7 Secrets of Summer Outdoor Entertaining | A "Summer Camp" Party - Color Me Meg

7 Secrets of Summer Outdoor Entertaining | A “Summer Camp” Party

summer camp party fruit and veggies

This party was one of the more fun ones we’ve done. I was so excited when TIKI® Brand wanted to send me some torches for this party, because it was my birthday week and I really wanted to do something fun. We got a fire pit and added a few more lanterns on the tables and I had everyone bring a camp chair and dress in “camp clothes.”  We had a few scout uniforms and lots of flannel… it was awesome. And once it got dark… the ambiance was perfect.  We had lit the torches surrounding us, and a glowing fire in the middle, so it really felt like we were at camp!! I absolutely can’t wait to use them again. Of course, I didn’t tell anyone it was FOR my birthday, but this is exactly my kind of party. Easy, low-key, but well thought-out so everything runs smoothly…


smores brownies summer camping party tiki torch

Look how cute my TIKI® Brand Glowing Table Torch looks next to my s’mores brownies. This one was cool too-it has an LED light inside and glows when it’s dark and also changes colors! (And PS–while searching the lawn and garden section of Target, I saw all of these torches and fuel! You can totally go grab a few at Target! Or enter the giveaway first…). Being that we live in San Diego, we are entertaining outside almost year-round, but there are definitely a few things to remember when entertaining outside that will really help make it fantastic! 1. Always serve fresh fruit. I don’t know what it is about a cut up watermelon or a little pineapple, but adding in cold, sweet fruit always makes it feel like summer, and it also gives guests a sweet option that is healthier than the sweet sugary stuff I always have too! One of my friends ate some and actually said, “Ah, now it’s summer!”

fresh fruit summer party

2. Ambiance. Now that I have these torches, I’ll be even better at creating the outdoor “summer” vibes. Before I had the torches, summer evenings needed a little something, like lanterns, or large bulb lights strung up, or a few large Asian lanterns to bring in a little extra lighting to set the mood.

fire pit camping party


 tiki torch party summer camp

3. Don’t over-plan the activities. All week long as we planned this party and the details and what we would do, we kept thinking how much fun it would be to have scout-like activities, or silly games that guests could earn a “scout badge” for. We had campfire games, and lots of ideas, but ultimately, the food and the fire were all we needed. It was perfect to sit and chat, make lots of s’mores, and just enjoy the outdoors.



4. “Fun” food. I think there is always something fun at a party when you get to be entertained by food. In this case, we had a s’mores bar AND a trail mix bar. I had red solo cups to fill up with snack mix, and lots of options for building s’mores. everyone tried making s’mores with these granola bars dipped in chocolate {my favorite way to have a s’more} and with Reese’s, Oreos, and Andes mints. It was fun AND yummy. My parents were here for the party and my dad kept telling me all about the different trail mix combos that he liked. Loved it.



trail mix and smores bar summer camp party

5. Make-ahead meal that’s no fuss. I wanted to do a hobo dinner, cause i thought it would be perfect and something I could make beforehand and pop in the oven just 20-30 minutes before our party started. I wanted to be able to feed my people once they got here and not be trying to entertain AND finish prepping food to be served (I am notorious for that). We made these super yummy santa fe chicken foil dinners that my friends at high heels n grills posted. Everyone raved about them all night and they were so easy. Just go pin the recipe and thank me later. I have to admit, this is one of the few parties I started on time because all my food was done ahead of time.

summer camp santa fe foil dinnerSanta Fe Chicken Foil Dinners. #easy #dinner #recipe copy

6. A theme. This one is obviously optional, but it helps in the planning tremendously. Because I knew I would have the TIKI® Brand Torches, I wanted to do something outside. We had tons of ideas for how to make it fun and how to decorate to look like a camp… We gave prizes to the best dressed and the best made s’more (red solo cup tumblers filled with goodies). It was so much easier to decide what to serve and to decorate when we had a color scheme to follow. My TIKI® Brand Glowing Table Torch was that perfect blue/teal color so I used it as an accent to the red and khaki, and it brightened everything up and added some color.

summer camp party table

Going along with the theme, I also made these super yummy s’mores brownies that were a huge hit. I will be making them again and again for sure!

fudgy smores brownies 2

7. Easy set-up = easy take-down. We used lots of buckets, and easy containers, hobo dinners and paper plates. This was the fastest party to take down because the tables were so easy, and the food was contained. If we had done burgers or hotdogs there would be a separate place where we were preparing and warming food and a different place where it would be served.  If you want it easy, don’t use crockpots or warming plates, do mostly finger food. The tin foil dinner was perfect because they stayed nice and hot for the few guests that came a bit later. By the end of the night, they were still warm and I sent a few home to have later. Easy peasy.

summer camp tiki torch

When TIKI® Brand sent my torches, I didn’t know what to expect, since I hadn’t seen them before {in real life}. They are pretty large torches that are built to last for sure. And they sent a huge bottle of torch fuel, AND a snap & pour spout to make it easy to refill the torches. My husband and dad helped set these up and were raving about how nice and sturdy they were. It was pretty funny to watch {wish i snapped a picture}. By the way, they do have the bamboo ones too, and they are really nice! I just LOVE the TIKI® Brand Island King® Large Flame Torches and will use them all. the. time. {the one in the picture above} And BONUS: these help repel mosquitoes too! So I will be definitely be using these lots this summer!

· · · · giveaway!! · · · ·


so, the best part of this is that TIKI® Brand wants to giveaway


some of these amazing torches


to one of my readers too! By the way, you can purchase these


TIKI® Brand products at Target.



what you’ll receive if you win:


4 TIKI® Brand Glass Torches +


1TIKI® Brand Glowing Tabletop +


1 64oz Bottle TIKI® Brand Torch Fuel +


1 Snap & Pour


= Retail Value $107.93


to enter the giveaway answer below in a comment:


how do you think TIKI® Brand would help you to create the perfect outdoor entertaining experience?

This post is sponsored by TIKI® Brand, but as always, all opinions are my own. Sweepstakes Rules:  No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: 1.     Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post 2.     Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post 3.     Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post 4.     For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the [email protected] email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 5/15/2014-6/30/2014. Be sure to visit the TIKI® Brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


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About Meg

I am Meg. A health and fitness coach, a color lover, and a wish-i-owned-a-house-er. My husband and I are self-declared foodies and LOVE cooking together and doing home projects. We blog about our [mostly] healthy food and DIY adventures from sunny Arizona with our 3 cutie kids. Email me at colormemegblog at gmail dot com to work with me!

31 comments on 7 Secrets of Summer Outdoor Entertaining | A “Summer Camp” Party

  1. L&M
    May 15, 2014 at 8:04 am (5 years ago)

    I have a party that needs Tiki torches!! Birthday/start of summer here we come!

  2. kellyr78
    May 15, 2014 at 8:51 am (5 years ago)

    The TIKI Brand Torches and lamps would help keep our outdoor area well let and make it look attractive, plus we would add Citronella to help keep the bugs away.<br />kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

  3. Kathleen Justice
    May 15, 2014 at 10:16 am (5 years ago)

    Tiki Torches would be a great addition to our nighttime swim parties! Please pick me!!

  4. Caprene
    May 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm (5 years ago)

    Um, if they repel the bugs, the torches sound perfect for Utah summer night parties.

  5. The Shepherd Family
    May 16, 2014 at 1:59 pm (5 years ago)

    We have 3 summer birthdays here at our house. We would love some Tiki torches to help set the mood and celebrate!

  6. ted
    May 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm (5 years ago)

    It would be just like being on the islands again. Tiki lights always improve a party.

  7. Karen H
    May 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm (5 years ago)

    I love the idea of Tiki Brand torches!!! We love to cook and eat outdoors all summer long and these torches would add just the right amount of ambiance to our backyard! They would make our evergreen WA yard feel like a tropical holiday! And I adore your ideas for a Camp dinner, Such fun!

  8. D Schmidt
    May 25, 2014 at 10:53 am (5 years ago)

    The Tiki brand provides a sense of relief against mosquitoes when outdoors, compliments our outdoor decor and adds to the ambiance with their great styling. My children would also think they are incredibly cool!

  9. Heather
    May 29, 2014 at 8:07 pm (5 years ago)

    We saved our money and finally got a patio built with a beautiful fire pit. With my husband and three little boys (twins and a toddler) we are always home and always entertaining. We love having parties and gatherings at our house. The lanterns would be perfect to help keep us outside longer and bring the perfect touch to our new patio!!

  10. shanelle
    May 29, 2014 at 8:41 pm (5 years ago)

    We have the super old school wooden tiki torches and have loved them for many years! It would be amazing to get some new, unbroken torches for our backyard cookouts this summer!

  11. Melissa S
    May 29, 2014 at 9:26 pm (5 years ago)

    TIKI Brand torches would help me create an ambient light that would flatter all of my party guests, while creating the impression that I am as tasteful as a design blogger!

    • Peg
      June 13, 2014 at 6:18 am (5 years ago)

      We would use tiki torches all the time. Our back yard us perfect for this kind of entertaining. I’d have a celebration party if these lived at our house!

  12. Ashley H
    June 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm (5 years ago)

    They would help set the ambiance and keep the bugs away.

  13. Amanda
    June 2, 2014 at 10:59 am (5 years ago)

    I would love some tiki torches. I’ve thought about getting them, but haven’t b/c I’m not good at deciding where to put things outside. Winning them would force me to decide. 🙂 And I love that they are citronella because we live in TX – high humidity and on a lake so mosquitos are terrible – I get bit every time I open the door – usually before I step outside.

  14. Lauren
    June 4, 2014 at 7:15 am (5 years ago)

    It sets the perfect summer night mood!

  15. April Farley
    June 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm (5 years ago)

    It would sure help keep the bugs away and since they are no longer the old wicker torches it would provide a more elegant touch to the back yard get together! Ohhh I hope I win ! I am smitten with them all! Good luck everyone!

  16. Lauren E.
    June 8, 2014 at 8:13 am (5 years ago)

    I love how they make my patio feel warm and inviting for my guests. They also seem to ward off bugs.

  17. Gina M
    June 24, 2014 at 10:07 am (5 years ago)

    These would create the perfect ambiance while also repelling bugs!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  18. Gina M
    June 24, 2014 at 10:10 am (5 years ago)


  19. Are Hall
    June 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm (5 years ago)

    Never knew there were so many Tikis to choose from! They look lovely.

  20. Ashley
    June 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm (5 years ago)

    I found your blog while searching for camp party ideas. Love love love the torches!! What a great idea for entertaining!

  21. Debbie B
    June 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm (5 years ago)

    i would love to have these on my patio they look so nice

  22. Kerry
    June 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm (5 years ago)

    Tiki helps by being functional, yet very stylish too!

  23. Wanda McHenry
    July 4, 2014 at 12:53 am (5 years ago)

    Tiki will absolutely help by giving my patio a great amber on those special nights!

  24. Betty C
    July 4, 2014 at 11:35 am (5 years ago)

    These Tiki torches would add so much by giving us a bug free area with beautiful accessories. No one enjoys being eaten alive by mosquitos and this would help solve that problem.