Make It to Take It Camp Crafts

Dunk Bags (easy)
Stitch it Together Try-It #5
Making your own dunk bags is easy. 3rd year Brownies can make these with a little instruction, 1st year Brownies will need several meetings to complete this project as is does require some hand eye coordination.


Netting, with larger holes, width 65" to 70", off the bolt need 2 feet per girl (for 3 girls need 2 yards material)
Yarn - Acrylic worsted weight 4 ply, 2 yards per girl, 1 skein should be plenty for most troops
Yarn Needles - blunt-tip and large eye (plastic ones are usually blue, may be called plastic canvas needles), one per girl or sew in shifts
Cording - rope or heavy string, 2' per bag


1. GET THE MATERIAL READY-cut the netting in 2 foot sections as it comes off of the bolt. You will need 2' per dunk bag. Open the netting all the way up and smooth it out flat. You have a rectangle shaped piece of netting. Fold it in half so that the 2' sections meet. You now have a smaller rectangle approximately 35" across and 2' long. Fold it in half again, you should now have a rectangle that is approximately 16" across and 2' long. The top and bottom on the rectangle are open. One side of the rectangle is 2 folded edges tucked inside of each other. The other side is a folded edge and 2 raw edges. This is the side that must be sewn. Tack or Pin this edge.

2. THREAD THE NEEDLES-most girl can easily thread the large eyed yarn needles and as the needles have a round safe point this is pretty safe for them to do with little supervision. A small flattened piece of paper folded over the end of a raw edge of yarn can be used to help feed it into the eye of needle if the girls have trouble. Each girl needs approximately 2 yards of yarn. Have extra on hand for mess ups and redos.

3. 1ST SEAM-As we are sewing netting, it has the advantage of already having holes in it. It is very easy to get a needle in and out of. Instruct the girls to hold the material with their left hand and sew with their right going in and out of the material. More than 1 stitch can be put on a needle at a time and this makes the sewing quick and easy. The perfectionists can use a black marker and mark the seam allowance on the netting so the girls have a line to follow. 1/2" or 1" are both fine and a zig-zag doesn't hurt the finished product. The important thing is that all 4 layers of netting are caught in each stitch. Small stitches are fine but larger ones are ok too. Of course stitches can be too large. Most stitches should be 1" or smaller (length of the top of their thumbs) Make sure that they pull the yarn all the way through the material after each stitch. If the netting begins to bunch up, have them pull back on the netting until the material is flat again. Have the girls sew from the bottom to the top of the piece of netting. When they reach the top they are ready for seam two. Do not tie off yard or cut, leave needle in yarn.

4. 2ND SEAM-They girls have now created a double layer tube. They can separate the layers and put their arms into the center of the tube.  The tube needs to be opened and the girls need to hold onto the outer 2 layers of netting that make up the tube. They should hold the tube open at the top at the point that they finished their first seam. They need to do a running stitch all the way around the circle going through only 2 layers of netting. They stop when they get back to the first seam. The girl pulls gently (so yarn does not break) and draws the circle up until the opening has been closed. A small puff is formed. The thread should be run through this several times and then the yarn should be tied off( leader will need to make sure this is tied off securely).

5. We have one opening left. Turn the work so that this open end is now the top. Fold both layers of netting to the outside, like you are making a cuff. Fold over approximately 2". Starting at the main seam, use a running stitch keeping the tube open, sew through all four layers in the outer circle, sewing as close to edge as possible. This will make the casing for the pull string to go through and it does not need to be too narrow.  Tie off securely.

6. Turn inside out. Puff should now be on inside of bag at bottom. Cut small slit in the casing on inside of bag, for the pull string to be fed through. My husband used a click ink pen. He used the clip end to catch the string and fed it through easily. I found that using a needle caught in the netting too much. After feeding cording or string through casing, tie the ends together to prevent losing it when bag is opened or closed. Pull string and check it out. You have just created an easy DUNK BAG!!!!

Pretzel Can Oven

Take a 3 pound pretzel can (or potato chip) and lay it on it's side. Draw a line 1/3 the distance between the table and the top of the can on both sides of the can. This is where the oven rack will be. Punch (or drill) small holes about 1-1/2" apart down the line on each side. The holes need to be large enough for a metal coat hanger to fit through.

Take several wire coat hangers and straighten them out. Cut them so that you have enough straight pieces for the number of holes. You can get two wires out of each hanger. Put the wires in the holes on one side of the can and out the holes on the other side. This is your rack.

If you have the lid, cut the bottom 1/3 off and file the edge. Make sure the lid covers the area above the rack. This is your oven door. You can just make a door out of heavy duty aluminum foil if you don't have a lid.

Get a small pie pan or Jiffy Pop tin (I prefer the Jiffy pop because they have a handle) to use for your coals. Contour the pie plate to the bottom of the can.

To Use: lay the can on the ground and secure it with logs, rocks, etc to keep it from rolling. Light your coals in the pie plate OUTSIDE THE OVEN. (One briquette = 40 degrees F) After the coals are white, put them in the can and put the lid on. Preheat the oven, with the lid on, for a short time while you prepare your cake/muffins/pizza, etc. Cook your food for the amount of time called for in your recipe.

Use good charcoal and make sure you start out with full briquettes. If the weather is cold, you need to use more coals, cook food longer or really insulate the oven. Try not to open the door until the allotted time as much heat escapes that way.

Water Bottle Holder

Tube sock

Use the top, elastic part of a NEW tube sock and cut off the bottom. (If using old socks must make sure still has lots of elastic left in them) Turn inside out and stitch the bottom closed. Sew a long, wide ribbon or fabric tube onto the top to make the strap. Make it long enough so that you can put it over your shoulder or longer to go over your head and diagonally across your chest. Why not tie dye or decorate with permanent markers?

Bucket Sit-Upon

These are a definite step up from the tablecloth and newspaper of the traditional sit-upons.  They give all the girls a seat around the fire and help keep the loose items like hats, water bottles, and bug spray from getting lost.
5 gallon new (empty) paint buckets with sturdy lids (see tips below)
Permanent markers or "Painters" paint markers
Paints and sponges, optional
Pliers, optional

First thing you need to do is remove the tear strip from the lid! If you can't pull it off by hand you can use the pliers to help you get a firmer grip. Let the children use markers or paint and sponges to decorate their paint buckets and label them. Give each child a list of supplies they need to bring to camp and have them bring it in their bucket.

Tips: Purchase the paint buckets through your local Home Improvement or Paint Store. Ask if they will donate them, some stores are very helpful. Note: The paint and markers being applied to a slick surface is likely to chip. If you would like to mix in equal parts of Plaid Folk Art paint with Glass & Tile medium the paint may adhere better.

Now get creative and make a vinyl covered cushion to put on the lid. Form the vinyl over a cardboard circle ,stuff, then pull tight and staple or glue and insert into center of lid. Now you have a softer seat.

Hot Dog Stick

2 cardboard tubes from clothes hangers for pants
1 reg. clothes hanger
wire cutters

Straighten the regular clothes hanger (leave hanger twisted together). Cut clothes hanger in half (You will have two prongs). Insert twisted part of regular clothes hanger into cardboard tube from pants hanger. (This is your roaster with a handle) The other cardboard tube will be your storage case. Just insert prong end of roaster into cardboard tube for storage.

Buddy Burner

A Buddy Burner is a self contained heat cooking source made from simple, readily available household items. And....its really cool and fun to make!!

plain cardboard
empty tuna can (or other small tin can)

1. Cut the cardboard strips to a width a little wider than the tuna can is deep.
2. Roll the strips up so they will fit in the can. This will be the wick for the burner.
3. Melt the wax (a double boiler works well). Fill the can with wax, while the wax is soft, put the cardboard in the wax and let it harden.

TIP: Instead of using rolling cardboard and wax, you can dip sugar gum balls in paraffin to use in your Buddy Burner. You can regulate the heat more this way. 1 gum ball is about 30 degrees. If food is cooking too fast take out a gum ball. Too slow add another one. These dipped gum balls are also a great fire starter.

Vagabond Stove

Vagabond Stove is the self contained cooking surface or stove top for your outdoor cooker. These stoves can be easily made by the girls for their personal cooking on a campout.

 #10 food can
keyhole or Church-key Can Punch
tin snips
hammer or rock

1. At the open end of an empty #10 food can make a flap by cutting 2 3" long cuts up the can 3" apart, push flap up into can, cut diagonally 1/2" next to top of flap and using plyers pinch sharp edges into the can and flatten for safety.
2. 4. Using the can opener, punch several holes in the side of the can near the top and several near the bottom. This will create a chimney effect to feed air to the fire.
5. Light the candle you made and place the larger can over the top. This should only be done outdoors as there is some smoke, mostly when you blow out the candle.
6. Your Buddy Burner is now ready to cook. It should last a couple of hours. Use a pie tin as a frying pan. Try aluminum foil cooking (this works great for s'mores). Put another can over the top of your burner to create an oven effect.

Fire Starters

candle wax from the craft store
OR old candle stubs
OR paraffin blocks from the canning department of your local grocery
pine cones

1. Wax must be melted in a double boiler. This can be achieved by using a metal can large enough for your largest pine cone to set into with at least two inches head room above the pine cone. Place a mark on the can at the top of your largest pine cone (a coffee can usually works well).
2. Place the can in a pan of water on the stove. Add broken pieces of wax or candle stubs to the can and allow to melt on medium to low heat until the liquid wax reaches your mark.
3. Tie a string around a few of the scales. Holding the string dip the pine cone slowly into the liquid wax. Remove and allow to drip over the can until it stops. Place on wax paper and allow to completely harden.
Pine cones can be arranged in a basket or other container . To use as a fire starter place the pine cone on top of the kindling and light the edge of one of the scales.

--Use sugar gum balls dipped in paraffin as firestarters.
-- Fill cardboard egg cartons with dryer lint, add a short piece of twine to act as a wick and pour left over paraffin into each egg cup.  Tear off each section individually to use as a fire starter.

Charcoal Starter Chimney

If you are going to be using a dutch oven, a charcoal starter is a must.  This is a great and safe way to get those coals going.

can punch
#10 can or 3lb. coffee can
wire coat hanger
shredded newspaper

1. With a can punch, place holes through the sides of a #10 can or a 3 lb. coffee can around the bottom edge. Be careful not to punch through the can seam. 2. Make two holes near the top rim of the can opposite one another. Make a handle from picture wire, mirror wire or a coat hanger and attach it through the two holes. 3. Place shredded newspaper in bottom of can. Appx 2" worth. Make sure that pieces of the paper stick out of each of the four bottom holes as wicks. Add briquettes to chimney and light paper. Coals should be ready in about 20 minutes.
4. When briquettes are ready, remove with tongs and place where needed. Fire gloves should be used and long handled tongs.
5. If can needs to be moved before it is cool use long handle locking pliers that will clamp onto can. Fire gloves should be worn. Use handle only when can is cool. (adult job)

Hand Wash Station

1 gallon size plastic container with a handle and a cap (eg milk jug, vinegar bottle, laundry detergent bottle)
pencil or stick
string or rope
1 leg of pantyhose (or a nylon knee high)
bar of soap

1. With knife cut small slice or hole in side of jug on the opposite side as handle low about 1" from bottom of container. Hole should be smaller than pencil or stick being used.
2. Slide pencil into hole about 1/2 way, should have a tight fit. Fill container with water and replace cap. Put rope through handle of jug and hang it in a convenient location away from ground water or tie it to fence pole etc.
3. Pencil should point to the area where the girls will stand to wash their hands. Put a bar of antibacterial soap in the toe of the hose and tie the open end around the bottom part of handle of jug. Hose should sag down so that soap is below jug and accessible for use.
4. A bucket should be placed beneath the jug to catch the waste water created.

To use a girl slides the pencil out about 2 to 3 " and water will flow off the end of pencil in a small stream just right for hand washing. To stop flow of water simply push pencil back in. (too large of hole in jug will cause water to leak out prematurely)
This is a must for kitchen set up.

NOTE: Waste Water must be disposed of 200' from any water source.

Ditty Bag

Trips to the shower house are much easier when the girls have a ditty bag to carry their personal toiletries in.

Plastic gallon bleach jug or liquid soap jug, cut off top where it begins to curve in toward spout
Length of 10 inch wide fabric, cotton/poly is good (enough to go around circumference of jug, plus seam allowance)
Length of sturdy cording, circumference of jug, plus a foot or so
Hole punch

1. Using a paper punch, make holes around top (the cut off end) of jug. spaced about 1/2 inch apart.
2. Sew the material into a tube the diameter of the jug plus 2" or so. One end of tube gets folded over and a casing made to run a draw string through. A folded hem is put in other end of tube (this can be sewn) ,and using cord threaded in large size needle, attach fabric to jug sewing in and out of hole punches in top of jug.
3.Tie the cord ends in a square knot (reef knot).

Place personal toiletries, toothbrush, toothpaste etc. in base of jug. The draw string closes the top. The plastic base is great on wet sink counters, and keeps all items together. The draw string loop also makes a handy carry strap and the loop will hang on door or towel hooks.