Backyard Camp

February 12th, 2013 posted by Amanda Formaro

Adapted by Amanda Formaro

Any parent looking for a unique summer camp experience for their child should consider the possibilities of organizing a Backyard Camp in their community. The Backyard Camp is a fun, creative and extremely affordable summer camp program that has been in existence in Teaneck for many, many years. The commitment of time and resources on families to organize and plan is well worth it when they see all of the fun their children are having.

How does it work?

A Backyard Camp is a parent-organized, summer camp program that alternates between different neighborhood backyards. A teacher and assistant, hired by the families are responsible for providing opportunities for learning and play. Parents participate in every other way from managing finances to driving on field trips. Parents along with the teachers help to create the atmosphere of the camp.

Why do it?

There are several reasons to start a B.Y.C. One very practical reason is financial. Full service camps run into the thousands of dollars for just one child! Organizing your own camp can enable you to eliminate the profit from the fee. As you plan you can eliminate unnecessary expenses and invest in what you feel is important. Being local also appeals to many families who may not feel comfortable sending their children on long, hot bus rides to camp. Lastly, B.Y.C is a blast! Kids love to share their homes with their friends and the possibilities for fun and learning in ones neighborhood are endless. Some ideas to get your creative juices flowing regarding your backyard camping adventure include camp treats, songs, face painting, outdoor games, and even creating some tie dyed shirts for the campers. We’ve included some fun snack recipes, tunes, and a face paint recipe to get you started. Note: The Smores recipe can be prepared at the “camp site”, but the other recipes should be put together before heading out into the great outdoors.



Marshmallows Chocolate candy bars Graham crackers Green sticks or coat angers Prepare yourself by getting 1 large graham cracker and breaking it in half. Cover 1/2 of the graham cracker with a chocolate bar. Put 1-2 marshmallows on the stick and hold it over the fire until roasted. When the marshmallow is roasted, place on top of the chocolate bar, then put the other graham cracker on top and bite down. Caution: marshmallow may still be hot!

Trail Mix

Mix raisins into a combination of other dried fruits, peanuts, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, puffed cereals or popcorn.


3/4 cup brown sugar 2/3 cup oil 2/3 cup honey 5 cups old fashioned oatmeal 1/2 cup quick oats 1/2 cup dry milk powder 3/4 tsp cinnamon pinch of salt Heat brown sugar, oil and honey to dissolve honey. Mix remaining ingredients together well. Pour sugar liquid over dry mixture. Mix thoroughly. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 375 for 10-15 min. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool. Store in airtight container.


Backyard Treasures

(to the tune of “Clementine”) In the backyard, there are treasures, There are treasures all around, If I look hard in my back yard, All the treasures can be found. Found some pine cones and an ant hill, And a toad all squashed and dead. I can hide them in my pocket, And I’ll keep them ‘neath my bed. Momma found them in my pocket, So she yelled and screamed and cried. “You can keep those rotten pine cones, But can’t keep the toad that died.” So I took them to the backyard, To her flower bed to rest. I’m so glad she didn’t find that Beetle hidden in her desk!

Ants go Marching

The ants go marching one-by-one Hurrah! Hurrah! The ants go marching one-by-one Hurrah! Hurrah! The ants go marching one-by-one The little one stopped to suck his thumb And they all went marching Down, around the town Boom boom boom The ants go marching two-by-two… continue the verses with these changes: Two-by-two: tie his shoe Three-by-three: climb a tree Four-by-four: close the door Five-by-five: Do a jive Six-by-six: pick up sticks Seven-by-seven: go to Heaven Eight-by-eight: close the gate Nine-by-nine: check the time Ten-by-ten: start again

Camp Granada

Hello Mudda, hello Fadda, Here I am at Camp Granada. Camp is very entertaining, And they say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining. I went hiking with Joe Spivy; He developed poison ivy. You remember Leonard Skinner; He got ptomain poisoning last night after dinner. All the counselors hate the waiters, And the lake has alligators, And the head coach wants no sissies, So he reads to us from something called “Ulysses”. Now I don’t want this should scare ya, But my bunk mate has malaria. You remember Jeffrey Hardy, They’re about to organize a searching party. Take me home, oh Mudda, Fadda, Take me home, I hate Granada! Don’t leave me in the forest where I might get eaten by a bear. Take me home, I promise I will not make noise, Or mess the house with other boys. Oh, please don’t make me stay, I’ve been here one whole day. Dearest Father, darling Mother, How’s my precious little brother? Let me come home if you miss me, I would even let Aunt Bertha hug and kiss me. Wait a minute, it stopped hailing, Guys are swimming, gals are sailing. Playing baseball, gee that’s betta, Mudda, Fadda, kindly disregard this letter!


Homemade Face Make Up

1 tsp cornstarch 1/2 tsp water 1/2 tsp cold cream food coloring Stir together starch and cold cream until well blended. Add water and stir, then add food coloring.


Wash your face and any area that you will be applying the makeup to. Dry thoroughly. Use fingertips to spread onto large areas. Use a small paint brush to paint designs on face. Removes with soap and water. Store in airtight container.

Amanda Formaro
Amanda Formaro (345 Posts)

Amanda Formaro is a freelance writer, editor, craft designer, and recipe developer. She loves multi-tasking and has been writing and working on the Internet since 1997. You can find her at You’ll find her craft projects at and her recipes on

Featured Contributor

Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

Contests & Giveaways

Win Fun Stuff!

Check out all the fun goodies we are
giving away here!

Featured Giveaway

***WE HAVE A WINNER!**** Our #2 Anonymous Poster says: What an awesome giveaway! I’d love to win this and give it to my grandkids for Christmas! Thanks for the giveaway  […]   READ ARTICLE

Giveaways change every couple of weeks, so be sure to check back often.

Coming up!

Orange Carrot Less-Drip Ice Pops

Parents are always looking for ways to sneak some vegetables into their child’s diet. Well, unless your kids are avid carrot lovers, just call these orange ice pops — they’ll […]