Surviving Camp With A Fully Charged Mobile Phone

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Getting though summer camp with a fully charged mobile phone is like running down the side of a mountain with a dirty martini trying desperately not to spill it – good luck!

From hurrying up the tardy group member, to locating the mini bus, to checking in with concerned parents, every precious little bit of juice matters.

If you’re at something like Soul Survivor, finding a charging port can be the difference between going to the right seminar (you know, the quiet one with the wall sockets) and having to queue in the tool shed for half an hour while feigning interest in a gap year that you’re obviously ten years too old for.

Follow these simple geeky tips to be economic with your juice and stay on top of the battery game this year:

Make your software work for you, not without you.

This is an easy one! Simply make sure you’re not using power-draining apps and background software that you don’t need.

  1. Go to your battery settings and find out what apps are using power. If you don’t need them, close them!
  2. Also check out what background apps are running in your settings – close those too. Always close apps from the background after you use them.
  3. Switch off wi-fi, tethering, bluetooth, data roaming and push email clients. Also switch from 3g or 4g to 2g (or GSM).
  4. Switch off location services and GPS (once you get there!).
  5. f you have a high deff or AMOLED screen, make sure your background and lock screen are set to just black.
  6. Speaking of the screen, manually set the brightness to the lowest you can handle and drop the timeout/standby time to as low as it will go (usually 15 seconds).
  7. Get rid of your phone’s vibrate setting, and put a boring but audible single tone ringtone on instead.
  8. Look into power management apps and widgets like ‘Power Control’ or ‘DU Battery Saver.’

Discover new ways of charging your phone.

A few little tweaks, and maybe a little money will go a long way to recharge your phone without having to stand on a friend’s shoulders to reach the maintenance plugs above the loos!

  1. Turn on aeroplane mode when charging. Aeroplane mode shuts down the processing power usually used to communicate to towers. This can speed up charging time by 10-25% depending on your phone.
  2. Invest in a car charger, and spend 30 mins to yourself in an evening charging your phone. If you’ve got a small petrol engine, then you’ll be wanting to run the car for 20 mins of that time.
  3. If you’ve got the option then go for a leisure battery or electric hook up so you can charge at camp.
  4. Invest in a decent power bar / portable battery with a high capacity. Amazon are selling Anker E6 20800mAh bars right now for about twenty quid!!! These should charge your phone 3-7 times.
  5. Don’t leave your charger anywhere! Not every nice Christian person is a nice Christian person.

Be thrifty with the vanity.

If you’re on camp – be on camp! I’m a big tweeter, instagramer and facebook user, but y’know what? I’m camping!!! so I can use those data-heavy and power-hungry apps when I get home! Bring a digital camera with you instead, or just photobomb everyone else!

Running A Trip To Soul Survivor – Complete Kit Free Download

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I’ve run a trip to soul survivor almost every year for the last 8 years with group numbers from 8-35. I know just how stressful it can be and how much needs to be done.

In the spirit of feeling a wee bit generous, here are is my invitation letter, medical & consent form and complete delegates pack (timetable, rules, pack list etc.) for you to have / take / adapt / eat – whatever!

Obviously – please change names, dates and details as you need, and if you would be interested in a copy in word / pages let me know.



soul survivor delegates pack
soul survivor invitation letter
soul survivor medical and consent form

7 Ways To Make Wide Games More Extreme


Continuing in the vein of making games cooler (ie stupider), here I bring everybody’s camp favorite, Wide Games! A good wide game goes way beyond capture the flag – they take some serious creativity and leave lasting impact. Try out some of these ideas and comment yours below:

Obvious disclaimer – think carefully about your group, do your risk assessment and have enough leaders (including a first aider… they’re usually needed!)

1. Replace the flags with flour and eggs
Rather than grabbing a pretty piece of cloth, change it up for a bucket of eggs or flour wrapped in cheep cling-film; grab one at a time – no points if its broken! End the session with an egg & flour fight fest… then shower!

2. Add some ‘enforcers’
Which is just a couple of leaders dressed in full camo with water pistols. No team affiliations – they’re just there to cause more chaos.

3. Replace lives with Velcro tabs/pieces of gaffer tape
So you loose your life when you loose it – or someone wrestles it off you.

4. Add scenarios & protagonists
Come up with a theme, back story and scenario to play out. Have team leaders rehearse an opening goading script – stay in characters! Giving everyone maps with objectives go a long way too.

5. Rambo up!
Buy a bulk load of war paint – or make your own form mud. Spend 30 minutes in the wooded area you’ll be in making your own camouflage. – TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER: We once had leaders playing in chain-mail!

6. Do it at night!
Give everyone a head-torch, make the lives glow-sticks and the flags lanterns… need I say more? – Don’t warn them either…. just wake everybody up at midnight in character and set the scenario mood!

7. Add teams… and an elite squad!
We always have two teams… why? It’s so much more chaotic and requires so much more sneeky strategy when there’s three or four. If you’re playing a few games you can take best performing individuals and make a smaller ‘delta squad’ for fun new rules too!

8? Got any more?
Done some epic wide games? Invented new epic wide game rules? Let us know by commenting below!

Liked this? Have a look at 7 Ways To Make Dodgeball Games More Extreme