Denise’s formula for success includes planning around a theme, taking a field trip to learn something, incorporating water activities, and making some kind of memento. Here are her notes on developing six great Grandma Camp themes:
• Kids made their own pinata and the taffy to put in it.
• We made: dipped pretzels, a candy castle cake, cake balls, taffy, and suckers.
• Toured a candy factory.
• The kids took the parents around the life size game created in the yard and ending in the candy shop with the sweets we made.
• Invitations included a 2 day pass for the kids and a 1 day pass for the parents.
• Souvenir photos were taken behind a character cut out.
• Splash alley was a ride in the wagon while getting sprayed with the hose.
• Each child learned about running a theme park and helped create and host their own booth for each other and their parents.
• Prizes were paid for with the poker chips that were earned at each booth.
• The Paparazzi was everywhere!
• The children copied a Disney movie and wrote, starred and produced a skit for the parents.
• The ‘actors’ arrived via limo (black car) and walked the red carpet(a red blanket) with fans (parents) snapping photos.
• During the production there were commercial breaks, a cooking segment, and breaking news.
• Oscar-type award statues were made from Mrs Butterworth’s syrup bottles filled with plaster and painted gold.
• There was a printed program and an emcee.
• Animals were made out of tissue and 16 ounce water bottles with craft foam embellishments.
• Monkeys were hunted and captured with a long handled fishing net and kept in a laundry basket carried with broom handles.
• ‘Poison darts’ (straws and spit wads) were used on plastic animals.
• Took a field trip to a petting farm.
Secret Agent Camp
• Everything was in some kind of code: the invitation was printed backward, a puzzle to assemble to find dinner, a map to direct us to where the field trip was.
• There was a secret agent headquarters
• Each agent was given a ‘spy kit’ (pencil box) that included binoculars, passport, ID badge, notebook and pencil, disguise glasses
• We disarmed a ‘bomb’ made from red zingers laced together with red and black licorice laces.
• The picnic table was turned into a ‘ship’ with a cloth sail and a hula hoop and yardstick helm.
• The kids made foil covered cardboard swords and newspaper hats.
• A buried treasure chest was found by following a map that was marked on a wrinkled paper bag.
• Pirates dined on shark (fish sticks) and ate oranges to avoid scurvy.
Guidelines for a Successful Grandma Camp:
• Start with a theme. It sounds hard, but it will simplify things
• Decide the age range. You will not have time to change diapers. Babies in diapers are welcome when accompanied by their mother.
• Start small, determine YOUR limits of energy and time.
• Stick to a budget, it is easy to go overboard.
• Be organized, yet have a flexible schedule.
• Have the children help prepare meals. (They will eat better!)
• Make a craft or a memento the children can take home.
• Take lots of pictures. Keep a group picture on display all year.
• Take a field trip. Learn something. This is the best way to create a memory
• Water appeals to all ages.
• Older children can become assistants at age 12 to keep them involved.
• Have FUN!!