Birthday Camping Trip

We are campers. Years ago, our youngest daughter asked if she could take a group of friends from school (this was just after her freshman year of high school), and we agreed. She wanted to both boys and girls. At first we were hesitant, but we laid down a few guidelines.

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First, we had to have parents' permission. Second, we got 2 sites - one for the boys and one for the girls (and no going in each other's tents). Third, guests were limit to 10 total. We ended up having another family join us on another site.

We then set out the cost and food rules: we would cook 3 meals (basic stuff - hot dogs, hamburgers, lunch meat, eggs, sausage etc.). Each kid was to supply their own snacks and soft drinks - so everyone had what they liked. We included milk and juice for breakfast. The food bill and campsite cost would be divided by all, including us and our daughter.

We went for 3 nights - Thursday through Sunday. The cost ended up being about $20 per person. We even supplied fruit, which was the biggest hit and ended up doing several runs to the store for more fruit.

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Our first thought when planning was, "ARE WE NUTS?" However, we had the best time with the kids. They were very, very well behaved, and we continued this tradition even after high school. We ended up doing it for 6 years. Most of the kids had never been camping and really enjoyed it. We ended up having other parents join us at later camping trips.

We wished we had thought of it sooner. We thought that this would have been a great birthday party idea, no frantic cleaning before the party; then the cake, drinks, etc.;and the cleanup mess. We figured for what a party would cost with everything involved, camping would be cheaper and last longer and more memorable and give some kids an experience they may never had had.

By Nancy H

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July 27, 20110 found this helpful

What a wonderful idea!! Kudos to you and your family for carrying it out!

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July 26, 20140 found this helpful

Sounds like a win /win situation and lots of good clean fun. Well done and I hope some other parents take note of your post.
My son-in-law has been taking my grandson since he was about three and it's always a special time for them because son-in-law works overseas. They also have a yearly camping trip with other fathers & sons and every one enjoys it.

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