Parent Hacks: Celebrating a Birthday

We hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday celebration last week, and today, we are going to look at a family celebration that we know you love and enjoy: birthdays! We’re giving you some suggestions on ways to camp-ify a birthday at home as part of our Parent Hacks blog series. You ready?! Here are some ideas to give your home birthday that extra sparkle:

Junior2021 449.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1


We love a good decoration at camp, and camp birthdays bring out the fun. If you are a birthday girl at camp, you arrive at breakfast to find a birthday hat waiting on your table. You’ll also find some fun party horns and a birthday balloon tied to your chair. Counselors hang a birthday sign near the table to help celebrate the big day! Many cabin groups also decorate the cabin at some point, using simple items like streamers, signs, and balloons.

Every part of the camp decorating process is simple, but it packs a punch in making the birthday girl feel special. Many families already do some sort of birthday decorations, so we are guessing you have this one down already, but if not, throw in a few things to add some flair…balloons in her room, streamers on her door, a special placemat at her seat – the possibilities are endless!

August2021 624.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Wear a BIG hat

This is a new birthday tradition that we enjoyed last year, but on your birthday, we call you to the front of our Dining Hall, and we place a BIG birthday hat on your head. We went especially large on these hats so that everyone could see the birthday girls in our Fort this past summer, and they are a fun tradition we bet will stick around.

Consider buying one of these great big foam hats; they are really great and hold up well. The best part about a hat like this is that you can save it and use it for every birthday. Pop it in a Tupperware, and it will be good to go the following year.

June2021 681.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1
Main2021 1307.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1
Main2021 3626.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Keep it Consistent

One of the things we like about birthdays at camp is that they have a predictable rhythm to them, which also makes it fun to anticipate every year. For example, after lunch, the birthday girl and her cabin celebrate with a cabin birthday party. This year, the girls chowed down on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and then the birthday girl opened her presents. Getting to miss Rest Hour for a party is a true treat!

While I am sure many of you already enjoy some fun celebrations on birthdays, why not come up with something consistent that you do every year? It can become your fun birthday tradition in your family. From a donut filled breakfast to a special plate you use as the birthday girl, adding in something consistent to the celebration will make birthdays extra special.

June2021 678.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Dress up

Do you do anything fancy for a birthday dinner? This may be the year! One of our favorite birthday traditions at camp is our Birthday Ball. As a birthday girl, you put on your nicer Sunday dress, and we have a tasty meal that is all about celebrating you. Dressing up is really fun, and it makes the night feel even more special.

At home, you could use the nice china for dinner (even if you’re serving Chick-fil-A). Don’t want to dress fancy? Have a theme meal instead where everyone dresses the part. Adding a fun theme or fancy-ness to the party would really make the birthday magical!

June2021 647.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1
June2021 181.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1
Junior2021 561.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1
Main2021 1611.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Make her the guest of honor

At camp, we typically have our Birthday Ball celebration on the same night as the Talent Show. The Talent Show is given in honor of our birthday girls, and they then have a front-row seat to the show (something coveted at camp!). While this isn’t really that big of a deal, the girls do feel like there is something extra and special about their big day.

At home, why not try this out? Whether it is hosting a movie on a blow-up screen in your backyard or visiting a favorite museum, you can make a specific event or trip all about your birthday girl. Many of you probably already do something like this, but it could be fun to add a little “special moment” to an event to make it birthday special.

We hope you enjoy celebrating your birthday girls at home. We wish we could be there to celebrate with you!