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Awesome Teenage Bonfire

Updated on October 14, 2012

My 8th Grader Has Her First Coed Party

We suggested the idea to our daughter to have a bonfire-party. Kids today do not plan ahead.I think what's more amazing is that kids do not have to plan in advance."Mom, no one plans, kids don't plan, that is too weird!" The cell phone texting makes it a cinch. She texted some kids on a Wed. night at 10 pm and the list grew to about 30 in 2 days. Most replies were immediate. It was fascinating to see my daughter engage in deep hypnotic, keyboarding, in response to her party.

Here is a list of what I purchased:

1-Portable-firepit, 4-Bags of campfire marshmallows, 32 Hershey bars, 4-Boxes of gram crackers, 8-Liter-bottles of soda, 2- sheets of pizza, Napkins, Plates, 2-Bags of chips, - Bag of pretzels, and 1-Bag of Chex style mix, (6)- 7 lb bags of ice (10) 2"Candles to place on 5-tables and 1-plastic tablecloth. I got (30) 1/8", dowel-sticks from a local hardware store. I thought was a bargain @ 29ยข a piece.

A list of what we already had:

2- Rolling coolers, Corn-hole set, 16 additional chairs. On Friday afternoon, my husband and I moved our cars out of the garage and placed our patio furniture, and all the chairs we had in storage for the bonfire. I also used 3m hooks that are easily removed and strung llghts above the garage door for ambience. In the garage, we set-up two-folding,tables for the food, plugged in a Ipod for music. My daughter arranged the seating to her liking out side our 3-car garage. The seats were in 3 groups of 6, plus our patio-sofa set. We had plenty of seating and space for the kids to walk around. The fire-pit was placed in the center of driveway.

By 7:30 pm, the kids showed up. These 8th grade boys and girls were great. I have no idea what your 8th grader is like, but at our bonfire, the kids were well behaved. No one was rowdy. They seemed to have enjoyed themselves. My husband and I would check on them every 20 minutes. My parental observation is the kids chat-it-up but the cell phone acts like an additional appendage to show and tell. The only things we ran out of was Coke. What surprised me the most was all the food not eaten. The bonfire ended by 10 pm. As we were cleaning up, I asked my daughter what she thought of her bonfire party. She said, "Thanks it was great !"

Parental Notes: As for the next bonfire, I won't need to buy anything but Coke and Orange soda, one bag of marshmallows, 5 bars of chocolate and one box of graham crackers. We had way too much pizza leftover. The kids only ate 1/2 of the first sheet and each sheet serves 40. I wrapped and froze the 2nd sheet of pizza. I get to return 2 bags of campfire marshmallows, 3 boxes of graham crackers that were never opened. We are keeping 27 Hershey bars and 2 liters of soda.

I think kids like the idea of a bonfire just to get together and do not care about food.This bonfire was a nice way to kick off the school year and give the kids a safe, place to hang-out together for several hours. We are really glad we did it. My daughter got texts the next morning from her peers to say,"Thanks, we had fun!"

Alpha Girl Says:

I found it hard to figure out how much to buy regarding food. I would rather have too much than not enough. If you don't know what to expect don't open all the bags of food. I was able to return items that were unopened.

Marshmallow sticks in large quantities can be expensive. So, the hardware store idea worked out perfect. I was able to wash the sticks for future use. Best of all it was not expensive. Do soak the wooden stick ends for several hours before roasting. I soaked it for 6 hours.

Have foil on hand to wrap and freeze any extra pizza. My kids will reheat it and eat it for lunch or snack.

Since Halloween is around the corner, I am passing out the extra candy bars I have.

I used votive candles for ambience. The kids like the strung lights! It made it feel party like.


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    • profile image

      ladidadyda 5 years ago

      that seems like a great idea!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, this sounds like a lot of fun! Your idea to use leftover candy for Halloween is rather smart, too!

    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 6 years ago from USA

      Phil Plasma thanks for voting up. It was 95 degrees and humid..LOL surprisingly no mosquitoes. I do understand your concerns. Mosquitoes like me as well. I have an 11 year old and she observed, but stated she only wants girls. Most of the kids that did come all play sports whether it is travel soccer or volleyball and cross country. Half are honor students. So I think a bonfire was a welcome relief to many kids. It was a great introduction to the social wares of kids going to high school and also 8th grade dances this winter.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Did you have to worry about mosquitoes or bugs of any sort? If the weather had turned out poorly, would you have done it in the garage? It sounds like an awesome idea, my kids are a bit young for this yet (aged 9,6,2), but I'll keep it in mind for when they are older. Voted up and useful.

    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 6 years ago from USA

      The practical mommy Thanks for the vote -up. As parents when your own kid says, "Thanks with a BIG smile it is rewarding!"

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      This is a great idea for kids of eighth grade age, especially for a coed party. I'm glad they all had a nice time, and it was nice to read that your daughter appreciated it! Voted up. :)