Anyone who’s ever run a camp or taught school or even babysat knows that you’re always looking for interesting and fresh ideas. Well, thanks to a very creative young camp director who shared her ideas at the American Camp Association Conference last February, I was able to organize and execute a wonderful new night activity last Friday.
It’s called Choose Your Own Adventure.
We begin with the campers, in their adventure groups, on the junior tennis courts where they find out they are stranded on what seems to be a deserted island. A previous castaway has left us a map and a letter. But the letter is badly torn, so some of the warnings are left out.
The adventure groups are then given three choices of where to go first. They’re also told they must successfully complete the task at each station on the “island” before they can be rescued. Each group is given a map of the island and a copy of the letter to help them make their choices.
One station requires the campers to make a fire, one to look for food, and one to build a shelter. One involves pirates and stolen gold, and one a volcano and the Goddess of the Volcano.
Aye, aye matey!
What made this activity so exciting and fun was the way the counselors got into character. At two stations, the native villagers watched and registered their approval of the fires and shelters that were built. There were screams of delight as campers were captured by the pirates, and hysterical laughter as one group of natives approved of the various fire building skills using their “native language.”
Campers and counselors alike loved the activity. I know that having the counselors deeply involved helps the campers to also put themselves into the activity and this means they have more fun as a result.
So we’ve found a new night activity which is fun and entertaining and teaches cooperation on the side, (but don’t tell the campers that!)
–Bonnie Dawson, Head of Special Events, Camp Alleghany