7 Summer Camp Ideas for Your Kids' Camp
Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to reinvigorate your kids' camp programming with fresh, fun camp ideas. These next few months offer nicer weather and more hours of daylight, which means you can take your camp outside, while engaging in fun—as well as educational—activities and games. You want to create the best camp experience possible for your summer campers, whether you have a summer long weekend to do so, or an entire summer break to set up camp.
Even on a short timeline, several free activities you host can create lifelong camp memories for kids of all ages with just a few ideas. No matter the theme for camp, the games for camp are a great way to build on team-building, and countless other valuable life skills.
What Activities Can Be Done In Summer Camp?
You don't need to invest a lot of time or budget to host a fun, unforgettable experience for kids. Here are seven summer camp game ideas for you to introduce to your campers, from fun classic camp ideas like a scavenger hunt, to a modern technology field day—and more. Plus, you can join in on any of these games, too.
1. Hiking and Canoeing
There are plenty of free opportunities here to introduce kids to the great outdoors early, and build their appreciation for nature. Outdoor camp activities such as hiking and canoeing can both challenge your summer campers and provide a great opportunity for physical activity. Campers must build trust with each other, forcing them to practice teamwork, while exploring nature by boat and on foot. In learning how to paddle a canoe and navigate through the woods or mountains, your summer campers will thrive through the strength of their accomplishments. Getting outside also presents a fantastic opportunity to set up a fun kids obstacle course or other games, which helps kids of all ages learn skills in problem solving. These ideas make for a great field day for your summer camp, and create a sense of wonder about the outdoors.
2. Leadership Training
Leadership is an important skill to have in life, whether it’s working with classmates in school or leading a team project at work. These leadership training lessons at camp should aim to deepen your summer campers’ knowledge, skills, and self-awareness, through completing a number of activities that are designed to help them make mature, logical decisions. Some free fun summer camp workshop ideas and games may include nutrition, conflict resolution, or communication to create confidence and self-esteem. These are invaluable skills for kids of all ages to learn early on, and any activity focusing on these will be helpful for kids to navigate life later on.
3. Comic Book Camp
Camp doesn't have to be all outdoor, physical games. For some kids, they grow the most when they get to explore their creativity. Superhero films are more popular than ever, and they’ve been a source of inspiration for many children to create their own comics. A comic book-focused summer camp can help kids of all ages learn by harnessing their creativity and improve their artistic skills, while also building their self-confidence, and having fun. The end goal for this camp can be for your campers to create their own comic book by the final day of kids summer camp. Kids don't have to be the best of artists to take part in these fun camp activities—the goal of these ideas is for campers to let their imagination run free, and make a finished book by the end of the day.
4. Technology Camp
Technology-based summer camps can be a lot of fun and there are a number of tech-related activities for kids that you can choose from as a focus, including drones, computer design, coding, and robotics. Understanding technology is important in today’s society and providing kids and teens the opportunity to see a tech project from start to finish. Fun games such as this can create a very strong sense of accomplishment and provide invaluable knowledge on the topic. If you operate a tech-focused summer camp, conveying the knowledge campers learn by the end of the camp to parents is critical.
5. Environmental Protection
During camp, teaching children to care about the environment at an early age can help them live more sustainable lifestyles. Summer camps are a great time to introduce these ideas to kids, and teach them about why such things as recycling and taking shorter showers are important to protecting and preserving the environment. All it takes to create a sense of compassion for the environment and other sustainable ideas through fun games and projects at camp. Some ideas include a game that has your summer campers race against one another while they sort out recycling and building their own garden planter. You can turn almost all of your activities into an opportunity to teach sustainability to kids of all ages, most often for free.
6. Water Fights
Water fights are just one of dozens of classic free summer camp activities for kids of all ages. It’s a great way to wrap up a great day, week, or month of summer camp, while also acting as a way to beat the summer heat. As far as summer camp ideas go, it is one of the best for camps on lakes and other bodies of water. Water fight games can be seen as a terrific alternative for campers who may not be comfortable with swimming or lack those aquatic skills altogether. You can split your summer campers into teams, to create teamwork and bonding, designing a fun and thrilling time at camp for the kids. The fun doesn't stop there—set up a fight with water balloons on a hot summer day to cool off.
7. Scavenger Hunt
A fun camp scavenger hunt isn't only fun for your summer campers; they’re also a lot of fun to plan. Add a number of different aspects that help create unique and exciting games that encourage teamwork between the campers and forces the kids to use their problem solving skills. Extend this activity to fit the full field day and plan for a relaxing evening where you celebrate your campers’ wins, while making s’mores by the campfire for the ultimate camp experience. Scavenger hunts are one of many activities and ideas which can cap off a perfect experience at camp, and are guaranteed to be fun for the kids of all ages, as well as your team.
Looking for even more helpful advice to make your summer camp exciting and engaging for your kids? Grab your free copy of The All-Inclusive Guide to Running a Summer Camp and get started with actionable strategies for your recreation center's summer season.
How Do I Plan A Summer Camp Program?
We hope you enjoyed these summer camp ideas! Camp games are a wonderful way for campers to build a sense of community, make lifelong friends, and most of all—have fun! Not to mention, many of them are budget friendly, and free to host. From hosting an obstacle course, to other fun kids camp activities, these are certainly guaranteed to help them remember the best summer camp ever.
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Don't forget to grab your free copy of The All-Inclusive Guide to Running a Summer Camp and get started with actionable strategies for your recreation center's summer season.