Backyard Neighborhood Campout

If you have a larger backyard, why not have the kids bring their friends over and host a Neighborhood Campout.  It’s a great stay at home vacation, complete with night time cookout, movie and fun games during the day.  Don’t just settle for our ideas, get creative and add some of your own.  In this web blog, we have neighborhood mini-golf, lawn darts, a talent show, the ideas are here and your imagination can add many more.  

If you have a favorite that families and kids enjoy, please share with us so we can post it here – we’ll include your name and city with pictures.

Have the local neighborhood kids bring their tents, sleeping bags and camping gear, and let the fun begin!!

Backyard Treasure Hunt

Start with a Backyard Treasure Hunt – 

Get partygoers in gear with this easy-to-create scavenger hunt. Before the event, hide all the goody bags with little prizes,  in one spot in your yard, then use a compass to create two or three clues leading to the cache. To write the first one, pick a starting point — say, your back door — then line up the compass with the place you want to hide the next clue and write a message leading to that spot. For example, “Look at the base of the tree that’s due north of the back door.” Tape that clue to the door, then repeat the process once or twice more, with the last clue leading the kids to their prize. When it’s time to begin, simply brief players on how to use a compass before sending them off in search of the treasure.

Then, the Cookout:

FIRE ROASTED NACHOS

Let your hungry campers fend for themselves (with adult supervision, of course) by offering a dish they can assemble and cook over a campfire or grill. Just have each camper collect a stick that’s sturdy and not too dry.

Fire-Roasted Nachos

Ingredients:

  • Per Serving
  • 4 3/8-inch disposable aluminum pie pan
  • 1/2 cup tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar or Monterey Jack
  • Toppings, such as diced tomatoes and bell peppers, sliced jalapeños, and black beans
  • 12- by 16-inch piece of foil
  • Salsa (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Let the kids combine all the ingredients in their pan. Then seal it in foil (a double layer if you’re cooking over an open flame) as shown, folding over the extra foil at the top to make a sturdy handle to poke a stick or tongs through.
  2. Hold the packet over a campfire or set it directly on a grill to melt the cheese, about 10 minutes. Let the pack cool briefly, then open it carefully. Serve with salsa, if desired.

CAMPFIRE MAC’N’CHEESE

Campfire Mac 'n' Cheese

With some adult supervision, young campers can cook one of their favorites over a campfire or grill. Just have each camper collect a stick that’s sturdy and not too dry, or if you have long-handled metal skewers, you can use that as well.

Ingredients:
  • PER SERVING
  • 1 (4 3/8-inch) disposable aluminum pie pan
  • 1/2 cup cooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12- by 16-inch piece of foil
Instructions:
  1. Let the kids combine all the ingredients in their pan. Then seal it in foil (a double layer if you’re cooking over an open flame) as shown, folding over the extra foil at the top to make a sturdy handle to poke a stick or tongs through.
  2. Hold the packet over a campfire or set it directly on a grill to melt the cheese, about 7 minutes. Let the pack cool briefly, then open it carefully. Stir the mac and cheese before eating it.

S’MORES ROLL-UPS

S'more Roll-Ups

Turn gooey s’mores into a tidy treat with this campfire or cookout dessert. The sweet, kid-favorite flavors aren’t lost in this translation — just the sticky fingers!

Ingredients
  • Chocolate chips
  • Miniature marshmallows
  • Flour tortillas
  • Aluminum foil
Instructions:
  1. For each one, spoon two tablespoons of chocolate chips and a dozen miniature marshmallows into the center of a flour tortilla.
  2. Roll up the tortilla, wrap it in foil, and set it on campfire coals for about 4 minutes or on a hot grill for about 8 minutes, flipping it halfway through. Use tongs to remove it from the heat.
  3. When the foil is cool enough to hold, fold it down on one end. Be sure the filling is cool enough to eat before serving.
AFTER DINNER – Either Host an Outdoor Movie Night (see our outdoor movie night info) or Host an Outdoor Dinner Theatre (below).  Of course, the kids could also play the Summer Night Time Games we have listed on this blog.
OUTDOOR CAMPFIRE THEATRE
What You Need:
  • Campsite props (pinecones, ketchup bottle, flashlights, etc.)
  • Box or pillowcase
Instructions:
  1. One team fills a box or pillowcase with campsite props.
  2. The other team then has 15 minutes to develop a skit that uses every object (yes, even that single flip-flop). After they perform their masterpiece, the teams switch roles for the game’s second act. 
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