30 Summer Camp Games


SUMMER CAMP GAMES

If you’ve ever been a camp counselor or volunteer, you know it can be hard to come up with summer camp games to keep everyone entertained for hours a day. You want to keep things fresh so the campers never feel like they’re playing the same boring games they did the previous year. 

We’ve come up with the ultimate list of summer camp games to play. The camper’s best memories will be of the activities they did at camp, so let’s make sure they don’t miss out on these memorable games.

1. Kickball

KICKBALL gameplay

We couldn’t skip out on the classic games. Kickball is a fun way to get everyone active and involved in a “sport” that isn’t too difficult to play.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • A ball
  • Baseball diamonds (or anything else you can use to mark the bases)

HOW TO PLAY

Kickball is baseball combined with soccer. Instead of hitting the ball with a bat, the pitcher will roll the ball toward the kicker. The kicker then has to kick the ball and run around all the bases to home plate before they’re tagged with the ball.

2. CAPTURE THE FLAG

capture the flag camp game

Capture the Flag is another classic game you can play almost anywhere. This is another great game to play early in the day when everyone is full of energy/

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Two flags
  • Jerseys

HOW TO PLAY

Split up two teams evenly and ensure there is enough space for everyone to run around in. It doesn’t matter the number of players, but the more, the better. Now, each team can hide their flag somewhere on their own side of the playing area.

The goal is to try and capture the other team’s flag and bring it back to your own base. If you get tagged by a player on the opposite team, you must go to “jail” until one of your teammates tags you back in the game.

3. EGG BALANCE

egg camp game

The Egg balance is a test of coordination. It is better to play this game outdoors since there may be quite a bit of cleanup otherwise.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Eggs
  • Spoons

HOW TO PLAY

The egg balance is really simple—hand each player a tablespoon and an egg. Once the game starts, each player must balance the egg on their spoon and try to get it from one side of a field to the other. If you drop your egg, you must go back to the starting line and begin again. The first player to successfully make it across the field wins.

4. TUG OF WAR

camp game tug of war

Tug of War is one of those games where everyone has a different theory about how to win. Do you put the stronger players in the front or in the back? You’ll just have to play to find out.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Rope
  • Tape

HOW TO PLAY

To set up this game, you need to place a piece of tape on the center of the rope. Then, place some tape on the ground to mark a center line for each team. 

Have two teams stand on either side of the rope and lift it up. Once the game starts, each team must pull the rope and try to get the center past the center line. The team who pulls the rope across the line is the winner.

5. HIDE AND SEEK

hide and seek camp game

Hide and Seek is a fan favorite that’s sure to keep campers entertained for a long time. You also don’t need any extra equipment, so starting this game is a breeze.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players

HOW TO PLAY

Playing hide and seek is very simple. Have one person be “it” and have them count to 100 out loud with their eyes closed. Everyone else must run around and hide. Once the person is done counting, he must try to find all the other players. The last person to be caught wins, and the first person to be caught is now “it.”

6. TAG

tag

Tag is another fun game you can play anywhere with no equipment. If you want, you can set up obstacles, but playing outside with natural obstacles is much more fun. 

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players

HOW TO PLAY

To play tag, you also need one person to be “it.” If you’re “it,” you must chase all the other players around until you tag someone. Once you tag another player, they are it, and the game continues. You can also choose to have a home base where everyone is safe, but playing without one is much more challenging. 

7. SIMON SAYS

We’re getting all the games without equipment out of the way. This is a fun game to play later in the day to wind down from running around.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players

HOW TO PLAY

To play this game, you need to designate one leader. This is generally better if it’s a camp volunteer. Later, you can have other players become leaders. The leader must give an action to all the players. If they say “Simon says” first, then everyone has to do the action. However, if they don’t say “Simon says” and someone does the action, that person is out. 

8. FOX IN THE HENHOUSE

fox in the henhouse camp  game

Fox in the Henhouse is a really fun game I learned quite recently. It’s a great game for players to learn to communicate better. 

WHAT YOU NEED

  • A blindfold

HOW TO PLAY

To play this game, all the players must stand in a large circle. Now, two players are chosen: one to be a hen and the other to be a fox. Blindfold the fox and have the fox and the hen inside the circle. 

The goal is for the fox to catch the hen. Players around the circle can help the fox by using clicking sounds to indicate where the hen is. They are not allowed to talk. The game ends when either the fox tags the hen or until the hen holds out for a long enough time. Then, you choose two new players to be in the circle.

9. DUCK DUCK GOOSE

duck duck goose

Duck Duck Goose is probably my favorite game on the list. I’ve played this game many times at camp as well as at school. It’s such a fun game to play, and it really gets everyone in the competitive spirit.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players

HOW TO PLAY

To play this one, have all the players sit on the ground in a circle. Choose one person to be the tapper. As the tapper, you must walk around and tap each player on the head and say, “Duck.” You choose an opponent whenever you want by tapping them and instead saying, “Goose!”

Once you tap the goose, they must chase you around the outside of the circle, and you must sit in the place they just left. You remain the tapper if they tag you before you can make it. However, they are the new tapper if you make it to their spot without being tagged.

10. HOT POTATO

hot potato camp game

Hot potato is a game that probably everyone has played. It is a fun game of coordination and speed!

WHAT YOU NEED

  • A small ball
  • Music

HOW TO PLAY

For this one, you can use your phone or a small speaker to play music. Have all the players sit or stand in a circle. Take the ball and have the players start passing it around the circle while you play a song. 

If you stop the music at any point, the player holding the ball is out. You are also out if you drop the ball at any point during the game. The winner is the last player in the game.

11. CUP TO CUP

cup to cup

Ok, now Cup to Cup is a camp game you definitely need to play outside. To make the game even more fun, you can choose to play with cold water. This is a really fun one to pay on a hot day.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Cups/bowls
  • Water

HOW TO PLAY

To play this one, divide the players into two equal teams. Have them stand in a line behind each other and give each player a bowl. Fill the bowl of the first player with cold water. 

Now, each player must lift the bowl over their head and try to pour the water into the bowl of the player behind them. This continues until the last player. The winner is the team with the most water in their bowl at the end.

12. SCAVENGER HUNT

scavenger hunt camp game

A scavenger hunt is really fun and extremely easy to set up. You can do one every day with a different theme to keep things exciting.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Random objects
  • Item list

HOW TO PLAY

To do a scavenger hunt, you first need to choose random objects and hide them all around the camp. Now, get a sheet of paper that lists the items, and you’re ready to go. Have the campers go around and try to find the objects and cross them off their list. The team or player with the most objects is the winner. 

13. FLINCH

flinch camp game

Flinch is as fun to watch as it is to play. You really have to keep a good poker face for this one.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • A foam ball

HOW TO PLAY

To play flinch, have all the players stand in a circle with their arms crossed and their hands on their shoulders. Designate one person to be the flinchmaster. The flinchmaster has to throw or pretend to throw the ball to random players in the circle.

If the flinchmaster throws the ball to you, you have to catch it. If you don’t, you are out. Now, if the flinchmaster pretends to throw the ball to you and you move or flinch, you are also out. The last player remaining is the winner. 

14. WATER BALLOON DODGEBALL

water balloon dodgeball

Nothing is more fun than playing camp games and adding water balloons! They provide endless fun, and the clean-up is super easy!

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Water balloons

HOW TO PLAY

Water balloon dodgeball is almost the same as traditional dodgeball. However, you play with water balloons rather than playing with a ball. Two teams get an equal number of water balloons and stay on their own side of the playing field. 

If you throw a balloon and it hits someone, they are out and must stand on the sidelines. If someone catches a balloon you throw and it doesn’t pop, you are out. The best part is that if you run out of water balloons, you can simply continue the game with a regular dodgeball.

15. WATER BALLOON TOSS

water balloon

The Water balloon toss is another one of my favorite games. Traditionally, you can play this with an egg, but water balloons are much more fun.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Water balloons

HOW TO PLAY

Divide players into teams of two and give each team one water balloon. Have the two players face each other and stand a few feet apart. Now, toss the balloon to your teammate. Once your teammate catches the balloon, they can take a step back. Then they toss it back, and you take a step back. Keep doing this until the balloon pops. The team who had the longest distance wins.

16. SARDINES

sardines camp game

Sardines is a bit of a twist on hide and seek. It’s a great game for campers who are bored with the classic version.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players

HOW TO PLAY

Sardines is similar to hide-and-seek, except only one person hides. Everyone else has to try to find the one person. As soon as you find the person hiding, you have to join them in their hiding spot. This keeps going until there is one person left, and they are the ones who have to hide in the next round. 

17. WHEELBARROW RACE

wheelbarrow race

The wheelbarrow race forces campers to work together to complete the task while being super fun as well. What more could you want from a camp game?

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players
  • Cones

HOW TO PLAY

To set this camp game up, you only need to place cones on the opposite side of a field to mark the finish line. Depending on the age of your campers, you can place the finish line closer or further away. After that, separate everyone into teams of two.

Have the teams line up, and one camper will have their hands on the ground. Their partner will be standing up, holding their legs like, you guessed it, a wheelbarrow. The first team to cross the finish line is the winner. 

18. THREE-LEGGED RACE

three legged race

The three-legged race is another great one for teamwork. Campers should really love this one, as it gets super competitive. You will not stop laughing while watching it.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Pieces of rope
  • Cones 

HOW TO PLAY

This is another race game, so you need to set up the cones for the finish line. Now pair up campers and have them stand next to each other. Tie the rope around their legs to connect them. Once the race starts, you must try to win the race while only having three legs. 

19. POTATO SACK RACE

sack race, children, jumping

While we have the racing camp games set up, we can’t forget the potato sack race. You can always use pillowcases rather than potato sacks. Just make sure to play it on grass to avoid any injuries.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Pillowcases/ potato sacks
  • cones

HOW TO PLAY

Keep the race setup from the previous games. Now, each player gets their own pillow case, and they should be able to stand in it and hold it up with their hands. Once the race starts, they must make it across the finish line while in the sack.

20. HULA HOOP PASS

hula hoop

I’ve played the hula hoop pass as a team-building exercise. It is as much fun to watch as it is to participate in. 

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Hula hoops 

HOW TO PLAY

For this game, you can divide the camp evenly into two large teams. Have each team stand in a circle and hold hands. You can join in on the game, too, to help the campers out a bit if it’s their first time playing. Place a hula hoop at your feet and wait for someone to yell, “Go.”

Once the game starts, you must pick up the hula hoop with your foot and try to get it over your body and onto the next player’s arm. Now, they keep passing the hula hoop around the entire team until it reaches you again without letting go of your hands. The first team to do this successfully is the winner.

21. ULTIMATE FRISBEE

ultimate frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is a great game to play at camp. It’s competitive and fast paced, so maybe better to keep it for slightly older campers. The good thing is that you can alter the rules to make it more kid-friendly.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Frisbee
  • Jerseys 
  • Cones 

HOW TO PLAY

Split the campers into two even teams, and choose one team to have the frisbee first. You can flip a coin or do rock paper scissors. Setup the cones on opposite sides of the field as each team’s end zone.

Now, the teams have to toss the frisbee to each other and try to score it into their opponent’s endzone. Once you catch the frisbee, you are not allowed to move. If you drop the frisbee, possession goes to the other team. You can play till a predetermined score.

22. SHARKS AND MINNOWS

sharks and minnows

Sharks and minnows is a camp game I played many times as a kid. It gets you active and helps you work on your coordination the more you play it. 

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Cones 

HOW TO PLAY

For this one, you just need to make a play area with the cones. Have all the campers stand on one side of the area. These are the minnows. Next, choose one or two players to be the sharks, depending on the number of players.

When someone yells start, the minnows have to try and run to the other side without getting tagged by the sharks. If you get tagged, you become a shark and can now tag the other minnows. Once only two minnows are left, they become the sharks in the next round.

23. BEAN BAG TOSS

cornhole

The bean bag toss, also known as cornhole, is a beloved game, especially in the Midwest. Both children and adults really enjoy this one. The cool thing is that if you don’t have a real set, you can use buckets instead.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Cornhole set/ or buckets
  • Bean bags

HOW TO PLAY

Divide the campers into two teams for this game. Set up the boards or the buckets about 15 feet apart for younger players or 45 for older ones. Now, each team takes turns trying to toss the bean bags into the bucket on the other side. Yes, it’s that simple, but it’s so much fun!

24. MEDUSA

medusa

Medusa is a game I originally played in a hostel, and there was booze involved. Luckily, there is a booze-free version of this game you can play at camp.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players 

HOW TO PLAY

This one is very simple. Have all the players stand in a circle and look down or close their eyes. On the count of three, everyone must look up and look at one other player. If two players are looking at each other, they are out. Keep going until there are only two players left.

25. TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

Two Truths and a Lie is another game I played in school, and I loved playing it to pass the time. It really makes you work on your poker face, and it’s a great ice-breaker game.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players 

HOW TO PLAY

First, have everyone sit in a circle. Next, give everyone five minutes to think of three things about themselves. Two of those things must be true, and one must be a lie. Now, go around and have each person say their three things out loud. The others must guess which one was a lie. 

26. WHO’S THE LEADER

camp game who's the leader

Now, this game doesn’t require running around, so save this one for those rainy days. Who’s the leader is a great way to test the camper’s detective skills.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players 

HOW TO PLAY

As before, have all the players sit in a circle. Now, choose one player to be the detective. Have them leave the room while you choose a leader. When they come back, the game starts.

Have everyone start by clapping their hands slowly. Now, the leader must change the action by slapping their thighs, jumping up and down, or whatever. Everyone else must follow. They keep doing this and changing actions. The detective has three guesses to figure out who the leader is.

27. NINJA

ninja camp game

I first discovered ninja in school, and I played it for years with friends and family. It’s still one of my favorite games to play anywhere I go. It’s great because you can play with either a big or small group.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players 

HOW TO PLAY

Start by playing one big game, and then, once the groups get the hang of it, divide them into smaller teams to play on their own. Have all the players stand in a circle, and then, on the count of three, they strike a ninja pose. 

One player will start the game, and the turn will move clockwise. To start, you can make one sudden movement to either move away from other players or to attack another player. The attack is touching another player on one arm above the wrist. The player they attack can dodge the attack in one movement as well.

If the attack lands, the player who was hit loses one life and must put an arm behind their back. If it misses, they must hold their position however they move. Once you lose both lives, you are out. You, as the attacker, also have to hold your position wherever you move, whether your attack lands or not. This continues till only one player is remaining.

28. WEREWOLF

One Night Ultimate Werewolf – Fun Party Game for...
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Werewolf is a deduction game that has become extremely popular at camps. There are so many different versions, each with its own unique twist. Check out our best hidden role games for more. You can play this with a specific game set, or you can simply narrate everything yourself using your imagination.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • A werewolf card deck/ or imagination

HOW TO PLAY

Have all the players stand in a circle and close their eyes. Then, give certain players a role, such as doctor or sheriff, and then choose two or more werewolves, depending on the size of the group. Everyone else is a townsperson.

Now, the game goes in nighttime rounds where the werewolves wake up and murder townspeople. Then daytime where, the townspeople have to work together to decide who the werewolves are. This game can keep you entertained for hours.

29. WINK MURDER

wink murder camp game

Wink Murder is another great indoor camp game since you can play it sitting down. It’s similar to Who’s the Leader but with a slightly darker twist.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players 

HOW TO PLAY

As above, have all the players sit or stand in a circle and choose one detective to leave the room. Then, choose one person to be the murderer. When the detective returns, he can stand in the center of the circle. The murderer now has to look at people and wink at them in order to kill them. The best part is playing out your exaggerated death.

The detective has three guesses to guess who the murderer is. If he doesn’t guess correctly then the murderer wins. 

30. IN THE NATURE OF THE ADVERB

in the nature of the adverb camp game

I’ve played this game many times, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. It helps the campers be creative while having fun.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Players 

HOW TO PLAY

For this camp game, have all the campers stand in a circle and choose one camper as the guesser. The guesser leaves the room, and the rest of the group chooses one adverb, such as excitedly.

Now, the guesser comes back and stands in the middle of the circle, having to guess the adverb. They must ask the players to do actions in the nature of the adverb. For example, they could ask you to shake someone’s hand in the nature of the adverb, and you have to do it. Once they guess correctly, someone else becomes the guesser. 

Love these games? Check out our slumber party games.

Alan Lemus
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