Meal times at camp are chaotic, loud, hilarious and where many of your camper’s most cherished memories are formed. “Normal meals” are going to the wayside as camps get more creative on how they can make things even more crazy at dinner time. Incorporating meal activities or theme meals is a great way to engage your campers, keep the energy high throughout the day and add something uniquely memorable to the camping experience.
Here are some ideas for some fun and wacky meal times:
Put all of your random kitchen utensils in use bins and as the kids go through the food line, randomly pass just one of these utensils to each camper. You can use thinks like spatulas, whisks, strainers, potato mashers or, one of our personal favourites, the giant stirring paddle you use to mix juice. It should be totally random so no one knows what they are going to get. Then what chaos ensue as the campers and staff attempt to each their meals with these utensils. If you want it to get real crazy, serve spaghetti!
The name of this game doesn’t sound like very much fun… which is why there is a twist! Campers and staff must stay entirely quiet throughout the meal or face the consequences. If there is even a squeak, whisper or giggle they have a utensil taken away. Once they’re out of utensils, they have to eat their meal off of the bench or chair instead of the table. If there is still noise, outside they go - with a staff member of course. Shhmeal!
Dress Up Theme Meals
If you want to have theme meals where the campers are expected to dress up, you have to make sure to include that information to parents during registration so they can all come prepared with a costume. Some fun ideas are Pirate Night, Beach Day, Formal Night, Mexican Fiesta, Cowboy Cook Out or Hawaiian Luau. Assign some staff members to decorate your dining hall and allow your kitchen staff plenty of time to prepare a themed menu.
This game is best if it only includes staff participants, otherwise no one is going to eat their meal. Simply put on a playlist and have one person manning the music to randomly shut it off. When the music shuts off, all of the staff members have to get up and change seats. Kids are totally entertained by this and it doesn’t interrupt their eating.
Running these theme or activity-based meals can be a little bit of hassle and can get hectic, but once you learn to control them they are totally worth the effort. You can use the games as a creative tactic to get kids to eat healthy, balanced meals while having fun and making memories. Your campers will be excited to find out what wacky meal they’re having that day and staff can use these activities to fine-tune their leadership abilities among their cabins. Being silly and ridiculous is awesome, especially at camp.