Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cousin Camp!


Have you ever wanted to coordinate a Cousin Camp or VBS for your troops, but felt like it was a huge undertaking or would be too expensive?

Me too. But recently, with the help of our older girls, we came up with a simple two day camp that was both easy to pull off and inexpensive, so of course I wanted to share it with you.

All of the cousins are really into
The Kingdom Series right now, so we thought anything based on that premise was sure to be a hit, but you do not need to be into this book series to use this camp.

In fact, you don't even need local cousins. This could be just as much fun with your own little brood or some friends you'd like to invite over.


We kept things pretty simple, my gut telling me that it doesn't take something hugely elaborate or expensive to make a big impression- and I think my gut was right.

Our Camp Verse- "Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." ~Ephesians 6:10-11


The schedule went something like this (although somehow we never followed it exactly):

1:00 March, Songs, Bible Verse and Bible Lesson

1:20 Decorate camp shirts/coloring pages

2:15 Sword training: basic maneuvers

2:35 Dragon hunt: use the clues to track it down!

2:55 Slay the found dragon (piƱata)

3:15 Cousin photo with camp shirts on

3:30 Puppet show: Walking by faith, not sight

4:00 Snack

We started each day with a march and military chant; a few songs with hand motions; work on our memory verse and a Bible Lesson.

Find the complete day 1 song list and lesson plan here.

I used the example of these coloring sheets (see below) to draw a larger picture of the armor we are to wear and as I explained what each piece was (details in the day 1 lesson plan), I would ask them what color they thought we should color that piece on the poster. Then, they colored theirs. The older children also liked this armor picture to color and label.

My sister, Elizabeth, ironed on all the Cousin Camp shields (thank you Lizzie!)
which were made by downloading one of these shield samples and using the free
program Picasa to add the words.

T-shirts are not necessary, but were a fun splurge. The t-shirts were on sale at Jo-Ann Fabric for less than $2.50 each and the iron on transfer paper for dark shirts was just under $20. Be sure to bring in your HSLDA card and get a Teacher Appreciation discount card to save 15% on everything.

The day 1 sword training included the cousins pairing up for slow, deliberate sword contact. We were basically just keeping them busy long enough to hide the homemade pinata (it is a turned inside out grocery bag with a drawing of a dragon, or dragamoth, on the front and bits of streamers taped on the bottom) and the clues that were to lead them to it.

"Honor, glory, power, the Prince!" The dragamoth was captured per the Prince's orders.

... and defeated.

The older girls put on the Puppet Show "By Faith and not Sight." Script found here.

Another detail that cut down on missing cups- simple goblets were made using jewels.


1:00 March, Songs, Bible Verse and Bible Lesson

1:20 Make your own streamers!

2:15 Shield training: deflect the beanbags!

2:50 Make stained glass window using tissue paper

3:25 Intrepid Course

4:00 Snack

On the second day, we discussed Gideon and how God shows Himself mighty in battle with humble, least of these kind of folk who are willing to fear God rather than man.

Oh, how I love these types of accounts of God's might!

For the complete Day 2 Song list and Lesson plan, click here.

Shield training. For shield training we used some of our beloved beanbags, made from our sweet friend Sommer and her girls, and a shield. Knights took turns tossing beanbags that were deflected by another knight's shield. Keeping the skills sharp.

Stained Glass Window. Somehow this craft never happened, but was to be a brown construction paper window frame with colorful tissue glued on the back. Do you remember making those as a child?

The streamers were a big hit with everyone. I used the same red, orange and yellow streamers for everything- the decor, the pinata and these streamers.

Intrepid Course. We also set up an obstacle course using materials we already had. Knights had to jump rope 10 times, toss a beanbag onto a target, go up some logs, cross a beam, jump over more logs, hit a ball through a wicket, jump rope again and then run to the finish line. It is important for knights of the King to stay in good shape, of course!

My fun sister, Elizabeth, giving the course a go!

Awards. To finish up, we had the knights line up and say their verse as a group. Then we called each one forward (using their knight name, Lady Mercy pictured below) and awarded them a medal with the simple words: "Well done faithful Knight of the Prince." You should have seen their little faces glow with these words and that plastic medal being placed around their neck!

Everyone had a great time!

Even these silly heads.

May you be blessed,


  1. This was the Gideon coloring page:


    I was sure to forget something! : )

  2. Looks like you all had a wonderful time! What a fun, creative thing to do! I can't wait for our VBS this summer! Hubby is in charge of it and it's always fun planning it out and gathering goodies! When the kiddos arrive it all comes alive! Our theme this year is "Goldrush"! Should be fun! Thank you for the links and pdf's! My kiddos will love them!


  3. Such fun idea!!!! I hope to use this someday :) !

  4. Thanks Carmen and Misty!

    Carmen, is that the AIG VBS? Would love to hear what you thought of it!


  5. Yes! We did AIG's VBS last year, too. It was great! The only thing I wasn't a big fan of was some of the songs to sing to. They were very slow and the kiddos seemed to kind of fizzle out with those the first day. We stuck to the more upbeat ones that had hand motions. Even some of the 2 year olds had them memorized by the end of the week! All in all, very good! Looking forward to this year's!

  6. Very fun idea! As a side note -- in one of the pictures you were holding your Bible and I'm always curious to look at the Bibles people have. Could you tell us a little bit about what Bible you use (what version, with study notes or not inside), do you mark it up or highlight verses? How long have you had it? Did you get it as a gift or did you pick it out yourself? Do your children each have their own Bible and did they pick it out themselves? Do they or your husband use a different version than you? Do you all memorize verses in a particular version? Just curious.

  7. Fun! Thanks for the links!

  8. Hi! I found your blog thru a link. It is real nice and I like all the pictures. We moms talk about having more than a "play day". Thanks for the springboard of ideas. Elise

  9. Love the pics! Such a fun day!!! We JUST threw out our goblets recently. Thanks for loving us and being so fun!