Teen Campout Sleepover Ideas

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Whether your teen and her friends are pitching a tent in the backyard or roughing it at a nearby campground, help to infuse the evening with entertainment and excitement to make it her most memorable sleepover yet. Stay nearby or pitch a tent on the campsite so you can supervise and keep the slumber party group safe. Remember to keep a door unlocked if you're camping in the backyard so party guests have access to the bathroom throughout the night.

Prep Time

  • Have the party group arrive early to get ready for a night in the dark. Start by having the teens decorate the tents inside and out with fabric pens, markers and paints. Use phosphorescent paint to see the decor all night long, but skip any sew-on decals that compromise the tent’s water resistance.

    Girls at the party can get prepped with glow-in-the-dark nail polish, and both guys and gals can use some phosphorescent body paint. Pick up T-shirts to decorate with glow paint or opt for glow-in-the-dark bracelets, necklaces and glow sticks. Alternatively, hide the bracelets, necklaces and glow sticks around the yard before the teens arrive for a late-night treasure hunt.

    When the group gets outdoors, divide them into teams and start with a little friendly competition: who can get their tents set up the fastest.

Around the Campfire

  • If you’re pitching tents at a local campground, or bylaws permit you to have a campfire in the yard, plan on traditional campfire goodies, such as roasted hot dogs and s’mores. Stay nearby to ensure the group’s safety around an open fire. If a campfire is out of the question, settle around a battery-operated lantern for creepy ghost storytelling, or pass a flashlight around the group instead to enhance each chilling tale. Add humor by encouraging one teen to start the story and let each jump in, adding one line at a time.

    If some of your teens are musically gifted, encourage them to bring along their guitars -- or ukuleles -- to serenade the group.

In the Dark

  • If the group is too antsy to spend the entire evening around the campfire -- or lantern -- plan a few physical activities, too. Pick up glow-in-the-dark beach balls to play volleyball at dusk. Be sure there is plenty of open space with no trip hazards on the ground. Otherwise, have the teens spread out and sit down to play a round of seated volleyball in the dark.

    Hand out flashlights to play flashlight tag or capture the flag when the sun has set or play hide and seek in the dark instead.

    If the group enjoys stargazing, bring out binoculars or a telescope to look for planets, stars and constellations. Make it a competition by planning a constellation scavenger hunt.

Tech Obsessed

  • When your teens can’t make it through a night without their techno toys, incorporate the gadgets into the outdoor sleepover. Bring a big-screen television onto the backyard deck for a movie or video game battle. Or, crank up the music for karaoke or dancing after dark.

    Use a video camera or cell phone with night vision to record the teens performing silly skits in the dark, or equip them all with gear for backyard laser tag combat.

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  • Photo Credit Bec Parsons/Photodisc/Getty Images
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