FAQs - Latrines

What are the latrines like? We do not have flush toilets at camp. We use latrines which are similar to porta-potties. Another name for latrines is "biffy" (bathroom in the forest for you). We hold biffy decorating contests, make "biffy sniffers" and use other strategies to make latrines "fun" or at least make light of them! Occasionally, we have a girl who refuses to use the latrine. "Holding it" all day causes discomfort and can lead to urinary tract infections. If she will not use the latrine at camp we will send her home.

My daughter might need to change her clothes at camp. Should she use the latrines? No! The latrines should never be used as changing rooms. They often have dirt floors and are odoriferous! Most units will have access to small cabins called "glen shelters" that they can use to change clothes. Our youngest girls, assigned to units at picnic shelters are never far from first aid where we can provide privacy for changing clothes.

Why is it necessary to give Tutshill Tornadoes and Caerphilly Catapults instruction in the proper disposal of feminine hygiene products while at camp? The latrines at camp are “bio-degradable” units. The only thing that can be put down the latrine is human waste and toilet paper. Girl Scouts have a special way to dispose of feminine hygiene products while at camp to ensure they do not damage the latrine, hurt the environment or attract animals. We use “snap cans” in the latrines to serve as "wastebaskets". The used feminine hygiene products are wrapped in foil and placed in the snap can which has a tight-fitting lid. Since the girls use and clean the latrines, they must know the purpose of the cans and how to safety dispose of this trash. We’ve found that a simple, matter-of-fact explanation makes it more comfortable for every one!

What is involved in latrine cleaning? Latrine cleaning is a time-honored "kaper"! All campers take turns cleaning the latrines under staff supervision. Wearing disposable (non-latex) gloves, the girls sweep out the latrine, wipe off the toilet seat with disinfectant wipes, empty the "snap can" and restock the toilet paper. The latrines are cleaned at least twice a day.