This is part four of a five-part series. Check out the rest of the series.
Teach kids how to use a thread and needle can be a great life skill for them. Depending on the age, you may want to insist on parental supervision. There are some great ideas online for sewing projects for kids like this bookmark. You can send the materials needed to the kids in a kit or give the parents a list and time to gather the materials.
Schedule a time when the teens can get online and hang out using Zoom or Google Hangouts. Of course, they can do this on their own using apps like Houseparty, so you’ll need to incentivize them to attend your hangout. Some ideas are…
- Games from Jackbox
- Host a Game Show with prizes
- Plan a camp event
- Teach something cool
- Dance Off
- Themed Hangout (ex. Harry Potter)
Recreate a Famous Movie Poster
Show the group a movie poster and give them time to recreate it the best they can using items they have in the home. Of course, they won’t look as accurate as if they had the resources to get costumes and set up in a similar location like these kids, but it will be fun to see what they come up with.
Recreate a Famous Movie Scene
Instead of recreating a movie poster, have the kids recreate one of their favorite movie scenes. Then see if the rest of the group can guess what the movie is. Give them time to choose the scene, dress the part, and practice their lines (or dance moves) before performing it.
Have your staff (and maybe some campers) create videos to answer FAQs
Does your website have a FAQ page? If not, take this time to create one. What are the frequently asked questions parents have about your camp?
Having the answers to these FAQs in text is great, but having videos to answer the questions as well set your camp apart. Parents will get a sense of the personalities of the leadership staff. You can also have campers and seasonal staff answer some of the questions. Post the videos on YouTube and share the link on your website.
Public Speaking Class
Public speaking is a great skill to have. Teach a class on public speaking that will help the kids when they have to give presentations at school. This can be 30 minutes to an hour-long class that lasts for a week or longer. At the end, the kids are given a chance to speak about something they love.
You could also add in a section on effective communication using a webcam. How to set it up to the correct height, where to look, creating a background that is appealing, etc.
Kids love puppets. How else could shows like The Muppet Show and Sesame Street be on so long and be loved by so many? Adults seem to enjoy them as well when done properly. Comedians/Vantriliquists/Puppeteers are very popular on shows like America’s Got Talent. Some have made it to the finals, even winning the whole thing. Terry Fator has made millions after winning the show by headlining in Vegas.
Teach kids to make their own puppets. They could be as simple as sock or paper bag puppets. Then teach them the correct way to use the puppet. After that, have them write a story or act out a kid’s book. There are a lot of puppet making tutorials on YouTube.
Recording and creating interactive videos can be time-consuming on your end but really enjoyable for the kids. Basically, the viewers can interact with the video by clicking on different choices.
Here’s an example of one that I made using Interactr.
Hold a virtual campfire full of songs and one or two person skits. Add a fake or real fire in the background. End the night with a story. This would be a great event to have the family sit around the computer and participate in. Families could even perform their own skits.
Run a game show using the screen share feature on Zoom or other live streaming app. Find PowerPoint games on sites like Rusnak Creative.
What a great time to run an entrepreneur camp. Explore the different businesses kids can run online or off. Discuss tech needs, marketing, budgeting, product development, etc. See if you can take a concept and create a business from it. There are so many avenues you can explore from writing ebooks, creating videos for a course or a YouTube channel, making items to sell on Shopify or Etsy, old-school services like washing neighbors cars, mowing lawns, dog walking, and babysitting.
Michell Cummings also has a number of virtual team building activities. Here is a replay of one of her webinars.
Camp Improvement Roundtable
Invite your camper families and staff to a roundtable session with the goal of gathering ideas on how you can improve camp including activities, schedule, registration, transportation, t-shirt design, meals, special events and more. Give them all a voice and a safe environment to make suggestions and critic your programs. There’s no better way to get buy-in from everyone.
This is like Pictionary online, but there are no teams. You can create a private room and send the link to your campers and staff. Scribbl.io randomly chooses a person to draw and gives them three words to choose from. The rest of the group has to guess what they are drawing. Each person gets a turn and points are earned for guessing correctly and drawing well. It’s very basic, but fun. Check out skribbl.io.
Staff Tries Series
Have staff try different things. Better yet, have kids choose from a list something they want a staff member to try. Here are some ideas…
- Try to hit a bullseye
- Try to eat a bug
- Try to build the tallest Lego tower
- Try to act out a specific movie scene
- Try to learn a dance that is popular on TikTok
- Try to sing a particular song
- Try a handstand
- Try to paint with Bob Ross
Aaron Schneider of Trail Ridge Camp shared a video on Facebook where he strapped a GoPro on one of their energetic goats. It’s fun to watch the life of a goat. That got me thinking about what else you might be able to strap a GoPro to like a dog, an ATV, a Jet Ski, a horse, the director, etc.
We're trying our hand at some virtual camp experiences for you all. We miss you and wish you could be here with us, but until then–here's something to hopefully brighten your day! #goatpro #gopro #hillsborowi #trailridge #2020vision
Posted by Trail Ridge Camp and Conference Center on Saturday, 4 April 2020
Golf Cart Karaoke
Many of us watch (and enjoy) Carpool Karaoke with James Cordan. Why not do the same thing on your camp property? Record it and upload it. Use your golf cart, Gator or camp van. Could you be the first to do Canoe Karaoke or Zipline Karaoke?
Live stream a game show and have your virtual campers be the contestants. One of my favorites is Let’s Make a Deal, but there are plenty of other game shows you can recreate like Are You Smarter Than a Camper (have staff be the contestants), Name That Tune, and Family Feud.
Minute to Win It Challenges
I mentioned game shows above, but Minute to Win It deserves its own section.
The great thing about many of these games is that most of them use items you can often find around the home. Have a few of the kids set up for a particular game. Watch them all on Zoom or your favorite live streaming app to see who finishes first. Now let a few more kids go.
I find it better to have them go head-to-head instead of only giving them 60 seconds because often 60 seconds is not enough time to accomplish the task.
It’s time for some outdoor camping. Have your virtual campers put up their tents in the backyard, bedroom or living room as you put up your own tent. Send the parents a schedule and list of food you’ll be cooking ahead of time so they can prepare for the campout.
Once the tents are up, play a game or two. Then it’s time to cook dinner. It could be spaghetti or maybe a hobo (tinfoil) dinner. Or you can skip the dinner and just make s’mores. Breakout the guitar and sing a few songs. You get the idea.