Last week, Terry, the programming manager at Sugar Bay, the only ACA accredited camp in South Africa, left a comment asking me for ideas for their 4 weeks of camp held during the World Cup.

Before I give my suggestions for their themes I wanted to take a moment and address the programming opportunity of this event that comes around every 4 years. The World Cup is currently the most widely-viewed and followed sporting event in the world. It even surpasses the Olympics. I know that is hard to believe for many Americans, but it’s true.

The World Cup goes from June 11 to July 11, 2010. Why not dedicate a wee, a day or even an afternoon to this epic event. It’s not only a good opportunity to play some football (soccer, for my American readers), but it’s a great opportunity to highlight Africa, specifically South Africa (which is where the World Cup is being held this year).

Here are some activities that you can do:

  1. The Diski – Here is a dance that takes moves from football and puts them to music. It’s uniquely South African. Gather the campers and have staff lead the dance. It’s sort of like line dancing where everyone does the same moves together. There are a number of videos on YouTube that will show you demonstrations and how -tos, but I suggest starting at this site.
  2. Have a Braai – Braai is African for barbecue.  There’s even a National Braai Day in Africa. Read more about Braai here.
  3. Football and Freedom- Teach your campers about South Africa’s history and culture by using the Football and Freedom teacher’s curriculum packet.
  4. Trivia – Ask trivia questions about the World Cup and/or about the different nations that compete.
  5. Hold a football tournament.
  6. Target Practice – Set up targets and let campers try to hit them with the ball.
  7. Football Variations – Instead of using a football use a beach ball or play the game with one football for every 2 players.

Now, here are the four camp themes (taken from their newsletter) for Sugar Bay during the World Cup. If you have other suggestions please leave them for Terry in the comments section below.

World Cup Backpackers Week

Taking a trip around the world to celebrate the different countries here for the World Cup, having a music festival for party night, every day is visiting a different word cup country… Theme dinner can be a whole range of food from the visiting countries.

There’s a lot of neat things that you can do for this theme. Check out a previous post I did on my other blog, RecreationGuy.com, titled 15 Things to Do During an Around the World in 80 Days Program.

World Cup Lumo Week

Lumo wars, Lumo team competitions, Lumo treasure hunt, UV party, Lumo/UV fire show. It’s all about glow sticks, UV paint (if we can get it), and getting camp to be as bright as possible (in terms of colour) everyday. Kids must be encouraged to bring anything and everything they own that is lumo!

Play glow stick tag. The person that is “it” wears a green glow stick and the other players wear yellow glow sticks. When “it” catches someone “it” tales the yellow glow stick and gives the player a red glow stick to show that the player is out. Players must be wearing glow sticks at all times. You can change the colors.

Disco Dodgeball is played indoors during the day or outdoors at night. Turn the music on and have a couple of DJ light effects on that will shine different colors all over the place.

You can purchase glow-in-the-dark footballs on Amazon or maybe at your local sporting good store. Play football at dusk or hold a target competition in the dark. Paint your target with glow in the dark paint or take a glow stick and break it. Then splatter the paint inside of the stick onto the target.

World Cup Have a Ball week

A week where it’s all about balls! Focus is an all ball sports and having team based games and competitions and events using rugby balls, soccer balls, rugby balls, baseballs, netballs, foosballs, golf balls, volleyballs etc. Each cabin can make a mascot in the shape of a ball (using anything from balloons, old sports balls at camp etc.)

Play football with beach balls.

Play football with multiple footballs at the same time. “Look out goalie!”

Teach juggling with balls.

Make popcorn balls for a treat. Silly idea? Yes. But isn’t it fun when camp is silly?

World Cup Superstars Week

A week where celebrity star power meets football star power! Every day a footballer and superstar actor/musician from one of the participating world cup countries will be highlighted and celebrated. EP’s and activities to be created accordingly including the obvious choices such as Fashion show, Skits and Stunts, Party Night.

Beckham and Victoria lend themselves perfectly to this theme. It’s time to bring back some good old Spice Girls music. Have campers do karaoke or lipsyncing (if they know the songs).

Dress your counselor. Have the campers take a celebrity and a football superstar and put them together. Now dress your counselor up using clothes, props and make-up if need be. Then bring the camp together and have the counselors come up one at a time. See if they can guess the celebrity AND the football superstar that the counselor is supposed to be representing.

Play charades. Kids love charades. They can act out a celebrity or movie.