Themes

100 More Summer Camp Themes


A reader asked me for more camp themes. At first I thought, “Isn’t 100 enough? That should take a camp through many summers.” Later I decided that even though there are 100 themes, a lot of them might not appeal to some people.

Creating a list of 100 more summer camp themes was surprisingly difficult. While there are plenty of day or meal themes like backwards day or pajama breakfast, I wanted the list to have themes that can be used all week long.

So here it is.

  1. Pioneer and Settlers
  2. Vehicle Adventures – Golf carts to construction equipment, kids love vehicles.
  3. Mysteries and Riddles
  4. Fairyland
  5. Fairies and Gnomes – Like Fairyland but with mischievous Gnomes.
  6. Earth, Wind and Fire
  7. Shipwrecked
  8. Nature Unleashed
  9. Roman Empire – No fights to the death, please.
  10. Footloose
  11. Masters – Who are the masters of your activities? This would be a great theme to have campers focus on one activity and master it.
  12. Davinci – Creating, experimenting, painting, codes, etc. are all directions you can go with this theme.
  13. Top Shots – Archery, BB Guns, .22s, hatchets, blow darts, sling shots, etc. Who are the camps Top Shots?
  14. Color Me Crazy
  15. The Academy
  16. Randomness – Make sure you add in some random dancing.
  17. Highlanders – A kid-friendly version of the Highland Games would be a great event to hold for this theme.
  18. Regions (forest, desert, mountains and sea)
  19. Express Yourself
  20. Recharge/Relax
  21. Rock Me Amadeus
  22. Technological Wonders
  23. Empowerment
  24. The Oriental Express
  25. Sherwood Forest
  26. The Heart of Africa
  27. Summer Camp Mash-Up – Mash-up two camp activities into one. Do this with all your activities. Have you ever shot a bow and arrow from a horse or kayak?
  28. Cranium
  29. Camp Throwdown – Staff challenge campers at what they do best.
  30. Road Rules – Here’s a travel camp theme where campers compete in teams at various locations.
  31. Beyond Camp – Camp filled with off-site excursions.
  32. Spirit Week – Complete with spirit fingers
  33. Variety Pack
  34. Walk on the Wild Side
  35. Water World
  36. Girl Power
  37. Care Bears
  38. Beauties and Beasts
  39. Cloud 9 – Who doesn’t like being pampered?
  40. Fable
  41. Four Seasons (Fall Harvest, Winter Wonderland, Spring Rejuvenation, Endless Summer)
  42. Trading Spaces
  43. Myth Busters
  44. Project Funway – Either you’re in or you’re out.
  45. Wonder Emporium
  46. Triple Threat – Acting, singing and dancing – or is it archery, climbing and horseback?
  47. Passport to Fun – Campers must get their passports stamped at each activity.
  48. Hunters and Gatherers – Full of treasure (hunter) and scavenger (gatherer) hunts.
  49. Maker Camp (Campers make things, from music to teddy bears and more)
  50. Card Game Chaos (Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc.)
  51. Beyond the Board Games (Life size board games)
  52. Back to the Drawing Board
  53. If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen (Cooking camp)
  54. Heads Up (Kites, high ropes, and anything else that is up in the air)
  55. Kit and Caboodle
  56. Birds of a Feather (Campers with similar interests explore their passions)
  57. Flintstones vs Jetsons (Prehistoric vs. Future)
  58. Wheels Go Round (Bikes, skateboards, and anything else that has wheels)
  59. Boxes, Boxes, Boxes (Box forts, cardboard boats, etc)
  60. Robo Days (All about robots)
  61. Greener on the Other Side
  62. The 7 Kingdoms (Campers are divided into teams and create their own Empires)
  63. Settlers of Camp (Based on the game Settlers of Catan)
  64. Retro (Music, activities and more from the past)
  65. More Than Meets the Eye (Transformers – campers transform one thing into another using supplies you provide)
  66. Wheel of Themes (A spin of the prize wheel decides what the next day’s theme will be)
  67. Risky Business (Activities that have an element of perceived risk are highlighted)
  68. There Can Be Only One (Each camper chooses an activity and does it all week long)
  69. Pathfinders (Campers choose a path of activities like sports, acting, cooking, etc.)
  70. Campers vs Counselors
  71. The Game of Life (For older campers to learn skills that will be important in life)
  72. Lone Wolf Week (a week of campers who don’t know anyone else – lots of friendship making)
  73. Double Trouble (campers register with a friend or two)
  74. Wolfpack Week (groups of friends register together)
  75. Sibling Sensation (campers register with siblings)
  76. Contests and Competitions (Everything during the week is a contest or competition)
  77. Camp Warriors (This is for your true camp fans, the ones that register for multiple weeks, recommend your camp to others, etc.)
  78. LEGO My Eggo
  79. Storybook Summer
  80. Birthday Celebration (Celebrating every camper’s birthday no matter what time of year it is)
  81. Glamping Week (Taking rustic camping to glamorous camping)
  82. Sailors and Mermaids
  83. Geeky Greatness
  84. Southern Comfort (The food, hospitality, etc. of the deep south – etiquette is a must)
  85. Oh Canada
  86. British Invasion
  87. Polynesia-palooza
  88. Mysteries of the World
  89. Mysteries of the Universe
  90. Martian (Based on the book and movie, campers learn science, including botany)
  91. Off the Grid (No technology for the week, or even electricity if you really want to go for it)
  92. In The Game (Bring video games to life)
  93. Plugged In Paradise (The opposite of Off the Grid)
  94. Rock the Vote (Camper vote on what activities are offered, in fact they vote on everything during this week)
  95. Lab Rats (Science!)
  96. Shark Tank (Campers try to get “investors” for their crazy businesses)
  97. Fire and Ice
  98. Ninjas vs. Pirates
  99. Hero’s Journey
  100. Bigger and Better (Instead of a slip and slide rent a huge inflatable slide…)

Need more ideas? Check out 100 Pop Culture Themes.

32 Comments

  • Thanks for the additional theme ideas! I work with young adults with developmental disabilities and am always looking for age-appropriate activities. We’ve used several of your themes in past summers – thank you for making my job easier!

  • does anyone have any suggestions for this camp theme:

    *christmas in july*
    here’s what i have come up with so far:
    1. hang up christmas decor
    2. sing fave christmas songs
    3. write a letter to Santa early

    • 1. Can you have Santa show up in board shorts and a Hawaiian shirt? Maybe he can bring some small gifts.
      2. Rent a mobile snow making machine.
      3. There are companies out there that will bring an industrial snow making machine and create a small hill where the kids can sled. We used to do this every December for a recreation department I used to work at in Southern California.
      4. Have campers bring Santa or elf hats.
      5. Have a couple of staff dress as elves and create a story about how they are on a road trip visiting camps since the North Pole is empty at the moment. All the elves and even santa are on vacation.
      6. Create some Huge Candy Canes and place them around camp.
      7. Find a company that will bring in a mobile ice skating ring. It’s not actually ice. It’s a surface that you can ice skate on, however.
      8. Have a winter wonderland dance.
      9. Have campers make paper snowflakes.
      10. Have camper groups create Christmas skits.

    • Connect with a local charity and “adopt a family” to buy gifts for; ask kids to bring spare change or challenge another camp going on at the same time to contribute to a penny drive so you have funds for purchasing gifts (or make them!). Select some simple holiday gifts (Pinterest!) as daily craft projects. Find out if a local nursery would donate pine seedlings. Have kids plant in a pot and take home for future Christmas decorating.

  • Make “christmas decorations” but decorate a tree outside for the birds. Nesting material, birdseed covered pinecones, etc. The birds don’t care that it’s not cold and it’s fun!

  • Here are the themes my camp is using this summer…
    1.) Musical Moments (have musicians come in, learn about music, have kids/staff share talents)
    2.) Games Galore (go to sporting event, ice/rollerskating, play all sorts of games, have high school or college athletes come play with the campers)
    3.) Adventures in Art
    4.) Time Travel (history related activities and dress)
    5.) Cool Critters (zoo, therapy dogs)
    6.) Tons of Talent (talent show)
    7.) Careers and the Community (touring a college, learning about careers, community service)
    8.) Farming Fun (tour local farms, plant a garden or flowers, have farmers come in and talk)
    9.) Crazy for Candy (candy related games, make candy, tour candy factory, survey of favorite candy)
    10.) Movie Magic (tour movie theater, watch movie, use paper and hand-paint to make “hollywood” square for each kid, movie trivia)
    11.)Navigating Nature (spend time outdoors, go for a hike, visit local park, scavenger hunt, nature education)
    12.) Fantastic Finale (camp-wrap up, revisit favorite camp moments, camp awards/completion certificates)
    *Each week the students will have coloring pages and word searches related to the theme. A great site to create word searches is http://tools.atozteacherstuff.com/word-search-maker/wordsearch.php

  • I’m new to this website and new to my lead-counselor position. Where can I find the original list of 100 themes? I put my 12 ideas from my earlier posts in a binder and would love to add a list off 200 more to mine. thanks

    • Jill, you can use the search bar or on the home page it is the first post on the Popular Posts section in the sidebar.

  • Here are some themes we’ve used. http://ashcraftafterschool.blogspot.com/
    • Animal Kingdoms
    • Animal, Vegetable, Mineral
    • Arctic
    • Art Attack
    • Balloons
    • Bananas
    • Bikes
    • Birds
    • Books
    • Bugs
    • Calendar Year or Seasons
    • California
    • Camping
    • Careers
    • Cartoons
    • Circus
    • Comics
    • Community
    • Consumer Smarts
    • Continents
    • Countries
    • Dance
    • Dinosaurs
    • Economics
    • Eggtasic Eggstravaganza (see samples below).
    • Emergencies
    • Environment
    • Explorers, Inventors and Heroes
    • Famous Cities
    • Fairy Tales
    • Farming and Agriculture
    • Favorites
    • Flying
    • Geography
    • Global Connections
    • Gold Rush
    • Growth
    • Habitats
    • Health
    • Heroes
    • History
    • Humor
    • Inventions/Inventors
    • Islands
    • Journeys
    • Kings & Queens
    • Land, Air and Sea
    • Leaders
    • Literature & Books
    • Magic
    • Mars, Moons and Meteors
    • Math
    • Media – movies, TV, radio, newspapers.
    • Medieval
    • Music
    • Mythology
    • Nature
    • Neighbors
    • Nutrition
    • Outdoors
    • Oceans
    • Olfactory
    • Olympics
    • Pirates
    • Quality
    • Questions
    • Recycling
    • Respect, Responsibility, etc.
    • Role Models
    • Safety
    • Science
    • Space
    • Speed
    • Sports
    • Storybook Characters
    • Talents
    • Taste
    • Teamwork
    • Time Travel
    • Tires
    • Travel
    • Up
    • USA
    • Volunteerism
    • Water
    • Watermelons
    • Weather
    • Weird Science
    • Wild West
    • Winter
    • Xtra everything
    • Xylophones, drums & cymbals
    • Year in a Week
    • You name it!
    • Zones & Zip Codes
    • Zoo Animals

  • Lauren, I do not go into more ideas for these themes. Hopefully I’ll get the time to do that one day, but for now the list is all there is. 🙂

  • I am teaching a music summer camp, and I am looking for ideas. I will have grades k-2 and 3-5 . I will have the students for one week. I was thinking maybe doing a STOMP theme. Just not sure if I will have the activities for the little kiddos and enough stuff for the older kids. I would also like to transform my room for the camp, but I am very limited in the money department.

    Suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Mary

  • We have weekly themes & daily activities that support the theme throughout the week. I’m looking for a theme title for the first week of camp and 4th of July week. Any suggestions?

  • A few years ago some of the kids at my After School Program and I created “Hunger Games Dodgeball”. It is similar to fireball, no teams, but there are upright mats spread out around the gym. All “tributes” must start touching a wall. All of the balls are placed in the centre of the gym. If a “tribute” is hit they must sit out on a bench. When there are 3-4 “tributes” left, everyone who is out may re-enter the game by crawling and attempting to tag the remaining players. Last one wins!

  • hello! i was wondering if you could help suggest some themes you have that might go along with “edified”? im organising a school camp and that is one of my school’s motto unfortunately.. unsure if there is anything, but if there is, please let me know and thank you very much!!

    • Eleanor, the first thing that comes to mind are Star Wars Jedis. They are enlightened both morally and intellectually. Look online for the Jedi Code. You could do a theme around Greek philosophers/philosophy and even add in some Greek mythology. Or how about Harry Potter/Hogwarts. When wizards and witches attend Hogwarts their education and experiences are very edifying. You could have a theme of world cultures and how different races have their own ideas of edification. This could be used in a cruise ship theme, an Amazing Race theme, an Around the World in 5 days theme, etc. You could even do edification through history and have a time travel theme. In the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bill and Ted are the catalyst of enlightenment for the future. Also their adventures and their “school report” could be considered edifying for both Bill and Ted and the student body. Hope some of this helps.

  • these are all awesome ideas. Im currently the event/ theme day planner of my camp and i was wondering what “Pixar adventure” things i could give to my staff to do.
    i have a gym staff member, a ropes staff member, an art staff member, a nature staff member and some pool staff.
    i also have a cooking day and was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas on what to give my staff members, so far im giving my art member some aprons to make. im at a dead end with what foods to make with the children they’ll be from grades K-5. thank you guys so much in advance.

  • We run 4 Kids Camps a year during each school holiday that goes for a week long and we theme it and then decorate and run all our activities,games, ideas, music etc to that theme.

    Some of the themes I can remember of the top of my head are:
    * Mission Unstoppable (spy themed camp base on Mission Impossible)
    * Back to the Future (went to a Museum, decor themed around the movie)
    * Lost in Space
    * Midwinter Christmas
    * Where’s Wally?
    * Upside Down
    * Inside Out (not the movie)
    * A Whole New World (Disney themed camp)
    * Around the World in 80 Days
    * Crazy Summer Camp
    * Animal Kingdom
    * Wild, Wild West
    * Pirate Camp
    * Superhero Camp
    * Fear Factor
    * Survivor Camp
    * Boot Camp
    * Wipeout
    * The W Factor (similar to X Factor)

  • Hiya! I’m a Girl Guide and am looking for themes to run with for my 24 hour camp and a lot of these seem helpful, though I was wondering if you knew of any outdoorsy themes? The camp doesn’t run for long since we have to sleep and cook, so we only need a theme where we could use four or five activities, really. Thanks!

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