Pirates of the Caribbean

Shipwreck Island -12yr- Dead Parrot Guts Race




Sandy in Clarksburg, PA  USA


July 2002


Honorable Mention

For my son's 12th birthday party we hosted a shipwrecked island pool party adventure. 

We sent out invitations to 10 different friends on brown parchment paper with the following printed on the computer:  "Were high and dry but were awfully lonesome. So please set sail for out little isle, pay us a visit, chat for awhile.  We'll serve you roast parrot and barbecued goat.  Bread saved ten years from our shipwrecked boat. Fresh rain water, select native roots.  Nonpoisonous wild vegetables and ripe yummy fruit.  We'll expect you next Saturday at 12:00 noon; if you meet any cannibals try not to swoon. Our Longitudes 555 ~ Latitude Brown Road it's quite near.  We'll light a smoke signal to help guide you here!"  I got this from the Penny Whistle Birthday Party book ~ but modified it somewhat.  I also dipped the edges of the invitation in lemon juice and burned the edges, then tied them with raffia.  Very cool.

We set out two tiki lights at the end of the driveway along with a big birthday sign. We bought a helium tank and filled up about 50 balloons, tied rocks to the bottom of the strings and set them evenly spaced out in the gutter, these were very festive! Our pool deck was decorated with nets, seashells, lobsters, tiki masks etc. Very tropical.  We set up a table with  raffia skirting around the bottom to hold the snacks. 

Snacks included cheese cubes with fancy picks, chips, a watermelon boat (watermelon carved in a basket shape and filled with watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew balls). Pineapple and mango in cubes in separate containers.  We also had chips, pretzels, etc.  I also purchased tropical napkins and plates, and put various sodas in a big whiskey barrel filled with ice.  I had tropical music playing softly in the background ~ then later switched to the beach boys which surprisingly the boys really enjoyed!  I made ducks out of 2 liter bottles (found on familyfun.com) and the boys raced the ducks by pushing only with their noses in the pool!  My son thought this was a little juvenile, but I really enjoyed it ~ and they boys had a blast playing this game! Then they all got out of the pool and had a roll the coconut game.  They divided up into teams, got down on all fours, and had to roll the coconut with their noses.  Loads of fun! 

Then we had a "Dead Parrot" game.  The night before the party I mixed up 10 different flavors of Jell-O with "gummy bugs" and chilled it overnight.  I set out a paper plate for each boy  on the ground with mounds of "Dead Parrot Guts" about 20 feet away.  They had to crab-walk backwards and then slurp down the dead parrot guts without using their hands.  Their faces were covered in Jell-O but they loved it!  Gross!  After washing off, they played a quick game of basketball then back into the pool to cool off.  While they were waiting for the cookout the boys played volley ball in the pool.  I served hot dogs and hamburgers with all the toppings, but I also had gotten a great deal on a huge un-scaled salmon which I had baked with cactus(you can buy this at Wal-Mart), potatoes, onions, lemons ~ anything that I thought would look gross!  The boys actually loved it!  They ate tons of the fish! 

I also bought imitation crab strips and served it with butter which they also ate! After eating we served the cake which was made like a beach and water scene with gummy fish, octopus, and a pirate ship and pirate.   Then I gave the boys small dishwashing detergent bottles (washed) filled with colored water and they had a "paint ball" fight.  They had so much fun with this that they kept re-filling the bottles! 

Towards the end of the party we broke the parrot piƱata and I gave each boy a brown sack to put their candy in.  To end the party I had them go on a treasure hunt.  I had purchased a cheap wooden chest at Big Lots ($7.99) and filled it up with tons of gold coin candy, little Hershey candies shaped like treasure chests, anything I could find that went along with the theme.  I hid the chest and I also hid the clues.  I gave them one clue which led them to another, and so on.  They had a blast finding the clues, which I hid and  I actually buried the chest!  They had to get the shovel and dig for it!  I didn't give out prizes for the games because at this age there is so much competition, so at the end of the party

I handed out copies of Treasure Island (bought at the dollar store)and they took home tons of candy in their loot bags. After the treasure hunt they jumped back into the pool and played Marco Polo until their parents arrived.  Even their parents enjoyed the salmon (we had some left over) and everyone had a great time! 

This party was so perfect for this age group.  Be sure to buy tons of snacks and have plenty of food and soda on hand ~ boys of this age love to eat!

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