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Question? Preparations needed for Brownie sleepover in London


Beginner (10+ posts)
Hi all,

I'm taking my Brownies to London for a weekend trip in October, I have activities planned and booked, accommodation planned and booked, confirmation of girls and leaders going and have already taken half the payment. I have sent off my REN form and my LIT is going to do consent and health forms. I have also travelled the tube part of the journeys so I know where I need to go.

We will be travelling by train from Bournemouth to London, visiting Kidzania, having dinner at a restaurant near kidzania, then getting the tube to stay overnight in pax lodge. the following day, we will be getting the tube to the natural history museum, spending several hours there (with lunch of some sort during the day) and then getting the tube to Victoria to get the train home.

Could anyone remind me what extra things I need to do to prepare for this trip? I've done local holidays in a hall and recently took some brownies camping with another unit, yet I can't seem to get my head around what I need to do for a trip to London. (I've never taken girls to London before, so slightly nervous but have v.good ratios!)

Also, does anyone have any top tips for London?!


Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
Consider your home contact, consider some form of travel insurance ie if the train is cancelled for any reason and you have to stay an extra night, how do you fund it ? (Trust me, it's happened) - Ensure all your leaders are briefed on your risk assessment and plans, if you get separated or if you fall ill. Can you get the girls an item that stands out in a crowd, eg neckers, caps etc so they are easy to spot in a crowd ( presuming they will all be wearing coats covering their uniforms)


Veteran (100+ posts)
Sounds like you have everything under control :)

The biggest difference between London and other holidays/ day trips you've done is likely to be the transport. The tube is straightforward but needs a bit more planning with larger groups. Make sure each leader knows or has their own copy of the travel plan, including which stop they need to get off/ change lines at, in case the tube trains are very busy and you need to split in to smaller groups across multiple carriages/ trains to fit in. Agree in advance where you will meet if the group gets separated - e.g. the platform you get off at where you change lines halfway to your destination or at the station exit at the stop nearest your museum where you leave the underground - either are a sensible solution as long as half the group isn't waiting in one place and the rest in another! Be aware that there's almost no mobile phone signal in most of the tube! Making each leader responsible for a named set of kids is helpful making sure everyone makes it on/ off the train, especially if the stations are busy and/ or you're not all in the same carriage.

Before you go, consider alternate routes in case there are line closures on the route you need: e.g. it's possible the stops you need are on multiple lines, or there's a different stop that's also walking distance from where you need to go, or if neither are possible there are plenty of busses. You're unlikely to need this info, but with a large group it's so much easier to have it ready to grab if you need a plan B than try and consult tube maps and bus timetables etc etc in a crowded underground tunnel with people hurrying past and no phone signal!


Veteran (100+ posts)
Have you got some form of discrete contact details for adults for the girls to have on their person, and maybe show them pictures of tfl staff so they know who to ask if they get lost in the transport system.
Unfortunately it is also now needed to have a plan for any attack, run, hide, tell. Keeping your home contact up to date will also keep parents calm.
One Rainbow unit I saw yesterday all had big blue hair bow, jojo style, but homemade. It would be visable even with coats on, but not too obvious.

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Veteran (100+ posts)
Drill the GIRLS, not just the adults, in what to do if x, y or z happens. My own biggest worry would be some of us getting on or off a tube train and the rest getting held back in crowds. So I'd be telling those left to get the next train and we'll wait for them (specify at the next station or at the destination), or any kept on to get off at the next station, turn around and come back. Again, we'd wait there for them.

I also give my girls stickers with my mobile number, for any trip, and we talk through who is a safe person to approach for help.

Would you let me know how it goes? I want to do a London trip myself in 2 years' time.


Split the group up so each adult is supervising specific children, and knows exactly which ones. That way each adult looks after their four - far easier than four adults all trying to keep track of a dozen. On public transport that 4 stick with their adult, and that way if the whole group gets split up, they will still be in their groups.

If possible, have a 'local' to London as one of your adults. Someone who knows the transport links and alternatives, the short cuts, the local info, can be invaluable in navigating around.


Beginner (10+ posts)
Thanks for all your advice! We are off this weekend! Can't believe it's here all of a sudden! We have a ratio of 1:2 now as a couple dropped out and we're meeting a leader up there as she is at uni there at the moment. I briefed the girls on what to do if they get separated whilst we're up there at our parents meeting on Tuesday but will go through it again when we are on the train on our way up to London. I have yellow ribbons for their hair and each girl will have a yellow lanyard with a card in with contact details on for myself and one of the other leaders as well as any medical conditions they have (asthma/prone to feinting/etc.) I am planning on giving each leader one of these lanyards as well which they can keep their oyster card in if they want to make it easier when we are on the tube/overground. I have all our plans etc in a folder to take and have copies of the routes for the other leaders. I have sick bags and a first aid kit. All payments now taken as well. I shall provide an update of how it went upon my return! Wish me luck! :)


Beginner (10+ posts)
Hi All, thanks for all your last minute tips and advice, we had a fantastic time! No Brownies or leaders were lost and the only injury we had was me cutting my finger on the folder before the girls arrived! We ended up tieing the ribbons to their bags, they loved the lanyards but couldn't stop fiddling with them which resulted in a couple of broken ones (glad I took spares). Our initial route didn't quite go to plan as we got on the earlier train which didn't stop at where we had planned to change in London but it wasn't a problem as we were early by this point anyway! Kidzania was incredible! Definitely worth a visit! Pax Lodge was lovely, we were also invited to join them as part of the colours party for the raising of the flag in the morning! We ended up having Dinner at Kidzania, excellent value and excellent quality! An all round amazing trip! :)