Planning your Summer Camp program for 2019? Struggling to come up with new and engaging ideas? Don’t worry, it can be a tricky process, especially when you want to incorporate original concepts to avoid doing the same old thing.
Between managing staff, organising logistics and marketing your camp, coming up with new program ideas can be challenging. We’re here to help, with our list of 5 activities to make summer camp memorable in 2019.
1. A Minecraft™ Inspired Outdoor Adventure
It’s the video game with over 91 million monthly players and a loyal cult following. Kids love it, so why not encourage them outdoors with a Minecraft™ themed adventure? Designed to get today’s digital generation off their screens and back outdoors, Wildcraft Adventure™ takes the best bits from the video game and transforms them into an outdoor experience they’ll never forget.
It’s a brand new way to engage the digital generation in the kind of outdoor adventures that us adults loved when we were kids. This game includes outdoor classics like den building, fire-lighting and scavenger hunts and combines them with video game elements like scoring points, beating monsters and gathering magical items – it’s like living in a real video game. Plus, players will have to use bushcraft, survival skills, teamwork and problem solving throughout.
“Wildcraft is the best activity we have ever found!”
Brenda Sutter, Laurel Tree Charter School, California
It’s designed to be as simple as possible for activity leaders to run with all the tools, resources and guides you need. Find all the details here or watch the video…
2. Grab Your Lab Coat & Get Scientific
Kids love mystery and surprise so, creating original and interesting scientific experiments can be a real winner. You don’t need a physics degree make this happen either, just some common ingredients, clear instructions and the necessary safety precautions. Here’s a few cool ideas to get you started:
- An erupting volcano Designed to be crafted outdoors for minimal clean up 🙂
- Launch an Alka Seltzer Rocket Lift-off with a well loved classic.
- Create a Tornado in a Jar Not quite as dangerous as it sounds.
- Make a Solar Oven Believe it or not, it all starts with a pizza box. Kids will love it!
3. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Host Themed Days
Yes, you may have done this a hundred times over – but, add a twist and the kids will love it. Get together with your camp counselors and have a think about recent kids movies and trends. From Deadpool and Marvel to Disney and Lego – there’s always a new craze you can get on board with.
Whether you decide to hold a fancy dress day or create activities based on a theme – the options are endless. You can also easily add educational elements in like languages, geography and performing arts.
4. Incorporate Mindfulness
Mindfulness and wellbeing are hot topics for adults at the moment, so why shouldn’t it be for kids too? With the modern pressures of social media and the internet, children need to learn the power of mindfulness just as much as adults. Schools across the US are increasingly incorporating it into the curriculum through a range of activities, so here’s how you can do it at summer camp too:
Combine Mindfulness with Bushcraft
This practice combines nature and ‘rewilding’ to help kids reconnect with the outdoors. By assisting with nature conservation and learning bushcraft survival skills, there are proven benefits that kids’ mental health can improve from the experience.
Practising bushcraft requires children to adopt a mindful approach to their actions as patience, awareness and concentration are all key to mastering activities like knife craft and ancient fire-lighting.
Pair Up Mindfulness and Yoga
Not only does yoga enhance stability and focus, it also aids relaxation and mental wellbeing. Plus, it’s a great way to take a break between daily activities and inject some calm into your program.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Whether you decide to do a seated, walking or guided meditation, it can have a surprising impact on behaviour and mental wellbeing for kids. Here’s a handy article from the ACA (American Camp Association) on how to get started.
“Kids are accustomed to using their senses to experience life. They look, touch, smell, and even taste their way through the world. This natural inclination toward mindfulness makes teaching kids to meditate easier than we thought. In fact, it’s a no-brainer.” Laurie Palagyi
Mindfulness and Roleplay
Get the kids to become the animals that live in the woods! Why not use roleplay to introduce kids to mindfulness through engaging them with nature? Check out our handy video on how to use animals as a starting point for practising mindfulness in nature. It’s proven to work with kids and adults.
“Animal Form Games invite participants to empathize with animals, to imitate their attitudes, and, to the best of their human-bodied ability in the throes of a game, practice animals ways of moving.” Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature
5. Get Creative with Campfire Cooking
New flavours and foods can be a real treat for kids. Explore world foods, host a mini street food festival and at the same time enhance outdoor cooking skills with new and original recipes. No need to go gourmet with this one, simple yet tasty will be a winner every time.
Here’s a few delicious ideas to add you to your Summer Camp program for 2019:
- Mexican Street Corn – a street food classic!
- Toffee Apple Slices – a vegan friendly alternative to marshmallows, quick, easy and sweet!
- Banana Boats – kids will love packing banans with their favorite filling.
- Campfire Potatoes & Chorizo – makes a whole campfire meal.
To Sum Up…
Hopefully, these activities will give you food for thought when putting that all-important program together. If you’re still stuck for ideas though, head to Pinterest which offers a goldmine of tips, tricks and activities, perfect for camp.
If you’re interested in the Wildcraft Adventure™ but aren’t 100% sure about how to implement it, contact us here and we’ll be more than happy to give you all the details you need.
In the meantime, happy planning!
James & Lea Kendall are the creators of Woodland Classroom. “Through our passion, enthusiasm and experience we help people connect with nature, feel healthier and have meaningful experiences through positive activity and creative play.”
“We are experienced outdoor educators with a background in bushcraft, forest school and nature therapy, who love what we do.”