Well, it’s official!
We successfully made it through my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop’s Fall Party. It was a lot of fun and I’m so glad we did it. We’re tired, BUT it was worth every bit of the work that went into it! I took lots of pictures and I am going to use this post to share those with you. Because I desire to help others build community around their own children, I thought this would be helpful to any who might be considering the idea of hosting a fall gathering or future back yard get together. I’m going to include links and details as well to hopefully make your planning smoother. I hope you enjoy!
I (obsessed with designing) chose to design the party invitations. I love being able to put my gifts to work and who better to do it for than my kiddos. 🙂 They can be found here. I had them printed through the Walgreens Photo Center and was able to pick them up the same day I ordered them. Very convenient! I grabbed some black envelopes from the craft store and sent these out.We played several games throughout the evening as you’ll see further down on the Party Itinerary. Some of the games had individual winners and some had team winners. Being that I can’t stand my kids bringing a goodie bag full of spider rings, dracula teeth, pencils, and such home (and I assume other moms can do without as well), I opted for some different party favor ideas. Between Claire’s, Justice, and Bath & Body Works, you can pretty much appease any girl! Throw in some candy and you’re good to go! The girls were THRILLED with these and they really weren’t that expensive (barring you purchase items when they are on sale!) The gift cards were only $5 in value. I kept each baggie to $6 and under. I figured I’d pay about that much filling it with items from the Oriental Trading Company had I gone that route.
Because I was working to keep my goodie bags under $6 the winners that received the hand sanitizer (with the cat dispenser) or the package of nail polish only received that item in their bag. In the bags with the $5 gift cards, however, I also included 3 pieces of candy (which was bought in bulk). The journal (about a $9 value…on SALE) was the big ticket item for the evening. It was the prize for the sack races. My husband (BLESS HIM!) made up a bracket system (think NCAA Tournament) for the sack races so the winners of each round had to race multiple times. I figured the grand prize winner deserved something special for hopping all over our yard multiple times and winning! 🙂
I wrapped the journals in brown kraft paper and then stamped the tops of them. Brown kraft paper can be purchased at most any dollar store or craft store. Add some ribbon and voila you have a cheap, but cute, package for your grand prize winner.
For the evening’s craft we mod-podged spiders onto pumpkins (mod-podge can be found at any craft store). I had each girl bring their own pumpkin and then I had pre-punched “spiders” so that all the girls had to do was grab and glue. The punch was purchased off Amazon. I punched different styles of paper – some cardstock, some regular weight. In the end I think the lighter-weight paper is the easier to punch. This punch was slightly difficult to use. But it did make for cute results.
This was our line-up for the evening. I printed it out and used it for my “notes” for the evening. It was very helpful to refer back to this for what prizes went with what games, the order of the evening, etc. I ordered the burlap sacks (for the sack races) from Amazon. They were 4 for $5.50…a pretty good deal, I thought. For the scarecrow, my hubby (again thank you…can’t say that enough!) provided the jeans and belts. He didn’t have any flannels so I headed over to Goodwill and picked up 2 for $7. We already had a rope that we used for the Tug-O-War game, but I think if we do it again (which we’re supposed to this next weekend for my other daughter), then we’ll be getting a thicker one. They sell these on Amazon too, but I’m sure a local tractor supply/hardware store would have one. And last, the pumpkins and hay bales were picked up from a local nursery. Careful when picking out pumpkins…make sure you’re getting a good deal. Some places will price gouge.
My hubby was in charge of the campfire and gathering hay bales for my hair brained ideas, not to mention refereeing all the races. He really is a good guy if I do say so myself! He’s worth bragging on! 🙂
One of the games was a scare-crow stuffing contest. This was interesting to say the least, but made for a lot of fun, screaming girls, and some good pictures, post stuffing, that I had to share! 🙂
Seriously, I love the stuffed scarecrow…might have to add this to our normal fall decorating routine!
Last, but not least, was the Mystery Bowls. These were fabulous and the kids’s reactions were priceless. I had to include one picture simply to show. So many great faces, but this one (below) captured them all!
Yes, parties take some work. When I’m planning these, I put the effort into some things and other things I don’t. For example, when you start perusing Pinterest you see all these fabulous (and beautiful) “tablescapes,” decor and more. While I could totally see myself doing this – for the look – I know in the end it is the activities that the kids do that will be remembered. So if (and when) I have time, I put more effort into that stuff, but when I don’t, or when I’m just tired, I stick to the basics. For this party, I stuck to the basics. Food, prizes, and games. No outlandish decorations this go around. 🙂 For me, the goal isn’t about the look of the party. It’s about gathering a group of girls together in a good, safe environment and giving them an opportunity to experience each other outside the school walls. This allows them to create memories together and my belief/prayer is that through it they will be the “safe” faces in those surroundings that aren’t always so kind to our kids. I know that little by little, and with each experience, that is what will grow out of the hard work I feel called to do and desire to pass on to those around me.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures! Happy fall party planning.
Til next time,