BOOMbox at Home: Glamping

Try Backyard Glamping

What’s so great about backyard glamping? First, you don’t have to drive anywhere. Second, there is a nice indoor bathroom just a few steps away. Third, if it rains it’s easy to reset for indoor glamping. Oh, and your pets are leashes required.

What exactly is glamping? It’s adding a little luxury to the great outdoors. Instead of “roughing it” away from home, glamping lets us enjoy the outdoors wherever we are. Live in an apartment with a balcony? Pitch your tent out there. No balcony? Pitch a tent next to your windows. Indoor camping is a fun change of pace during a pandemic. And no matter how small your outdoor space, there’s likely to be room for a tent. 

Backyard glamping is a great way to disconnect from WiFi (or not), get off the couch, and enjoy the great outdoors before cold weather sets in. If you have a tent, put it up and decorate inside with blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, yoga mats, pillows, inflatable beds, poufs, string lights. Use whatever you like.

Even if you aren’t a camper, you can glamp without a tent. Here are some ideas for a DIY tent from The Merrythought blog for those of us who aren’t outfitted for the great outdoors. Keep in mind that you could go even more homemade than the MerryThought crew did. Look around the house for broom sticks, wood, or metal poles. If you have two big trees, string heavy rope between them and throw canvas or big blankets over it. No sewing, grommets, or hot glue guns needed.

If you have a fire pit or a camp stove, you’re all set to cook. If not, make a quick solar oven with this NASA craft project. Or use a terracotta pot to make a mini grill. Then up your cooking skills by going beyond s’mores with these solar oven recipes. Make sure an adult is available to help.

While you’re waiting for your ovens to do their magic, take a walk for an impromptu scavenger hunt. Jacquie Fisher on Edventures with Kids shares resources for a nighttime scavenger hunt. What will you find? 

Star Gazing

Before you pitch your tent, check out A Kid’s Guide to Stargazing from the American Museum of Natural History. You can even download a free deck of constellation cards to learn more about the constellation shapes, their mythology, and more.

If you have binoculars or a telescope, they’ll come in handy. To learn what stars and planets are visible, look at the Night Sky Map. You’ll want to turn off outside lights to get the best view.


Did you know that GORP means "good old raisins and peanuts."  The classic trail mix recipe calls for equal parts of nuts and dried fruits. Most hikers and campers add chocolate to the mix. While you could use chocolate chips, M&Ms won't melt in your pack or pocket. Mix in a large container or plastic bag. Divide into single servings bags for hiking. 

Basic GORP Ingredients

1 cup salted peanuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup M&Ms

You don't have to stop at “good old raisins and peanuts,” with or without chocolate chips or chocolate candies. Have fun browsing the bulk bins at the grocery store and find nuts, dried fruit, candy, and salty snacks you can add. You can substitute any dried fruit for raisins or just add them.

A few suggestions are dried apricots, date nuggets, banana chips, apple chips, dried papaya, dried cranberries, or dried cherries. For nuts and seeds, you can consider peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and more. Consider smoked or spicy nuts for extra flavor. For M&Ms, substitute or add chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, carob chips, dried coconut, or Reese's Pieces. Other additions can include pretzels, sesame sticks, oriental rice crackers, or any breakfast cereal or granola.

Scientist of the Week

We can’t make GORP without featuring George Washington Carver as our scientist of the week! George Washington Carver is frequently mentioned as the inventor of peanut butter. He wasn’t.

But Carver will forever be “The Peanut Man” because he developed more than 300 food, industrial, and commercial products from peanuts, including peanut milk, Worcestershire sauce, cooking oils, salad oil, paper, cosmetics, soaps and wood stains. He also experimented with peanut-based medicines.

Born into slavery, Carver lived an extraordinary life. He was the first Black graduate and first Black professor at the agriculture college that is now Iowa State University. He died famous but poor because he didn’t hold patents on his inventions. He was quoted as saying that God gave him the ideas so it didn’t seem right to sell them to other people.

Written by Pam.