One of the fondest memories many have of growing up is time spent at summer camp. Whether you’re looking to recreate those memories or make some new ones, these summer camp games are sure to be fun for the whole family!
Below are four of the most fun summer camp games for kids:
Game #1: Scavenger Hunt
A tried and true classic, the scavenger hunt is the quintessential wilderness crowd-pleaser when it comes to fun summer camp games for kids. Children have the natural urge to explore the outdoors and nurturing this urge can be a rewarding experience for everyone involved.
One way to play is to bring your own prizes from home and scatter them about the camp area for children to find. Kids will delight in the thrill of the hunt and even simple knick-knacks will be grand treasures in their eyes.
Looking for a more educational approach to this activity? Try writing up a list of natural items to be found. The children can learn about nature by tracking down specific plants or other items.
This natural scavenger hunt is a great way to get your children interested in learning how to identify different trees by their leaves and other common woodland plants.
Game #2: Horseshoes
One of the great appeals of summer camp is the wholesome simplicity of it all. This is idealized in the simple game of horseshoes. Easy to learn and hard to master, this classic summer camp game is sure to please all ages.
All that’s required is two pegs and a couple of horseshoes. Any toy or outdoors shop will carry sets with everything you need, either with traditional metal horseshoes or lighter plastic ones for younger children.
The modern game doesn’t use actual horseshoes anymore, but rather a stylized U-shaped bar about twice the size of an actual horseshoe. Set up is extremely simple. Just drive the two pegs into even ground around 40 feet apart.
To determine who goes first each player tosses a single horseshoe at a peg, and whoever is closer starts off the game. Players take turns throwing two horseshoes per round, or “inning”, at the same peg.
Only one player gains points during each round. A horseshoe that has landed within six inches or closer of the peg gains that player 1 point. If a player’s horseshoes are both closer to the peg than the other player’s, the player gains 2 points that round.
If a horse shoe is leaning against the peg that horseshoes is worth 2 points. The best possible score is obtained by throwing a ringer, a horseshoe that encircles the peg – this is worth 3 points. A player with 2 ringers will gain 6 points for the round. If the opposing player also has a ringer the ringers cancel each other out.
Game #3: Capture the Flag
If you have enough campers to divide them into two teams, you can’t go wrong with a game of Capture the Flag. The fun summer camp game revolves around each of the two teams trying to steal the enemy’s flag and return with it to their own base.
While it would be nice to use an actual flag for the game, any piece of fabric large enough to be easily seen should do. The first step is to designate a play area and divide it into two sides, one for each team.
The teams are then allowed to hide their flags somewhere within their side. A good idea is to intact the rule that the flag must be visible, preventing the players from jamming it into some overly difficult to retrieve location. The teams then begin the work of attempting to find each other’s flags.
Whenever a player ventures into enemy territory – that is, crosses over the line dividing the two sides of the playfield – they’re vulnerable to being tagged by any enemy player.
If a player is tagged within the opponent’s side of the field, they must go to the designated “jail” area on the opponent’s side. They must wait in the “jail” until a player from their own team manages to venture over to the opponent’s jail and tag them.
A common rule variant is to allow the “freed” player to return directly to their side of the field once they are freed. The end goal of the game is to find and grab the enemy’s flag, and then return to their side of the field without being tagged. The first team to do so wins the game.
Game #4: Dodgeball Free-For-All
A fun twist on a schoolyard classic, this updated version of dodgeball can provide a lot of fun to a large group of kids. The game is played within a large circle, defined before play begins.
To begin this fun summer camp game, the players take their starting positions around the edge of the circle. An adult holds the ball at the center of the circle and throws it into the air. Once the ball touches the ground the game has begun, and the children make a mad dash for the center of the circle.
Once a player grabs the ball, they are allowed to take three steps before throwing it. The object is to hit another player with the ball. Any player hit is then out.
However, if that player catches the thrown ball, the player who threw the ball is out instead. The winner of the game is the last person standing!