Where to start? Here is a quick overview of categories that lead to thousands of camp activities, including camp games, crafts, theme-days, campfire stories, ice-breakers and more ideas for summer camp to ensure an amazing summer! We have the largest database of camp activities on the internet – thanks to you. Click on any of the categories below to see more sub-categories and the related activities. We’ve provided a sample of activities below the categories as well to get you started leading adventures at camp.
Types of Summer Camp Activities – Check out our lists of summer camp activities and hundreds of games, skits, songs, and more.
Great camp art projects can compete in popularity with the countless other activities offered at camp, such as swimming, sports, or rock climbing.
The activities you will find here will help you provide fun and exciting camp art projects for your campers, that can be done by basic art supplies.
There is more to camp games than kick-ball or four-square! In this section you’ll find the following categories:
Nothing makes an assembly period, overnight campfire, or family night more fun than camp skits. They are a great way to include a dramatic piece to your camp program. They also provide an opportunity for campers, camp counselors, or camp organizers to have some great fun. In all honesty, my fondest memories from camp are performing with my friends in front of camp. In this section, you’ll find the following categories:
Camp songs are the perfect way to build spirit, let loose, and create many fond memories of camp for years to come.
Select from the categories below for hundreds of camp songs – most can be sung loudly and off-key.
What better way to learn an activity than to see it? Now, we know that skits, songs, and games are WAY better when your camp does it, so let us know if you would like to be filmed or submit your own videos.
From spooky to silly, a well-told campfire story will entertain your campers for hours and provide memorable camp experiences. Eerie flashlight effects are optional. Campfire stories aren’t just for overnight camp either! You can build a fire during the day and share stories (and s’mores).
Ice Breakers are a great way to get people to learn each others names, find out interesting things about one another, and help people begin new relationships.
We have hundreds of ice breakers in the following categories:
This page is a starting point for all ropes course related topics: activity story lines, pictures, waivers, facilitation tips, and more.
This section is primarily for the technical aspects of operating a traditional ropes course at camp. These are our two most popular categories in the Ropes Course section:
List of 30 Camp Activities from Ultimate Camp Resource
This list will entertain your campers for hours, days, or weeks! Here is a sample of our favorite camp activities from around the site. Be sure to click on the categories above to plan out an amazing day or session.
Icebreakers and Name Games
The best way to set the tone for the day or week is to take some time helping the campers in the get to know each other, starting with learning each other’s names. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Stand up, Sit down
The kids can start out in a standing or sitting position.
Ask them questions, such as “do you have a sister?” or “are you wearing pink?”
If their answer is “Yes,” they change to the other position.
If “No,” then they stay the same.
2. Toilet Paper Name Game
Give your group a roll of toilet paper and advise them to take as many squares of toilet paper as they like. Do not tell them any other rules or what the game will be. Once everyone in the circle has taken their pieces, tell them that they must tell the group one thing about themselves for every piece of toilet paper that they’ve taken. You can also use candy, grapes, etc. Back to Top
3. Chicken Picks
You’ll need a rubber chicken (although a ball will be just fine). Arrange players a circle and have one player go into the middle.
Choose a topic. Give the rubber chicken to one person who will start to pass the chicken around the circle when you say “Go.” The person in the middle must list as many things as they can from the topic while the chicken makes one journey around the circle. When the chicken gets back to the starting point, the person must stop talking.
A designated counter should be in the group to count how many objects they are able to list. The person that is able to list the most objects is the winner. Topic example: Chocolate Bars (ie) hershey, crispy crunch, aero etc. etc. etc. Back to Top
Everyone stands or sits in a circle in front of a place marker, such as a bookbag, chair, or other objects. The one person without a chair or a place marker is “it”.
The “it” will say something about themselves. For example, “Have you ever gone swimming in the Atlantic Ocean?”
Anyone in the circle that has that in common must move to a new spot in the circle. Each move has to be at least two place markers or chairs from where they started.
Whoever is left without a place marker will be it and will tell something about themselves. Back to Top
5. Trust Walk
Have everyone find a partner. One person is blindfolded and the other will be leading. The one who is leading needs to take the other through a obstacle course of some sort (it can be natural or made). The leader cannot touch the other person and must direct them using only words. To make it more difficult have an entire group lead one person and take turns. Back to Top
Team Building Games or Cooperative Games
Here is a list of summer camp activities to foster team building. Create your own back-story for each activity. These activities are a great way to lead fun adventures at camp and make any experience more memorable. There are plenty of ideas in the Team Building category as well.
6. Buzz (a counting game)
The leader picks a number that the group is going counting to using the special rules below.
The first person starts by saying “One.” Starting to that person’s left, each person will say either the next sequential number, or the word “Buzz,” according to the rules of the game until the group reaches its goal.
When someone says “Buzz,” the direction of the people saying numbers reverses.
If someone in the group makes a mistake, the group starts the process over, with the person who made the mistake starting that round.
The “Buzz” rules:
The following numbers are to be replaced with the word “Buzz:”
Any number that is a multiple of 3 (3,6,9,12,15…)
Any number that is a multiple of 7 (7,14,21,28…)
Any number with double digits (11,22,33…)
Here’s an example:
1, 2, Buzz (reverse direction), 4, 5, 6, Buzz (reverse direction), 8, Buzz (reverse direction), 10, Buzz (reverse direction), Buzz (reverse direction), 13, Buzz (reverse direction), and so on… Back to Top
7. Magic Carpet – or Magically Disappearing Carpet
Spread the blanket on the ground or floor. Explain to the group that because the ground is so cold, you’ve provided a nice cozy blanket for them to stand on.
Ask the whole group to get on it so that no body parts are touching the ground off the blanket.
Once the group successful completes standing on the blanket, advise them that you’ve received a report that another group needs half of their blanket to keep their feet warm, too. Ask them get off and fold blanket in half.
Repeat the above process as many times as possible. Each time you fold the blanket, the group will need to be more creative (and cozy) to successfully stan on the blanket. Back to Top
This is a fun activity for kids. Everyone gets blind folded and then assigned an animal. The animal assignment is easy. Make up 2-4 animals that you would find on a barn, but for one person give them an odd animal (elephant, donkey, lion, etc.) After you say “go” each person tries to find their group by making their noise, and the odd one will just wonder around until you say “stop”. Have this person talk about their feelings during and after the activity. This is a good way for everyone to visually see what it is like to be excluded from the group. Back to Top
9. People Machine
Divide group into even numbered teams (4-8 participants are ideal).
Advise teams to make themselves into a machine, with as many parts (gears, levers, etc.) as they can devise. The machine should have motion and sound, and include all team members.
Give the teams five minutes to prepare their machine. Once the time is up, the teams take turns presenting and guessing each other’s machine. Back to Top
10. Reflex Test
Have everyone stand in a circle. Instruct them to raise their right hand in the air and point their finger to the sky. Have them hold their left hand out towards the person next to them, as if they were holding a tray. Instruct them to place their pointed finger into the palm of the hand of the person next to them. One the count of three, the players must try to pull their finger away while catching the finger of the person next to them that is placed in their palm. The people who catch the finger and keep theirs free are the “winners.” You can have them switch pointer fingers and hands and try again. Back to Top
Here are some of our favorite ideas for Summer Camp activities.
11. Alaskan Baseball
Start with 2 teams. One team is given a throwable object, their team then forms a circle around them and that person throws the object. After he has thrown the object then he goes around the circle saying everyone’s name in order of the circle. Every time he makes it around the circle, it counts as a run.
Meanwhile, the other team is chasing the object. Once someone on the chasing team retrieves the object, everyone forms a line behind that person. They then pass the object between their legs until it reaches the last person, where it is then passed overhead back to the first person in line.
When the first person gets the object the team yells out, and the other team stops counting runs. The first person in line that retreived the object now has a circle formed around him and he throws the object and the process reverses. As with all camp games, you can choose to keep score, or not… Back to Top
12. Ah Soh Gi
Everyone sits in a circle, and learns the 3 commands and their movements.
1) Ah- the person says “Ah” loudly, and takes their left or right arm across their chest, pointing at the person next to them
2) So- the person says “So” loudly, and takes their left or right arm above their head, pointing at the person next to them
3) Gi- (hard “G” sound) the person puts both arms together in front of them and point to someone else, anywhere in the circle.
The phrases must always go in that order, and each phrase needs its correct hand motion. You go when you are pointed at by someone next to you using “ah” or “so” or by someone across from you using “Gi.” When you are “Gi-ed” at by someone you can either start again with “Ah”
If a person makes a mistake, he/she steps out of the circle and becomes a “heckler” and walk around the outside trying to confuse people by shouting random words.
When someone gets out, the group all put their hands in the middle, and give the baseball “Yeeeerrrr otta here” motion and command. That person can then walk around the outside of the circle heckling the remaining players. The game is over when there is one person remaining. Back to Top
13. Streets and Alleys
Have two campers volunteer to be “It” one will be a cat and the other a mouse (or any other version of pursuer and pursued you can come up with). The facilitator will then be in charge of the rest of the group. The rest of the campers will need to get into lines (the more square the group the better, so if you have say 25 campers, have 5 rows of 5). With the campers in lines, have them face the facilitator, with their arms stretched out. This will be “streets” and the cat and mouse are able to run in the openings between the lines, but they can’t break through the arms. When the facilitator yells “alleys” the campers turn to the left and change the layout of the “map” so now the cat and mouse have to cope with a different path.
1. Physical-don’t let the streets and alleys campers hold hands, things can get broken or sprained.. no paperwork! and if the ground is gravel or asphalt, let the campers know that they need to be careful, if necessary limit the cat and mouse to very fast walking to prevent slips and further injury.
2. Emotional-don’t let one camper continue to be alienated by having to chase other campers, let them be chased, and switch out after a period of time
Other than that, this is a fun high-energy game! the campers i have ever played it with have always loved it, at any age, even the adults I have worked with! Back to Top
14. Frisbee Golf aka Frolf
Played with the same rules as traditional golf, using a fribee as the “ball” and various items (trees, to cabins to cones) as the holes.
Players tee off and throw the frisbee towards the hole. Each throw is counted as a stroke. Before each hole, determine the par (number of strokes) desired for the hole. Back to Top
15. Kick the Can
This outdoor activity is played the same as hide and seek, except a tin can (or plastic water bottle) is set up in a circle near a designated “jail”. The game begins with a player kicking the can. The one person who was chosen to be it must retrieve the can and place it back on its starting point.
As soon as the can has been kicked, all other player runs and hide. If a player is seen hiding by the “it” and are called out by name or description they are caught and brought to “jail”.
If a player races in without being caught and kick the can, all who are held as prisoners can run and hide within the space of time it takes for the one “it” to get the can back in place. One good ruling is that a person caught three times becomes “it”, or if all are held prisoners, the first one caught becomes “it.”
Split group up into 2 teams, designate 2 safety zones, one on each teams side, and designate a middle area. Back to Top
16. Nature Scavenger Hunt
Ahead of time, walk the trail and find objects — specific leaves, a flower, specific rock, moss anything of interest.
Bring one of that item back with you and place in a sandwich bag or other container. Before your walk, have each camper pick something to look for on the trail. The group tries to find each object during the walk.
Variation: You can bring small objects with you and hide them on the trail ahead of time. Back to Top
17. Giants, Elves, Wizards
Each team then gets in a huddle and picks what they want to be as a team, a giant, a wizard or an elf.
Giants put their hands up over their heads, wizards put their hands our straight in front of them wiggling their fingers, and elves make pointy ears on their head with their pointer fingers.
Once the teams have decided their character they want to be, they come up to the center spot and line up face to face, then on a count of 3, everyone does whatever action their team picked.
Giants beat elves, elves beat wizards and wizards beat giants, so the team that beats the winning team chases the other and tries to tag as many members on the other team as possible before they reach the safety zone.
The members from the team that get tagged become a part of the other team. Back to Top
18. Elbow Tag
This high energy name game requires a large space free of hazards! Start by giving everyone a partner. The pairs link arms and stand in the space with at least a few feet between them and any other pair.
One pair will start the game. They will unlink their arms. Choose one to be the tagger and one to be the runner. The runner begins by running away from the tagger anywhere in the designated space.
The person being chased can run as long as they desire, but in order to stop they must link arms with any person in the circle and call out their name LOUDLY!
Once they have linked up and called out the correct name, the person on the far side must detach from their partner and become the person being chased. This way the person being chased is constantly changing.
If the tagger catches and tags the runner, they switch spots, and the former tagger is now the runner.
An even number of players works best but be prepared to adjust for an odd number if you must. You can create one group of three linked players! Back to Top
19. Toilet Tag
When someone is tagged, they must squat down to form the “toilet” and hold one hand out to the side, like the “handle”.
To get back into the game, someone must “flush” the frozen person and make a loud “Woooooosh” sound. Back to Top
20. Everybody’s It Tag
Everybody is it! The leader counts down from five and yells “Everybody’s it!” and everyone spreads out and tries to tag the other players while avoiding being tagged. When someone is tagged, they sit on the ground with their arms out. If the person sitting on the ground tags someone running by, that person drops down to be a ground tagger, and the person who tagged the runner gets to be back in the game. The game ends when only one person is left standing. Back to Top
Classic Camp Games and Activities for Summer Camp
No summer camp experience is complete without these classics! These are our personal favorite summer camp activities!
21. Ships Ahoy
Battleship is also known as Ships Ahoy, the Poop Deck, Port & Starboard and other similar names.
- Explain to the players that the entire playing area is broken down into different parts of a ship. The leader explains the location of each part. For example :
- Bow: the front of the playing area
- Stern: the back of the playing area
- Port: the left side of the playing area
- Starboard: the right side of the playing area
- The game begins with everyone standing in the center of the area. When the leader calls out one of the above parts of the ship, all players must run to the designated area. The last person to reach the spot is eliminated, and goes to help the leader. Each time a different part of the ship is called, the last player reaching the site is eliminated, until one player remains.
- Once the players understand the parts of the ship, the captain calls out specific order/actions while the players are running. For example:
- Submarines: Players run to the centre of the playing area, lie down on back, and raise one foot in the air.
- Lifeboats: Players run to the location called form single line, sit down and begin to row.
- Hit the deck: lay down on your stomach (or if players don’t want to get dirty, they can crouch down)
- Attention on deck: salute and yell, “Aye, aye captain!” — players may not move now until the captain gives the order of, “At ease!” (ie even if the captain gives a different order such as “to the ship” the crew must continue to remain at attention until told “at ease”)
- Three men in a boat: the crew must form groups of three and sing “Row, row, row your boat” Anybody who is not in a group of three is out.
- The love boat: crew members grab a partner and dance. Anybody without a partner is out.
- Clear the deck: everyone must have their feet up off the floor
- Scrub the deck: everyone on their knees scrubbing
- Captain’s Quarters: everyone ran towards the captain.
- Man-over-board: Players must find a partner as quickly as possible. One partner must lay on their stomach while the other places their foot on their partner’s back. Children without a partner or pairs that are too slow are eliminated.
- A Periscope: Every player falls on their back and sticks one leg in the air. The last ones are eliminated.
- SHARK!!!!: Everyone must run to a designated base (multiple bases can be used). The last player to the base is eliminated.
- Crow’s nest: All players must find a partner. The lightest player rides on their partner’s back. Those without partners or who assemble the crow’s nest too slowly are eliminated.
- Three maids in a row: Children form groups of three and sit in a vertical row. The players who are the odd-man-out are eliminated.
- Sick turtle: Everyone falls onto their backs and waves hands and feet in the air.
- Bow: Run to the front of the boat
- Stern: Run to the back
- Port: Run to the left side of the boat
- Starboard: Run to the right side of the boat.
- Row the Boat: Each player finds a partner, sits face to face, holds hands, and pretends to row a boat. Players who can’t find partners or who are too slow are eliminated.
Alternative rules: If playing in a pool, all of the orders stay the same except for “hit the deck” which becomes “walk the plank.” This means that crew members must bob underwater.
To make the game less competitive, player do not get “out.” Instead, if the captain notices that they do not follow an order, they must stand out for a count of 20. Back to Top
You’ll need a soft ball that can be thrown and a flat area free of obstacles for this fun activity.
Create boundaries for a playing area. Make it big enough for the group to have enough space to run around safely. Choose a ball that is heavy enough to be thrown but not so heavy that it could be painful to the players. Gator balls work very well.
The game begins with one Monarch. This person starts with the ball and is technically the “It”. As the only Monarch, this person can run with the ball and try to hit another player with it. As soon as another player has been hit with the ball they become a Monarch as well and game play changes slightly. With more than one Monarch whoever is holding the ball can NO LONGER MOVE WITH IT. All the other Monarchs can move without the ball but the person with the ball must stand still. The ball can be passed from Monarch to Monarch in an attempt hit other players with it creating more Monarchs. Play the game until there is one person left.
Occasionally, it will be necessary to find out who the Monarchs are and who they are not. The leader of the game will call out “Monarchs show yourselves!” At this point, the game is paused and everyone who is a Monarch must crouch down and touch the ground. The game continues when the leader says “Monarchs go get them.” Back to Top
No matter what fancy amenities you have at camp, campers’ favorite memories from camp will be rooted in activities that are self-led and give campers a chance to hang out. GaGa is perfect for supervised independent play!
Designate one non-player as the referee. The referee is the sole authority during play and is responsible for settling disputes and ensuring fair play.
The referee begins play only after all players are standing in the gaga court and have indicated that they are ready to start the game.
One player tosses the ball up in the air. Players yell “ga” on the first bounce and “ga” again on the second bounce, and the ball is then in play.
Players hit the ball with their hands only, and may not carry or throw the ball – it must be punched with open hand or fist.
Anytime the ball hits a wall, it then can be caught by another player and they begin to punch the ball along the ground.
Any player who is touched by the ball either directly or by a rebound off the wall is “out” and must step out of the circle.
If the ball contacts a player or a player’s clothing below the waist, that player is eliminated. If the ball contacts the player above the waist, the player is still in.
If the ball goes out of the gaga court, the last player to touch the ball is eliminated.
If a player catches the ball before it bounces, the player who had the last contact with the ball is eliminated.
Once the player hits the ball, he or she must wait until the ball touches someone else before hitting it again (no double touches).
If there are only two players remaining, a player may hit the ball up to 3 times in a row. The ball is “rejuvenated” by contact with the wall, and the hit count resets.
Some Ga-Ga games are designed to be team efforts, although the sport is traditionally a one-against-all competition. Teaming, or intentional passing of the ball to other players, is allowed only at the discretion of the referee and must be specified in advance of play.
There are plenty of variations available, and like 4-square, you can certainly make your own house rules! Back to Top
24. Assassin or Wink or Sandman
This is a game best played in a large group. We always played it with the 6-10 year olds at our summer camp. Sit all of the children in a circle, with legs crossed. Have all children put their heads down. one person (we always had at least one adult present) would walk around the circle and tap one child on the head. This person was the assassin. The child eliminates all other players by winking at them. If you are winked at, silently count to 10, then put your feet in the middle of the circle. We always had a few drama queens who would act as if they really had been shot, and clutch their chest, and shake and scream. very funny. if the assassin eliminates everyone, then they win. They can be “witnessed” as well. If a player thinks they know who the killer is, before they get winked at, they can say they have a suspect. Such as “I suspect that Sally is the assassin.” If Sally is not the assassin, then the accusers are eliminated. A less brutal version is the sandman, which is the same thing, except being winked at means you take a nap. Back to Top
25. Cabin vs Cabin Scavenger Hunt
Who’s ready for some friendly competition? The goal is to acquire the most completed clues in the amount of time allotted.
You need: Make clues on slips of paper or index cards and place clues in envelopes (enough for each team), campers & counselors dressed in appropriate shoes & clothing, scorekeepers with clue answer sheet & envelope of all clues for their team.
Each cabin group is an individual team. Cabin counselors are included on the team. Camp is mapped out in on & off limits zones. There are as many clues as you want depending on the time frame you are using. In this example there were 14 teams & 28 clues. Object is to have groups work as a team using each camper’s skills to work towards the goal.
The team that has the most completed clues at the end wins. To get a completed clue, you must bring back the correct index card with the matching code for the clue that you were given. Ex. Clue: This is where the Old Towns live. (Canoe Dock) There would be an envelope in an obvious place at the canoe dock with index cards inside. There would be a 2 letter code on the card. When the entire team returns to their score keeper, if the card is the correct, the team is given the next clue. If not, then they are told that the card is incorrect & they have to try again. (They can keep the index card they found to use as the answer to a future clue.) The scorekeeper keeps the index card when the clue is correct. (That is how you tally who has the most) Activity continues until predetermined ending time. Bell is rung at the end of the game & the group meets at a designated area to go over clues & answers. The team with the most completed clues wins.
Bonus Fun Part
Each scorekeeper gets to know the cabin well by having them count off by name each time they return for a new clue. This double checks that the team is all accounted for & together. Back to Top
Rainy Day Activities Summer Camp
26. Telephone Pictionary
Start out with a group of five or more (the more, the merrier!), and give everyone a stack of index cards equaling the amount of people playing, as well as a pen or pencil. For example, in a group of five, each person would receive five index cards.
In the first round everyone should write a sentence on their top card. Try to make it something fun and descriptive. Everyone then passes their entire stack of index cards clockwise to the next person in the circle, keeping their sentence on top.
That person would now read the sentence you just gave them, put that card at the very bottom of the stack, and draw a picture depicting the sentence they just read on the top card.
Then everyone passes their entire stacks of cards again, keeping the picture on top. When people see the drawings, they would put that card at the bottom of the stack, and write a sentence describing what they see on the top card.
The pattern continues until you receive YOUR stack of cards that you started!
Once everyone receives their own stacks, you begin with your first sentence, and read and show it aloud like a picture story. The story usually becomes pretty convoluted, which makes for a hilarious time. This is a really fun game that will have everyone cracking up! Back to Top
27. Psychiatrist Game
One person leaves the room. Everyone in the circle decides on a certain rule to follow when answering the psychiatrist’s questions. Examples might be:
–tell the truth when legs uncrossed, tell a lie when legs are crossed
–answer all questions with five word phrases
–begin all sentences with a vowel.
When a rule is decided upon, the psychiatrist comes back into the room and starts asking questions to people in the circle. They continue asking questions until they recognize the pattern. They have three guesses to try and figure out the rule.
When the psychiatrist guesses correctly or guesses three times incorrectly, the round is over, and someone else gets to be the psychiatrist. Back to Top
28. Green Glass Doors
Green glass doors is played with a group. A small amount of people should previous know how to play. They will begin by explaining that only certain things can go through the green glass doors and give examples such as, “I can bring the MOON through the green glass doors but I can’t bring the STARS…”
They would then give numerous examples. The key being that only words with double letters can go through the grEEn glaSS dOOrs.
A puppy but not, a dog
A Boot but not, a shoe
The floor but, not the house.
A screen, but not the window
Teeth but not smiles
An earring, but not a necklace.
The words do not have to correspond. The object of the game is for the people that does not know the trick, to figure out why only things can go through the doors. Back to Top
29. Screaming Toes
Here’s a video overview. Start the game with everyone looking at their feet. When “Heads Up” is called, everyone looks up and stares at someone else in the circle.
If that person is staring right back at you, then you scream real loud and jump back out of the circle.
If the person you’re looking at is not looking at you, put your head back down and wait for the next round.
Keep going until there are two players remaining. Guaranteed fun time! Back to Top
30. Drop it, Catch it
Get your group to stand in a circle all facing the center.
Have them spread out arms length.
One person is in the middle with a ball and passes it back and forth to the other players surrounding them.
The player in the middle with the ball must say “drop it” or “catch it” before tossing the ball to one of the players.
The player then must do the opposite of what is being told to them.
If the player in the center says “drop it”, then the other player must catch it and vice versa. If they do the wrong motion, they must switch places with the person in the middle. Back to Top
31. Grandma’s Underpants
One person is “it” and all the kids sit in a circle and the “it” stands in the middle.
The kids on the outside of the circle ask them a question and the only thing the “it” can say is “My grandma’s under pants.”
The kid on the outside of the circle that makes the “it” laugh or smile takes the spot in the middle. Sample questions: 1) What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? 2) Where are we going on vacation? 3) What’s in your lunch? Back to Top
Water Games & Races
32. Sponge Relay Race
Divide the campers into two teams and have them line up behind a starting line. Each team gets a small empty bucket and a large water sponge for their supplies. At the finish line, place two larger buckets filled with water. Tell the campers that on the word go, the first person in line must run to his/her team’s water bucket, dunk the sponge in, run back with it and squeeze all the water from the sponge into the team’s empty bucket. They then pass the water sponge to the next person, and so on until one team fills up their empty bucket with water. That team wins!
Just before you say go, stop and tell the campers that, wait, there is one more rule! The water sponges must be carried ABOVE their heads as they run back from the water buckets. They will get wet and have fun! Back to Top
33. Blanket Balloon Toss
- Set up a couple of buckets of water balloons next to the play area.
- The leader of the game (not holding blanket) will launch (by catapulting or throwing) water balloons into the air.
- The team must cooperate to get under the balloon and catch the balloon and re-launch it into the sky.
- Give the group different challenges: launch the balloon as high as possible into the air, fling it into a garbage can, pass it to another team, or more.
34. Water Wars
Fill up dozens of water balloons, small water guns, water sponges, buckets with water, and hoses. Then, give the kids a sort of obstacle course that’s easy to run around in. On the count of three, let them just run through the course trying to spray each other. The only purpose of this game is to get them wet, worn out, and let them have fun!
35. Bonus: Gold Rush Theme Day
Yeeee Haaaaa! There’s GOLD in them there hills! This great theme day activity will be one of your camp’s summer favorites. As with all great theme days, dress-up, role playing, and enthusiastic staff make all the difference in the world. Here’s a framework for you to use and modify at your camp. Have fun, pardner!
Scene 1: There’s GOLD in them thar hills!
Have all campers assembled in one spot in the morning for announcements. In the middle of announcements, two scraggly miners come onto the scene whooping and hollering with excitement. They tell everyone that they’ve found gold, lots of it. Enough to make everyone rich for the rest of their lives.
A sheriff steps up and declares that the camp should organize groups to go search for gold. However, the groups should beware that there are bandits on the loose, who might try to take their gold. The sheriff advises that if the groups are caught by the bandits, they must stop (for their own safety).
The sheriff then instructs the group that they have one hour to find as much gold as possible and bring it back it the bank and then report to the old barn for a hootin’ hollerin’ good time.
Scene 2: Gold Rush
The night before the gold rush, hide rocks of all sizes painted gold around camp. Set up a couple of areas for your younger campers only, so they older campers don’t take everything they find. You may want to put gold in a treasure chest or create a treasure map so campers can find all of their goal in one spot.
After the Sheriff releases the search parties, the fun begins. As campers look for gold, bandits (staff or CITS) chase after groups and attempt to take their gold. Bandits usually introduce themselves to the group (Wild Eyed Henry, Goose Stepping Josie, etc) so the groups know who they are dealing with. The bandits turn out to be pretty incompetent. When bandits stop groups, they can let the groups go if the groups sings a song, stumps them with a math problem, tells a funny joke, etc. Once in a while, the bandits will take a piece of gold, but usually drops it while celebrating.
At the end of the hour, or when the groups have gotten enough gold for each camper, they report to the bank to cash in their find. Each camper gets a handful of tickets or gold rush cash to use at the dance hall.
Scene 3: Hootin’ Hollerin’ Good Time
After the campers get their tickets or cash from the bank, they head over to the area you’ve designated as the dance hall. It could be a room, pavilion, or an open space set up to serve the purpose.
At the dance hall, there is music (a radio, DJ, or a band), snacks, fortune tellers, games, and other types of entertainment.
During the dance hall portion, introduce the Belles girls dressed in fancy dresses who dance with the campers, call everyone darlin’ and make the event fun. Every good gold rush has an Ugly Betty, a counselor who can really ham it up.
Additionally, the bandits make a brief menacing appearance or two, but don’t really make a big scene.
Campers use their cash to gain admission to the dance hall, buy snacks, and participate in games. Counselors replenish camper cash frequently.
This is a great time to eat lunch. It you have a barbeque, you can assign additional fun roles to the staff cooking, and serve rattlesnakes (hot dogs) and cow patties (burgers).
Scene 4: The Search Party
At some point during the dancin’ and other fun, the sheriff runs into the middle of the group and declares to stop the music.
The sheriff, and several bankers, whose hands are tied, retell the story of how the bandits robbed the bank, stole the gold, and made off for the hills. And worst of all, it appears that they have kidnapped the Belles, too.
The Sheriff asks the campers if they are willing to be deputized and form search parties or posses to capture the bandits and rescue the Belles. He warns the group that as law abiding deputies, they must be very, very gentle when they capture the bandits and bring them back for justice.
The Sheriff tells the posses they must capture the bandits within a given time and bring them to the court house. The posses then begin their camp search.
Be sure your bandits hide in manner that allows them to be found in the desired time. If they hide too well, be sure they know to come out of hiding and get captured in time.
Scene 5: The Trial
Once all of the bandits have been captured and the campers have returned, it’s time for a trial.
There is a judge, a colorful county prosecutor, defense lawyers, and a bailiff or two. Each side calls witness: camp counselors, the fortune teller, bankers, and others as they try to convict (or free) the guilty parties.
Every good trial has an exciting twist (the Belles were in cahoots, the sheriff was the mastermind, the cook had poisoned the punch, etc) that results in someone else is found guilty alongside the bandits.
The verdict is declared by the judge and the justice is swift. If you have a pond, lake, or pool, a good dunking in full costume is the best sentence. However, a good water hosing, or whip cream pie-ing are good, too.
Can’t find the camp activity you’re looking for? Check out these other resources: