Camping Party

Campout Party 7yr - Wildlife Hike




Suzanne in Sauk Centre, MN  U.S.A.


September 2004


Special Mention

I did a "campout party" for my 7 year old son who loves campfires. 

My invitations were made out of blue constuction paper (7"x 31/2" rectangle)with the sides folded down towards the middle in the form of a tent. This way it will fit into the longer envelopes. On the front it read "Come to Camp (lastname)" decorated with a bug sticker on the front and added little dash marks down the front and bottom to give it that zipper effect. I used the Kid pix program and created the information sheet which I glued to the inside which contained "Come to Camper (name) Birthday" Camp Hours:  5:30p.m.-9:00a.m. at "Camp (lastname)" bring sleeping bag, pillow, camp chair, flashlight, and a spooky story.

I also called the parents to have the boys wear their tyed dyed t-shirts they had made in school on their 100th day of kindg. In May. Since this was a Sept. b-day I figured most of theirs would still fit and just going into 1st. Grade. All the boys arrived in their tye dyed shirt. So they looked just like little campers. You could even make a computer generated iron on for t-shirts. More of an expense but a fun idea.

The day of the party I had a sign out front posted into the ground that said "Camp (lastname)" made out of white plastic tablecover folded in half  painted the words with craft paint and stapled to pieces of wood.  As the campers arrived they were greeted with the sign and a "check in" station.  At the "check in" station they were given Visors (blue or yellow) they could choose which color. (This makes it easier to break them into teams you have the "blue team" and the "yellow team" for games that you play) made out of craft foam. The pattern I found on the internet at www.lifetoolsforwomen.com/images/article-picts/family/visor-pttrn.gif either under yahoo or google search engine. I tied "necklace making elastic" to the back of them so they would stay on the heads.

I also created a sign under greeters workshop to attach to the front of the visor that said "Camp (last name)" I ended up adhering it with tacky glue. I also made one for myself that said "Camp Director"(different color), if you have any other kids or helpers you can make them one that says "Staff" and also use a different color or the same color as yours. Also at the "check in Station" they could choose two bug stickers to add to their visor, and given a tag made out of spray painted juice can lids (same color as their visor)with a string of yarn. On that we wrote in black permanent marker their camp name, the  kids had to come up with a name. I was "Miss Ladybug", my son was "caterpiller", you could use whatever. I told them we only use "camp names" at camp. (if the color you use is too dark, exp: blue, I used white correcting fluid to write the name on with.)

The boys were given a container of pony beads (boy colors) to add to their nametag. Once they were done with that I applied bug tattoos to them. They were then instructed to put their gear in the "Camping Area"  and their present in a "little tent" I had set up.(you could maybe fit your dog into it.) Then we proceeded to make "luminary bags" out of a white lunch bag(you can fill the bottoms with sand or kitty litter)and place a tea light inside. We also cut out designs and placed tissue paper behind it. Anything I gave them or made I put their "camp name"  on it. We placed these over by their tents and lit them at night when it got dark out. I passed out 3 pieces of blue masking tape to each person and told them they had to steal the "mosquito bite" away from the others and try to collect them without the other person noticing. Whoever had the most at the end of the night would win a prize. If they caught you taking it they could take one of theirs and keep their own.  So you have to be sneaky and not get caught.   

I had computer made signs that said "Wildlife Trail", "Camping Area", "Picnic Area" placed inside those clear protector sheets just in case of rain or dew and staked out at the various places. I had my 15 yr. old print off various pictures of animals: owl, snake, butterfly, deer, raccoon, and bunny and placed them inside the protectors and placed them out in the woods and had a question for each animal attached to the picture "When do you see owls? (at night) , "Do snakes have bones?" (no), "What color is the monarch larvae? (green) "What is a boy and a girl deer called? (buck and Doe), "What is a baby raccoon called? (kit), "Do baby bunnies have fur when their born? (no) I had little take home things by each picture: WHISTLE(owl,cause they hoot at night), RUBBER SNAKE(snake,you could see these on a hike), PLASTIC BUGS, and a nexcare tattoo BAND-AID(butterfly, you see bugs and you could use a band-aid on a hike if you get hurt, better to be prepared), GRANOLA BAR(deer,get hungry along the way),BUG FRUIT SNACKS(raccoon,to eat and take in the nature around you), CHICLET GUM(bunny, to help clean out the teeth after eating, you might not have a toothbrush with you on a hike). 

I took the boys on the "wildlife trail" hike where hobo sticks were waiting for us and spotted the  pictures of animals, asked the questions, and put the goodies in their knapsacks. They couldn't wait to find the next picture. After that we had supper : hamb. Or hotdogs, chips, "ants on a log" (celery sticks with peanut butter inside and raisins on top) "ticks on a toilet seat" (cored out apple sliced up with peanut butter and sunflower seeds on top), grapes, "trail mix"(peanuts,raisins,m&m's), "worms in dirt" (chocolate pudding, gummy worms, and crushed up oreo cookies all mixed together) and the most favorite of all "bug Juice" (kool-aid with a plastic bug inside their tin can) The table I used a picnic table cover, pie tins to eat out of , tin cans to drink out of, plastic silverware, and a lantern for the centerpiece. 

After supper, we broke them up into teams and had a scavenger hunt with a list of items provided to each team. They had a lot of fun with this. While the hunt was going on my husband started up the campfire. After the hunt, we sat around the campfire and opened gifts they had so much fun just throwing the wrapping paper into the fire and watching it burn. Then we played "slippery snake" using the beanie snake, on my deck. This is played like hot potato. Once the boy was "out".  They played on the trampolene which was right by the game. This way they weren't just sitting there.  Then we had cake decorated with a tent, trees, canoe in a lake, deer, "jellybean rocks", and a campfire. I found these supplies at a cake,wedding,candy,supply store. I just made the cake myself. By then it was dark they played "flashlight tag," went on a "glow in the dark bug hunt" and played "capture the flag".

Then we gathered back at the campfire for s'mores. Some ate some were full. When it got dark out I also handed out "glow bracelets" they were just way too awesome, So I've heard.  I ended the night with a "spooky story" some boys liked it some didn't and I had one that cried. It wasn't a bad story "The Big Toe" I think it was more the eerie voice I was using and the flashlight held up by my face. So I read two more children stories around the campfire. By then they were ready for bed. Time about 10:00p.m.. My 13 yr. old son slept out in the tent with them on air beds. They were sleeping between 10:30- 11:00. Being only 7, some of the boys this was their 1st sleepover event. I had one parent come when it was over at night and picked up their son cause they were unsure if he would make it through the night and not get scared. So take it in consideration when planning sleepovers their age cause some are ready and some are not. And having an older child with them out in the tent helps the younger kids feel more safe. They woke up played with some of the birthday toys had pancakes and sausages, jumped on the trampolene, packed everything up and had it ready to go when the parents started to arrive.

They got to take home the visors, tags, luminary bags, the hobo stick with knapsack and goodies inside, bracelets, their "tin campware", the x-tra plastic bugs and gummy worms. I also took pictures of the boys by the sign and by the tent so that I can make copies and send them home in a decorated "camp frame" with a thank you note attached.  The boys and my family had a fantastic time. Alot of prep work but worth every minute spent on it.  I'm starting to slide down the big slide. It feels like your climbing up one gathering and preparing till it's all over with then you come down the big slide!!!  Next week Confirmation!!!  Hope this gives you some great ideas!!!

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