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August 1, 2012
It’s Carnival Time!
Every year we do a big carnival. What are some of your best ideas for carnival activities?
One of the things I love and hate about carnivals at camp is the free flowing nature of them. Almost every carnival I have seen has an unstructured free play aspect to it. Basically, the campers get to go from activity to activity at their own pace. I think this is important developmentally for all ages to experience, but as many of you know it can also be a recipe for disaster. I know that wasn’t your question, but it is important as a framework for what you are going to do as far as activities. The best carnivals have a mix of physical activities (catering to the range of abilities – easy to hard), more art based activities or less active options, and finally some non-active or even quiet options. Having all of these things going on helps campers learn how to self regulate AND it’ll give staff a way to redirect a camper that is having a hard time with all the excitement and stimulation.
So… what about the actual activities?
Here are my favorites
- Anything that involves water balloons and counselors
- Minute to win it activities (google it)
- Messy Musical chairs (ie. Shaving cream on the chairs)
- Rock, Paper, Scissors with an entourage
- Mask making
- Making / passing out Mardi Gras type beads
- Group collage/sculpture making
- Cup castles and stomp rockets
- Fortune telling
- Dead Fish
- Minute mysteries (see www.ultimatecampresource.com)
Scott “Funsize” Arizala
Camp Director for Camp Kesem, Vice President of Summer Programming for Dragonfly Forest, Summer Camp Consultant & Trainer, and award-winning author of S’more Than Camp. For more information please visit www.TheCampCounselor.com