Idea No.


Military Slumber Party -8yr- Scavenger Hunt



February 2009


Amy in Katy, Tx USA

Special Mention

Army Boot Camp Party

My son and my husband are both into everything military, so this party was right up their ally. 

INVITATIONS: We started with invitations that were written like draft letters. They were addressed to Private First Class and said that the invitee was being drafted into the armed forces to participate in a top secret special overnight mission to help celebrate Private Aidan's 8th birthday.  They included special instructions including arrival and departure times in military format proper attire for the mission neccesary gear they were to bring with them and special instructions to get lots of rest the night before so they would have enough energy to survive the mission. 

DECORATIONS: We had 2 party sites.  The main party site our house was decorated with balloons and a directional sign that we hung by the front door.  It said "Welcome to Ft. Gablestone" and listed "mess hall" "bunks" "latrine" "checkpoint Charlie" and "training field" with arrows following each one pointing in the direction where each place could be found.  We also made a "Ft. Gablestone" sign for the front yard.  At the second location we decorated with more balloons some tied to military vehicles and a military themed "Happy Birthday" sign.

ACTIVITES & GAMES:  Since this was a slumber party and we had lots of time there were many activities and games.  I wanted to keep the boys as busy as possible.  Each activity was called a "mission" whenever it was referred to during the party.  As soon as they got to the party they were "issued" gear they would need for the missions they were to complete.  The gear included a helmet a flashlight dogtags with their names and birthdate (listed as an ID number) on them a plastic canteen a sleeping bag with PVT. (first initial last name) stamped onto it with fabric paint and binoculars.  The first mission was to find soldiers that had gone MIA.  We threw about a hundred toy soldiers all over the front yard. The boys had to go into the yard and find all of the soldiers.  They had so much fun looking for all of them using their binoculars.  Once all of the soldiers had been found they came inside and the "Private" that found the most got a little medal. 

The next mission was sort of like a scavenger hunt.  We hid a bunch of items that the boys would need for the "upcooming missions" in the back yard of my house and a neighbor's house.  The boys were divided up into two team blue company and green company and one team went to each house to find the items.  We put a letter into an envelope marked top secret and it read "Soldiers Your mission should you chose to accept it is to locate the following items on these premises.  These items are needed for upcoming missions so it is vital that all of them are found.  Once you have located said items you are to rendezvous in the mess hall.  The first team to return to the rendezvous point with all of the items on the list will receive spoils from the generals. 1 roll of toilet paper 3 small armored vehicles 1 safety cone 3 small water weapons 1 bucket 1 jump rope 1 small skateboard 1 blanket 1 ziplock bag of balloons 1 bag of toothpicks 2 PVC pipes 1 bag of marshmallows.  They found all of the items and brought them back to our house.  The team that returned first got medals. 

While they were searching for the items I had a friend load all of his presents and his cake into my car to get ready for the next mission.  When the boys returned the cake and presents were gone and in their place was another "Top Secret" envelope with a letter in it that read "Soldiers Pvt. Aidan'sspoils and rations have been stolen!  We have new intel that leads us to believe they were taken to an undisclosed location about 5 clicks north of Ft. Gablestone. An address will be sent to General Noitall as soon as it becomes available but in the meantime you are to depart IMMEDIATELY heading north.  You will need to wear all of the safety gear you were issued at checkin earlier this evening.  Please follow the direction and guidance of General Noitall and Major Payne to get ou to the hideout safely.  Good luck and God speed. Sincerely Commander Incharge."  We also included satelite images of the second location that we downloaded online.  My husband spent some time debriefing the boys on the satelite images and teaching them hand signs to use on their trip. 

Then they were off.  My mother in law lives about 1/2 a mile away from us and that is where they were headed.  He took them all over the neighborhood up and down steets so we would have enough time to drive there and get the cake and presents unloaded and set up.  My husband made everything about this trip seem like a real mission and the boys ate it up!  He would send one or two boys a few feet ahead and have them signal if the "coast was clear". Anytime they heard a car coming the adults would yell "INCOMING" and all the boys would hit the deck and wait for it to pass.  They even told them when we texted to let them know we were ready for them that they had gotten new intel that the other forces were planning to blow a bridge they had to cross so they had to hurry. It was hilarious and by far the highlight of the party.  Once at Grandma's we had cake and opened presents then they all walked back in the same manner.  When they got home we played "pin the tank on the target" and wounded soldier (divide into teams and have the larger players wrap the smallest player in toilet paper and carry them on a blanket back to the starting point).  Then they had to use the toothpicks and marshmallows to build a bridge that would support a small metal truck. Then they watched a movie and it was lights out - they all went immediately to sleep. :)  In the morning they did an obstacle course using the remainder of the items from the scavenger hunt while we made breakfast and then played laser tag outside until their parents arrived. 

COSTUMES:  As instructed on the invitations all of the boys arrived in camos and my husband and I and one of our neighbors that was helping out wore camo as well. 

PARTY SNACKS:  My son choose the menu we had pizza rolls broccoli and carrots with ranch dressing for dinner and eggs bacon and pancakes for breakfast.  CAKE: At our son's request we ordered an ice cream cake with tanks and a helpicopter from a local ice cream shop. Favors:  The boys each took home the gear that they received when they got to the party all of the ribbons they earned from the games a certificate of completion of "boot camp" and a US army rubber bracelet.  This party was SOOOO much fun.  Even the adults had a fantastic time.  My son has already asked if we can do it all again next year. :) "

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