Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Adventures in Party Planning: Camp Rock Indoor Campout (for the Jonas-Obsessed)

We have watched both “Camp Rock” movies, and I believe we may even own the first one on DVD. We aren’t rabid fans, to be sure, but my understanding is that there definitely are some rabid fans out there, most of them between the ages of 9 and 13 and possessing two X chromosomes. And, having thrown an indoor campout for Connor (moved out the dining room table, assembled a camping tent in its place), the thought occurred to me that the concept could be dyed pink, sprinkled with glitter and repurposed to suit tween girl tastes.

So, for all you girl moms out there, I present to you the blueprint for a Camp Rock Indoor Campout Slumber Party . . . .

I love digital file invitations for bigger kids – they can be customized for big kid tastes, and they are economical, given that after you purchase the file you can print as many copies as you want, either on a home color printer or at a local photo lab. (Or, if you want to be totally green, e-mail the design or create an Evite around it.) For $14.99, you can order a Camp Rock 2 invitation file like this one from Invite Delight Too’s Etsy shop:

Be sure to include in the invitation an instruction to guests to come packing sleeping bags.

On party day, move the furniture out of the way to make room for a tent as well as for a campfire area. You could try to create a campfire effect with a pile of good-sized branches (make sure that they aren’t bug-infested) or Duralogs, or you may have something around the house that could be pressed into service (my kids have a Fisher-Price play campfire that came with a camping set, and I also thought that one of those flaming Halloween cauldron props could work if you wrapped the cauldron with some brown fabric). Or, just let the kids use their imaginations.

As an icebreaker (particularly if some of the guests don’t know each other), you can begin with a lively game of “Pass the Parcel.” Some of you may have played this game during your own camp days, and it’s super-easy to implement: put candy or trinkets in a brown lunch sack and write on the front of it, “Share this candy with the other party guests.” That bag goes into another bag, on which you write a second instruction, and so on and so on. Make the tasks as silly as you want – sing your favorite Camp Rock while doing jumping jacks, imitate a monkey, pantomime jumping rope, etc. As you go, move up the bag size hierarchy, switching to paper grocery sacks – you could even use a paper lawn and leaf bag at the end. Don’t write anything on the last bag. You should have twice as many bags as you have party guests. When all of the guests have arrived, seat them in a circle around the campfire, turn on some music (the Camp Rock soundtrack, perhaps?) and instruct the guests to pass the parcel around the circle until the music stops. When you turn off the music, the guest holding the parcel pulls off one bag and performs whatever action is written on the next smallest bag. The person left holding the last bag distributes the contents of the parcel.

Other indoor activities could include playing Rock Band or Guitar Hero, watching the sing-along version of one of the Camp Rock movies and acting out the musical numbers with play microphones, or decorating pillowcases with fabric paint or stamps. When night falls, let the kids go outside and play Flashlight Tag, then assemble everyone around the campfire again to tell ghost stories.

Dinner could be pizza or, for a more authentic campfire feel, Thermos hot dogs: attach tags with the kids’ names on them to lengths of plain white string, and as each guest arrives, have them tie the end of their string around a hot dog. The hot dogs go into a large camping or other Thermos, and when the Thermos is full (you might have to use more than one, depending on the number of guests), fill it with boiling water and screw on the lid, making sure that the strings with the labels are all hanging out over the top and down the sides of the Thermos. While the kids are playing party games, the hot dogs will cook in the boiling water. Pulling the hot dogs out by their strings adds some fun to dinner and also ensures that the kids won’t burn themselves.

S’mores would be the obvious dessert choice. They can be made in the microwave, and you can let the kids design their own, setting up a buffet of graham crackers, cookies, marshmallows and sauces. Another option is S’more Cupcakes:

These are from Bakerella’s blog, and they look absolutely delicious.

I love these rock star toppers, created by Christyland by Hand.

These could set the colors for the party: pink, purple and black, with perhaps a touch of zebra print mixed in.

Pillowcases would make great party favors. The one below is from Bunnies and Bows and, at just under $20, is a high-end option - probably not feasible if you have lots of girlies underfoot. But what a cute gift for the birthday girl!

(If you are unfamiliar with B and B, check out their Web site. They have boy-friendly designs, too - lots of them. My guys have had B and B pillowcases since they were tiny, starting out with the toddler-sized ones and then moving up to standard size. They both still use their UT national champion cases - OUCH, sore subject, back to the topic at hand!)

You could also kick it old-school, put out a stack of white pillowcases, fabric paint and markers, and tell the girls to have at it. Be sure to have Sharpies at hand, so that the ladies can autograph each other's cases!

I have seen several microphone favors on Etsy - soft sculpture ones made from lame and sequined fabric, and the echo kind (which, I believe, came with a personalization option). Cute ideas for a favor or a gift. Ditto the following:

These are soaps, people! They are from AJ Sweet Soap - $5.75 for 6 (jumbos, not minis).

Pink camo arm warmers and guitar pick necklaces:  saw these for $8 and $5, respectively, on Little Divas and Dudes’ Etsy site; couldn't find her storefront this go-round, but look for her, or maybe you could find something similar.

Moms to tween girls, hope this post gives you some ideas and allows you to buy some street cred with your kids. If you are reading this and you are not a mom to a tween girl, (1) good for you (as challenging as my boys can be, I realize that I have it pretty easy!) and (2) pass it on to someone you know. Remember, “We’re all in this together” – oh, wait, that’s from “High School Musical.” Clearly, my own street cred is questionable.

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