The last month has been a blur- band concerts, ballet recitals, soccer 5 days/week with six games each weekend, scout advancements, end of the year picnics and field trips, my busiest finals tutoring crunch ever, hosting several really big birthday parties, among many other things. This week was the busy-ness finale, a grand celebration of the boys friend birthday party, with 45 kids and 20 adults… and today is the last day of school! We are just weeks away from leaving it all behind!
This year’s theme suit us well- “Camp Hoff” was in full swing. Because of the crazy schedule and Chuck’s party burnout after hosting a 40th surprise party for me, we barely had time to prep like we usually do, but I think we pulled it all together as well as could be expected.
We like to start off our birthdays with our family party firest, a gathering of 40 family members. This was back in early May, so it was a little chillier, but we enjoyed making silver treasures over a campfire before the rain hit. I think some of our family members were a bit skeptical about making their own dinner, but by the end, they all agreed it was our best party yet!
As far as the friend party, We couldn’t do it without those 20 adults, who help with prepping and serving food,
running activities, helping kiddos, or just being there for moral support 😉 The schedule of camp activities included a circuit of rock climbing with Ken,
rifle range with our 3 teenage volunteer helpers,
and log slice necklaces as guests arrived.
They put their necklaces in their gift bags with their flashlights.
By 4:15, the party was in full swing as we kicked off our annual scavenger hunt.
Chuck and Rich love using that megaphone…
The kids camping and national park knowledge was tested during a special quiz time,
followed by a competitive game of finding clues to put together outdoor phrases and quotes.
As the kids get older, their competitiveness seems to get more prominent, so this year, we didn’t keep teams together. Rather, we varied group games with team games of varying sizes. Next, we let the kids pick out their hobo sticks for bandanas and walking sticks.
Then, we split the younger and older kids in half, one group playing a memory game where an ipad of 9 pictures was flashed before their eyes and they had to redraw it.
Chuck let them earn another peak by doing pushups or jumping jacks.
The other group spent their time fishing (in the creek), splunkering (in the hobbit hole), or digging for lost camp pets (aka jump rope for hearts rubber dogs).
Groups flipped to do the other activity.
The idea of teamwork while camping was emphasized with a fun yardstick activity,
followed by a quick game of predator/prey (bunnies vs foxes).
By then, the kids were starving, so we pulled out the picnic
during camp story time with Rich by the tent.
With only an hour left at the “official” party, we had the kids paint their walking sticks.
Our last couple games include a photography scavenger hunt where the kids had to find printed pictures out in the forest and take pictures with their cameras to bring back to their teams.
We all know how important water is while camping, and how difficult it can be to find the water source sometimes, so our last game was a relay to fill up cups at the creek and bring them back to their team buckets.
The first one to overflow won!
As the kids ate dessert, parents came to pickup.
Some stayed for campfire entertainment and a less structured trail game;)
What a great way to finish off the school year!
Here are a few pictures of the kids opening up their gifts.