girls camp crafts & activities
I promised more LDS girls camp ideas and here they are--even though girls camp is over for many of you. Oh well. Pin it for next year! These would also be great ideas for a family reunion.
Leather StampingIn addition to the duct tape crafts, our big craft was leather stamping. And it was a huge hit. The girls kept telling me it was their favorite camp craft of all time, and the leaders wanted to come to my house to make more after camp was over. This craft is a little pricier than most because leather is expensive, but I was able to get my leather bracelets 40% off with a coupon from my local leather craft store (Beck Leather), so they were only about $1 each. Don't be afraid to ask for a youth leader discount from your leather store--some do this for scout or church youth leaders. I already owned most of the leather stamping tools (my favorite are by Melody Ross), and I was able to rent the stamping blocks and more tools from my leather store for only $5 per 15 people. (Tutorial coming soon!)
Nail Polish BarFor down time, I set up a nail polish bar for the girls to do their nails. I purchased several bright colors of nail polish, a package of nail files, polish remover, and cotton pads from the dollar store. Then I brought some of my super fine glitter (a la Stampin' Up!) for glitter nails. We kept the polish out on a picnic table under a canopy where the girls could go to chat and paint their nails between activities. I even attempted glitter nails for the first time. Fab-u-lous.
Friendship Bracelets & Hair TiesMost teenage girls know how to make friendship bracelets, so I also set out a bunch of embroidery floss for down time. The girls made friendship bracelets and did hair ties on each other. It was a cheap, easy "craft" to keep the girls busy when there wasn't a structured activity scheduled.
Pilates ClassAnother really fun activity we had was a Pilates class. Our camp director's daughter is a Pilates and yoga instructor, and she came up to camp to teach the girls the basics of Pilates. We all brought our towels out to a grassy area, our instructor fired up her iPod, and we worked our buns off!
Camp Menu IdeasWe were soooo lucky to have a camp cook who came up (with her husband) to cook for us all week. She was amazing--totally gourmet. We ate like queens. I already shared her build-your-own-s'mores idea, so you know she's good. Another great dessert idea was her "Leaders' Favorite Cookies" night. She asked the leaders to bring over a dozen of their favorite cookies the Sunday before camp and she froze them, then defrosted them the day they were on the menu. Fun and easy, and it helps with the budget. The most incredible meal was our last--Smoked Brisket Tacos with Roasted Salsa and Creamy Tomatillo Dressing. Ho-ly COW. They actually roasted the salsa ingredients that day.
I don't know the first thing about cooking for large groups in the woods, but if I had to do it I would love to have her menu for ideas. So if you find yourself in charge of food for your girls camp or family reunion, check out these awesome menus for inspiration.
Organizing and executing a camp of any kind is daunting, but it helps when you have a great group of ladies to work with! I loved the thank-you gift that our camp director gave each leader after camp. A pair of gardening gloves with a note that says, "Thank you for lending a helping hand to make camp a success!"