Idea No.


Army Ranger Party -8yr- Flashlight Tag



September 2006


Nan in Crestview, Florida, USA

Runner Up

Army Boot Camp Party

We held an Army Ranger (Special Forces) party for our 8-year old son.  We started with invitations typed on Army Letterhead (found on the internet) and printed on flag paper (Wal-mart.)  It had the following:   OFFICIAL RECRUITMENT NOTICE The President of the United StatesAugust 21st, 2006  TO: Greeting: You are hereby ordered for induction into the Armed Forces of the United States, Special Forces Unit, and to report at Headquarters:  XXX (Dax's House) On:  August 26th, 2006  at  1600 hours (that's 4pm for parents) for a special overnight mission.  (Private First Class Dax's 8th Birthday!)   ___________________________________  Member, Executive Secretary (Dax's Mom)                              IMPORTANT NOTICE  (Read each Paragraph Carefully)  1.If you have any physical condition, which in your opinion, may disqualify you for service in the Armed Forces, bring a physician's statement, otherwise, come ready to RUMBLE! 2. Special Uniform Required:  camouflage, green or brown t-shirts (if you don't have one, it will be issued to you upon check-in.)  Bring Swimsuit  you will get wet! 3.Survival Gear:  sleeping bag, pillow, change of clothes. 4.Immediately upon arrival:  check in at the inprocessing station where you will be greeted by MAJOR PAIN, issued combat gear, and receive further instructions.  5.Mission:  Rendevous with an elite force of young men to celebrate a special day! 6.You will receive special training in wounded soldier rescue missions; target practice, strength training, night vision tag, and much more.   7.Rest well the night before, as you will need all your strength to survive this mission! 8.You MUST RSVP to Mission Control at XXX-XXXX.  Otherwise, you will be reported AWOL and that's not GOOD! 9.Departure Time the following morning:  0900! We sent out the invitations in a manila envelope, with an Uncle Sam "I want You" poster on the front (downloaded from the internet.)  I included an army plastic soldier in the envelope.   

Prior to the party we visited the Army Recruiting office.  They fixed us up with dog tags, pencils, pens, Army #1 pins, mouse pads, belt clips!  They were wonderful.  We are also retired military, so we purchased BDU hats from the base uniform store.  And, borrowed camo vests, canteens, web belts, helmuts, etc. from the base mobility office.  They were happy to help!  So, we were all set.  My daughter and her friend are both active duty Air Force, so they came dressed in their camo and helped set up.  We decorated with camo, black, and green streamers, and helium balloons.  We painted a banner for the front yard on brown wrapping paper which said "Welcome to Private Dax's Ranger Camp!"  I purchased 2 yards of camo material from Wal-mart and cut one yard into strips for arm bands.  Used the other for the table centerpiece and topped with a humvee from Big Lots ($8).  It looked great.  Used the mouse pads for placemats. Also printed some pics of tanks, army men, etc. and decorated the back porch.  Also, a sign for the latreen! We had 3 huge camo nets that we received from the base, and decorated the back porch and the yard.  It looked very realistic like a real army camp.  We set up the inprocessing station just inside the front door.  I got "army music" from the local library and played while they were coming in. 

Upon arrival, each soldier was issued his gear: vest w/canteen; helmut; dog tags (I printed a gold label with each of their names "Private XXX" on the back of the army tags); army sticker; camo face paint; weapon of choice (we had lots of toy guns in a wagon (labeled ammo dump); BDU hats.  They were ready!  We started out with a "conditioning" march. All soldiers must be in great shape.  My daughter, her friend and I marched them around the neighborhood singing jody calls (found on the internet.)  My husband was doing the filming.  They had a blast, and were singing so loud all the neighbors came out to watch.  Afterwards, we off-loaded some of the gear and cooled down with a quick swim. 

Then it was time for the "enemy take-down lesson."  I invited the local police K-9 unit to come to the party to demonstrate a drug find, and an enemy take-down.  They were happy to help, and the boys loved watching the dog.  They also received a lesson on drugs!  It was a hot day, so afterwards we played "Bombs Away".  We divided the 12 boys into two teams, and each had 100 water balloons (black bombs) to throw.  If you were hit, you were out.  The winning team received a prize. 

Then we played wounded soldier. After more water play, the kids were ready to eat!  We served hamburgers/hotdogs/combat punch. 

Then it was time for the obstacle course.  My husband had constructed this in our back yard.  It started with a jump over the barbed wire (high string on posts); then the low crawl (while being shot at with water guns)(survival); then to the target practice (BB gun w/one shot at the target/husband supervised one-on-one)(ability to hit the enemy); then climb a ladder up a tree to blow the air horn (strength); down the tree and across a ladder (positioned on two saw horses)(stability); jump onto an innertube, swim a lap(endurance), and then you're done!  While each boy was awaiting his turn, they were doing calistinics led by one of my adult recruits!  They were worn out after the first time thru!  But, some made it a few times!  My husband then took two boys at a time for rides on the camo 4-wheeler.  The "waiting" kids hid in the bushes and ambushed the 4-wheeler as it came around the yard.  They loved doing this sneak attack! 

Then it was time for cake and presents.  Publix made a great Army Tank cake.  I downloaded a picture from the internet.  Was airbrushed green, oreo cookies for wheels, black licorice, etc.  I purchased some army men from Big Lots to decorate the cake,($2). Had camo plates, cups, napkins.  I took a pic of my son w/each child as he opened their present.  Used these, and a group pic for the "thank you" cards.  After the presents, they played in the pool until after dark. 

Then it was time for "flashlight" tag.  Each boy had a flashlight with either a red or blue lens.  They divided into two teams and tagged each other with those lights until all were out.  They had a great time playing in the dark!

Then, we built a fire and made smores.  They loved these!  Afterwards, we gathered the sleeping bags and headed to the tent with glow sticks in hand.  Each boy took turns telling ghosts stories, and I read a story from a book I had gotten from the library.  They all fell asleep about 12:30; and lo and behold, they were wide awake at 5:00AM, and ready for more army games.  They put all of their gear back on, and played for about an hour before they would settle down for donuts and juice.  I put in "Sky High" for them to watch while they ate breakfast, then it was in the pool.  They were swimming when their parents arrived at 0900 to pick up their soldiers. 

When they left, I gave them a BDU hat, pinned them with a "good conduct medal"…the pin the Army recruiters gave us; and gave each an authentic looking certicate for completion of Army Ranger Camp!  They also received a bag of goodies (army goods (pens, pencils, stickers, etc. in an army bag, candy), and wore their dog tags home, complete with a whistle.  I had to have something to irritate their parents!!  The kids (and mom and dad) were exhausted, but it was a party none will ever forget!  It's been a week since the party and most kids in the neighborhood are still walking around with their hats and dog tags, playing Army!  We all had a great time!

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