We can all agree that summer is the best time of year, but there are other occasions when we can bring the camp spirit to non-summer months. One of the most obvious is Halloween. There’s nothing wrong with falling back on the classic costumes, but if you want to think outside of the box, we came up with ten summer-camp-themed costume ideas that are easy to create and are tons of fun.
The scourge of summer, mosquitoes are a summer camp menace. This costume works well because it bridges the gap between the camp theme and the typical Halloween approach to scary creatures. All you need is a black outfit, paper rolled into a long, pointy nose, and a set of wings. It’s up to you if you want to buzz quietly in your friends’ ears as you collect candy.
Telling ghost stories is part of the camp experience, and it’s easy to elevate a typical ghost costume into that of a camp ghost. Simply drape a white sheet over your head and cut out holes for your eyes. Then dress yourself up with camp accessories, like a headlamp, a canoe paddle, or sunglasses and a hat. Suddenly you’ve taken the ordinary and made it summer campy, with very little effort.
There are plenty of expensive s’mores costumes you can buy, but like the treat itself, it’s all about the marshmallow. Throw on white clothes and stuff them full with other shirts or pillows. The last thing you need to do is find a stick and attach it to your head. Here’s hoping you collect candy as sweet as you are.
Ask any camp counselor and they’ll tell you that working at camp is the best job they’ve ever had. And also the most exhausting. Sometimes they are just stumbling around, growling at people, with bags under their eyes. Throw on some summer clothes, grab a whistle and a sweatband, and hold a clipboard in your hand. A little makeup under the eyes turns this from sleepy staff during summer to Zombie counselor come Halloween.
If you’ve got a tent, you’ve got a costume. That’s it. Just wrap yourself in your tent.
This one might only make the cut for those of you in warmer climates, and unlike being an actual lifeguard, you don’t have to save people in this scenario. You only need to wear red and grab a whistle, but you can take it one step further and carry around a life preserver. You never know, you might just rescue someone who is drowning in their huge bag of candy, and become a Halloween hero.
Why veg out in front of a scary movie when you can dress up as a walking, talking, salad bar? The healthy approach to camp meals is a simple costume. Raid your refrigerator’s drawers, grab some tape, and haphazardly attach some salad ingredients to your clothes. Grab a salad fork, and head out as the only healthy food as far as the eye can see. If you want to be conscious about resources, use what you find in the compost bin so you don’t waste tomorrow night’s dinner. Your scent may scare people away, but that’s what this holiday is all about.
Getting lost in the woods is a pretty classic element of any good scary movie and something to avoid at camp. Combine the two with this simple costume where you’re the pole, and you just need some type of colorful paper or fabric. Cut it, attach it, and spend the evening pointing people in the right direction. Or pointing them away from the houses with the best candy so you get more of it.
What’s red, orange, and yellow all over? Fire, and also you dressed up as fire. A campfire is a classic part of the summer experience and a simple costume option. Throw on clothes in this color scheme, grab a couple of big sticks, and use colorful tissue paper to give the illusion of flames dancing in the night. Lead your friends in folk songs as you walk around your neighborhood to achieve the full effect. Just don’t depend on your fire costume to keep you warm when the temperature dips.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are fun, creative, and often chaotic. So is this costume idea. Splatter some already stained clothes with paint and glitter and use face paint to draw some shapes on your face. The more random supplies, the better! Brushes, string, beads, and paper make great additions. When people ask what you are, simply reply, “a masterpiece.” That’s what camp crafts are all about.
Camp Costume Inspiration
These ten camp-inspired costume ideas are as creative as they are simple to throw together. Share these options with friends or come up with your own. No matter how you celebrate Halloween, you can get spooky while making it clear to everyone that your favorite part of the year is actually the time you spend at camp.