8 Years: Camp Jack

Saturday night we celebrated our 8-year old with his very own CAMP, created just for him and his buddies. The day was happy and muggy and crazy and fun. It started with donuts and ended with mud. In my humble of opinions, there’s nothing else an 8-year-old could ask for on his birthday.
So I made t-shirts. Yes, t-shirts. Because what’s camp without a t-shirt?? Not a very good one. I made these with a package of good ol’ Hanes and iron-on transfers and a graphic I created in Picmonkey.com.  It was ridiculously easy. The longest part was choosing what colors to make the graphic. That easy.
For favors I always like to keep it very theme-specific. Amazon came to the rescue again with whistles, flash lights, and compasses. I also found a TENT shaped piñata. Who knew?!
We also gave jars of trail mix in their favor bags. I was going to do the whole “make your own trail mix” thing, but decided it was just easier to do it this way.  I got a big bag of ready mixed from Sam’s Club and filled them up.  I spray painted the lids with chalkboard paint first just because every party needs a little chalkboard action.

And the cake…just two layers of chocolate Betty and some homemade frosting. Topped off with Playmobil toys for the win. Simple. But so campy.


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It was cloudy and ominous all day. So in return I was checking my weather.com app every 22 seconds. All this prep and to be spoiled by weather would be a travesty.  So obviously checking weather.com every 22 seconds helped. And doing an anti-rain dance to the Sioux Indian god of rain.  And praying.
It didn’t rain.
Well, right away. It held off for about an hour into the party. We did the piñata and gifts in the garage and killed enough time that the storm passed, making the perfect slippery muddy game of dodge ball tag you ever did see.
We started the party much handsomer than we ended.

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For food, I really went all out. Can you say hot dogs on the Barbie? Yes, this was a gourmet feast. Also there were pickles. Really large pickles. And chips. And s’more cupcakes. And s’mores. And that’s a whole lotta sugar.


Because of how it ended up with the rain, I’m glad I didn’t plan too many activities.  The only thing I would have liked to do that we didn’t was flash light tag. BUT we did do some other fun things. Like painting our own trinket boxes…because what’s camp without a t-shirt AND a craft?! Again, not a very good one.  So we made trinket boxes and I’m happy to update you that they are being used very well housing the weirdest beetle I’ve ever seen AND a “poisonous” moth.
Tug-of-war and sack races were also on the agenda.  No one pulled an arm of out the socket OR broke an ankle, so I’m chalking up games as a great success.

Oh my munchkins, why do I go through the “work” of party planning??
Because its what memories are made of, that’s why. (and because I dearly love a well-done party)Their birthday memories are some of their finest so far and for that I am so grateful.  I love their faces on their special day. The way the light up and get all shy when the whole crowd sings birthday wishes. That defining moment when they turn that older ages as the smoke on the candles goes up. They will remember these things. 

And in true Camp fashion, we ended the day on a sugar high and a muddy mess.  Grateful and happy for each other.  Grateful for this boy Jack.



  1. Alicia! This is fantastic! I love the trinket boxes, and the iron on transfer idea is wonderful! You are so creative, lady!

  2. We don't really do those kind of parties anymore and you know what… I MISS THEM!! They are as much fun to plan as they are to attend. Everything is adorable to the max and it makes me wonder what I can plan a party OF!!! Maybe I should do one for myself and my own birthday. Ha! ("38" coming up.) Yikes.

  3. What, this is awesome I'm sure he will never forget his 8th bday party and will tell his wife about it when they are planing their son's party.
    You're awesome!

  4. Wow!! What a fun party. Now I want to have a camping party!!
    I am the same way with party favors…I want them to go with the party theme and I do not want them to be something that will be tossed once they get it home. Love the trail mix!
    Good job mamma!

  5. um . . . wow!! You have such a gift at party planning with such cute attention to detail! What a blessing of a momma you are. It was perfect! Mud and all! Love you!!!

  6. What an awesome party!! Great job, mama! And they will remember these moments for a lifetime. You have a party-planning gift!

  7. I love this idea! My boys would love this type of party, to bad their birthdays are in the middle of winter and we live in the frozen tundra! Everything looks fun and wonderful and your kids will remembers these fun days for sure!!

  8. How cute, loving all the details, defiantly a party to remember. Cracking up over Vera expression looking at her big sis…

    p.s. I think you missed your calling as a party planner you have awesome ideas

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