So You Want to Host a Hitty Camp?
Tips, Facts, Ideas, and things you just might not think about!
Garnered from veteran Camp Directors Julie Old Crow and Sue Glidden
Hosting a Hitty Event can be a
rewarding experience for all involved.
Before hosting any type of Hitty event or camp
you must first ask yourself a few questions.
Read the answers from experienced Camp directors.
I run a summer camp for Hittys. We generally stick to one place,
and may or may not have day trips.
Why do I want to host a group of
What do I want to do with the Hittys?
What amount of time do I have to
devote to all aspects of this activity?
While our theme in Camp Piney Woods varies from year to year, our premise is the same: Hitty ia attending a summer camp session. This means I can use may of the same props year after year--fishing poles, camp fires, life jackets, and so forth. I am constantly alert to anything special I might get at a garage sale or a craft store to implement the Camp experience. But with each theme you need special props--decide your theme early, and stick with it.
Let's say your theme is Pirate Week, You have a general idea of the things you want to do with the Hittys, such as find a treasure map, dig for treasure, sail on a pirate ship, etc. Make a list of the things you would like to see in your photographs. Some things you can make--a pirate map, an eye patch, etc. Some things you will want to keep an eye out for--a chest for the treasures, a palm tree, perhaps even a ship.
From the theme flows every activity and every prop. It also can direct the sort of souvenir you decide to send home with your Campers. And here is a really, really good thing to keep in mind--if you have ten Campers, you might assume you will only need ten of every souvenir. But what about a souvenir set yourself, or one for your Mom, whose Hitty comes for free? Or extras to distribute to that last minute Camper. A good rule of them for souvenirs is to list everyone who may be attending for free (family members) and the absolute number of Hittys who will be paying to attend. Ten is a good number. Five can be better for a beginner!
Will you be offering a souvenir companion? This is not usual, but does occur in some Camps. Either budget in the time to make each companion, or budget in the money to purchase from another artist. No matter how you figure this, it is going to put a significant dent in your budget.
Will the Hittys be 'doing' anything while with you? In 'real-life' camp, campers make crafts. Will you be offering this? If so, get a really good idea of what the cost, both in time and money, is going to be before you do this. And remember--keep it simple. Here at Camp Piney Woods we've done macaroni necklaces, painted shells, made raffia dolls, and other small crafts. But even something as simple as a macaroni necklace means buying the macaroni (including the time to find the smallest!) and the elastic, and then the time to make all of the necklaces. You aren't making just one that takes you seven minutes, remember.
Each storyline you select will take time to set up, time to photograph, and even more time to crop pictures, place them on a web page, blog, or photo album, and add the captions. You should realistically assume you will need a day for each activity/photo session. Some will go faster than others, and some will have unexpected calamities--it rains, there isn't enough light, your camera bugs out, etc. Plan in enough time to allow for both these activities and your regular life. (Especially if you have a pesky job to take time from your dolly fun!)
Will your Camp revolve around a trip?
If your Camp goes over your fee budget, can you afford to take the loss? This is a serious consideration.
Julie Old Crow's Camp/Event Advice:
I run the Hitty Vacation in Maine held at Camp Golden Oak and Grammy Poore's Bed & Breakfast.
Why do I want to host a group of Hittys?
Sue's Camp/Event Advice:
After answering the questions if you feel you can adequately host a Hitty event create your event invitation. The event invitation should include:
1. Name of event
When you have your flyer finished send it by e-mail to Julie or one of the other moderators for approval to post on Hittygirls.com this does not make any of the Hittygirls moderators responsible for your event; it is a courtesy to run your flyer by the moderators first to be sure your event covers the basics and does not conflict with any pending Hitygirls activities.
Now the fun begins, invite Hittys.
• Open her box and make note of what she brought with her, take a picture if that will help you remember. Keep all of her belongings in her original mailing box.
• Send an e-mail note with her picture to her Hitty Mom and the other participants that she has safely arrived at her travel destination. Hitty Mom's love to see pictures of Hittys attending the event with their Hitty so be sure to include her name and state she is from.
• Immediately make sure she is wearing an ID tag. Tags can easily be made from cardstock and thread, tied around Hitty's neck and tucked inside her undergarments. Tags should include Hitty name, owner's name, address, city and state she is from (this will help you remember who she is and where she is from and also help your friend or family member return Hitty if you are unable to do so yourself.) On the reverse side put your name, mailing address and phone # in the event she is left behind somewhere hopefully someone will contact you by phone or mail Hitty to either you or her owner.
• Taking Hittys on trips and photographing takes utmost care and even then accidents still can happen. If any Hitty is injured or lost on her trip notify her Hitty Mom immediately.
• Hittys love souvenirs, make sure she collects stuff to take home. Post cards, maps, shells, items of interest from your area or state.
• Pictures, take lots of pictures and post by e-mail, blog or online album to family members. Share with Hittygirls by a link to your blog or online album.
• SWAPS - special whatacamacallits affectionately placed somewhere are no longer a Girl Scout tradition, they are also a Hitty tradition. Each participant can be invited to bring items to swap with other participants. SWAPS are always considered an optional part of an event, only those who bring SWAPS will return home with SWAPS. The number of swaps can equal the number of participants or you can have each Hitty bring a certain number of SWAPS and she will return home with different SWAPS equal to that number.
• Care should be taken to ensure that each Hitty and her belongings are kept clean and safe from harm and that all items are returned home with Hitty.