Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kids Camp Out

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post, our kids group from our church had an overnight camp out planned this past Friday night. Due to thunderstorms we ended out having it at our church. We all arrived around 5pm & started our set up. We wanted it to still be a camp environment so we moved chairs in the sanctuary aside & set up tents. We had boys down one side & girls down the other.

These are young kids so we didn't have to worry too much about sneaking around like you will teenagers, but we still started the early lesson of privacy. Girls had to have appropriate sleepwear & no one was allowed to go on the opposite sides tents FOR ANY REASON!

We set up a campfire outside before the storms came & the kids got to roast hotdogs. For dessert we roasted marshmallows but it had to be quick because the storms were getter closer. After that we were in for the night. We had "Survivor" style games set up for the kids to do & they loved it! (By the way JT congrats on winning Survivor tonight!)

The challenge we had for the kids was a food challenge. It was girls against boys (always popular at this age). We had 15 plates with covers so the kids could not see what kind of food was on it. We then pitted one boy & girl against each other. When we took the cover off they had to eat whatever was on it & the first one to finish won a point for their team.

Some of the food items were not bad...Twix bars, beef jerky, etc. Some were worse...smoked herring (which smelled), sauerkraut, & my son had to eat a radish (which was not a favorite of his) but he won the point! I was so proud of him. After all the points were counted the boys won the challenge. I of course was happy because....well, I have a boy! The kids loved the challenge so if you have a group & you are looking for a fun game to play, this would be a memorable one for them.

We then let the kids change into their PJ's & turned on a movie for them to watch. Popcorn was made & passed out to the kids, & we took turns making sure everyone was quiet & trying to settle down. Now, I only have one son (who is perfect of course) & I am not used to kids not doing what they are told. The boys were actually better during the movie than the girls! Maybe I'm not around girls enough but Lord help me...they could not keep their mouths shut or be still!

Thank goodness there were enough adults there to take shifts because I really lost patience at one point & had to remove myself to the fellowship hall. There I found other adults who were looking for solitude like myself & we broke open a game of Mexican Train & played two rounds.
It was then around 12:30am & we set up our beds between the two sides & went to sleep.

I did not take my air mattress because I had this foam thing (made for camping) that is supposed to be put under your sleeping bag for comfort. Well....not so comfortable but better than the floor. Morning came quickly...especially for the girls who were "Chatty Cathy's" again by 6:30am.

We cooked the kids a breakfast of eggs & sausage with a side of cantaloupe & juice. After breakfast clean up we had the kids change into their clothes & had field games (inside of course...still raining). The first challenge (still Survivor theme), we had the kids stand on small upside down buckets for 5 mins. Only 1 fell off that so we made it harder. They then had to hold out one arm at shoulder height (could not take it up or put it down) while standing on the bucket for 3 minutes. We lost a few there because arms became tired & so we made it harder still. We then had them lift one foot and balance (arm still out). One by one they started falling off until it was down to one girl & one boy...the last one standing would win a point for their team.

The boy left was my son & he was doing an awesome job! After a few minutes they were both still hanging in there so we brought out the big gun...actually the super soaker water pistol. Noah was shot first right in the chest but he kept his concentration & did not fall. Then the girl was shot & she too stayed put. The second shot to my son hit him right in the face & it went in his eyes.

Now I have to let you know my son hates water in the face, however he didn't flinch too much but it was enough to make him lose his balance. He fought it really hard & ALMOST regained control but went off. The girls won but everyone was more impressed with his performance & effort. The boys ran & picked him up & even the girls were telling him what a great job he did. Made this mom proud!

After that we had a relay of challenges. The first group of 4 team members had to wash their hands in a bucket of water with a small bar of soap until the whole thing had melted away. Once they completed that the next 2 team members had to stick their hands into a bucket of oatmeal mixed with water & recover 20 gummy bears that were hiding inside. Now the problem with that is...we used hot water & the gummy bears melted. So we quickly threw in raisins instead which were smaller & harder to find.

After they found all the raisins another team member had to untie a knotted rope. When that was completed the next team member put on a sack & hopped the length of the fellowship hall where the last team member was ready to put together a puzzle. The last team to complete the puzzle won. Now I thought the girls would win because the boys had a real problem with sticking their hands into the oatmeal but the girls had no problem with it & took the lead. However, the boy on the puzzle challenge was a whiz & quickly caught up & beat the final girl with her puzzle. It was a really exciting finish & the kids had a great time.

After field games we let the kids have free play while we made them a lunch of grilled cheese, chips & granola bars. Then after lunch was clean up & then we put a movie on for the kids to watch while we waited for the parents to pick them up at noon. Even with the rain out the kids had a great time & did not want to go home. It was a different story for us chaperons...we were excited to see the parents arrive & visions of napping on my soft sofa at home were dancing in my head.

Was it fun? Yes, it was awesome & I would do it all over again.

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