My kids aren’t (and have never been) camp kids so I’m used to the little extra planning required this year to keep them amused for the 10 weeks I have them home. Last summer, in sheer desperation for something fun to do, I created ‘Cousin’s Camp’, a two-night, three-day sleepover with all the cousins over the age of five. I played the role of Head Counselor of Fun, and the kids enjoyed days of unlimited popsicles, movies, swimming, afternoon adventures, and a project for everyone to work on together—a talent show to perform for the parents on pick-up day.
To say it was a hit with the kids was an understatement, so when I sat down to schedule some summer fun for this year, I knew we had to repeat the event again (with family bubbles only, of course). The secret to making this type of event work is in the planning, and I left nothing to chance.
Here’s how I did it:
- The week before camp was set to begin, I emailed my brothers and sisters-in-law an itinerary complete with a list of things that everyone would need for their stay. I broke up the days into chunks of time (morning, afternoon, evening) and planned something for each block. I have a teenager at home, so some of the supervision was left in his hands, and surprisingly the entire event went swimmingly.
- I planned sleeping arrangements in advance and dug out extra pillows, blankets, and air mattresses for the sleepover.
- I made a list of the all-ages movies available on Netflix in case I needed a plan B for a rainy day.
- I filled the freezer with frozen treats and a few meals I made in advance, ensuring I had plenty of food on hand.
- I purchased a set of coloured paper plates and plastic cups for each kid in attendance. Everyone was assigned a colour for the duration of their stay, ensuring there were no questions as to which drink belonged to which kid when someone came to the kitchen looking for their cup.
My kids don’t have summer birthdays, but if they did I think this would be a great way to celebrate in lieu of a traditional party.
What do you think? Would you ever host a cousins’ camp?