The invitations were sent a week ahead. Each invitation contained a 2 day pass for each child and a guest pass for the parents to be used when the parents arrived to pick up the children the next day.
As the children arrived, they traded their ticket for a two day pass that was in a plastic card holder that was worn around their neck.
The parents knew in advance when the camp was. This year there was no need for the parents to stay and help with any of the crafts but an extra auto was needed to transport kids to the swimming activity and to the hiking destination. The driver (one of the mothers) stayed to go through the 'rides' until time to go swimming.
The character cut out for the souvenir photo was the fist thing that we did so that the pictures could be printed and ready for a frame the children would make. The kids seemed to really have fun with this.
The next thing was to go through the process of waiting in a long line. By this I mean that we had set up a zig zag pathway like you see at movie theaters and amusement parks. String was fastened to chairs and posts to make the guests weave their way to the start of the line.
The 'ride' was the wagon that Grandpa pushed and the kids steered. They followed a sidewalk chalk line down the driveway to the sidewalk and then around the corner down the lower driveway. The sprinkler was on and they had to drive right through it! What they didn't know was that there was also a hose on top of the shed that would sprayed onto them as they got closer! Grandma took pictures as they came close and got the second spray of water. This picture was also printed so that it could be a souvenir photo.
We had alot of fun and the children were really wrapped up in the idea of entertaining their parents.
For the educational part of camp we learned that theme parks usually have a mission statement. That is a written paragraph or two that sets the desired goals of the park. Perhaps the goal is to be funny and silly all the time. Maybe the goal is to assume character personalities and act out those characters while entertaining the guests. Maybe the goal is to be spooky such as in a spook alley at Halloween. Our theme park was to make everyone welcome and have fun!
The campers learned that they were to keep the park clean all the time and their "boothe" was to be neat and tidy. They were to help the guests feel that they were important and winners.