Top ten summer camp games
Summer camps are amazing! They are a great time for making new friends, creating treasure memories, learning and listening, eating and laughing, and of course - for playing camp games and activities. Some of the best youth group games I have ever played have been while on a youth camp. Camps provide an extended period of time for activites to be run and often allow for good wide games and night time games. Different camp-sites provide a fresh place for kids to explore the outdoors and all it has to offer. Because we love summer camps and we love games - we've created a list of our top ten summer camp games.
Alien Invasion sneaks into this list at number ten. It's another wide game we haven't played too much but we love the vibe it brings. Simulation wide games like this are best run on a camp with wide areas to run around in. Alien Invasion will hopefully ignite the imagination of the children playing and could also be a good opporuntity to dress up. Oh you play it at night and it involves glowsticks - what else do you need!
Human Stratego is easily the most complex game on this youth camp game list. But it fits perfectly with the camp vibe where there is extra time to plan, prepare, explain rules and play. You'll need to spend a bit of time becoming familiar with the rules on our site and there are some great frequently asked questions and answers in the comments to check out. It'll help if you've played the Stratego game before too.
We can't have a top ten summer camp activities list without including a scavenger hunt. Making the most of a wider outdoor area with interesting and unfamiliar surroundings can be the perfect catalyst for a creative scavenger hunt. Keep it simple with twigs and rocks, or get more creative with clues and puzzles to solve. Let individuals compete or give them an opporuntity to bond in small groups. Whatever the style, we're locking in scavenger hunts for number seven on this list.
The Picture Project is another great team game that is perfect to play on a summer camp. Players are divided into groups and sent out together to complete a series of photo-based challenges. We love this one because after the photo challenges are done, it's great to get the kids to sit back and view all the photos together. Plenty of laughing and group-bonding time in this one!
This group game is perfect for the second or third night of camp when everyone is starting to feel a little bit more comfortable around one another. Matthew Matthew One One is a circle game for a bigger group of kids. It involes clapping/slapping a beat and then careful receiving and passing of the "buck". As players become more comfortable, you can speed up the beat. And the best part that makes it camp-worthy for this list? The comradery in trying to take down the top players. Read the rules and you'll find out exactly what we mean!
We haven't played Commando a lot but it's still an favourite and sits nicely at number five in our Top Ten Summer Camp Games. Great for large areas with lots of natural or man-made obstacles around. Essentially - kids compete to reach checkpoints all while remaining hidden from the spotter. Definitely a summer camp game worthy of having a decent prize for the winner to bring out that competitive edge within the campers!
Molecule takes the number four spot in our top ten list because it's another really flexible game for large areas. Camp-sites can be perfect for this game because they provide lots of room for groups to run around and compete at different challenges. Molecule, if you haven't heard of it before, is a group challenge wide game. Kids work together in groups to be the first team to collect all the pieces of the molecule and assemble it in the correct way. Leaders are stationed around the playing area with different challenges for groups to complete. And one lucky leader gets to act as the mad scientist! Have fun with this camp game to play at night.
Mafia is one of those great quieter late night games. We love it because it provides a great way for kids to be creative with their "characters" and play a more strategic game. You'll be surprised how the quiet and shy kids can really excel at this game. So dim the lights and get a confident leader to guide the kids through this great camp bonding activity.
Another summer camp staple activity is a skit night. The camp concert is a place for kids to "let their sillies out" and spend time providing laughs and cherished memories for one another. It's often best to leave the skit night to the last night of camp, so kids can spend time coming up with funny ideas and rehearsing throughout the week. It can be fine to let kids go free and come up with whatever ideas they'd like, or maybe your group is more suited to following a theme or challenge. Whatever the way you're runing it - be sure to include a camp concert at your next youth camp.
Capture the Flag is a wide game that you just can't go past. It never gets old no matter how many times you play it, it's great for big groups, it works well in wide open outdoor spaces and it can be played in a number of different ways. We're really proud of our Capture the Flag instructions as they go beyond the standard game rules and invite you to think creatively about the rules that will suit your group and playing area.