Jennie Pilkey is a co-leader for a first year Daisy troop. She shared how their troop planned a GS Indoor Camping Sleepover.
This is our first year as a troop, and the first year for all but 3 of our girls as scouts. Our girls decided they would like to try camping this spring, so we wanted to have a “practice” camp / sleepover to see how the girls would do away from home, without traveling too far from their parents. After much discussion, our amazing troop leader, Robin Lillibridge, agreed to host all the girls at her house for an Indoor Camping Sleepover. We wanted the girls to get comfortable spending the night away from home, as well as spending the night with each other and us, the leaders. So we planned some activities that we thought would be fun for the girls, would tie into camping, and would help them get to know each other and create some bonds of friendship. First up was making tents for the girls to sleep in. This was by far the best part of the whole night for the girls. They loved these tents. We had most of the materials donated to us, old sheets and wood; we only had to purchase the hardware, making them very affordable. Here are the results, and they were a BIG hit with the girls!!
Once the girls arrived and saw their tents, they were super excited to spend the night in their new, personalized space. We started off with dinner, each girl made their own personal sized pizza. After dinner, we helped the girls make s’mores. Since we were inside with limited space, and using the stove to roast the marshmallows, we decide to have the adults roast the marshmallows, and let the girls assemble the s’more.
Next the girls worked on the Dare to Be Different fun patch, hoping the girls would learn a little bit about each other. For this patch, the girls each received a sheet like this, with their name and a space to right something to describe themselves using each letter in their name. Some names required some creative thinking, but the girls all had fun coming up with their special qualities!
We also had a fun craft s’more for them to make. Each girl got to design their own “S’more man” to take home with them as a keepsake for their first “camp in”. They were adorable!!
A friend had donated some coffee filters, so we decide to make a framed trefoil sun catcher. (Notice the using resources wisely….we used the scraps from cutting out the frames to make their tent name tags!) The girls really enjoyed this craft. Each girl colored on their coffee filter, then we sprayed them with water so the colors would spread and bleed into each other. After they dried we hot glued them to the frame.
For the last project of our Indoor Camping Sleepover our girls worked on edible campfires. Fun and tasty!
After they finished all their projects, we had them change into pajamas, brush teeth and get ready for bed. They watched a movie, “Trolls”. We had a second movie ready, we were planning on making sure they were worn out and ready to sleep. And the most amazing thing happened. After the first movie ended, these girls all got up and said it’s time for them to get in their tents and go to bed. ON THEIR OWN!! Of course there were a few conversations and silly giggles before sleep happened, but it really was minimal. We woke up, made some pancakes and bacon and started getting the girls packed up and ready for their parents. Using a screwdriver we disassembled all the tents so the girls could easily take them home.
Here are the directions for making the tents if your troop wants to host their own Indoor Camping Sleepover:
These are actually really simple. I have a table saw which made things even more simple.
1 – 48″ dowel rod
6- 44″X1″x3/8″ lumber
4- 3/4″x3/4″ right angle brackets
First, acquire the wood. A lath is a wooden stake I use for land surveying. These were 1″ x 3/8″ x 48″. However, they come to a point. Using the tablesaw, we cut the pointed tips off. The lath came out to about 44″ long, sans pointed tips. These were used for the feet as well as the crosses.
The other wood were 1/2″x48″ round wooden dowel rods. It was actually cheaper to buy 96″ rods and cut them in half. The extra 2″ on each end helps the crossing wood from falling off.
The holes for the dowel rod were drilled right at a 1/2″ size bit and 2″ down from the top. Next a smaller 3/8″ hole was drilled an additional 5″ lower. This is where the ribbon/twine/chain goes to keep the crossing wood from sliding too far apart.
Canvas: whatever you use, we used sheets, needs to be 44-48″ wide and at least 96″ long. Fold the long side in half. Sew a pocket an inch away from the folded edge. On the opposite edge, fold one side of the fabric over to make at least a 2″ hem. Do this to the side.
Time to assemble! If you haven’t guessed, the dowel rod goes through the 1″ pocket. 1 stake goes through the other two hems. So, if you hold the dowel, the other wood should dangle like clockweights. Push 2 of the drilled stakes onto each side of the dowel rod.
This part is much easier with two people, FYI. Then spread the bottoms apart roughly 48″. Screw the brackets onto the foot piece and the now angled crossing piece. After connecting all the wood, use ribbon to secure the legs at 48″. It WILL stretch a bit. But not enough to impact the design.
Check MakingFriends® .com for First Sleep Over patches like this one to give to the girls after this fun event.