Many teens enjoy the chance to spend the night with close friends, and many of these slumber parties are centered around a theme that guides the activities for the event. A camping sleepover is an appropriate theme when the weather is warm and your teen wants to spend time outdoors. Fortunately, it's a simple theme to pull off.
The location that makes the most sense in terms of convenience and safety is to hold the camping sleepover in your backyard. Your teen and her friends will have easy access to a restroom and will be safe within the confines of your property. If you're willing to provide even closer supervision or invite additional adult chaperones, you might hold the sleepover party at a designated campground in your area. For teens who are a bit more reserved and more apt to be scared, you can always set up the tent in your basement.
No real camping trip is complete without food, and your teen's camping sleepover party is no different. Of course, you need the traditional s'mores and roasted hot dogs, but these aren't the only ways to feed a group of hungry teens. Set out a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits and let the teens make their own trail mix. Popcorn is another camping idea that works well for a sleepover. Individual boxes of breakfast cereal and fresh fruit are a good way for the teens to start the morning following their camping adventure.
No camping sleepover would be complete without a few ghost stories told around a campfire. Of course, you probably won't be able to have a fire in your backyard, so a flashlight or lantern can stand in for the fire. Provide a few ghost story books for the teens to read from or encourage them to come up with their own stories. The teens might also enjoy using flashlights to make shadow puppets on the wall of their tent. Glow sticks, bracelets and necklaces will also keep the teens entertained during the party.
Invite the teens to make up and perform camping-related skits for each other. For a physically active event, break a glow stick into a bottle of bubbles, which is sure to delight teens as much as it would smaller children. If the party is for teen girls, provide glow-in-the-dark nail polish and let the girls paint their nails before it gets dark. Take a hike if you're having the camping party at a designated camping spot. If all else fails, bring a portable TV outside and let the teens get in in their sleeping bags and watch a movie.