A great way to connect with campers and staff over the off-season is to host a winter camp, whether it’s over a weekend or the Christmas holidays. There are lots of exciting games you can play in the snow to enhance your winter camp or retreat programming and take advantage of our beautiful winter wonderland.
Snow Snake Races
The evening before you plan on doing the activity, drive your camp truck in a few “S” formations on freshly fallen snow on your sports field or large open area. You want some curves but don’t make your turns too sharp. This will be your track. To make it even better, sprinkle it with water and let that freeze overnight.
Cut the handles from old brooms to make ‘snakes’. You can have the kids get into teams and paint the sticks their team colours, or however they want, to distinguish whose is whose. This is a good indoor activity for the day before.
The object of the game is to see how far along the track the participants can slide their snow snakes. You can allow everyone to have a turn and play the game in trials, until finally there is a winning team. To enhance the game, you can build a ramp of snow at the start of the track so they can get some air.
Though tracking real animal prints is a great outdoor activity that allows kids to connect with nature, this game uses made-up tracks. Have your maintenance team make some wooden paws that can strap onto boots. Some excellent examples would be bears, wolves, rabbits and buffalo.
Divide your group in half. Half will be animals and half hunters. Then release your animals into a natural area, like a forest or field, before hand so they can get a head start and get away from the hunters. Then release the hunters. It’s a good idea to set boundaries before you start the game.
The hunters must track the animals and when they catch them, the animal must take off their paws and give them to the hunters. The hunters will get 5 points for every animal they capture, but the points are only redeemed if they can name what animal they got based on the paw or hoof they’ve collected.
Combine a few fun activities to create a camp-wide snow Olympics! A fun indoor activity to do the evening winter camp starts is to divide the campers into equal groups and have them create flags for whatever made-up country they are competing for. Then the next day, the games begin! Some ideas for snow Olympic activities could be:
- Jump snow hurdles: lightly pack a bunch of large snowballs in a course and have the kids jump them. Fastest person to complete the course wins.
- Snowy Tug-of-War: Play this tournament style. Whichever team pulls the opposing group over the middle line wins!
- Rolling snowballs: On a large open field of freshly fallen snow, each team rolls the massive snowball. The team with the largest snowball after a certain period of time wins.
Want more ideas? Learn more Winter Camp Games here.