your local public library and check out different books on
different camping destinations throughout the country. If
you run dry, you can also find books on different mountain
ranges such as the Rockies and the Appalachian Mountains.
These look great as part of table centerpieces or as general
decorations placed throughout your party area. They can either
be laying flat or they can also be propped up in a half open
fashion (remember to visit both the children's AND adult's
section of the library.)
your best to get your hands on some scrap wood (the older
and more rotten, the better). Often times we can look on the
sides of our own houses to find a few scraps left over from
past projects. Remember, the more weather-worn, the better.
This wood is perfect for creating great looking signs. You
can either nail a few together or let them stand alone (depending
on their sizes and your own uses). With black acrylic paint
(or a wide, black, permanent marker) write the names of different
locations at your party (i.e. Refreshments, Bathrooms, etc)
These signs can either be mounted into the ground, nailed
to trees, or hung with rope to name only a few options. If
you can't get your hands on any wood, cardboard from brown
boxes would also work.
a small tent site. Using common camping gear, set up a small
site with a stone fire ring, hanging long-john underwear,
a metal pot on the fire - the works. If you know of someone
fun enough, you might even want to set a prospector down at
the site to converse with the onlookers.
may sound a bit extravagant, but go with me on this one
a cave. The cave could be a mere few feet deep and a couple
of feet tall
or it could consist of an entire hallway
(if you are so ambitious). Use crumpled brown packing paper
for the walls. Position some digging tools, lamps, even some
spray painted gold nuggets/rocks (see next idea) at the end
inside. Hang a driftwood sign (explained further above) at
the entrance. This is a nice touch for the hallway leading
to a bathroom. For smaller caves, it provides a point of curiosity
for your guests
where does it lead? What's at the end?
I have had guests get down on their hands and knees, too curious
as to what might be inside. If you really want to go for it,
get your hands on some chicken wire for the structure of the
cave and paper mache the walls.
you want to paint with a faux rock/stone finish (without spending
an arm and a leg on those craft store kits) buy a few cans
of spray paint instead. Gray, black and white should do the
trick (unless you'd like to substitute gray with brown - for
caves). With a hobby razor blade, lightly score the nozzle
hole of the spray can. This will cause the paint to sputter
rather than spray. Make sure the surface is covered first
in the gray (or brown), then add some sputtering of the white
to a local playground and 'borrow' some sand from the sandbox.
This looks nice sprinkled around the bottom of table centerpieces,
especially when accompanied by a few gold nuggets (as described
able to (if indoors) light the fireplace. Even if during the
day (unless it is a record high that day
) it looks great
and adds a lot of atmosphere.