Birthday Boot Camp

After all the running and racing the boys have done over the last year, it was only natural that they chose ‘boot camp’ for this year’s birthday party theme. It was a grand celebration of 45 kids and several teen and adult “helpers.” Our friends, the M family, were even able to make it in from Colorado with their camper for the big party. Ethan shared his post-party perspective:

The kids got whipped into shape as soon as everyone arrived. For the early arrivals, we climbed in the attic climbing wall, war-painted our faces, and decorated our battalion flags.

We started off with typical boot camp warm-ups with Drill Sergeant Hoff.

We did a battalion relay and obstacle course to collect rations of water, candy, and cliff bars and granola bars to last throughout the party.


Our “helpers” did a great job of making for smooth transitions.

(we even had cousin John play “Reveille,” a military trumpet wakeup call into the megaphone for transitions)

Then Dad commanded us to break off into stations with a memory game and “keep in mind” activity,

an obstacle course including a rope climb,

balance beam,

slack line,

rope swing,

and climbing wall,


and we all had fun during our nerf war.

It was awesome because if you got shot, a medic (neighbor Thomas or Dad) would pick you up in the lawn mower cart and bring you back to the medic tent.

Next, everybody collected their dog tags and fished their “dogs” out of the creek.

A massive tug of war game ensued,

and then we broke off into groups to play hide and seek.

My friend and I brought ghille suits (best thing ever!), so the kids couldn’t find us.

Dad even extended the point value if we were found. (The kids have a blast looking for these two jokers). Many of the kids brought along their favorite nerf guns to use during a capture the flag/nerf battle. Then the adults hid, trying to snipe us in the forest. I was cornered by a rival nerf artimis, (the gun I want most. Hey mom, every kid has something they want)! Then we had a grenade water balloon toss.

We all got soaked, we hid in boxes, but that did not work. The biggest kid (and main target) got completely soaked during the water grenade war.

Lots of calories were burned, so these kids were more than ready by the time cupcake and snack time came around.


Overall, it was the best birthday party ever!

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