Teen Party Ideas: The Backyard Campout

Teenagers Love the Freedom of a Backyard Camping Sleepover

Friends Camping in Backyard
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A backyard camping sleepover is a popular event with youth groups, school class trips and leadership workshops for teens. It is also a fun sleepover party for a group of friends and can give a teenager's birthday party a more adult feel.

This is a fun time for teens when the weather is nice during the summer. It gives them a little 'freedom' because they are not confined to the house with nosy parents and little brothers.

Parents can enjoy the quiet as well.

Hosting a Backyard Campout

Planning for the backyard sleepover is not much more difficult than any other sleepover. Beyond the normal food, sleeping bags and games, the only thing added are the tents.

Tips for a Successful Camping Sleepover

  • Need more tents? Borrow a few from the guests' families. Ask your teen to have their friends ask their parents if they have a tent you can use.
  • Start the party or event with a barbecue. This sets the atmosphere and keeps the teens outside from the beginning to the end.
  • Keep breakfast simple: muffins, donuts and juice work well.
  • Keep your doors unlocked so the kids can use the facilities when needed.
  • Ask the guests to bring their own sleeping bags and pillows.
  • Make sure there are extra batteries for your flashlights. Warn the teens not to waste them and be understanding if they do (they are teenagers, after all!).
  • Have an area in the house prepared for sleepy teens to go to if there is a storm in the middle of the night.
  • If this is a birthday party, use flashlights as a party favor.
  • This may seem like a no-brainer but set up your tents before it gets dark. Let the teens help! It is a good life lesson they could use later, builds teamwork skills and it is their party. There is no reason for you to do all the work!
  • If this is a co-ed event, you will need chaperones to sleep outside as well.

    Can You Trust the Teens?

    Staying outside, even if it is just in the backyard, can be tempting for some teens to get into a little trouble. Some may want to sneak out of the yard and others may want to smuggle in alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.

    Keep an eye on the party. Check in throughout the night to make sure everyone is still there and okay. If they know you are going to be back, they are less likely to do anything wrong.

    If you don't think you can trust your teen and their friends, then this may not be the best party theme for your teenager. 

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