Camptivities: Pumpkin Carving

We’ve all been there: You’ve taken your kids camping, and already hiked every kid-friendly trail… twice. You floated down the shallow portion of the river with your small nieces and nephews umpteen times. Your godchildren have realized that not everything presented as a game is actually fun, e.g. “Let’s have a contest to see who can collect the most trash!”

The kids are bored and s’more time is hours away. (Plus, you must wear the children out soon, to offset their impending s’more sugar high.)

What’s the solution?

Get out the knives!


What you will need:

  • Pumpkins, any other melon in season, or large fruit. Hopefully you are reading this in advance of reaching the wilderness. If not, improvise. Remember that roadside stand you passed a few miles back? “Hey kids, mini road trip!”
  • Tools. Here’s what Martha Stewart recommends. Anything less, and you have failed everyone, including yourself. Don’t let you down!
  • A large workspace. I like to use the picnic tables in campsites other than my own,  as it saves time (not) cleaning up the pumpkin guts, and leaves the bear-enticing food smell further away from my tent. Preferably choose a site that isn’t currently occupied. However, if necessary, the table of rowdy neighbors who set out early and noisily that morning with their jet skis (which you can still hear buzzing around the lake) will do.
  • Other adults. This is especially important for two reasons. 1. If anyone gets hurt, it wasn’t just on your watch. Spread the responsibility and blame. Present it as “teamwork.” 2. Kids get tired of cleaning their gourds. Recruit as many adults as possible. Make it a game — call them the “Scraping Crew.” Or, if the neighbors come back early, shout, “Surprise! We thought it would be fun to bond with you. Grab a knife, and dig in! Anybody want some pumpkin ale?”
  • Candles. Don’t forget the candles. The pumpkin lighting ceremony is nearly as crucial as the s’mores. You know what happens when you forget s’mores (and if not, I seriously don’t recommend experimenting to find out, even as a joke).
  • Ideas. Try these:


4 thoughts on “Camptivities: Pumpkin Carving

  1. Interesting fact – in my country of Ireland we carve……turnips!!
    Our turnips are bigger than your puny turnips of course, because turnips taste really good and we love to eat them. And when you put in the candle, they give off a lovely turnip-y cooking smell!


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