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This weekend, my husband and I and a couple of our kids are going camping. Our family has always enjoyed camping in the great outdoors! It is a great way to get out of the Phoenix heat! Later this month, I am going to our church's girl's camp again, so camping is really on my mind.
With summer here and parent's looking for ways to entertain kids, Backyard Camping can be a great way to do something fun without having to spend money on gas, but still helping the kids spend time out of doors. Plus, there is the added benefit of being close to a clean bathroom!
Camping in the heat of the city, you ask? Well, that can be a problem in some places, (like Phoenix), but there are some ways to help with that! So, for this Fun Friday, here are our best ideas for a fun Backyard Camping Night!
Set up, Timing and Preparation:
If you live where it is cool enough in the evening to actually have a fire pit fire, you can do a variety of things:
If you live in Phoenix, or somewhere else where it is too hot for a fire at night, you can do this:
Ways to Be Cool:
Camp Out Activities:
There are so many fun things to do when camping, whether you are in the woods or on a backyard camp out. Here are a few of our favorites:
Backyard camping is an activity the whole family can enjoy together, or just let the kids sleep on their own after the night's activities! Mom and Dad are right inside if they get scared! So is the bathroom! (Make sure they use it before they settle down for the night!) The memories you make with them will last a lifetime!
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Yesterday I wrote about my experience at Girls Camp. One thing I left out of that post is what I am going to write about today, because believe me, this thing deserves its own post! One night, the leaders of the camp came around to each tent site and gave each person a thing called a Stuff 'em Stick! Along with the stick, they gave us biscuit dough, pie fillings and whipped topping and explained to us how to roast the biscuits over the coals of the campfire and make ourselves mini cobblers. It was so much fun and amazing! Our camp leaders made us these sticks and engraved the theme of the camp on each one.
You use them by taking a can of biscuit dough and cutting each biscuit in half. At least, at camp we used biscuit dough, but I heard a rumor that crescent dough is better and so I tried it, and guess what! I liked it even better! But, either one will work and in a minute I will show you some other variations!
So, when I used the crescent roll dough, I took one big triangle of the dough and I cut it in half and then wrapped it and squeezed it around the large knob of the Stuff 'em Stick. The sticks had been soaked in oil, so there is no need to spray it, but you can if you want. Maybe as it gets older and starts to dry out I will have to soak it again or spray it. So far, there has been no sticking.
I decided that apple pie filling would be delicious is a cinnamon roll crust!
I simply opened a can of refrigerated cinnamon rolls and smashed a roll flat in my hand. Then, I wrapped it around the Stuff 'em stick. Make sure to stick the layers of the spiral roll together!
I think that another beauty of these sticks is that you don't have to worry about kids stabbing each other in the eye like you do when you are using marshmallow roasting sticks! Plus, there are so many other variations! Wouldn't it be great to use cookie dough to make the shell for the chocolate pudding? Add marshmallows and you have a s'more like final result! Since you use only half a crescent roll, one can of dough will make 16 Stuff 'ems. Here are a few more photos:
You can make these sticks, like our leaders did, for yourself! That is what I want to do as gifts to my family. Or, you can order them from a couple of places.
What a fun party around the campfire, either in your own backyard or up camping! I fell in love with this Stuff 'em Stick idea! You could even do little pot pies or brownie cups! The possibilities are endless! Let me know what your ideas are!
I am home from our church's girls camp! It was a lot of fun, yet a lot of work! We were in a beautiful area of Arizona, with lakes, streams, tall pines, billions of stars and bumpy roads. As you can see from the photos above, I loved being by the water. There weren't too many days when I could just sit and dip my toes in the water, but I did it when I could. We thought that there was going to be mostly cool temperatures up there, but a high pressure ridge over AZ made it very warm. We were thankful not to be in the 120 degree weather of Phoenix, though. And, the rain that came a couple of times helped to cool things off.
When you are working with a bunch of teenage girls and their leaders, there are bound to be some tears and frustrations to deal with. The first day we were there, as my partner leader and I tried to get the girls busy doing their tasks, I found myself getting frustrated less with the girls and more with some of the other adult chaperones. I knew that it was because I was tired from the long day of getting up there and the long weeks of preparation. I hated feeling irritated like I did. It was silly and I knew that I didn't want to ruin my entire week and possibly the week of everyone else by being a grouch. I needed a positive attitude and fast!
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
That was the theme of camp this year. I knew that I lacked wisdom. I needed to know the best way to lead my girls. I needed to know the best way to connect with the other leaders and how to be positive and humble and to have a good attitude. So, that evening I poured my heart out in fervent prayer. I knew that the only way to change how I felt was to change myself. So, I prayed and then I got some sleep! The next morning, my perspective had changed and the fun of camp really started. I tried harder to talk to people one on one to understand them and share good times. I especially tried to connect with people who I was feeling self conscious around and I learned that they are just real people, too and I didn't need to feel bad about myself at all. I had nice conversations with the girls and listened to their ideas and feelings. They often helped me to feel less worried or confused about our schedule and the way we needed to be organized. One of my girls had given us a daily devotional idea that went as follows: "Compliment, don't compare. Look for Christ in others." I tried to implement that in my perspective. I tried to find the good attributes in everyone. My partner, Jazmin, also helped me in that area. She noticed good qualities about people and pointed them out to me, too. The answer to my prayers came quickly and life was so much better.
Here are some other great things about camp:
Camp was such a great experience and although I started to feel my age as I walked over all of the bumpy ground and dealt with high altitudes, I am so glad I went and learned the things I learned. Even old ladies like me have a lot to learn! What a blessing these girls have been to my life this summer!
Even if you don't have the opportunity to go to a church camp like I have, there are a lot of lessons to learn by being in the great outdoors and by turning our thoughts to our Heavenly Father who blessed us with the beauties of this earth. I hope you can take the time to get out in it, turn off the electronics and just commune with the Spirit and with your loved ones and remember what is really important in life!
P.S. The camp bags I made were a hit!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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