Family Fun Night at Shehaqua
The Family Fun Night at Camp Shehaqua is an evening activity for the whole camp. The version described in this document is best for Camp Shehaqua.
To spend a fun time together with other families and get to know one another through participating in competitive games.
Since families come in many different sizes, we usually from groups of about equal size by putting two or three families together in one team. Depending on the size of camp, having 6-8 teams is best.
The whole event should not take longer than 60-90 minutes, especially if followed by a campfire. Make sure to come up with a system to determine the winning team that does not take up a lot of time.
The event should appeal to participants of all ages. Sometimes we tend to forget the younger kids, but there are activities where the younger kids can be as good or better than adults.
The challenge is to create a program that allows many groups to be engaged in activities at the same time, with waiting time reduced to a minimum. This can be achieved either by having all the teams compete against each other at the same time in the same place (this is what we usually do at the Winter Retreat, where we have an ideal place in the gymnasium for that), or by having games that take place at different stations, where only two teams compete against each other and then move on to the next station, until all teams have passed through all stations. (To mix up the teams directly competing with each other, one could rotate clockwise, and the other counterclockwise.)
The second approach is done more often at Family Fun Night at Camp Shehaqua. It requires that staff members at each station write down the results so that they can be compared with the results of the groups that arrive later to determine the overall ranking. Make sure to come up with a system to determine the winning team that does not take up a lot of time.
Some games will require the participation of all members of a group, while others might only require a few group representatives to compete.
It’s nice to finish the event with a game or two that involve the whole group, such as “Rock Scissor Paper” or “Amoeba.”
Make sure you have all materials available. Some materials, like newspapers, may be readily available where you live, but are not available at camp. If the director does not know about a purchased item, s/he can check with the Activities Circle.
You can spend up to $2 per person (check with camp director about number of participants) for materials. Bring the receipts to camp for reimbursement.
Please let the camp director know before camp starts or on the first day how many helpers you will need to set up the event and staff the various stations. An announcement can be made at lunch on the day of the event to ask for volunteers (young adults or older teens). It usually doesn’t take the whole afternoon to prepare, but it depends on what type of activities are planned.
Make sure to have a plan for cleanup. All equipment used—ropes, benches, hoses, etc.—should be put back where it came from. Litter (pieces of balloons) should be picked up.
- Three-legged race
- Multi-legged race (all members’ legs are tied together at the ankles)
- One-legged race
- Jumping in burlap bags (you will need to get them)
- Carry water containers through an obstacle course and pour the water in a container—which team reaches the mark in the bucket first?
- 2 team members stand back to back to each other with a blown-up balloon held up between their backs. They go as fast as they can to the goal without losing or popping the balloon; their choice whether to move sideways or one forward and one backwards. Timed event.
- Carry an object in a spoon in the mouth while running, for example raw or cooked egg, cotton candy
- Balancing other objects that can’t fall on the ground, for example an apple on one's head. If the object falls down, the person has to go back and start all over
- Spinning around one’s axis 20 times and then run (it will be hard to run straight)
- More relay ideas: http://www.funattic.com/game_relay4.htm
- Animal charades
- Guess the amount of objects in a container (for example nuts in a container)
- Name as many animals (or other things) as possible that start with the same letter of the alphabet that you can in 60 seconds
- Memory Game: The team gets to look at a display of 20-40 objects for ~2 minutes. Could be household objects, toys, or anything. Then the objects are being covered, and the team has to answer questions about the number, quality, colors, etc of these objects. For example: How many objects were there? How many objects included parts that were made from wood? What was the color of the heaviest object? How many did have something in red? etc. The team gets points for correct answers.
- Spider web—all members of the team have to pass through a different cell of a spider web
- Labyrinth—blindfolded person is guided by his team with verbal cues through a complicated labyrinth
- Hot Lava —you can’t touch the ground, the whole team has to be on cardboard pieces all the time and move across some distance
- Make paper airplanes from newspaper. Who can make them fly the furthest?
- Throwing darts
- Throwing balls, etc into a bucket or pot. Can be done with newspaper. Good for younger kids.
- Water Balloon Toss—Teams are divided into two; the participants face each other and begin tossing and catching the water balloons in varying lengths from each other. (Some people use raw eggs, but water-filled balloons is better for younger kids)
- Oreo cookies on forehead, move the cookie down to your mouth by moving your face and eat the cookie without dropping it
- Eating objects hanging on a string with hands behind your back
- Hoola hooping, who can do it the longest
- Jigsaw Puzzle Race—Have several different jigsaw puzzles for families or teams to complete within a time limit; make sure the puzzles are identical or similar in number of pieces or difficulty. The team with the most complete puzzle after the time expires wins.
- More ideas: http://family-reunion.com/games.htm