June is Camping Month. We also celebrate Great American Backyard Campout (June 22) and Summer Camp Memory Day (June 27) this month. So, pack up your gear and sharpen your best marshmallow roasting stick. It's time to go camping!
Possible Party Titles
- Pitch-a-Tent Party
- Campout Party
- Gimme S'mores Party
- Campfire Cookout
- Indoor Weenie Roast
- Campground Hoedown
- Camp _______ (name of your community) Party
Use this special party sign to advertise your event. Type the date, time, location, and information about your party on the sign, and print copies to post around the building. You might say:
Insects and flashlights and marshmallows, oh my!
An adventure in camping is very nearby.
So shine up your compass and binoculars to see,
And follow the trail to this campsite party!
- As host or hostess, dress up as a forest ranger. Wear brown, tan, and dark green clothes. Sport a large-brimmed hat or baseball cap. Wear a badge and boots, and carry binoculars and a whistle.
- You could also dress up as a scout leader. Wear tan and green and tie a bandana around your neck. Cut small circles and squares out of colored construction paper (to simulate badges) and tape them to your shirt.
- Dress for outdoor camping. Wear shorts and a T-shirt. Carry a fishing pole or lantern and sport a backpack. Ask your guests to come dressed the same.
- Print these name tags for guests to wear. Punch a hole in the top and use string so guests can hang them around their neck.
- Ask guests to select a fun camp name to use during the party. Perhaps select a name that begins with the same letter as your real name.
- Welcome your guests with a sign that reads "Welcome to Camp _________ (name of your community)." Make the sign out of brown craft paper so that it looks like a wooden sign you might see at a campsite. Draw some wood grain marks on the sign and cut notches along the edges.
- Place stuffed woodland animals (i.e. rabbits, birds, skunks, squirrels) around the room. Place a sign next to a teddy bear that reads "Don't feed the bears!"
- Set up fake evergreen trees around the room to create a woodsy feel. Maybe you have a few stored away from the holidays.
- Bring the outdoors inside. Cut some tree branches from the yard and stand them around the room.
- Hang clear twinkle lights from the ceiling so guests can gaze at the "stars."
- Create your own campfire. Take some sheets of red, orange, and yellow tissue paper and crumple them up. Add empty paper towel rolls for "logs." To make the fire "glow," add a string of clear twinkle lights.
- Create the illusion of being in a giant tent by hanging sheets from the ceiling. Set up a real tent if you have the space.
- Arrange some camping gear (cooler, flashlight, backpack, lantern, small grill, etc.) in one corner of the room.
Centerpieces and Table Settings
- Cover the tables in checkered picnic tablecloths.
- Place silverware in clean, empty aluminum cans. To dress them up, tie ribbon or colored twine around the cans.
- Use cooking pots as serving dishes.
- Use disposable pie pans for your plates.
- Cut some greenery from the yard and arrange it in a bouquet with twigs. Place the arrangements on serving tables.
- For centerpieces, place a short, battery-operated strand of clear lights in a jar to resemble fireflies.
Hire a guitar player to play some traditional campfire songs. Play a recording of nature sounds in the background during the party.
- Serve traditional camping foods, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, baked beans, and potato chips.
- Warm up your favorite bean or miniature weenie barbecue recipe in a slow cooker.
- Serve food on a skewer, such as fruit and cheese kabobs or mini meatballs.
- Make Yum-Hum Cellypillars or Ants on a Log.
- Fill bowls with Give Me S'more Trail Mix. Try one of these other s'more recipes.
- Serve bear claws, gummy frogs, honey sticks, chocolate rocks, and toasted marshmallow flavored jelly beans.
- Make "Dirt Cups." Stir gummy worms into chocolate pudding. Divide the pudding into serving cups and top with chocolate cookie crumbs.
- Make signs to place next to different dishes. For example, you might serve "fire logs" (unwrapped Tootsie Rolls or Pirouette Rolled Wafers), "grizzly bears" (Teddy Grahams), "catch of the day" (Swedish Fish candy), and "sleeping bags" (Tortilla Roll-Ups).
- Every campout needs hot chocolate and good strong coffee. If serving juice, make a sign that reads "Bug Juice."
- Play a tossing game with marshmallows. See who can land the most marshmallows in a bowl. Or, ask guests to guess how many mini marshmallows are in a jar.
- Plan a scavenger hunt and have guests try to find various items (acorn, leaf, piece of bark, etc.) around the room.
- Try to avoid getting mosquito bites. At the beginning of the party, choose a word that guests are likely to say (such as "tent" or "camping") and make it forbidden. If a guest says the word, he or she gets a red dot sticker to place on their face or arms. At the end of the party, have guests count their mosquito bites to see who has the most.
- Give everyone some string and see if they can tie some camping knots.
- Tell funny campfire stories.
- Enjoy a campfire sing-along. Sing some rounds.
- See if your guests can solve the National Parks matching puzzle.
- Pass out copies of the Camping crossword puzzle for guests to solve.
- Talk about different ways to go camping.
- Encourage guests to share stories of their own camping experiences. Did anyone have an encounter with a wild animal or get stuck in a rain storm?
- Discuss Smokey Bear and share his journey through the years. Does anyone recall his famous motto? ("Only you can prevent wildfires.")
Prizes and Party Favors
- Place a few marshmallows, a chocolate bar, and a couple of graham crackers in small baggies. Tie each baggie with twine and attach one of these gift tags that reads, "S'more to enjoy later!"
- Place a sign near the party favors that says, "Thank you for coming. Now take a hike!" or "Thanks for joining us! Don't forget your goodies before hitting the trail!"