Thinking about throwing a camping party, yet ideas out there seemed to focus only on kids? Yeah, we hear your frustration too. It sucks but it also doesn’t have to.
While we all love camping, and pitching up tents out of the city, not everyone is fortunate enough to live near a campsite or has the time to go camping. Organising a camping trip with friends can be a bit of hassle, trying to align dates and prepare a schedule. A camping party can be the next best thing.
You don’t necessarily need a backyard for this Partycurrent theme (though helpful), you can just set up in your front room by creating a canopy effect by pinning the corners of bedsheets to the walls. The key thing about camping party ideas is to focus on activities you would do as if you were camping, here are ours to get you started.
This is a great bonding activity and you have everyone sit around a fake fire. Get everyone in a circle and give them 10 slips of paper each. Ask everyone to write down 10 nouns (e.g. people, places, things) then shuffle the papers in a bowl. Pick someone to start telling a story, giving them a minute to do so.
When time is up, a new person continues but they must first pick a piece of paper from the bowl. They need to incorporate whatever’s written on the paper into the story. Give them a minute before passing to the next player. You can add themes to your story by choosing theme-related nouns.
Two truths and a lie
Choose 3 players to start with for this game. Each person writes down 2 true personal facts and one that isn’t (the lie). Then they must read out all 3 cards each for everyone to guess which one is the lie; the lie must be read out as convincingly as the truth. Whether the lie is exposed or not, guests get the chance to share more about the truths.
Bobbing for grapes
Play on at a dining table, but make sure you’ve got ample space between players. Present each person with a bowl of whipped cream in which 5 grapes are buried. On the word Go!, players must find the grapes and eat them without using their hands.
Yeah, this is a very traditional camping thing to do but it’s a nice way of bonding everyone. You need to decide what genre of songs to use, whether you uses classic campfire tunes like California Here I Come; or popular songs people will know (like We Are The Champions by Queen). You can sing them with or without a guitar although a harmonica is always fun.
My favorite singalongs are to classic kids songs. ‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’ is a cool example, as everyone gets to add their own lyric, as the song goes round.
Tug of war
This is the one of the simplest ideas here but you’ll need plenty of space outside, a strong rope to play and some willing players.
Group silent charades
Break everyone into 2 teams of even players. Each person in Group 1 thinks of a charade and writes down 2 copies of it. Shuffle all the papers, then distribute, so everyone in both groups gets a slip each.
On Go!, players from both teams simultaneously act out their charades in total silence, while also looking for another player doing the same charade. When a player is spotted, they must make some kind of silent gesture indicating the players have the same charade. Both must sit down at once wherever they are in the room. The last pair to sit is out.
With everyone sat, pairs now share their charades. If pairs are the wrong match, those players are out. The remaining pairs are split again into 2 new teams, for a new round featuring new charades. The last pair standing in the final round wins.
Hide and seek
One of the best ways for your friends to get to know your local neighbourhood is with game that forces the seeker to go explore it. Make sure players know how far away they can to hide; you want people in a roughly a close proximity for the game to retain its energy and not exhaust the seeker. If you’ve got a big camping group, run 2 games at the same time.
Who is it?
Get everyone stand in a circle, with one person in the middle. Blindfold this player, then spin on the spot 3 times. On Go!, this player must walk out towards someone in the circle and ask Who is it? The person they approach must disguise their voice. If the player guesses who they are correctly, they swap places, but if not, the game resumes until someone is caught.
Create a group novel
Gather everyone together in a seated circle and give one person pen and paper. This first person is given 2-3 minutes to write a short story up to half a page long. They don’t need to be so detailed, just be as random as possible. When the time is up, fold the story so only the last line is showing. The story is passed to the next person to continue. The last player reads out the whole thing out.
To set the tone, you can add a fun theme too to kick off the novel, e.g. got kicked out of a bar for walking in with a bear.
Set up an obstacle course outside in your backyard or park using different materials found around your home. You can set things up to have people running around picnic blankets, having to hop between glass bottles arranged in a line spaced apart or doing the belly dances. Divide people into teams and decide how big an area your course should run.
Ping pong blow
Break everyone into 2 teams and have them lie on their stomachs on the tent. Place a ping pong ball between the 2 teams. The objective of the game is to blow the ping pong ball off our opponents’ side. Each time that happens, the “blowing team” wins a point.
Play board games
Chess, backgammon, Scrabble, who doesn’t love board games or card games for that matter. I always try to bring at least one board game with me, in case of the weather change, usually it’s Scrabble. Other games such as Jenga and the card game Uno are just as good.
My favourite ideas are those with a bit of acting involved, like this Improv game. The only props you will need are whatever you’ve brought with you for your camping. Put these in a bag so no one can see.
Pair people up and give the first pair one of the items and 2 minutes to improvise as many uses out of it as they can. Each improvisation scores a point. When their time’s up, the next pair gets given their item. The team with the most points wins. Need an example? Say I was given a shoe, I could pretend it was a canoe, a cup, or a whale by turning it upside down.
Create a scavenger hunt
This isn’t a heavily planned scavenger hunt. The goal of this hunt is for players to find items scattered throughout your local area (or home, if you’re playing in a backyard) to create something you want them to create. Say for example, you want to use your name, like DONNA, then the items they bring back must begin with the same letter that spells out that name. Another idea is to reproduce a scene like a family watching TV, and ask everyone to bring back items to recreate that.
The hamburger game
You’ll need Post-It notes or leftover paper, Sellotape and a pen. Write a different ingredient for the burger each note and then tape them to the back of each player. Everyone now has to rearrange themselves in the correct order a burger is made. You can also play this game as a competition, by having 2 teams do this as a race, and you can use any type of meal as your topic.
Win your local hilltop
Of course, the best camping party ideas involve nature, so why not make the most of that by heading outside. You might choose to cycle to the nearest hill or go hiking and camp out over night. You can also encourage your friends to come and bird watch with you, or go wildlife spotting.
Having camping party ideas in your pocket means you’ve got instant ideas if you want to enjoy the summer and party. Camping parties are not just for kids, they’re a fun way for you to unwind without needing to plan a camping trip.