A quick google search of “team building activities for camp counselors” will get you over 38 million results (we, know, we’ve checked.) Check them out on your own and build your private reserve of fun icebreakers to use during training or steal some of our favorites below:

Cowboys, Bears, Ninjas.

A twist on the traditional ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors”, this activity is a fun way to energize the group, or it can a brain-break between paperwork and training manuals. With this game, every person finds a partner. Then, they think about which they will ‘pose’ as a cowboy, a bear, or a ninja. If you don’t like these choices, replace them with a character you want! When ready, each partner counts out and takes three steps away from each other.

Poses:

Cowboy – Draw your gun

Bear – Claws up and growling

Ninja – Karate chop

Who Beats Who:

Ninja always beats the cowboy using lighting speed karate chop.

Cowboy beats the bear with his perfect shot.

Bear beats ninja with a solid swipe of his paw.

 

Two Sides of a Coin.

Good counselors help their campers see the positive in every situation. Leaders practice this skill and are encouraged (and being encouraged by) each other. Here’s the way it works:

Randomly assign each person a partner. Give them some thinking time to think of an adverse event that has happened in their life (it can be personal or professional, the only rule is that it has to be true.) Then, partner A shares their negative experience with partner B. It is partner B’s responsibility to ‘flip’ the experience, pointing out a positive aspect or ‘silver lining’ of the not-so-great situation. Then, the roles switch, and it is time for Partner B to open up. Through further discussion and sharing not only will empathy and positivity be increased, but bonding will happen as well.

Frostbite.

This activity not only builds a stronger leadership team but also gets their muscles moving. Included in a list of 50 excellent team building ideas, Cake HR explains how “this game tests the teams’ instinct to survive in the worst situations.”

Here are the first steps: All camp counselors and other staff participating in training divide into groups of five. The team members pretend that they are lost in the Arctic, and they will build a shelter to withstand the cold. Next, each team will elect a leader. Then there is the plot twist—this leader is now suffering from frostbite, so he or she isn’t allowed to move physically. Other team members are then struck by snow blindness and blindfolded.

The leader guides the team in building the shelter without actually helping physically. The teammates work without being able to see. Talk about a strength-building challenge! Most successful team wins a prize of some kind.

Comment on our blog and let us know what your favorite team building activities work best at your camp!

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