6 Games to Get Camp Moving

Encouraging interaction at camp, especially during those first few days when the newness makes even the most outgoing person a bit reticent, can be daunting.

Break the ice with these fun getting-to-know-you games.

One way to ease nervousness and build community is through icebreakers. Convincing people to interact is much simpler with the use of games and activities, especially when each person has a role or behavioral expectation.

It’s far less intimidating to be involved when everyone around you is doing something as silly as you are!

Here are six icebreakers you may want to try with any size and makeup of group. Do you have a favorite icebreaker? Are there icebreakers that work well for your groups? Share them in the comment section!

Oldest To Youngest

Assemble a group of 10-20 members. Instruct the members that the game is played in COMPLETE silence. The objective of the game is to have the group realign themselves in a single-file line from the oldest member to the youngest member using their dates of birth. They are free to use their hands to show numbers of months, days and years, but they are not allowed to talk at any point.

For variations, challenge two or more small groups to do this simultaneously, then check each date of birth for proper order individually down the line. The most correct line wins. Variations: youngest to oldest, number of years at camp, number of camps attended, or years camping.

Two Truths and a Lie

Assemble groups of 10-20 members. Give each person an index card and a pen, and instruct them to write two facts and one lie about themselves on the card. They can write these in any order, and they want to create a lie that sounds believable. For example, they are the oldest sibling (truth), they have four dogs (lie–they have two dogs) and they love chocolate chips (truth).

When everyone has finished writing, have group members mingle and share their two truths and a lie with each other while asking the new person which detail they think is the lie and which are the truths. If their lie tricks someone (meaning the new person chooses their lie as a truth, or a truth as a lie), the person who guessed incorrectly must sign their name on the back of the other’s card. When the game is ended (when most of the group members have met each other), the “winner” is the person who has collected the most signatures on their card.

Joanna With Jelly Beans

Assemble groups of 10-20 members in a circle, either sitting or standing. Choose a person (or volunteer) to go first. Have that person state their name to the group and mention something they brought to camp (either real or imaginary) that starts with the same letter as their name.

For example, the title of this game–Hi, I’m Joanna and I brought jellybeans. The second person then does the same for herself, then refers to the person before her (Hi, I’m Dru and I brought dinosaurs, and this is Joanna and she brought jellybeans). The third person continues by adding himself and referring to the two people before him, and so on, so that the last person in the group must do their best to remember every person in their circle.

Near the end, you will have many people silently trying to recall all the names in their group and willing to help each other out–and camp will be a much smaller place.

Matching Pairs

This game is played with any number of people, but it must be an even number, and the game requires a bit of preparation. Before playing, determine the number of people you will have playing and get an equal number of index cards. Create pairs of cards.

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