activities based on the classes at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry during the Muggle Studies class we did the Brownies Tradition badge. Then we had supper and headed to bed thus rounding off an enjoyable Friday night.

After breakfast on the Saturday we proceeded to potions class were the Brownies made fizzy fruity jelly which was to be pudding after lunch on Sunday. They really enjoyed measuring out their own ingredients and loved it when later in the day we added another layer to the jelly. Some of them couldn’t believe that the second layer sat nicely on top of the layer making the jelly two toned.

After the potions class the Brownies went to their care of magical creatures lesson where they created their own magical creature out of clay. We brought Crayola coloured clay for them and I have to say it was brilliant – the colours where really bright and the clay wasn’t messy at all. A little expensive maybe (£19.98 for 2kg) but definitely worth it and we do like to do activities on camp that they don’t usually do in the unit.

Some of the Magical Creatures made by the Brownies

Some of the Magical Creatures made by the Brownies

After some fruit – morning break at camp is always fruit – and a drink we moved on to transfiguration class. Now this was difficult as in the books they use magic to turn a living creature into a object for example Ron Weasley turned his rat into a cup during one lesson (well he tried too). So with the Brownies excepting some real magic we presented them with a sewing kit and they all turned some felt into a owl bean bag. The Brownies were very pleased with the end result even if they were disappointed by the lack of magic – not that they said anything.

After we had lunch the Brownies went on a walk with two of our young leaders and another Guider while the rest of the Guiders stayed behind and set up the Philosopher’s Stone wide game. The stones were a couple of packets of sweets that Mama and I wrapped up in red tissue paper and red plastic. The Brownies had to get past five bases in order to get to look for the stone itself. We had Hagrid’s base where they had to put fluffy the three headed dog to sleep by playing music, Professor Flickwitt’s base were they had to find at many keys as possible by putting together a jumbled up jigsaw of a photo of some keys. Professor Sprout’s Devils Snare was brought to life by our parachute and a creative but confessed young leader who played parachute games with them. McGonagall’s chess set was replaced by a round of Uno and Snape’s potions came in the form of several cups with different smelly things in them and a letter stuck to it. The Brownies has a code sheet with pictures of some of the smells i.e. picture of a lemon and a cup with lemon juice in it, they had to find the smell and write down the letter next to the picture. Once they had completed it they all got the sentence ‘Harry is a Gryffindor’.

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Wands made on camp

Then we had free time until dinner and afterwards we made our wands. An activity that the Brownies had been looking forward to all weekend even more then Sunday’s game of Quidditch which went well to spite several Brownies slipping in the mud… which for most of them made the game even better! The wands were very easy to make all you need is a chop stick, a pipe cleaner, double sided sticky tape and glitter glue. Firstly take the chop stick and wrap the double sided sticky tape around the thicker end. Then stick the pipe cleaner to the tape wrapping it around the same way that you wrapped the tape around the chop stick. You will then have the basic wand, which some of the Brownies were quite happy with as it looks like the ones in the films. If you wish to you can then add the ‘magic’ by decorating the wand with glitter glue.

Before bed the Brownies drew a Patrous for Defence against the Dark arts and painted their Mandrake for Herbology. The Mandrake took a lot of thinking about there are sites out there that explain who to make an paper-mache replica of the ones in the second film and other sites which show you how to make a cress head version. However i knew my Brownies would want one that looked like the ones in the film, but wouldn’t want to spend all weekend building up layers of paper-mache and waiting for it to dry. So I brought some ‘paint your own dolls’ from crafty crocodiles which when they arrived were small plain white dolls which look like people. The Brownies then mixed up some brown fabric paint and painted the whole doll brown. We left them to dry over night and the next day after breakfast when they were all dry we drew the wrinkles and the faces on the dolls using fabric pens. Before using double sided sticky tape (one of my favourite craft items) to stick some leafs to its head. Leaving us with as easy to make Mandrake with looked like the one on the film and didn’t take ages to create.

Brown Owl's finished Mandrake

Brown Owl’s finished Mandrake

Other highlights of our Harry Potter camp included a fast and furious game of muggle’s quidditch with was played with out brooms but just as much fun!!

The Brownies completed House Elf duties all weekend such as washing up, helping to cook and making sure the toilets were left tidy which surprisingly they all loved!!

They also earned house points for a special badge (a sleep over badge that i had left over from a previous camp), which helped them all to work as a team and to keep their bedrooms tidy.

All in all it was a great camp which I think was enjoyed by all of the Brownies and some of the leaders too… well I enjoyed it!