Going to camp is one of the highlights of childhood. Most kids look forward to this journey of education away from parents, and spending time with friends their age, getting to know others from all walks of life.
However, it can also be quite daunting for them, especially if this is their first camping experience. Being away from the family, and interacting with all these new faces can be nerve-wracking and making new friends might be easier said than done.
If you’re a teacher, camp counselor, or program lead you might be looking for new ways to allow your campers or students to open up. Here are 5 of the best ice-breaker activities to make friends on the first day of camp or first day of class!
Two Truths and a Lie
One of the more common and effective ice-breaker games for camp requires campers to sit around a circle and introduce themselves. During the introduction, they will tell the group 2 interesting facts about themselves, and a white lie. The campers must then guess which one is the lie.
This game lets everyone know the most interesting facts about the other campers right off the bat, and it can turn out quite surprising for some players. Fun and interesting facts like someone meeting your favorite celebrity, or doing something incredible on your bucket list make conversations very fluid and learning new things about friends much easier.
Turn the Tarp
For this ice-breaker activity, you will need to have a few unset tents ready, one for each group. The main goal of this game is to challenge each group of campers to stand on top of the unset tents together and try to flip them over.
The challenge for this game is that nobody can step outside or off the tent at any given time. This is a great game that forces campers to work together toward a common goal, and it is really funny to both witness and participate in.
The first group that manages to flip their tents over without stepping off wins!
Ideally, a medium-sized tent can fit about 5-8 campers depending on the age group of the camp overall. The tent used should not be too big as it will have too much empty space available and thus make the game too easy.
Would you Rather
Most kids love to talk about scary or gross things. Thus one of the best ways to break the ice is to ask each other weird questions like would they rather eat a dirty sock or do an embarrassing dance in front of the other campers. Hypothetical games of “would you rather” is a great way to spark up unique and interesting conversations.
Plus, this is a game that most campers would already be familiar with, it is an incredibly popular game that is often played at get-togethers and parties. It is also much easier to make conversation with a game of would you rather, as there are countless things that you could ask.
You could even take it a step further and if you want the campers to go about mingling more, ask them to choose a corner for each answer and stand there. You’d be surprised at how much the campers will enjoy it and make fun of each other, making friends in the process.
If your camp is a tech-related program, more than likely every camper will have access to decent computers as they will learn to code and program. However, during times when learning workshops are not in session, you could use those computers to play an in-house LAN game of Minecraft. You can build something together and even hold competitions to see who is able to build the best monuments or unique structures.
Playing Minecraft with others is always a surefire way to break the ice with the group, especially when you are playing in survival mode where you will have to work as a team to look out for each other, hunt for resources, and craft items together.
Hoop relay is a timeless classic when it comes to ice-breaker activities. To play this game, campers must be split into groups of an equal number of members. The bigger the group the better. Then, have each camper hold their teammate’s hand to form a long line. Give the camper at the start or end of each of the groups a hula hoop. The main goal of this game is for the whole group to pass through the hula hoop without once breaking the chain.
This is much easier said than done and requires a ton of coordination and communication. If the camp has a larger number of campers, hoop relay might be one of the best ice breakers to start off with, and then the rest of the ice-breaker games can be played for smaller groups to get to know each other.
Cooperation brings friendship
Games that require team cooperation, or games that require interaction and understanding everyone better are great to build friendships. The best of all is that it takes away the nerve-wracking feeling of making new friends and makes the process fun, engaging and natural! Sound like fun? Learn more about camps for every occasion at Engineering For Kids by finding your closest location.