These tips and tricks are great to get the attention of large groups, particularly during flagpole or other assembly times. They are in no particular order...

  • Establish a camp "quiet" sign, such as hand raised, hands on top of head, peace sign, etc. Whenever a staff member uses the sign campers must do the sign, and be quiet, until everyone is quiet.

  • Camp Staff raises hand and calls out, "When the hand goes up..." and campers return, "...The mouth goes shut!" You may need to repeat a couple of times until everyone is quiet.

  • Group leader tosses a ball up into the air. While the ball is in the air, everyone screams. When the ball is in the person's hand, everyone is quiet. You can make the scream/quiet transition very fun. Fake throw, drop the ball, etc.

  • One staff members calls out across group, "Hey, Bob!" Bob responds, "Hey, Mary" "Hey, Bob, is it really loud in here?" "It sure is..." and so on. You can improvise (using real names) as you see fit. But everyone quiets down pretty quickly as they watch the dialogue with facination...

  • Talking softly in a stage whisper. Usually saying something which everybody must follow so you can see who is listening.

  • Clapping in a pattern and waiting to see who follows.

  • Snapping fingers until everybody is snapping fingers.

  • Holding up two fingers and counting to twenty. The kids know if I reach twenty before they are quiet there will be consequences.

  • Just to be quiet and do nothing and see how long it takes for them to figure it out themselves.

  • Just start clapping, campers will start to follow, and eventually everyone is clapping with you.

  • Shout out "FIIIVE" (and hold up hand), "FOOOOUUR" and so one, everyone must count backwards with you, and after one, everyone says, "shhhhhh..."

  • When the group is busy talking on just yell out, "Hey!!!" Then the group hollers back, "Hoee!!!" As soon as the group is looking at you start saying something or they will go back to talking.


Thanks to Trenton Moulin-Sequanota Lutheran Camp and Conference Center, Matt Evans-Boys and Girls Club of Arlington, Matt Palmieri-YMCA Camp Mataucha, John Myers-YMCA Camp Sloper for submitting.
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