Theme of the Week – Pirates

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…


As always I will kick off the theme with five suggestions.

  1. You have to do a treasure hunt. Create a treasure map for each group. X marks the spot. You can get parchment paper at any office supply store to give it some pizazz. Have the campers search for treasure chests or gold nuggets (rocks painted with gold spray paint).
  2. Pirate feasts are meals with no silverware/utensils allowed. Have finger foods, soup and bread. This is the only meal where burping out loud may be over looked.
  3. Themed crafts like pirate hats, jeweled necklaces and paper mache parrots would be good.
  4. Have a camp PA system? Have “Captain (whoever)” make the announcements and Polly the Parrot chime in with wise cracks. Oh, and get the Disney soundtrack that has the music from the rides and attractions so you can play the music from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
  5. Instead of playing Capture the Flag play Capture the Black Pearl. Same game, different name.

Want some other ideas? Check out my ebook.


  • We had a pirate theme last year and paid to have a guest performer named Captain Jack Spareribs. If you happen to have a camp in the San Francisco Bay Area I would highly recommend him. He has a 45 minute show that includes magic, music, juggling, puppets, a cannon firing of screaming monkeys and more. It’s hilarious. The staff may have enjoyed him more than the kids.

  • Karen, I’m a fan of special guests if you can afford it. If you have guests come to camp make sure you get a lot of good pictures, especially if they do anything with a camper as their assistant. These pictures make for excellent marketing materials.

    Don, that is a great website full of ideas. Thank you for the resource.

  • Endless pirate jokes, “What’s a pirate’s favorite kind of sock? ARRR gyle”

    Also having staff dress up like pirates and then take over something like announcments, is always fun, and hoisting the pirate flag up the flag pole

    • Yes, pirate jokes. I love it. A pirate flag up the flag pole is a great touch. And who doesn’t love dressing up like a pirate. The clothing is so loose and flattering. 🙂 Great ideas, Alex.

  • -Walk the plank trivia, Last team with a participant standing wins
    -Pirate ship regatta – allow children to build a water ready ship and swim it across a pool or lake (be ready for the ships to fall apart, with plenty of lifeguards). Provide rope, wood, oars/paddles, life vests, or other items that will help you to float.

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