Hosting A Backyard Campout Birthday Party

Hosting A Backyard Campout Birthday Party

Hosting A Backyard Campout Birthday Party

nathan campfire cake.jpgIt's been almost three weeks.  Whew.  I think my husband and I have finally recovered.  I don't know what we were thinking but we somehow let our son talk us into a Backyard Campout Party for his 8th birthday.  (Sniff, sniff.  I still can't believe my little man is 8 years old already!)  It seemed harmless enough, but this was his first group sleepover and "no guests' parents" birthday party so it was a pretty big milestone for him -- and us.  After he made his list of neighborhood kids and classmates he wanted to invite, the list totaled 12 kids which sounded manageable.  After all, teachers do this all the time with lots more kids, right?  

The kids were all talking about the party for days beforehand. In addition to the sleepover, the other "big deal" of the party was that they all walked home with my son from school.  (Come on… think back… remember how exciting and cool it was when you went to someone's house for a sleepover right from school with sleeping bag in tow? Yes, it's the little things that make life an adventure.) I knew the night was going to be a hit the moment we saw the herd of kids literally sprinting down the sidewalk to our Camp and screaming the entire way. So precious.

We set the scene with "camp" signs made out of wood pointing the way to our backyard.  On our fence gate, we had a "Welcome to Camp" sign. Once they entered the gate, the oohs and ahhs began.  My son had painted a giant Camp Claborn banner on an old sheet that we hung between the trees. We had the tent set up with a fire pit, camping chairs, and a watering hole with drinks.

After reading the Camp Rules we posted on the fence, we split into teams by blindly picking colored marbles and headed out for our first adventure - a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood.  Next, we played a marshmallow launching relay game, and a marshmallow spoon race game.  By now, the kids were starting to lose interest in coordinated activities and the wild running and rough-housing was beginning.  Thank goodness it was time to roast hot dogs over the fire pit!  With that many wound-up kids and only two adults, we had strict rules about the fire and only allowed three kids to cook their hot dog at a time so we could help and monitor. 

After dinner, it was time for birthday cake!  As you'll recall from some of my other blog posts, it's always my tradition to make my kids' birthday cakes.  This year's was definitely the easiest of all.  I looked at several ideas online and made a campfire cake simply by stacking two pre-made ice cream cake logs and frosting them hastily with brown icing - the sloppy lines looked like wood grain texture. This seriously took only five minutes.  Then, I added chocolate cake donut holes around the bottom to look like charcoal or rocks and used pieces of Fruit Roll-Ups (wildfire cherry flavored) for flames.  Since the kids were just eating dinner in their camping chairs, I had to figure out someplace to put the cake for the obligatory birthday song and candle blowing.  So, I quickly pulled out my Lifetime Personal Table.  It was the perfect height and size to fit inside the camping chair ring and to hold the cake.  Plus, after we were done with cake, the Personal Table was a great place to set the ingredients for the s'mores so I could have them close to the fire to quickly smoosh the graham crackers and chocolate on the roasted marshmallows. Its compact size really does make it a great table to pack for real camping trips. campfire smores.jpg

We ended the evening by hiding 144 glow-in-the-dark plastic bugs in our backyard.  I armed each child with a glow bracelet, mini flashlight, and a bug box and they spent almost 45 minutes looking for centipedes, scorpions, spiders, and more.  After the girls went home, the boys retired to the tent and finished their night playing a S'Mores card game and doing… well, whatever it is 8-year-old boys do at sleepovers that makes them giggle all night!

My husband and I were absolutely exhausted after trying to ensure safety at all times around the fire pit and refereeing all the incidents that take place with so many different personalities. But, after hearing our son profusely thank us over-and-over and hearing some of the kids say "that was the best campout EVER," we know it was all worth it.  Do we want to have another backyard campout next month?  No!  Next year?  Maybe.  Ever? Definitely!

Jan

Jan

Name- Jan

What I do for a living- First and foremost, I'm a doting mommy of a second grader and a 4-year-old, and a proud wife of a USAF F-16 fighter pilot!  In my pre-children life, I was the Communications Manager for Lifetime Products.  But, once you're a Lifetime fan, you're hooked!  So, after a few years of hiatus, I'm now a WAHM and am happily back on board at Lifetime as a freelance PR Consultant.  In addition to blogging for Lifetime, you can follow and chat with me on Lifetime's Twitter account @Lifetime365 and on the Lifetime Products Facebook page!

Topics I blog about- How I use Lifetime products in my everyday life at home, for kids parties and community activities, as well as inspiring stories... and GIVEAWAYS!  :)

My favorite products from Lifetime- 4x2 Table, 30” Personal Table, Chair, Youth Kayak, and Wheelbarrow.  Although, our Shed and Yard Cart are pretty close favorites, too!

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