First lady Michelle Obama hosted the first-ever White House lawn campout on Tuesday as part of her "Let's Move!" initiative, a program that seeks to solve America's childhood obesity epidemic by promoting healthy lifestyle choices.
Fifty fourth-grade Girl Scouts from councils in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Oklahoma were invited to attend. The girls engaged in a variety of activities, including rock climbing, knot tying and pitching tents. At the end of the event, each participant obtained a Girls' Choice Outdoor badge. In the evening, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, NASA staff and other scientists were scheduled to join the Girl Scouts for a stargazing activity.
"You're making history," Michelle Obama said at the event. "This is something you can tell your kids and your grandkids. Do you understand the impact of this day?!" she joked.
Not invited to the White House? Have a FLOTUS-inspired campout of your own with these five tips:
1. Pitch a tent. When it comes to camping, learning how to pitch a tent is an important skill to master. It can also be an exciting team-building activity. Agree on the best location to set up the tent and pitch it together as a group. Start while it is still bright out and before doing too many exhausting activities.
2. Make a list of games. There are many great outdoor games. Try creating a treasure hunt or an obstacle course with ropes. Pick games that are suitable for day and night.
3. Bring plenty of food. Be prepared with healthy snack alternatives like cinnamon apple slices instead of s'mores. It is still possible to eat healthy and feel like you're at an actual camp ground, even in your own backyard.
4. Set up a hiking trail. Not actually in the great outdoors? No problem. Simulate a hiking trail that gets everybody moving and active. Create a chant that can be easily memorized and share fun facts along the way. Even if the trail is familiar territory you can find ways to make the hike feel unique by adding objects along the path that were never there before.
No hiking trail? Have a FLOTUS-inspired dancer party and get ready to pop in a Beyoncé playlist and show off your moves.
5. Offer prizes at the end. At the end of Michelle Obama's campout, each of the Girl Scouts will receive a completion badge. Why not prepare badges to give out at the end of your campout, too? Alternatively, toy prizes work well as rewards for all the work involved in camping.