Army Museum -8yr- Rescue Wounded Soldier
Melissa in Des Moines, Iowa USA
My Son wanted an Army Party for his 8th birthday. Our Iowa National Guard Facility has an Army Museum and they were glad to allow us to have the party at the museum. They gave us a meeting room and use of the museum as well. I sent out invites post card size draft letter style complete with flags and camo jets Along with "United States of America Department of Defense" acrosss the top. I included selective service numbers and it read: You have bee recruited to Private Parker's 8th birthday Party. This is a top secret mission. Please report to .. I used military time and also Said there would be a prize for the best camo outfit. I mounted the Invite on Camo paper and cut manilla folders down to postcard size and Made them look like a file folder and put the invitation inside. On the outside It read top secret communication. I put them in manilla envelopes and sent them with Confidential all over it.
Upon Arrival to the party Each child (18 in all), was checked in at the "Enlistment Desk" where they received a brown Bag with their name, code name, unit assignement on it inside were Dog tag (Made with cardboard covered in foil with string elastic for the tag to hang from) it included their name and Code name: Ammo, Fast Fire, BlackHawk, Bazooka,sniper, green grenade, chopper etc. Each child received a head tie made from 2" by 36" strips of camo material. (No sewing required army in the rough) These were put on and they were assigned to a unit: green, brown or gray. And then each face was painted with camo colored paint and then an individual picture was taken of each child before entering the party room. The kids explored the Army museum, complete with Guns (behind glass of course) Jeeps, wilderness displays etc. They loved this time of exploration and role play. Then after 15 mins they were called to Attention by the Sergeant. Lined up in formation and marched to the party room.
Once there, they were asked to complete the Enlistment Oath if they wanted to continue on with the Party. The oath: Do you promise to have fun. Yes sir. Do you promise to Smile and not Pout… yes sir. Do you promise to follow instructions yes sir and so on. If any were caught not following instructions they would be ordered to drop and give me 5 (push ups). We then had the birthday boy lead us in the pledge of allegience and then sang the national anthem. Roll call was made and the boys went to their assigned seats at the table,
The table was decorated with Camo table cloth, black plates, american hero (army)napkins and Plastic (take home) cups that matched. And a Cupcake with Brown Frosting, sprayed with green spray(to look Camo) and a flag toothpick in the middle was placed at each seat. Grandpa is a veteran and also my son's Army Hero and Grandpa gave a short 5-10 minute "talk" about his experiences. We had lunch: mac-n-cheese, pringles, apples, and sub sandwich. We then did cake right away (I knew I would have a hard time getting the kids to come back to the table later). The cake was a peanut butter cookie bar with Peanut butter frosting(perfect color for the base color. I sprayed it slightly with the green spray and added an army scene with plastic men, tanks, trees, etc. Instead of the traditional Happy Birthday song We Sang I don't know but I've been told Private Parker's eight years old Happy birthday TO YOU. Private Parker sure is great Holy cow he is 8 the kids loved this. I had another person judge the outfits and we then issed a certificate to the best dressed (Of Course the Birtday Boy and another) They each received a Camo fabric key chain necklace.
After cake we moved to another part of the room while my family helpers cleared off the food from the table and set up the Craft (Wooden Flat Airplanes $.25 at craft stores, Paint in camo colors with string to attach to make a door hanger. We Sang "I'm in the Lord's Army" then we played Hot Grenade. I used two Grenades at a time (with 18 kids one would have taken a long time) when we got down to 4 kids I used only one grenade. When children were "blown" out they went to the table to do their craft.
After Craft, we Played "Secret Mission Rescue" I scattered plastic army men in green gray and brown (to match the units) in the Museum. I sent two helpers to the museum side with Walkie talkies and Two Helpers remained in the Party room with Walkie Talkies. I instructed the soldiers that They were on a Secret mission to find 6 of their fellow soldiers (Plastic Army Men the color of their unit which they kept to take home.) once they found their men they should Radio in to Base with their code name and come back to the party room. These were on oppostie sides of the museum (not a large museum). I sent them out 1 unit at a time and we had a first place for each unit ( the one who was back fastest). They received a certificate and Pencil case. They loved using the walkie talkies.
When they were complete with The mission I used Sergeant says (Simon Says) to get them to listen and follow instructions after so much excitement. I Played it for a few minutes then Used it to position them for a group picture. From there we Opened Gifts and Had the person who brought the gift sit by the birthday boy behind them we placed the american flag and Iowa flag (Great bakground for picture)and after gift opened took a picture.
We then played "Rescue Wounded Soldier" I again had them get in their units and had 1 kid from each unit(the smallest one) go to the end of the room. I had large piece of fabric for each Unit(team) to serve as the "Stretcher" and a roll of toilet paper for each unit. They were to wrap up their wounded soldier and put him on the Stretcher and carefully drag him to the front of the room the First team done each kid received a certificate and I gave all units a candy bar for participation. I then had the soldiers come to attention and we distributed goodie bags (which I made to look like a package that a soldier would receive" a care package" I used boxes and wrapped them in brown paper bags and wrote their name and a "army address" and stamped it "Special Delivery" these included, Army vehicle, Camo pencil, candy, large Flag Sticker, etc.
We then marched outside to where the tanks, and helicopters, and military vehicles were. We got a group picture by the tank ( this was a great picture with the kids all in camo clothes) and then the kids Played had tons of fun with imaginitive play on the army vehicles. This lasted till the parents came and the kids loved the party. We did all this in 2 1/2 hours. For the Thank you's I made certificates of Completion and affixed an "Excellence" gold foil seal sticker to it. Then Thanked them for coming and the gift. I included a piece of Money Candy and a picture of Each kid with the Birtday Boy! I was surprised at the excitement from the kids as well as the adults. Hey I even felt like a kid again with excitement. I encourage anyone to check out if there is a National guard unit or army museum close by to have Your party there. An obstacle course would be very exciting too (we are in Iowa in March… too cold) the possibilities are endless. This party was a ton of fun.
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