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Cancelling sleepover - this weekend?

I have a problem, I am not the leader with the licence, so not running the event.

We have a sleepover booked for this Saturday evening with 20 girls, however one unit helper has gone down with tonsillitis and now the leader in charge has gone down with a sore throat and is talking about cancelling the event.

Obviously the girls and parents will be very disappointed, and we are looking at possibly rescheduling for a month or so (but that may not happen due to my impending house move and her husband having surgery). Can we just cancel it or do we have to follow a procedure and inform anyone (Division Comissioner?) first? My thinking is although not likely, I thought the first thing to do would be to try (even if unlikely) and find another leader with a licence and find a way to make it go ahead? Myself and the other unit helper are willing to do most of the work before hand, so just need 2 people for the 24 hours of the sleepover.

I realise with feeling so awful, the other Leader just wants the problem to go away and take to her bed, hence the unilateral decision to cancel, but as first contact with the parents, I'm the one who will get it in the neck and will have to deal with the fall out.

There is also some friction between her and local leadership which doesn't make it easy for her to ask for help, and me going to them would be viewed as being disloyal. However, I would just like to make sure we do things correctly and wonder what the procedure was for cancelling such an event?

Thanks in advance.


First step is to contact your Commissioner, and also your local Holiday Adviser. They will be able to advise you on your options, whether that is seeking staff (some Holiday Advisers have lists of people who can be available at short notice, or who are looking for experience), or managing the postponement or cancellation process. Ill health can happen, and it won't be the first or last time it has affected a residential event.


Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
Yeah, there's not a formal procedure as such (unless I've missed it recently!). So check with DC / Residential Adviser that they'd support the trip going ahead as planned, but with a different set of leaders. Then you approach those leaders.

But, if you have to cancel or postpone, then you have to. Hopefully you will be able to postpone (i.e. rebook) and not incur any financial costs, but if so then consider if your travel insurance covers that.


SGP Enthusiast
I imagine as your post was about 5 hours ago, you may have already told the parents, but if not - where are you based?

Illness is illness, parents can't dispute that.