Where I grew up in Norway, summers are spent outside hiking, camping, and enjoying the seemingly never setting sun. I think many of us have fond memories of playing outside in the wilderness as kids and would love to share that with our children. Unfortunately, nature is a little hard to find here in the wilds of Hoboken. So for my daughter Sophie’s 8th birthday, I figured why not bring nature to us? Introducing Camp Harborside!
Being prime sleepover age, I knew the girls would love the pink tents I set up in the living room. A simple piece of turf scattered with daisies created a fun and comfortable play area, and a fire in the fireplace set the campout mood. The girls received goodie bags with flashlights and nightgowns, then each was paired up with a tent buddy for the night.
I wanted the party to reflect the simple fun I felt playing as a kid, so all the games were screen free and many were taken directly from parties I had attended back home. Pass the Parcel, Musical Chairs, and Pie Face were just a few of the activities. My personal favorite was a stand-in for a camp tradition; the pie-eating contest. Each girl was given her fruit by the foot and, with hands behind their backs, raced to be the first to eat the entire length. All of the games were simple to play, and everyone had a blast.
Since it was a birthday party pizza and cupcakes were served, but it wouldn’t be a campout without s’mores. Marshmallows were set out on decorative sticks next to graham crackers and chocolate. The girls took turns toasting them over an indoor grill. The s’mores station was a big hit and as a bonus, it took almost no prep.
Once the games and snacks were finished the lights were dimmed and ghost stories were told. Large lanterns and firelight created a warm evening atmosphere beckoning the girls to their cozy tents. It was a wonderful night full of fun, games, and for me, a bit of nostalgia too.