Rules to Live By for Games at Camp:
- Participate with your campers.Campers will be most likely to play a game if you are actively participating. Enjoy yourself and be part of the group, but be cautious not to play at skill levels above your campers that make the game unfair or dangerous.
- Facilitate equal playing action for all participants. Be very mindful of how many times a camper has (ie) received the frisbee, or been chosen as captain. Quite often, less active campers are left on the sidelines while more athletic or outgoing children dominate the game. If you are playing any activity, find a way to keep activities moving and changing to give everyone equal quality playing time. This same principle applies to sports-minded children who may be uncomfortable playing dramatic games.
- Keeping score is not always important! You'll quickly find that by simply not keeping score, many games become more fun. Whenever possible, try to limit the focus on "winning" or "losing" and concentrate more on having fun, and staying active. This is not to say that you should never keep score - it's simply not always important...
- Re-invent any activity by changing the rules.Any game can be adapted to make it more interesting. Here are several adaptations of kickball as an example: Run the bases backwards, run them in reverse order, give all infielders water balloons to use to throw players out instead of the ball, hit the ball with a bat, use a beach ball, or have entire sides kick before rotating instead of having traditional outs.
- Learn games at all physical activity levels. Every group is different, and every day is different as well. Good counselors have a bag a tricks for the various personalities or weather conditions that they come across.
- Always, Always, Always encourage teamwork, fairplay, and sportsmanship! Set the tone right away - games are meant to be fun and should reflect the values of your camp. Set ground rules for physical or less active games alike, such as, "Only positive comments," or "No name-calling."
- Always stop the game while you're still having fun Campers will always want to return to a game that was stopped that they were enjoying. If you play a game until everyone is dropping out or arguing, that's how they will remember it.
- Let children lead games. Give campers an opportunity to be the group leader, explain the rules, choose captains, set boundaries, and arbitrate arguments. It helps build leadership skills, independence, and self-esteem.
Most of all... Have Fun!!! If you have any other "Rules to Live By..." let us know!