My 3 Monsters: Girls Camp Fundraiser 2013{or Where I've Been for the Past Few Weeks}

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2.21.2013

Girls Camp Fundraiser 2013
{or Where I've Been for the Past Few Weeks}

It's getting to be about that time again . . . GIRLS CAMP!!!!  It has been my great privilege to go to Girls Camp with my spectacular group of Young Women for the past seven summers.  This year make eight and I am thrilled.  Even though it's tons of work and I maybe complain a little bit and cry a lot in my preparations.  Every. Single. Year.  Because I'm just the tiniest bit unstable like that.  But that's another story.

The worst part about camp every year is the fundraiser.  Truthfully, it's not all that bad ever, but I am lazy and would love it if money for camp would just rain down from the heavens every year.  Alas, it does not and so we fundraise.  This year I took to the internet to find a new and clever idea -- we've done dinner/ silent auctions and freezer meals and bake sales in the past -- and I was slightly disappointed in the results my search turned up.  There were a few really great ideas that we incorporated into our overall plan, but not a ton like I expected.  For that reason alone, I am sharing what we did in the hopes of lightening someone else load at some point.  The more ideas we put out there, the deeper the pool we have to fish from later, right?

We decided to capitalize on Valentine's Day this year {everyone else does -- why not us?!} so we sold chocolate dipped strawberries and put on a formal-ish date night/dinner with an Old Hollywood theme for the adults in our area.  We also offered babysitting for couples who would rather drop off their kids and go out for a date that night.  Here are the fliers I created to advertise the event:


I had them printed front and back on cardstock {4 to a page} at Staples print center so they weren't super expensive, even though they looked like a million bucks.  I think the key to getting people excited about an event like this is to make it look like it's going to be worth their time {and money} to participate.  A good invite gets that ball rolling.  *Here's my FIRST bit of advice:  check and double check the calendar before you print the invitations so you don't accidentally plan your fundraiser on the same night as another event, such as temple night.  Big Mistake!  So we actually had our dinner on Valentines Day itself, which worked out nicely, I think.*

Here are blank copies of the invites should you want to use them and add your own information:


Just click on the images to enlarge, then right click and save to your computer.

We got some great tips for the chocolate dipped strawberries from Our Scoop.  We used the dipping chocolate recipe found there, which worked out great!!  *Here's my SECOND tip:  I bought a bunch of white mini-cupcake papers that we flattened out and placed the strawberries directly into after they were dipped.  This kept things a little cleaner and made the finished boxes look really cool and professional.  We also drizzled white chocolate over the dark chocolate to fancy them up a bit.  Teenage girls are AWESOME at that!  They got really creative and did a nice job.*

The girls dipped the berries during our regular Wednesday night activity time.  As half of the girls worked on the berries, the other half worked on preparing the salad for the dinner the following night.  We used this recipe for 24 Hour Salad.  It made three huge foil pans full of salad.  We probably fed about 50 people and had one whole pan left over.

For dinner we served the salad and  this delicious baked chicken which was a huge hit.  I divided the recipe by 5 {more or less} and we had PLENTY for the people we served.  I bought 40 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast, 12 boxes of dry onion soup mix, 3 pounds of apricot jam, and 10 bottles of Russian salad dressing.  Follow the rest of the directions as they are written.

I also bought rolls and four packs of frozen restaurant-style mashed potatoes from Costco to round out the meal.  You could make the potatoes from scratch, but I opted for simplicity.  We heated the potatoes in the microwave and stored them in a crock pot to keep them warm until we served the dinner.

We set up the gym with a "dance floor" at one end and all the round dinner tables filling the rest of the room.  Everything was gold, silver and white with a little bit of black.  We strung white twinkle lights across the ceiling of the dance floor area and dangled gold stars from the strings of lights so it looked like a pretty night sky.  We played Harry Connick, Jr. from my husband's iPod through the church's speaker system for romantic background music.

I found some cute movie clap boards at the party store that we used as centerpieces on the tables along with stills from classic movies {found on this great website} framed in mirrored frames from the dollar store.  The girls sprinkled fake diamonds on each of the tables , too, for a little bit of sparkle.  I had planned to buy gold and silver metallic star-shaped balloons for each centerpiece as well, but the dollar store was out of helium that day.  Boo.


Since we had the still shots from the movies, we decided to turn it into a game. I numbered each of the pictures from 1-12.  As each couple arrived that night they were greeted at the door, their children were escorted into the children's area and the adults were given a piece of paper and pencil and told to write down the names of the movies pictured on each table.  The couple that correctly identified the most movies won a pair of movie tickets they could use at a later date.  This was great because it got people up out of their seats, mingling for the first 20 minutes or so as they tried to identify the movies. {Plus, it made the evening seem a bit fancier and people had fun.} The girls served them Shirly Temples {ginger ale and grenadine syrup} as they mingled.  I was so excited that people really did dress "to the nines" for this event.  So. Much. Fun!

The couples were seated and then the girls served them dinner at their tables.  The adult leaders plated the food in the kitchen and sent it out with the girls.  It was a miracle!  Nothing was spilled and the food was all warm and delicious. Everyone had plenty to eat and it seemed like folks were having fun chatting at their tables.  The girls served strawberry shortcake and chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert and then people mingled and danced for the rest of the evening.

The girls were divided into three teams and rotated responsibilities {childcare, kid's crafts and serving} every 30 minutes so that they all got a chance to do everything.  They had fun.  The kids had fun.  The adults had a fantastic time {at least at my table}.  I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.  My goals for the evening were for the girls to WORK and for the people who attended to feel like it was worth their time and money.  I think we accomplished both of those objectives.  At 9:00 we had to turn up the lights and let the kids loose or else the adults would have stayed all night. 

I hope the ideas and resources we gathered for our event helps someone else out there.  If you have successful fundraiser ideas please share them.  I'll likely be looking for them again next year!

4 comments:

  1. Enjoyed reading this! This is my first year as girls camp leader and our fundraiser is coming up. I'm overwhelmed to say the least!

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  2. how much money did this event end up making you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If memory serves, we made about $1200 between the dinner and the chocolate covered strawberries. Hope that helps!

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  3. How many people attended your amazing event?

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