We’ve all been there before. As a young person rolling our eyes in disbelief while our youth camp games leaders rattled off an explanation on how we were about to play dog-and-bone. Or sneaking off to ‘the toilet’ while the rest of our games group begrudgingly got ready to play ‘ice and water’. No one wants to be at a camp with games like that! While great ideas are a good starting point for having awesome camp games, a lot more goes into making games a fun and epic experience. Here are four quick tips you can consider to make your camp games epic!
Make Sure Everyone Understands.
It doesn’t matter how great our ideas are when no one really knows what’s going on. Briefings are essential and you should set aside time to run them before the games kick off. Everyone involved in games should be briefed thoroughly, from ICs, to stationmasters, to helpers, to water-refillers, and even group leaders. The night before our games segments, we usually gather our group leaders and brief them on how the next day’s games will run. This turns them from being participants to facilitators, which helps immensely when trying to control a horde of young people. Another thing to do would be to equip games ICs with loudhailers or a sound system – you want them to be heard by everyone!
If the idea started out with a ping pong ball, use a beach ball at the very least. If the last game in your service involved a bucket filled with 10 cans of baked beans , you’ll want an inflatable baby pool filled with raw fish, whole tomatoes, and 100 cans of baked beans! Get a bigger everything for camp games. You want to buy or build props that young people can’t find in their homes, or even get to mess with in school! When your young people walk in and see larger-than-life game setups, it gets them excited to try stuff out! The crazier the scale, the more epic it feels! Aside from just being HUGE though…
Make It Look Great!
You don’t want your games props looking like something your younger brother cobbled together using duct tape and random items in your storeroom. Start preparing your props early so they can be well made and professional looking. Instead of just coloured bamboo poles, how about try wrapping them in black tape? Or sourcing for games materials early so you can order pre-made things from places like China. Aside from the props, make the actions and visuals involved in the game look epic too! Some tasks or games can seem fun or challenging, but don’t look very fun to watch. You’ll want things that don’t just feel fun, but look fun as well! Once you’ve got all your stuff prepped ahead of time, the most important thing to do with games is to…
Test, and Test, and Test, and Test Again!
Even the best plan on paper has the potential to fall flat on it’s face during the real thing. An incredibly vital thing to do when planning for camp games is to make sure every last detail is tested. As we’ve tested some of our own games, we’ve discovered that some props don’t behave in the way they’re designed to, some mechanisms seem to defy the laws of logic and physics, and things that looked funny in our imaginations have turned out to be extremely painful to watch in real life. Test how long it takes to reset a game – some games may take simply way too long to reset. Test how long it takes to play a game. Test how far the float will slide with 5L of soap compared to 10L of soap. Don’t put yourself in a position to be shocked by something that doesn’t work out, always test it out!
Hopefully these quick tips will help with the next bunch of games you’re planning for your youth camp! You want to plan games that even you’ll be excited to try! Give your young people the best time possible at camp this year!
Also, to help you out, here are a few games that have worked out for us in our past camps and we hope it can give you a clearer picture of how to make camp games epic in a very practical way! Log on to www.tinyurl.com/elevate-game-resources to download!