I have been the Site Manager for Danemead Scout Campsite now for just over 3 years. In those three years I really have become good at herding cats with the occasional one managing to escape my grasp!
A lot of people think this is my full time job. I can assure you that this is 100% a voluntary role and I take no expenses from the campsite. Away from Danemead I am a full time Train Driver for Greater Anglia and have a family which comprises of Carmen (my fiancé), my daughter Megan, our loyal mutt Breeze (who you will see by my side whenever I’m on site) and our two cats Sam and Cleo.
So, what does it take to run a scout campsite? Well it’s a lot more than I expected! I’ve put together four average weeks of my Site Manager life and will explain some of our systems we have in place to make sure all our customers get the best experience! I hope you enjoy.
Week 1 starts with me getting ready at 7am to make my way to site to open up for a contractor with UK Power Networks. It’s taken three years but finally UK Power Networks have agreed to replace the horrible fencing that surrounds our electric transformer on the left of the track as you drive into the car park. Some of you may have camped next to it? Just as I’m walking out the door though, I get a phone call with the contractor cancelling. As frustrating as that is, it does mean a whole free day! So me, Carmen and Megan head to Suffolk for a little lunch and another date is set for the contractor to return.
Wednesday I meet Sam and Terry to discuss Survival Camp 2019 which Danemead is hosting and Bushscout.UK are running. This is our final meeting of many to bring everything together. As usual I arrive 5 minutes late. You would think after 16 months I’d have this parenting lark mastered! Still always 5 minutes late though! I go into the meeting calm as I think everything my side of the event is covered! How wrong am I! I leave the meeting after two hours with a list as long as my arm of items Sam and Terry need purchasing and a badge to design and buy for our participants! You can guess what I’m doing for the rest of the week.
Luckily I’m on night shifts this week so I always have a couple of hours whilst the trains are prepped and cleaned to get to work. I arrive in the depot and make my way to our mess room with my trusty laptop (Carmen’s laptop I’ve stolen) and get buying. Luckily, over the last three years I have built up a network of companies I use and designing the survival badge is just a case of sending the logo over with my ideas and John the other end usually gets back to me within 24 hours with several designs for me to choose from.
My crew member for the weekend is Martin. Due to my shifts I don’t manage to pop up and see him. However, I’m sure he is happy with that. I do know though that he’s repairing our log store as he contacted me the week before asking for a little bit of money to purchase materials.