Last week our Great Aunt Millie had her in-laws down from Iowa for a mini family reunion. This group of folks used to come down every summer to Oklahoma to hang out with their Aunt Millie & Uncle Bob. Aunt Millie is the original lake babe in our family. She & Uncle Bob’s love of camping, fishing and boating were a huge part of these trips. These summer trips were always to Lake Tenkiller out in eastern Oklahoma. Apparently that’s a good place in the middle to meet. (I think their millage is off a little but who am I to point it out now.)
Fast forward some 30+ years…Aunt Millie just turned 89 this summer and so did her equally energetic sister-in-law, June.
Well we decided that we should throw them a surprise birthday party. Now, I can’t throw a party without a theme. It actually hurts me. If there are not decorations…then it is just dinner. Basically that quote “a party without cake is just a meeting” pops into my head.
But what theme? It’s not like you can have a Dora the Explorer party for two 89 year old women.
I first started with the idea of an ice cream social but that seemed too tame. These are two very vibrant women. Hell, these are two spunky, gutsy, life-of-the-party types of women! I needed a livelier theme.
I decided to start my brain storming process at Micheals and of course I started off in the $1.50 section at the front. They had a section of paper lanterns in primary colors. I pulled out red and white ones thinking they looked like fishing bobbers. Not sure if that would evolve into anything I put them in my basket and then I grabbed some red clothes pins that had a vintage floral pattern on top. The kind of floral pattern you’d see on an oil cloth table cloth. I don’t know why but my brain jumped from vintage table clothes & fishing bobber to camp but Eureka! That was it…my theme…vintage camp! Not “we are going camping” but summer camp. The kind of camp where kids got sent off for the whole summer to sing songs and learn how to horseback ride.
I went home and started pulling everything that might work for this “camp” theme. I quickly decided that I’d call it Camp Sullens in honor of both women.
The rest is camp history... or faux history because I printed these vintage photos off the internet and added captions to create The History of Camp Sullens :)
Gummy worms for bait.
Tackle box: originally Aunt Mill’s…she told me she used to keep her make-up in it.
Camp counselor clip board with daily itinerary.
Canoe paddle: Mom picked it up years ago and a garage sale.
Wool blanket: I got from our Tribe (Pottawattomie) when I graduated from High School.
S’mores station: had the traditional toppings but added a few new options for those of us who were feeling adventurous. Junior mints & Rolo’s to put inside of the marshmallow before melting. Sunburst’s to roast on their own. (Tasty but got extremely hot quickly…would not recommend for little ones) The Fudge striped cookies were probably the best new thing I tried.
I adapted a wedding phrase to fit our camp theme by replacing the word more with s'more and taking out some of the phrases that had too much lovey dovey, gushiness that was only appropriate for a wedding. Aunt Millie loved the little phrase on the chalkboard stand so much she took it home with her! I love that she enjoyed the party so much she wanted to keep pieces of it to remember it by!
Have a theme in mind for your next special event, but don't know where to start? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you brainstorm some ideas!
Happy Thursday! It's almost Fri YAY!