Theme of the Week – Survivor

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…


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

  1. Divide your camp into multiple teams or tribes. Assign a color to each tribe. Then get each camper a “buff” of their tribe color. I get the solid color tubular bandanas from Tans Club.
  2. Create challenges and puzzles for the tribes to compete in.
  3. Instead of having campers “voted off” I keep score throughout the week. After each challenge we have Tribal Council where each tribe votes for another tribe to lose 10 points. They cannot vote for the tribe that won the previous challenge (immunity). The team that gets the most votes loses 10 points.
  4. I hide a small golden Smurf somewhere in camp and each day I give the tribes a short poem that is a clue to where the hidden immunity idol (golden Smurf) is hidden.
  5. The campers love the gross eating challenge. You can get edible bugs from online candy stores and Amazon.


  • I did Survivor with my campers and for our gross eating challenge I had them eat baby food. It was perfect because it tastes/smells disgusting and is easy to find!

  • I used the Survivor board game to come up with a challenging teamwork motivator for our intermediate group. They had daily challenges and they had immunity challenges and all the activities were done as teams. I broke them down into 4 smaller teams and instead of kicking someone off the island, they had to go to make another team. when it was down to 2 teams then the winning team of a challenge got to take one of the losing teams members. Anyone they wanted, this kept on for a whole week. The individual challenge was to not change teams at all during the week. At the end of the week we had a big blow out party with a cook out, ice cream sundaes and just a day of fun.

  • Our kids did survivor redemption whereby the person that was kicked off the island after the tribal council meeting, had to redeem themselves to rejoin their team. Also, each team had their own island and the prize after each challenge was something they needed for their survival camp such as a plastic knife, rope, tarp, food, axe etc. Points were recorded daily for challenges and for “good housekeeping” around their camp. This way, if a team was falling behind they could catch up with good housekeeping practices. Don’t forget to turn the lights out, light some candles and play some African drum music during tribal council at the end of each day.

  • I direct a teen camp and we provided each of our four tribes with bamboo that was donated by a staff member and had them build a shelter which was judged on creativity and whether it would actually be usable. Some were free standing and others anchored by trees. We gave each group the same amount of bamboo, twine and a knife for cutting. This was under adult supervision of course. They had two hours to complete the task. The campers LOVED this activity. We even had them build a fire pit so they could cook their own dinner one evening which consisted of hotdogs and smores. We also did the food challenge one day and had cow’s tongue and pickled pig’s feet as well as things we made ourselves like spider eggs, etc. It was a great week.

    • Thanks for sharing, Linda. In my experience doing outdoor living skill type of activities with teens area well received by some and not so much by others. I assume they all knew what they were getting into when they registered (shelter building, making campfires, etc). If it were a Survivor themed camp then I am sure they knew. One Girl Scout camp I know of did a Survivor weekend where the teen girls had to compete for food and shelter. Some of the girls on the second night only had rice to eat, others had one hot dog only. About half of the girls didn’t “win” a tent or sleeping bags, so they had to sleep on the cold ground. It was pretty intense. I spoke with some of the girls about it afterwards, and to my surprise, they thought it was a blast. To them it rated right up there with the Amazing Race weekend they had.

      By the way, how do you make spider eggs?

  • We had in our Survivor theme the “Site Staff” of our camp (Program Coordinator, Nurse, Admin, etc.) get “voted off” by campers each day. We tied buckets with strings and hinges on a tree, and campers would vote then cut the string of whoever was voted out, dumping goop on their head.

  • I have Child Care Center and each summer for the past 3 years we had a Survivor Week with all our kids. The school age kids especially loved it. We randomly divided the kids by pulling bandannas our of a bag/box. Each teacher was a tribe leader. We had 4 tribes each year. They chose their name and decorated one bandanna for their flag. Each tribe had a room to make their fort in. We had a variety of challenges: Food challenge–they make Chocolate chip cookies and banana bread but were only given the list of ingredients not the amounts.: Family challenge–we had family members surprise them at the park to do various obstacle courses or challenges. Last year they played capture the flag.; For the immunity idol we’ve had clues hidden at various businesses around town (we especially tried to pick places where the kid’s parents worked). Usually it was a written clue with a partial clue. The clues usually led us back to the center and it was a puzzle to put together which showed a picture of where the idol was hidden; No one was voted out of the challenges. Last year we had bracelets and they received a special bead for each challenge they won. We usually had an extra teacher to serve as host (Jeff). Last year one of our parents, whose family was on vacation during that week, made videos for us to introduce the challenges. The kids thought that was neat! As a momento we had t shirts made listing the tribe names, leaders and members of each tribe (kind of like sports team or drama groups do) . We usually did a bake sale or car wash to raise money for our t shirts.

    • Whoa, Linda. Sounds like you go all out for this theme. I bet the kids talk about it all the time. I love it. Thanks for sharing.

  • you guys!!! this is so good! i’m planning a girls camp and i’ve been scouring the internet for DAYS looking for ideas and i finally found them here! THANK YOU!

    • Thanks, Billy. Let me know if there are other topics you are looking for but can’t find. I may have know where to find the info.

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