Make Your Campout Great!
On Saturday May 16th, join with families across America for the Trail Life USA National Movie Night and Backyard Campout!
At a time when outward bound has become homeward bound, Trail Life is inviting families to join the 30,000+ Trailmen across the nation for a one night event in the great outdoors.
Set up a tent in the backyard, make memories, and share your experiences virtually.
Here are some helpful skills, recipes, and activities to help with your campout. Check back frequently for more resources!
Backyard Movie Preparation
Snack Supply List:
Shield of Faith - Pringles
Helmet of Salvation - Bugles or Scoop style Tortillas
Belt of Truth - Licorice
Sword of the Spirit - Pretzels and Grapes in Half or Fruit Kabobs (Blueberries, Grapes, Strawberry)
Shoes of Peace - Mandarin Oranges (fresh or canned)
Breastplate of Righteousness - Green Pepper
Cross of Forgiveness - Rice Cereal Treats cut into Crosses
Book of Grace - Fig Newton Style Cookie decorated with icing
Star of Light - Pretzels with a Nut Butter or Cream Cheese
Journey Trail Mix - Popcorn, Pretzels, Graham Crackers, Goldfish, M&M's
Check Back for More Tips and Ideas!!
For the perfect classic s'more you have to have melty chocolate, gooey toasty marshmallow and crisp graham cracker. There are a million ways to personalize a s'more using flavored chocolates, adding nuts or dried fruits or jams. Explore. Enjoy.
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Yields: 8 Servings
- 8 sheets honey graham crackers
- One 4.4-ounce bar milk chocolate, such as Hershey's, broken into 8 pieces
- Pinch kosher salt
- 8 large marshmallows
- Heat a grill to medium-low heat. (The heat coming from a dying charcoal grill or a gas grill cooling down will also work well.)
- Halve each graham cracker sheet crosswise into 2 squares. Working with 1 or 2 s'mores at a time, place a square of graham cracker on a piece of foil and top with a portion of chocolate and a pinch of kosher salt. Place on the edge of the grill just until the chocolate is warmed and softened, about 30 seconds.
- Take the graham cracker squares and chocolate to your grill (as the marshmallows toast they will become soft and start to droop off the skewer). Working with a few at a time, skewer a marshmallow on a long fork or metal skewer and hold over the heat about 2 inches above the grates. Toast, turning occasionally, until the marshmallow puffs and turns golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Using the square of graham with the chocolate and a plain graham square, place the marshallow on the chocolate and, using the plain graham, squish the marshmallow down and pull off the skewer. Eat while it is warm and gooey and perfect.
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Yields: 2 Servings
- 2 Bananas
- 1/4 Cup of Miniature Marshmallows
- 1/4 Cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Slit each banana lengthwise through the peel, making sure not to cut all the way through to the other side. Stuff the bananas with marshmallows and chocolate chips.
- Wrap each banana in aluminum foil and cook over a fire, on the barbecue, or in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until chocolate is melted. Eat with a spoon.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 55 Minutes
Yields: 8 Servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 brat sausages, uncooked (or sub in any type of sausage you would like)
- 1 pound of baby potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 package of sweet peppers, or 1 red and 1 yellow bell peppers chunked
- 5-6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1 cup of beef stock
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil leaves (optional)
- Salt and ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in Dutch Oven over medium high heat, then add sausages and brown.
Once sausages are browned, add in vegetables (peppers, onions, garlic and potatoes) including sage.
Cook until onions are cooked through.
Add in stock and let simmer til onions are glazed (about 5 minutes).
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes. Watch liquid level and add more as needed.
Remove from heat, add basil, salt, and pepper.
Cover with lid and let sit 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Ingredients: (per meal)
- 1/3 to 1/2 lb hamburger
- use 85/15 hamburger, (you want the fat juices)
- crumbled works best – but lumps can also be used
- 4 – 5 whole cabbage leaves
- 1 cup diced “HashBrown potatoes, (like Orieda Frozen Hash Browns)
- Frozen hashbrowns do not have to be kept in your camp cooler
- 1/2 cup each; frozen corn and peas
- 1 whole carrot – sliced approx. 1/4″ thick
- Montreal Steak seasoning, Salt & pepper – generous, but to taste
- 1 tbsp. butter or margarine
Note: Other vegetables can be added, (or substituted), ie. onions, sweet peppers, or green beans. Fresh is best, but frozen works fine. Tip: 1 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce really boosts the meat flavor.
Start with a double layer of cabbage leaves, then the frozen and fresh veggies, followed with the hamburger, followed with the Montreal Steak Seasoning, salt & pepper, (seasoned to taste), and butter. Then complete the package by topping with more cabbage leaves.
Place completed foil pack on mature coals, (not in or over open flames, or still-flaming coals – the food will burn), for 25-30 minutes.
Also see Hobo Dinner Hamburger Foil Packets.
Supplies & Ingredients:
10-inch Dutch oven
12 briquettes on the lid
8 briquettes on the bottom
Baking time: 350° for 45 minutes
3 pounds Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup flour
¾ cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup butter
In a separate bowl, mix butter, sugar, and cinnamon until smooth. Add flour and then oats. Mix well.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples.
- Toss in a bowl with lemon juice.
- Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and
- In a separate bowl, prepare the topping as directed above.
- Place apples in 10-inch Dutch oven
and add the topping.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes; remove lid and bake another 15 minutes.
- 1 lb pork sausage – cooked and crumble AND/ OR
- 1 lb bacon – cooked and crumbled
- 1 lb ham – diced
- 1 bag frozen shredded hash browns
- 12 eggs
- 1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
Prepare meat as necessary. Grease the bottoms and sides of a deep camp Dutch oven. Spread hash browns in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl and pour evenly over hash browns. Sprinkle with meat and cheese.
- Place about a dozen hot charcoal briquettes beneath the oven and about another eight on top.
- Cook until the eggs are set, about 20 – 30 minutes.
1 package Doritos, save 2 cups for casserole topping
2 tbsp onion, chopped
1 10 oz. can chili with beans
1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups Doritos
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1. Lightly oil or spray dutch oven. You can also line with tin foil and coat with non stick spray. Reserve 2 cups of
Doritos from bag for topping. Crumble remaining 6 cups Doritos into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the onion, can of chili, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce and 1½ cups Cheddar.
3. Stir with a rubber spatula to combine; pour mixture into prepared dutch oven.
4. Bake at around 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese has melted and mixture is bubbling. Remove lid from
5. Spread sour cream over the top of the casserole with large spoon or spatula. Top with remaining 2 cups of
uncrushed Doritos; sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Cheddar cheese.
6. Cover with lid and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
- pre-cooked waffles
- pre-cooked chicken
Chicken and waffles is a very simple idea. Warm 2 pre-cooked waffles on the grill, heat a precooked chicken patty. Once everything is heated up create a sandwich and serve with syrup.
- 2 42" lengths of PVC pipe 1" works best for smaller hands, 1 1/4 " will also work for larger hands.
- some kind of soft cushions. Sound panels (what is shown), old pillows, pool noodles, old t-shirts
Tape Duct tape, gaff tape or some wide wrapping tape
Wrap the cushion around each end of the PVC and secure it with tape. Make sure the cushion is secure to the PVC by wrapping down the PVC from the cushion.
Do this on each end of both of the PVC pipes.
For the challenge, we used an 8ft long 4x4 as our platform. Competitors stood at each end and on go they tried to push each other off the board.
- No hitting in sensitive areas or in the face.
- If a hand comes off of the stick you lose a point.
- No baseball swings.
- Points are awarded for pushing your competitor off the board.
- The first one to three wins.
The game can be modified for younger kids. If an older sibling competes with the younger sibling, have the older one use one hand on the Pugil stick.
Find natural materials like sticks rocks, leaves that can make noise. Two rocks together can hold a beat, grass can be used as a whistle. Assign a conductor, and that person waves their hands around to direct which person plays their instrument when. Record the results and send in.
Nominate one person to be the Captain. They will be the ones to give commands to the crew. The Captain will be limited by the orders listed below:
- Captains Coming: Crew must stand at attention and salute
- Run to Starport: Run to the right
- Run to Port: Run to the left
- Scrub the deck: crew army crawls across the ground
- Man the lifeboats: sit on the ground a row
- Raise the sail: 10 jumping jacks
- Sit in a circle
- Choose the person to be the frog
- Choose the person to be the detective
- The chosen poison frog kills off players one by one making eye contact and sticking their tongue out at the person. (dramatic deaths are more fun)
- The detective tries to decide who the frog is
- Identify finish line.
- One person is the Caller and have their back to the players.
- Everyone else is a player.
- When Caller says green light, players run for the finish line.
- When caller says red light, they have to stop
- First player across the finish line wins and becomes Caller.
- One thrower; everyone else is a catcher.
- Thower stands about 50 feet away from catcher
- Catch the ball, you get one point.
- First person to three points becomes the thrower.
Put on some dance music and call out an animal to dance like. Have the parents be the judges. Best animal dancer wins the round.
Optional animals to imitate: monkey, otter, frog, turtle, kangaroo, hawk, mountain lion, fox
Have you made your stargazing chair yet? Stargazing is something the entire family can enjoy! Here are a few tips and links to help you and your family explore the night sky (Ps. 19:1-6)
1. Understand the size of the earth and our neighboring planets. Take a trip to the nearest star, and explore beyond the limits of our galaxy in this awe-inspiring video.
2. Make your own star map to tour the night sky here
- Solar Walk - IOS and Andriod - Free with Ads
- Star Chart - IOS and Android - Free
- Star Walk 2 - IOS and Android - Free with Ads
- Sun - 3 Ft diameter
- Mercury - 0.08" diameter - .02 miles from sun
- Venus - 0.19" diameter - .04 miles from sun
- Earth - 0.33" diameter - .06 miles from sun
- Mars - .11" diameter - .08 miles from sun
- Jupiter - 2.30" diameter - .49 miles from sun
- Saturn - 1.94" diameter - .55 miles from sun
- Uranus - 0.82" diameter - 1.12 miles from sun
- Pluto - 0.06" diameter - 2.92 miles from sun
- Neptune - 0.80" diameter - 2.93 miles from sun
and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
4 Their voice[b] goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
Age Range: Woodlands Trail (5-9 years old)
From Hands On As We Grow: https://handsonaswegrow.com/nature-painting/
My little ones LOVE to paint and I am always looking for new and fun ways to enhance their painting experience. One main way that I accomplish this is to find alternatives to your every day, standard paint brush.
I love turning to the outdoors and incorporating natural items in our play whenever possible. Using the variety that nature has given us is an excellent way to create a fun painting experience.
There are so many different colors, textures and variety that nature offers. It’s fun to enjoy the sensory experience of painting and creating art with objects that they see everyday!
I was really excited because I was able to turn this into a two part experience for my son, a nature walk and nature painting.
Step 1: Collect Your Items
At first we went on a nature walk and collected items. Then we did the actual painting process and sensory experience. You could easily make this part a texture scavenger hunt!
Step 2: Arrange Your "Brushes"
I arranged his “natural paintbrushes” that he collected on a tray for him. This allowed for easier access for him.
Step 3: Gather Your Paint
I put his paint tray beside him and a long piece of paper in front of him which allowed him room to explore and create.
Step 3: Create!
After a bit of encouragement, he explored all the other items on his tray and really enjoyed the different paint lines that they created.
It was fun to observe how he used each item in a different way. The pine cone and stick were used in a more forceful, splatter type way. The leaf sprigs were used more softly and were often dragged across the paper.
Trail Life Scavenger Hunt
- Flying insect
- Sun Clouds
- Stake Sticks
- Green Leaf
- Yellow Flower
- Graham Crackers
- Animal Tracks
- Camp Chair
- Brown Leaf
- Water Bottle
- Flint and Steel
- Trail Life Hat
- Trail Life Handbook
- Trail Life Uniform
- Water Bucket
- Family pet
- First Aid Kit
- hot dogs
- birds nest
- tree hollow
- leaf bud
This surprisingly comfortable chair is known by many names. Viking Chair, Bog Chair and Stargazer chair just to name a few. It’s very easy to make with just a few hand tools and a single piece of lumber.
Remember to always be safe when using tools and to wear safety glasses. Adult supervision is also important.
- 1 eight foot 2X10
- Paint or stain (stain is better. Paint tends to get sticky and gummy
- Tape measure
- Straightedge or square
- Drill with ¼” bit
- Hand saw or sabre saw
Print out the instructions and the template page
Cut boards to proper length
Measure, mark and cut the shorter length
Fold over and tape the template at the proper location on the longer board. Use drill to make a hole in each corner. Insert saber saw an cut along template line to make chair back hole.
Insert base into hole. Sand and adjust hole size if necessary.
Sand entire chair until smooth. Use special care on wood edges to make smooth and splinter free.
Stain or paint as desired.
After coating is dry, sit back and enjoy your new chair.