Waterlogged On Land

A dive into a cold lake, a dip in the pool and a game of Marco Polo provide an opportunity to cool off on warm days. On an ordinary camp day, they are often the highlight.

However, campers can’t stay in the pool all the time. Counselors are frequently challenged to find other ways to keep kids cool.

In creating some other activities involving water that can be played within a small cabin group or between several small groups, and can even be adapted for a whole camp evening activity, consider the following:

• Make games appealing to younger campers and for individual cabin groups.

• Choose a place close to a water supply, so filling water buckets will not be a problem.

• Do not use breakable containers.

• Stress cooperation between team members and having fun, rather than winning and losing.

• Have cold water available to drink during and after games.

• Have campers wear bathing suits and bring a towel. Campers will get wet!

Water Games

Balloon Toss

Prior to the game, fill balloons with water. You will need two or three per camper. Line the campers up in two lines facing each other. Each person chooses a partner in the opposite line, and high-fives his or her partner. Give each camper in one line a balloon. The goal of the game is to toss the balloon back and forth without breaking it. The pair that still has their balloon at the end wins. Campers start by standing about a foot apart and periodically are told to move further back. Replace broken balloons until you run out. Continue until only one pair still has a balloon. The group picks up all pieces of balloons at the end of the game.

Supplies: Balloons, water

Find The Marbles

Fill a small wading pool or a low-sided tub with water and a generous squirt of dishwashing soap. Drop about two-dozen marbles of different sizes in the bottom of the pool. Let four to six campers sit around the pool/tub and use their toes to retrieve marbles from the pool/tub. Keep track of how many marbles each camper finds. Campers not hunting for marbles can cheer the others.

Supplies: Small wading pool or low-sided tub, marbles, dishwashing soap

Make A Splash

This is a variation of Duck, Duck, Goose. Campers sit in a circle. Fill a large bucket with water, and place it near the circle. Choose one camper to be “It” and give him or her a large cup. “It” fills the cup with water and walks outside the circle saying, “Splish, Splish,” passing behind each child. “It” says, “Splash” and pours the cup of water over a camper in the circle. That person then chases the camper with the cup. Whoever reaches the empty place in the circle first sits down, and the other person becomes “It.” Play continues as long as the water lasts and campers remain involved.

Supplies: Bucket of water, large plastic cup

Run Through A Sprinkler

This is an old¬-fashioned type of activity that younger campers still enjoy–especially if the sprinkler has plenty of spouts.

Supplies: Hose, sprinkler

Relay Games


This game can be played with any number of campers. Line them up in relay formation with an equal number on each team. Give the second person in each line a bucket of water and a cup. The first person in each line takes 10 to 12 steps forward, and then turns around to face the team. Have the second person in line fill the cup from the bucket and run to the first camper with the cupful of water. Explain that #2 camper will hand the cup of water to #1 camper, turn to one side, stick one arm in the air, and yell, “Typhoon!” At that point, #1 will throw the water in the face of #2 camper. The wet camper now takes #1’s place, and #1 runs back to the head of the line with the cup, gives the cup to the next camper in line, and goes to the rear of the line. Continue playing until the bucket is empty. The team who finishes first, wins.

Supplies: Buckets of water, cups

Over And Under The Falls

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