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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Outdoor Survival Birthday party

We did not have a school day on Friday. We did however run from one end of Fayetteville to the other trying to get everything for the Outdoor Survival Birthday party for my soon to be 12 year old Army guy! The disappointing errand for both of us is that the Army recruiters were closed for training on Friday‘s. Bummer, we were hoping for freebies for the goodie bags and maybe some spare posters for JD’s room.

This party was intended to be a sleep over party in the new tent outside but neither of the two boys we invited to sleep over were able to stay the night.

The first activity we did was decode the message to move to the next step. Each step was leading them to locate the “lost man” (mannequin) outdoors. I briefed the troops inside and sent them to the tent outside for the first clue. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd clues sent them to the porch, mailbox, and two pine trees in our yard for the next clue. (Each person went to a different location at a different time.) The 4th clue said "I am under the back porch, in the neighbor’s yard, or by the burn pit." (Again, each person had a different location.) The 5th and final clue was attached to the collar of the mannequin and read, "Take me to the driveway and we’ll be rescued." This was a super fun activity for all of them. They were running around the yard like a bunch of chickens. Two other children were writing their clues out while JD kept all the letters in his head. JD was the first child to locate his mannequin. He carried his guy to me and threw him at my feet. I said, “Did you decode the clue?” When he figured in out he ran with G.I. Joe and tossed him on the driveway. The winner had first pick of which MRE to eat. With only 2 hamburger MRE’s winning this game was important.

Next, we assembled the marshmallow guns. I watched a video earlier in the week where some guy showed us step by step how to build PVC pipe marshmallow guns. Once we had the guns assembled the troops were allowed to run the yard shooting one another. Then, I called them over for target practice. The winner of this activity would have second choice of the remaining MRE’s. They each shot 5 marshmallows. There was a tie between JD and another boy. There was a shoot off to determine the winner. JD won but since he’d won 1st choice during the last activity so we decided the other boy would be the winner of that activity.

I was waiting for the sun to go down before we did the bonfire. It’s very dry here in North Carolina and many wild fires have been started. The last thing I needed was a fine slapped on us for a fire. The sun was sure taking it’s time going down so I had the troops run their explosive boxes for point A to point B and back to point A. I had rocks in boxes labeled explosives. This was a much needed activity because the troops were WIRED! We finally had our third winner for MRE choices AND all troops slowed down a bit. (Whew.) Anyone who knows about our birthday parties knows I’m all over the place. But keeping up with 12 year olds is much harder.

Once they selected their MRE’s I took them and hid them on the wooded trail behind our house. I explained that I was about to cook the MRE’s but the enemy came in and took them. I chased them as far as I could through the woods, but never retrieved the meals. JD took over and said, “Everybody follow me!“ They located all but one right at the beginning of the trail. The troops got a kick out of how the heater packet works to heat their food. They all finally sat down in the tent and ate their MRE’s. Jeff, being the wonderful husband he is, ran up to KFC for the adults and grabbed us a bucket of chicken and some sides. I finally get to sit down too. (Whew!)

The sun finally went down enough to have the bonfire. That was “cool” because I bought some fire colors to drop in the fire. Jeff built a smaller fire for the troops so they could cook smores. That was a real hit. (No firemen showed up to fine us.)

The troops came in and opened presents and looked in their goodie bags for reflector lights, small flashlights, and glow sticks to play with on the trampoline.

Jeff found the perfect cake at Food Lion. It was camouflaged. I bought a pack of 24 green candles. Of course this year I had to use HALF of the pack. That makes me sad that my “little boy” is growing up.

So overall it was a great party. Not as elaborate as one’s in the past, but fun nonetheless.

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