A lot of teachers look on the night time activities with a great amount of uncertainty. Being on camp is tiring enough without being responsible for students who refuse to sleep. After many years of running camping programs our staff offer you the following suggestions.
Rule number 1: Do not send your class to bed too early. They will get a second wind around 2-3 o'clock in the morning. Any time before about 10:00pm on the first night and you are in for a sleepless night.
Rule Number 2: Make sure your class is well aware of your expectations. Talk about these in the weeks leading up to camp. eg. If they wake up at 5:00am they must not wake others around them etc.
Rule Number 3: Keep them busy. This will mean a fair bit of organising on your part. Have the students prepare before the camp.
- A concert
- A Campfire
- A Mini Olympics
- Organise for a Bat Talk
- Talent quest
- Star gazing
- Lots of active games
- Take you class for a night walk with their torches (Do not use the DVD option!)
Rule Number 4: Don't let anyone go to bed early.
Rule Number 5: Follow the Sleep formula below. Be tough, be persistent and you will be rewarded.
.....and now the Sleep Formula!!
Gather your class around you quietly and give them the guidelines:
Step 1: They are to go and clean their teeth, go to the toilet and head to their beds.
Step 2: They are allowed 20 mins "Gossip Time". They lie in their beds and gossip with their friends.
Step 3: After 20 mins the signal is given for lights out and sleep time.
Step 4: You now need to monitor the students quietly for at least 20 mins (maybe more). Be persistent. If a student starts to talk move quietly and tell them firmly to "Be quiet and go to sleep". If you make lots of noise you are naturally going to wake any students who are starting to feel drowsy. Do not move away from the area until you are convinced the whole group is asleep.
Step 5: Go to bed yourself. You need to get your sleep when you can.