Choose your dates...I know it sounds obvious, but look at the calendar and make sure you don't have anything major going on. Camp may just run a couple hours a day, but it can be a bit draining, and there's prep and cleanup to do everyday. Also see what's going on during the week before your camp. You'll need time for shopping and getting things ready.
Choose the crafts and activities... On most days there were two projects, a snack in the middle, and there was rarely left over time. It's a good idea to have a couple "anytime" activities...whether it's a game, a few toys or some coloring, that they can do if they finish early.
Choose ages/ number of kids and "invite" list... All the girls in our camp were 7-10 and could do a lot of the project on their own, and 10 participants seemed to be a good number. Don't forget that this doesn't just have to be for girls either. A mixed crowd or group of boys would have just as much fun I think. Consider if you'll want to have an assistant come help you out on one or all of the days. One of your teenage babysitters may be a good choice (just remember you'll need to pay her too)
Ah yes, money... This part is totally up to you as well. Will you charge for the camp? How much? You can do it all for free, try to break even, or be going for some extra cash. All totally acceptable! I was able to use several supplies that I'd already gotten for free by working with a couple of different companies for blogging projects. If you have this as an option, great! Also, if you've worked with a company in the past, don't be afraid to approach them and let them know you're planning a camp. Ask if they have any new products they'd like you to use and showcase (I let them know I'd be blogging about our different camp activities and crafts) I decided to charge a $25 fee, which broke down to $5 per girl per day. If I'd had to purchase every single thing we used during the whole week, this wouldn't have quite been enough to cover everything, plus I bought snacks. Since I did use some supplies on hand and some donated for camp, I ended up with about $50 at the end. Your cost may also change of course by what crafts you decide to do.
Send invites, and include as much information as possible... Here's the email I sent, and you can tweak it as needed, and add a deadline date if you want.
Hello!I'm writing because you have girls who are friends with one or both of my daughters. I am doing a craft camp for them this summer and wanted to invite a few of their friends to join us.
When: July 15-19 (M-F) 10am - noon
Where: Our house (include address)
Fee: $25 to cover supplies and snacks
Most days we'll be painting or working with something else potentially messy. So you might want to have them wear stuff you don't care about too much, or you can send an old t-shirt or button up shirt of dad's that they could use as a smock.
We'll work on our project, have a snack and if there's free time--just play!
If your daughter wants to come be creative with us, let me know so I can save a spot for you. I have room for 8 girls, plus my 2.
Send confirmation emails... Once you have a list of all your campers, you need a bit of information from them. If you have any kids coming to camp and you don't already know their parents, it would be a good idea to get their phone number as well.
Just a couple of questions for everyone as I put things together for camp over the next couple of weeks:
- What size (specify youth or adult size S/M/L) of t-shirt does your daughter wear?
- Does she have any allergies?
- I'll probably be taking a few pictures throughout the week. Do you mind if pictures of your daughter appear on my blog? (no names included) If you prefer not, that's totally fine too, I'll just make sure I don't use any with her in it.
- The $25 fee can be paid ahead of time, or on that first day when you drop your daughter off. Whatever is easier for you!
Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks. It should be fun!
As you get answers to these questions, fill in your info sheet.
Start asking around for things you'll need to borrow or collect from friends. I was able to borrow 3 card tables and get newspapers (for pinatas) and flat container lids (for holding paint)
Do as much prep for each craft as possible. This may include pre-washing shirts, cutting newspaper strips, removing stickers, washing empty cans, etc. Use this planning sheet to keep track of all your tasks for each day.
Take a group picture sometime during camp (we did ours on the day they all got their finished t shirts) Send it to a one-hour photo place so everyone can take home a picture on the last day.
Finally to help keep you all organized, here are a bunch of printables I designed, and you can download them for free by clicking on the links.
I hope this is all helpful, and I'm happy to answer any questions if I wasn't clear about how I made something happen. Craft camp was a lot of fun, both for me, the other girls, and my daughters. And you can totally do it too!
To see each daily post again, here are the links:
Craft Camp Day 1
Craft Camp Day 2
Craft Camp Day 3
Craft Camp Day 4
Craft Camp Day 5
Finally, be sure to hop over to Craftaholics Anonymous where I posted my wreath with sheet music flowers a couple days ago!