The first day of summer camp can be the hardest. As camps are gearing up for the start of the summer, we thought we’d share three activities that will help your groups get going on the right foot. The emphasis on these activities is teaching campers about each other and their interests.
1) Clump Questions
Play this game in a large area. Start with all the campers are walking around. The campers cannot walk next to any other campers, they must be always walking away from the other campers around them. After a minute, call out a question. This might be something like “What’s your favorite color?” Campers must hurry to get in clumps based on their answers. If two clumps have the same answer, let them know they have to merge together. Have all the clumps break up and walk around again until you ask a new question.
We recommend that you play cooperatively, but if you want to play the game competitively, have the last clump that comes together be out of the game. The competitive game continues until only 2 campers remain.
2) Name 3
Sit the campers in a circle. Have the campers toss around a ball, back and forth randomly across the circle. Campers can toss the ball to any camper who isn’t directly next to them. Have the leader (or one camper) outside the circle with his/her back turned. At some point, the leader yells “stop,” and turns around. The player who is holding the ball has to name 3 items they like in a category the leader calls out. The camper has 15 seconds to name their three, so they shouldn’t think too hard about it.
Here’s a few suggestions:
After the camper answers, turn around and have campers toss the ball again. If a camper is the leader, have the camper who just answered become the new leader for the next turn.
3) Desert Island
We are going to be trapped on a deserted island! Unfortunately, we can only bring one thing with us. During this discussion activity, campers will have to decide the one thing in each category they are going to bring with them.
Have the campers sit in a circle or group and discuss each category. State the category, then let the first camper say what he or she would bring in that category. If they want, the camper can say why. Use the categories listed above in Name 3. This activity gives campers a chance to talk a bit about themselves.