Tips for a backyard camping staycation

Posted in summer fun, Things to do
by Lorain County Moms


August 10 is National S’mores Day and to celebrate this deliciously fun summertime event, get out the marshmallows and plan a backyard camping staycation.

The s’mores recipe first appeared in a 1927 edition of the Girl Scout handbook. Americans buy more than 90 million pounds of marshmallows and The Hershey Company produces enough Hershey’s milk chocolate bars to make 746 million s’mores annually, according to Hershey.

“I have so many great childhood memories of s’mores, and now I’m sharing the classic family treat with my kids,” said Jen Singer, mom and author of multiple parenting books including the recently released Stop Second Guessing Yourself parenting series.

Hershey did a survey that shows 60 percent of consumers are considering replacing their traditional vacation with a stay-at-home vacation this year, so Singer has come up with some tips to help families turn any summertime stay-at-home vacation into an authentic, yet affordable backyard celebration.

  • Treat a staycation as a traditional vacation. The fun of a backyard getaway is making it feel like a real vacation, but with the convenience of being just steps away from home. Families can pack items in their own backpack just as if they were packing for a camping trip. Include water, snacks, warm clothes and blankets for those cool summer evenings. Also, ask each family member to choose one campfire game to play. This way you’ll have plenty of activities to keep busy while under the stars. Singer says, “We love to create a continuing story, where we each add a sentence until we have a full story.”
  • Make it authentic. Turn your backyard into a campground featuring all the camping essentials. Pitch a tent to make the experience both fun and realistic. Setting up a tent will help to foster family teamwork and allow for a comfortable night’s sleep. Building a campfire is another essential element to every campout, especially on National S’mores Day. In addition to making s’mores, campfires are great for storytelling, singing and, of course, keeping everyone warm. Remember to supervise children at all times when around the campfire.
  • The perfect campfire companion. If you have a campfire, you have to have s’mores. Start by placing half of a chocolate bar on top of half of a Graham cracker. Then, lightly toast a large marshmallow over the campfire, and place it on top of the chocolate bar. Finally, top the toasted marshmallow with the remaining graham cracker half and press together. Remember to supervise children at all times when around the campfire. Feeling adventurous? Singer suggests turning to the experts at Hershey’s Kitchens who offer unique twists on the classic favorite. Variations families are sure to love include adding peanut butter, cherry slices or dark chocolate to the gooey treat. Visit for more delicious s’mores recipes the whole family can enjoy.
  • Capture memories. Every vacation has special family moments that you want to capture. Remember to have a camera on hand, and snap away. Have the kids take pictures of their own. Later, you can pick out family favorites to frame or add to a vacation scrapbook.

In addition to celebrating National S’mores Day on August 10, Hershey and Kraft Foods are offering the chance to win a backyard makeover with the “S’mores Truly” photo contest. Families are invited to capture and share photos of their s’mores-making experiences on The grand prize winner will receive a backyard makeover.

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