A Rained-Out Campout (E.V.’s 8th Birthday Party)

Well, we all know I love big, involved birthday parties (hey, I am who I am), but since Covid has us all messed up this year, we decided just to have E.V.’s besties over for a sleepover…in the backyard!

Since the girls are finally old enough to speak their minds on party stuff, E.V. came up with a plan: She wanted everyone to bring their American Girl dolls (E.V.’s “theme” for pretty much everything this birthday season) for a camp out where we’d:

  1. Craft kindness rocks
  2. Hike (a nearby wooded park)
  3. Swim at sunset
  4. Eat Papa John’s pizza + zebra cake (i.e. ice cream sandwich cake)
  5. Watch a movie outside
  6. Make s’mores
  7. Tell campfire stories
  8. Sleep in the backyard
  9. Have cinnamon rolls for breakfast

The plan was…perfect and perfectly her.

Everything was set to have a backyard campout she’d never forget: Ryan spent the sunny afternoon setting up a brand-new a-frame cabin tent while E.V. and I set up pretty party things for her friends. We had little gifts and sweets and a craft and some American Girl-sized trinkets, too, all ready to go for the festivities, which started at 4 p.m….

And then at 4:05 a torrential, tropical storm with gale-force winds and literal buckets of water came down right on top of us. Sigh.

It was out of the blue (skies) and INTENSE. A black cloud literally settled in over our neighborhood and released everything it had. Whoops. The dads ran out to hold onto the tent in hopes of it not flying away, and the moms and kids all watched on from our living room window, seeing our night literally get washed away.

As our tent collapsed into pieces and the streamers blew away forever, we decided to just laugh–because, hey, what else could we do? Thankfully E.V. is nothing if not adaptable, so we scrapped her dream campout and went into sleepover mode. And she had the best time!

The girls ran around in dress-up, making a movie (or something like that). They played with their dolls, painted the kindness rocks at the kitchen table, and ate lots of junk food. Lots. The rain did eventually stop, so we roasted marshmallows for s’mores and told late-night stories around the campfire. And, in the morning the girls asked if we could make up the hike we had missed out on, so I took them all up for a Merri-Mac style breakfast hike.

Needless to say, after all the unexpected weather and changed plans, E.V.’s party turned out just like I had hoped — a night she’ll never forget!

Backyard Campout TIME!

We were all ready + changed into our campout gear…

…and then it RAINED. Sigh.

So we moved the festivities indoors and adjusted our expectations. Oh well!

(It did stop…eventually. So we got to eat cake + do s’mores outside at least!)

Instead of the hike, swimming and outdoor movie we had planned, E.V. opened her gifts, and everyone enjoyed helping her make a fairy garden she received!

Everyone fell asleep…by midnight!;)

In the morning, cinnamon rolls + sprinkles were requested, along with an early-morning make-up hike.

They (we) all survived our first indoor-backyard campout! Yay!

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