Summer is winding down and I realized I still have some big summer events that I haven’t blogged about yet. Where did the summer go?
One of our favorite summer memories was our Erickson Cousin Camp. This was the first time we had Cousin Camp and we hosted it at our house.
My kids and I brainstormed and decided to go with my go-to theme this year– “Best Cousins in the World”. (Hey, my theory is if you got a great idea, use it over and over. It makes life easier.)
First, I sent out personal invitations to all the cousins because I believe kids love getting mail in a mailbox. My SIL over at Lindsey Erickson Photography designed them for us. Aren’t they cute?
I decorated the living room with a repurposed world and flag banner. Does this look familiar?
I added some international flare to the kitchen table with some mason jars and country flags.
I planned the itinerary. I wanted to visit as many countries as possible but I also wanted to make sure there was ample free and play time. I posted the schedule for all to see in a central location.
The day finally came and the cousins arrived promptly. They were greeted by anxious and excited front desk help.
When the kids checked in, they were given a room assignment and kitchen duty. I wanted to make sure that everyone helped with the prep and dishes of one meal.
They also got their passports. I punched a hole when we went to each country.
Crew was our baggage boy and he helped the cousins to their different rooms.
I let them play a bit at first because they were so excited to be together.
Then we had a briefing where I filled the whole group in on the schedule, rules, room assignments, and kitchen duty.
We also labeled cups that they would be using all weekend.
We were set to travel around the world. Here is a brief review of our travels:
MEXICO- We made Mexican dream catchers.
Elle had made the Mexican dream catchers in school so she was in charge. She gathered and prepped all the materials and explained how to make one. It proved to be too difficult to make the craft all at once so Elle took one cousin at a time and helped them through.
CHINA- We ate homemade fortune cookies.
Inside was a personalized fortune like “Family relationships will be strengthened soon” or “You will have fun with your cousins at Cousin Camp.” You get the idea. The fortune cookies were not a big hit with the kids, and I am not sure it was worth the time it took me to make them all.
We had way more free time in the morning than I expected and a few were getting bored so I pulled this idea out of my hat: I had them invent their own country. They could pick the size, shape, name, motto, flag, animals, agriculture, etc. The older kids really liked this activity.
USA- We had a good ole’ fashion American lunch of hotdogs, watermelon, and chips.
The boys had lunch duty. After peeling the corn, they told me that you don’t eat corn at lunch so we ended up not eating it.
They ate in the shade of the tramp.
BAHAMAS- We had some water fun in the backyard with sprinklers, wading pool, slip-n-slide and a wet trampoline.
AFRICA- We all rode our bikes to African Ice to cool down with a shaved ice. It was quite an accomplishment to bike with 8 little kids.
ITALY & FRANCE- I served spaghetti and french bread for dinner. We had Italian sodas later that night too.
Croft and Ava were my dinner helpers but as you can see they are more fun than work.
After dinner, the cousins had some free time and then we played night games like Around the World and Country Tag. But the hit of the night was Steal the Flag.
Here is Uncle Chad explaining the rules to the rookies. I was surprised how well they actually did.
Then we watched an outdoor movie and had Italian sodas. We watched Big Miracle and it was a great family show.
They all slept well and the next morning they woke up to breakfast.
GERMANY- We had sausage and German pancakes.
Zoie and Elle were my breakfast helpers.
The kids played outside for awhile and then their parents picked them up. The whole camp was just 24 hours, but that seemed like the right amount of time for this age of kids and for my energy level.
Overall, we had a great time at Erickson Cousin Camp 2012 because we really do have the Best Cousins in the World!
Bring on Cousin Camp 2013!