Here are some simple ideas for making your own invitations:
- Fold green paper into triangles (so they resemble a tent) and write the information on the back.
- Buy inexpensive knapsacks or picnic baskets (think doll-sized) and place inside the ingredients for S'mores -- a Hershey bar, a marshmallow, and two graham crackers -- in small plastic bags. Write the party details on an index card and place with the goodies.
- Use a camping-supply store's catalog to cut out pictures of hiking boots, tents, sleeping bags, canteens, and other items. Glue a collage of several items on the front of a folded blank card, then write the party information inside with green and brown markers.
Ask a friend or hire teens to lead the group in favorite campfire songs.
- Borrow a large tent from a neighbor or Scout leader or rent one if necessary. Try to set up your campsite so that it seems as remote as possible. Even camping in the basement can be fun, it you create a camplike atmosphere. If your local laws allow it, set up a stone campfire area. (If you have a fireplace, use that.)
- Hang lanterns from poles.
- Set out large logs to sit on around the campfire. Ask a friend to play guitar and sing some songs when it gets dark. Gather large pointed sticks (for ages 7 and up) to roast marshmallows or hot dogs.
- Have plenty of flashlights on hand (and check batteries ahead of time).
- Keep a bucket of water handy in case your fire needs to be doused.
- Look in the library or a nature store for a tape or CD of nature sounds such as frogs croaking and birds singing, and play it near the tent for atmosphere.
- To avoid having insects crash your party, have plenty of bug repellent available and offer it to guests as they arrive. Place citronella coils or torches at the edges of the party area.
Continued on page 2: Food Ideas