Ultimate Camp Resource

Ultimate Camp Resource

🔥1,000+ free summer camp activities, games, & more! mtr.bio/ultimatecampresource

02/10/2023

Check out this great resource from our friend Dan Weir!

Did you catch our latest newsletter that dropped yesterday? 📰

We're thrilled to share valuable insights, updates, and tips for Y Day Camp professionals in our Day Camp Community.

If you missed it, don't worry - you can always subscribe to our newsletter on our website. Stay informed and stay connected!

https://daycampcommunity.com/freeresources

30/09/2023

I took my son to a Moth event and the first story teller went to Camp Spruce Hill on Tolland, MA in the 70’s and they had a puppy at camp every summer and campers entered a lottery and one camper got to keep it at the end of the summer! Side note, the dog was called Astro (like the young man in the pic)

20/09/2023

🔍Put a guess in the comments and try to solve the puzzle!🧩

12/09/2023

Save and Share this post! Get ready for a 🐷🎉 blast at camp with "The Oinking Game"! 😄 Gather in a circle, and watch as the person in the middle tries to uncover the mystery "oinker" 🕵️♂️ without peeking! Thanks to our friends at for introducing us to this entertaining game! 🙌

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 06/09/2023

When I was in fifth grade, my master plan to escape going to camp was to break my glasses. I had completely forgotten about my spare “rec specs,” a pair of prescription athletic goggles with a strap that guaranteed I would be picked on. During one of my first activities (Barnyard), I broke those glasses and spent the rest of the session homesick and blind. I needed a lot of help to get through the session, but didn’t receive a lot of compassion from the other campers or staff. That experience taught me a valuable lesson about character development and compassion.

I did not go to camp for the next six summers, although I did spend my time lifeguarding at the YMCA and dabbling in the entertainment industry, even filming commercials and an after-school special.

In 1999, my dad went on a school trip to Camp Joy in Ohio and heard that they were looking for staff. I was not interested, since I was ready to be a head lifeguard that summer, but my dad pressed, and off I went.

I showed up a little late for my first day of staff training. As I approached the door to the room where training was taking place, I could hear singing, laughing and pure joy on the other side of the door. I was hesitant to go in because entering a group of strangers was intimidating. I remember the very moment when I made the decision to turn the handle versus turning back.

As soon as I walked in, I was instantly absorbed and welcomed – not at all like my first experience at camp. Opening that door was the beginning of my love of camp. The difference between those two experiences has formed that way I train staff and view the importance of connections.

I worked at Camp Joy 1999-2005 for Mike McGinty and learned a lot under his leadership. I moved on to start a new camp in Colorado at a ski resort and led many other programs for all different types of campers in Colorado in the years afterwards, including Paul Newman’s Roundup River Camp.

I now run a summer camp with my wife and consult with camps in crisis. My enduring belief is that summer camps should create environments and opportunities where everyone deserves to feel like they can become the person they want to be!

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 29/08/2023

Here's Jeremy's story: I grew up at Cam Crossroads in Canada starting at age 10. I remember that you had to get to the church that offered the camp really early in the morning because the camp sold out quickly. I also remember freezing during the first day of camp during the swim test, praying for it to be over and to get my green wrist band so I could go tubing.

My cousin went to a different camp and told me that you could be an LIT at age 16 (as opposed to 17 at my camp). After some initial resistance, I decided to give it a try. Going to a different camp made me open up to new experiences and meeting new people. This camp had amazing leaders for eight of my fellow LITs. The investment the camp made in the program, and the leaders in me, made a big difference in my life. They encouraged my silliness, desire to be connector of people, and zest for life.

After spending seven years at camp, I took a full time job "in the real world." However, I had an opportunity to return to camp and be the LIT director. My boss was a former camp person and allowed me to take six weeks off to have my final camp victory lap.

Since this summer was to be my last at camp, I wanted to do something special. I had experience creating podcasts and wanted to capture that final summer documentary style so I could share the final product with everyone to remember that summer by. I recorded hundreds of hours of conversations throughout the summer, ranging from philosophical debates to solve the world's problems late at night, to other special moments, pranks, and activities throughout the summer.

Speaking of pranks... After reviewing all of the footage, I created a podcast called "Summer Camp, The Case of the Phantom Pooper" to tell the story of our quest to capture the culprit, or culprits, who were leaving mysterious poos all over camp, starting with a masterpiece left on the boys camp bell. The podcast is modeled after the Serial podcast, including music from the original composer. It makes me laugh and think fondly of camp - I hope it does the same for you!

- Jeremy

You can check out Jeremy’s podcast on Spotify.

25/08/2023

I need one of these!

22/08/2023

Get your Sherlock on! Put your guesses below for this summer camp themed emoji puzzle.

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 15/08/2023

🏕️🌅Travis grew up at the camp on the East Shore of Lake Huron where his mom, uncles and grandparents went and became a camp counselor for four years.
Admittedly, Travis describes himself as a nerdy kid. "I wasn't into sports. I was more into books and Dungeons and Dragons.📚🐉 I always loved camp because I never fit in anywhere else. 🗣️💬When I was 13 years old, Ian McLean sat me down and said the eight words that would change my life, "Travis, you will make a great camp counselor." For people at camp to notice me and say "come join us" was so important. Because I loved camp so much, that meant the world to me. 🏞️❤️I spent one summer away from camp to go to university. That was enough for me to realize I needed to change my focus, and my major."

💑🏕️Travis and his wife-to-be Beth met at the camp they would ultimately direct (and get married at). When they started the camp was struggling and had less than 300 campers per year. After co-directing the camp for 15 years, the camp grew to more than 1,200 campers each summer.🚀🏕️

🎙️📣 Travis left camp operations in 2007 and has since focused on his other creative passion - helping camps improve their marketing and be effective with their time and money. Travis is an active culture builder in the camping community and hosts several podcasts and operates on online community called GoCampPro.

.pro

15/08/2023

Our interview with Jo Bob is live on her podcast today at . Thank you very much for the opportunity!

13/08/2023

🎵Based on the hit camp song…

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 11/08/2023

"Breaking the Ice in Style! ☀️❄️ Summer camp bonding at its finest. Here is the ultimate challenge of coordination and teamwork with some quirky combinations. From head-to-head to right hand on left leg 🤝, you will laugh, stumble, and conquer together. Who knew getting tangled up could be this much fun? 🙌🏕️

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 10/08/2023

🏕️ Unleash the Leader Within: Dive into this week's Counselor Tips carousel! Swipe for 6 genius ways to empower campers as leaders. 🌟 Drop your fave tip below and score a FREE e-book to fuel their camping adventures! 📚🔥 Let's create confident camp leaders! 💪🌈

10/08/2023

🎩 Step aside, superheroes – counselors are the real heroes of children's lives! 📚💫

09/08/2023

🔍 Can you crack the emoji code? 🕵️♂️ Put your detective skills to the test and decipher our camp-inspired message! Drop your guesses below 👇 Let's see who can unlock the mystery! 🌲🔥🏕️

07/08/2023

That camp counselor... Reposted from Karen Cassady

07/08/2023

😩🥲💔Noooooo!!!!

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 05/08/2023

Read Michael’s full story..

When I was younger, I was always just Frankie's little brother. He went by "Paco," so I was "Little Paco," to everyone in town, and even to my four older siblings. We grew up on a farm and it was hard, hot work. I would spending the summer haying and picking corn. My parents would send only me to a couple weeks of summer camp. Camp was the only place that I could escape the big personalities of my siblings and be myself, and just be Michael. Camp changed my life.

Coming from a military family, I had always wanted to be in the army. Specifically, I wanted to be an army medic. I promised my mom I would do one year of college, which I did. During the summers, I worked as a lifeguard and camp counselor at a YMCA camp in Danbury. I enlisted in May deferred my deployment until October so I could work another summer at camp.

Shortly after I enlisted, my mom had kidney failure and me and my siblings all took tests to determine in anyone was a match for a kidney transplant. I was a very good match and donated a kidney to my mom. I contacted the Army to let them know I was donating a kidney to my mother and got a call from an Army Colonel who very kindly told me that what I was doing was admirable, but I would no longer be able to serve in the Army with one surgically removed kidney.

Two weeks after the surgery, my mom passed away. After struggling with diabetes, her heart couldn't recover. I was at a very low point due to the loss of my mom and my sense of purpose in life. As I sat at the funeral home, my Camp Director, Fran Thompson, came up behind me and put his arms around me and said there were some people there to see me if I was ready. When I looked back, all eighty staff members came to support me and carried in bags filled with handmade cards from campers.

It was at that moment that I realized that my purpose and passion was to work at a non-profit and impact the lives of others. When I returned to the Y after the funeral and my physical recovery, Fran advised me that they had a full-time job waiting for me as a head teacher and and lifeguard. I met my wife Angie at the Y and we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary in Nov.

04/08/2023

Just a reminder!

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 03/08/2023

Put your favorite emoji in the comments and we'll send you a free camp games printable download!

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 31/07/2023

Can you solve the puzzle? Great activity for campers to build and play!

👉Bang a nail into a small piece of wood. If you have the proper tools, you can pre-drill the hole so the nail can easily slide in and out for transportation, otherwise, just use a hammer.
👉Give campers time to try to balance all of the remaining 11 nails on top of the one nail sticking out of the board.

🔥Solution:
👉Lay on nail on the table
👉Lay the heads of 10 nails across the nail in an alternating pattern, leaving one aside
👉Place last remaining nail on top of the alternating nails. Position the head of final nail opposite the head of the first nail laying on the table.
👉Gently squeeze the ends of both the top nail and the bottom nail and slowly lift the whole assembly. The alternating nails will pinch the top nail between their heads and rest on the bottom nail.
👉Balance the assembly on the upright nail.

🔥You did it!

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 24/07/2023

🔥Tip #2: Learn Something About Me!
👉Add your suggestions in the comments.

😀Without intentionality, campers may endless fun activities without making a connection to anyone and potentially feeling like an outsider for the week. Here’s a few ways you can foster relationships.

😀Build time into your first day of a new session doing “common ground” activities where campers learn some things the have in common with others.

😀Give your campers opportunities to share things they’ve learned about another camper with the group. This reinforces the feeling that “someone sees me.”

😀Facilitate interesting conversations during downtime or transition time that help kids talk about their perspective or life experiences. Here are a few examples:

👀"If you could have any superpower, what would it be and how would you use it in camp?"

👀"What's the most amazing adventure or experience you've had before coming to camp?"

👀"If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you and why?"

👀"What's one thing you've never tried before but would love to try?"

👀"If you could switch places with any famous person for a day, who would it be and what would you do?"

👀"What's the most interesting fact you know that you think nobody else in our group knows?"

👀"If you could time travel to any historical period, which one would it be and why?"

👀"If you could invent a new ice cream flavor, what would it be, and what crazy ingredients would you add?"

👀"If you had a time machine to meet your future self, what questions would you ask?"

😀Remember, your relationship with campers is important (even life changing), but secondary to helping them build friendships with peers that they can sustain for a lifetime.

What are your tips for learning something about your campers?

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 23/07/2023

Never let your inner camper die! 🫶🏻🏕️

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 22/07/2023

I remember sitting my camp fiends and talking about Kurt Vonnegut for hours…

Thanks for sharing your story and inspiration. Please let us know if you’d like to share a story.

18/07/2023

👉The most important first step for a camp counselor? Learn your campers' names AND be relentless in helping them learn each other's names. Many kids go to camps and experience lots of fun activities without making a friend. Here are a couple of tips to make that happen.

😍Please like and share this with someone you think would benefit!

Photos from Ultimate Camp Resource's post 18/07/2023

A great post from The Summer Camp Society Helping staff be great at their jobs doesn't stop when staff training ends. Finding time at staff meetings, right before a session begins, or somewhere else to talk more about ways they can do their job better makes a big difference.

We love this one because it supports developing a self-governing team - staff who can help each other, provide support and guidance, and solve problems!

16/07/2023

Rainy Days at summer camp can be the BEST days! It's a mindset and a skillset. Share your suggestions for making dew-filled days days successful in the comments. We will create a future post based on your suggestions.

You can find lots of rainy day activities at UltimateCampResource. Link in profile.

Quote from John Myers back in the golden years at YMCA Camp Sloper in CT.

13/07/2023

Food, Friends, and Fireworks is a great ice breaker for summer camp and school groups. Here's how to play:

Begin by introducing the motions:

Food- rub your belly and say “mmmmm”

Friends- hold out both arms wide and say “heeeeyyyy”

Fireworks- clap both hands over your head and then say “shhhhhhhh” as you slowly lower your arms to your sides.

Ask everyone to find a partner. They stand back to back.

Tell them that they are going to try to match one of the three motions with their partner. There is no talking or planning!!

Count to three and say “Go!”

Both partners turn and face each other and immediately make the motion and sound that they had chosen.

If the pair match, they give a resounding “Yes!” and pump their fist in the air.

If they do not match they say “D’Oh” and lightly bump themselves on the head.

Try it again with the same partner or have everyone switch partners and see if a match can be created with someone new.

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/Q8yCygQRZ1Q?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Link&utm_campaign=Test&utm_content=Food%2C%20Friends%2C%20Fireworks

Find 1,000+ more camp games, skits, songs, ice breakers, name games, camp activities and more at http://www.ultimatecampresource.com

26/03/2023

Thanks to Michael at Youth Development Pro for sharing his new Pocket Guide for Summer Camp Staff with us. It's like a helpful "Mad LIbs" for camp staff to track useful items, such as emergency numbers, camper allergies, planning notes, and more. It could be very useful for staff during training week to make notes and keep in their backpacks for the summer. Well done, Michael. You can check the book out here: https://a.co/d/brw65Dl. (We are not a paid sponsor, we just think this is awesome and wanted to share).

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