Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cousin Camp 2009: Some general thoughts

In case you follow the saga of Cousin Camp, this will be our third year, and I'm finally getting to do it at my house. I'm so excited because I've been holding on to a lot of these ideas for two years, and I think we're really going to have fun.

I found a neat Eastern-shore-themed logo for this year's t-shirts, and I think I'll do the basic layout the same as last year (name and year on the backs).

We finally get to go to the ocean! My sister's children have been there once before, but my brother's children never have. Neither has my mother or my grandmother, both of whom will be here. It's not very often you get to take an 83-year-old somewhere that she's never been before! :) We're all looking forward to that, so hopefully the weather will cooperate ... We're not into the sunbathing thing and would rather not see everyone else doing it, so a friend suggested we go around suppertime when everyone else is going into town to get supper and play miniature golf. That sounded like a great idea to me. But I'll talk more about that in another post.

I'm wondering if anyone has tips on how to keep vehicles clean after kids have played in the sand for a few hours -- and any other tips you have for visiting the beach with kids and staying organized! I've heard of lining the seats with towels, but I want to be extra-careful since we'll be taking either my sister's brand-new van or our 1-year-old van, and both of our husbands would about die if they got messed up. ;) (I'd feel pretty badly, too.)

I'm taking a large mesh drawstring bag for each of the kids. I figure that way we can keep everyone's things separate, but still be able to shake the sand off before we put them in the van. I'm also planning on bringing several large garbage bags to stow those drawstring bags in so they don't leak any stray sand in the vans.

Any tips on "de-sanding" kids before they get into the vehicle? :) Any other suggestions or tips are most welcome, too!

We're also visiting our local free zoo, and I've thought about making a scavenger hunt to make it even more fun. But I'm drawing a blank about how to do it. I don't want to have eight kids racing through the zoo pushing people around and making a general nuisance of themselves just to be the "first one" to get the whole thing done. Not that my nieces and nephews are like that, but still! We'll probably have each adult in charge of two or three kids, so maybe we could do the scavenger hunt in teams. I'd still love any hints or tips for creating one, especially if you've done it before or know someone who has.

Another BIG fun thing I'm doing this year is a spin on Cousin Camp Celebration, our last hurrah of games and prizes. This year I'm doing it like a mini-carnival. Our family doesn't personally go to carnivals because we don't like the atmosphere, but the games are plenty fun. So we're going to play carnival-style games, earn tickets, and then "shop" with the tickets at the "prize store".

I think that's about all for now. I'm really "thinking out loud" right now, trying to get everything firmed up in my own mind. I'd love any feedback or suggestions, if you have any!


sharon :) said...

As far as de-sanding humans......liberally sprinkle baby powder on their DRY bodies and brush the sand away. Now, to de-sand your vehicle....hmmmm, um.......a very powerful vacuum cleaner!

Yes, spread extra towels in the seats....several thicknesses if you can. Use plastic bags for sandy shoes, or toys.

Hope this helps a little!

sharon :)

Faith said...

Use soft wide paintbrushes to whisk sand away before getting into the vans.

Spread a plastic / vinyl tablecloth from just under the van outward so you can stand on an almost sand-free spot to brush sand away. Spread another one or two (these with flannel backing so the cloths won't slide around as easily) on the floor of the van to catch stray sand.

Check with your local zoo (website or phone) to see if they offer zoo activity pages.

Faith said... for activity pages (ideas at least); check out the bingo! for zoo scavenger hunt ideas for downloadable (pdfs) scavenger hunt "guides" (again, ideas at least!) - some downloadable software to make scavenger hunts for the little tykes - SEVEN different scavenger hunt sheets!

need more? google zoo scavenger hunt

Sophia said...

Thanks for the beach suggestions, as well as all those zoo links! I googled the same thing and didn't come up with any of those. :)