On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

With all the energy spent planning camp programs and new activities, it can be tough coming up with the time to dedicate to fine-tuning the smaller elements.

Freshen up your camp relay races.

If your slate of relay games has become dated and predictable, mix and match a few from this list to bring the spirit of friendly team relay competition back to life.

Single Runner Relays

Beach Blanket Relay: Line up team in a single line. Give each team a tote bag with the following: an oversized T-shirt, a beach blanket or towel, a bottle of sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses and a book. Have the first player run with the tote bag to a defined location, spread out the blanket, put on the T-shirt, slather on sunscreen and lie on the towel while pretending to read the book for two seconds, then remove the shirt, pack all items into the tote and return it to the next person in line. First team to finish is winner.

Picnic Progressive Relay: Line up team in a single line. Give the first person in each group a large tote bag with a blanket or tablecloth inside. Give each additional person one item that could be found at a picnic (can of soda, water bottle with plastic glasses, assorted plastic food items, cutlery, place setting, etc.). Instruct the first person to run to a pre-defined location, set out the picnic blanket, sit on it for two seconds, put it into the tote and return to the line. The next person does the same with the blanket and creates some type of motion with their picnic item on the blanket (pour water into the glass, “open” the soda and drink it, take a “bite” of the food item, arrange place setting, etc.), return both items to the tote and return to the line. The third person repeats the motion of the first two and adds a motion of their own based on their item. Continue until all players finish. Winners finish first!

Cotton Ball Cocktail: Line up team in a single line. Give each team one serving spoon and a large bag of cotton balls. Have players load as many cotton balls on their spoon as they want, then run with the spoon to a pre-defined location where each team has an empty water pitcher of equal size. Dump cotton balls into the pitcher and return to the line, passing off the spoon. Players may protect the spoon with their hand while running but may not touch the cotton balls at any time. If cotton balls fall off, they must be left where they fall. The team with the most cotton balls in the pitcher at the conclusion of the race is the winner.

Fish in the Ocean: Same setup as Cotton Ball Cocktail. Replace cotton balls with goldfish (or other small) crackers and have a water pitcher half full of water. Winning team is first to fill up the water with fish (they will sink as they take on water).

Miscellaneous Single Relay Runner Ideas: Have each player do one of the following and return to the team line: hula hoop, skip, cartwheel, crab walk, frog hop, dizzy bat (do five to ten circles with forehead on a bat handle, then run).

Pair Relay Games

Beach Ball Blast: Line team up in pairs. Set a chair or other marker at a pre-determined distance. Have one stopwatch and timer person for each team. Give each person in the pair an inflated beach ball and have them squeeze the ball between their knees. On the start, each pair needs to run (skip, hop, walk) out around the chair and back to the start without dropping or touching the ball. If the ball is touched or dropped, the player must restart at the beginning. Each pair is timed by the timer. Time starts on go and ends when the first of the pair makes a complete relay without dropping or touching the ball. Winning team is team with lowest total relay time for all pairs.

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