Theme of the Week – Gold Rush

Theme of the Week is a post where we ask readers like you to comment with ideas for a particular theme. What ideas and suggestions do you have? What game, craft, apparel choice, theme meal, evening activity, special event, song, skit, or anything else would you do at camp if your theme was…

Gold Rush

Below are five ideas. Leave your suggestions in the comments area below.

  1. Create a wild west, mining town environment.
  2. Any western crafts will be good. For some neat craft ideas take a look at the scout pdf below.
  3. Create skits that can be played out by staff during meals. The skits should tell the story of the California Gold Rush. For information on the Gold Rush see the scout pdf below.
  4. Play the camp wide game Gold Rush. You can download the Gold Rush Planning Kit at
  5. Serve stew for dinner on “tin plates“.

Here’s the link to a 30 page scout pdf with some great Gold Rush program ideas.


  • Also to add to this adventure, paint different sized and shaped pebbles/rocks with gold spray paint and then hide them all over the place. Have teams go on a gold rush and search for gold, then, with a scale, weigh each teams findings and the team with the highest weight of gold is the winner of the Gold Rush.

  • A previous camp I worked for did the Gold Rush game like Tazz did, but we ALSO added a Leprechaun/Pirate element. Since you are thinking of a California (or Alaska!) gold rush theme, make the Leprechauns and Pirate we had into Prospectors and Thieves.

    Groups of campers travel through camp searching for random gold rocks (spray painted, and saved for the next year or time the game is played) but they can also run into Prospectors who will either ask them a trivia question or to sing a song or whatever the person likes, and in return the team gets some of the prospector’s gold. The prospector then either runs away or hides again and the team keeps moving.

    If the team runs into a Bandit, they are forced to give up some of their gold. Some games also involve a trivia question to avoid giving up some of their gold.

    When we used Leprechauns and Pirates, we had hats appropriate to the theme, I suggest making it visibly obvious who will give you gold, and who will take it away.

    In the end we count the number of gold pieces each team gets and declare winners.

    • Stormy, I started laughing when I read Leprechaun/Pirate – what an odd and hilarious combination. I love it. Great idea to have the bandits and prospectors.

  • There is a company called “Diamond Del’s Gem Mining” in the southeast, area it serves states of Virgnia and Kentucky down through Florida. They travel to your location and let the kids mine for Gold and Gems on your premises. With the price of gasoline – It’s worth it. A field trip that come to you!

  • Panning for Gold- fill sensory table with sand and water. Put gold sprayed pebbles in it. Use sifters for panning like the old days.

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