Spice Up Programming

Editor’s Note: We invited readers to submit their most creative programming ideas to find out what keeps their camp ticking. After the submissions came pouring in, we knew we had several gems to share with Camp Business readers. Take a look and see if there’s anything you can use to spice up the upcoming camp season and thanks to everyone who participated!


Ahoy, Maties!

Special event days add a lot of zest to our two-week program and keep campers engaged. Every two-week session, we have one day that is totally different from the rest of camp. Each session it’s different and a secret from the campers until the day arrives. This summer the favorite was Pirate Day and included pirates overtaking camp from across the lake at breakfast and kidnapping the senior staff and forcing us to walk the plank!

Rhiannon Baker

Wildwood Program Coordinator

Mass Audubon

Lincoln, Mass.

Camp Treasure Hunt

Throughout their time at camp, campers have to find clues leading them to the “Treasure of Jasper Springs.”

We decorated an old cabin using small boxes that were made to look antique and hollow books in which to hide things (both found at a local craft/hobby store.) We printed old pictures, framed them, and placed them in the cabin. We also wrote letters with hidden clues and “antiqued” them using coffee. All of the cabin décor had the potential to hide a clue. We even had an old clock set at a certain time, which became the combination for a lock on a treasure chest.

After a workshop on invisible ink, we showed campers an invisible message that appeared on one of Jasper’s letters. We held a separate workshop on codes and another on orienteering. The campers used their new-found skills to find coded messages that Jasper left behind.

The campers eventually put all their clues together to find a box that contained a set of maps. Each group got a map to a specific location. The campers found the treasure, a mason jar full of geodes (found on Oriental Trading Company Web site), and each camper got to take home a geode “treasure.” Two of the locations had an additional treasure of a large “diamond” (glass paper weight, cut to look like a large diamond–also found at hobby/craft store). I’ve never seen the campers so excited! Finding clues throughout the camp session really kept the momentum and excitement going. And, it had some great teambuilding results.

Shannon Caldwell

4-H Camping Coordinator

Little Rock, Ark.

Technology-Enhanced Treasure Hunt

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