When my daughter was 3, she asked me, “When is Princess Camp?” I think a light bulb actually lit up over my head at the idea! I loved it! So, the next year found us hosting a camp I created in my backyard. I called it “Princess Camp” and it was all things Princess. It was a day camp, so the kids were only here for 4 hours a day, and were able to sleep at home. It lasted one week in the summer. We were outside all day. The girls loved it! So what is Princess Camp?
Princess Camp was a week long girl party! I had a schedule and it included games, crafts, a small lesson, more games, lunch, a short amount of free time, and then a special activity to end the day. One day, we would have a simple tea party, another day we had a spa day, and yet another day found us hunting for treasure! The Carnival was also a favorite special activity. We even had a dress up day, where photos were taken before allowing the girls to change into their comfortable clothes. On the last day of the week, we held a coronation! I liked to plan a Beauty Salon on that day so that the girls could have their nails done and their hair up and glittery when I called their name to walk out in front of their families. They each would receive a tiara and a special end of camp gift.
I was the Queen of Princess Camp for 8 years. It was like a week of Christmas for me! It took so much preparation, but it was worth it. It evolved over the years to become more “girl” and less Princess. My goal was to keep Princess Camp relevant to all ages of girls. I wanted them to feel like royalty while they were here. As my daughter grew, so did the amount of girls coming to camp. All of the money I collected went directly towards the crafts, camp T-shirts, activities, gifts and special events. I always was able to keep the camp inexpensive by watching my budget very carefully. My budget was simply depended on how many girls I had signed up. So if I had 12 Princesses coming, I was working with a lot less of a budget than if I had 34 Princesses.
I had several Mom Queens scheduled to come every day, and I had so many teen Queens who came to help that there often wasn’t anything for them to do! It was very much a volunteer run camp. Last summer, my daughter was too old to be a Princess and moved into the Teen Queen role. Although I hosted the camp in my backyard, I wasn’t here. I had worked with several ladies who took over the responsibility of running the camp for their daughters & other girls to enjoy. Now that my son was old enough, I wanted him to have a camp of his own, so I had a Knight Day Camp for boys.
Princess Camp was always the fastest week of the year! I loved everything about it. I remember watching one little girl look in the mirror and realize that she was beautiful. I watched as God would do little miracles, like the time I thought of an idea to give the girls china plates about a week prior to camp starting. They were to go along with a devotion I was teaching; a reminder to the girls that they were precious to God. To go along with the devo, they had to be fragile porcelain, and they had to be pretty. The only problem was that my budget was very low by this point. I went into the Dollar Store…and there they were! In pretty girly shades, with little stands and everything! Lastly, no matter what the weather looked like at the start of the day, God almost always gave us perfect weather for Princess Camp. (I think it rained twice in 9 years, although it did sometimes get pretty hot!) God blessed Princess Camp, and He blessed me by letting me be a part of it.
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