10 Ideas for Camp Theme Day

January 12, 2023
ideas for camp theme day with people jumping in the air

Incorporating theme days into your camp is an easy way to create fun and lasting memories for your campers. We have created a list of 10 theme day ideas for your next summer camp. Your campers are sure to love these theme days and return to your camp each year for more. 

#1 – Superhero Day

This theme day is fun for campers of all ages and camp leaders alike. Encourage campers to break out their inner superhero by participating in superhero day. 

  • Campers and camp leaders dress up as their favorite superhero. The best costume wins a prize. 
  • Incorporate superheroes into your games and camp activities. If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s a list of several superhero games you can host at your camp. 
  • Have campers vote on a superhero movie to watch. The winning movie is played at night with the outdoor projector. (Perfect time to break out the s’mores and popcorn!)

#2 – Christmas in July 

If you’re hosting a summer camp, consider Christmas in July. (Or a “Snow Day” for a more inclusive theme.) Get creative with the menu, games, and activities for the day. 

  • Let your campers bake and decorate sugar cookies for arts and crafts. 
  • Play holiday music during the camp rally and before other camp activities for the day. 
  • Create ornaments, garland, and custom gift wrapping.
  • If you’re really ambitious, order or rent a fake snow machine to cover the ground with snow and create the ultimate mini snow flurry.  
  • Set up a movie outside on a projector and encourage your campers to wear their favorite pajamas for the holiday movie. Add to the movie night by having hot chocolate and traditional wintery treats. 

#3 – Olympic Day 

We’re all for a little friendly competition. Olympic day is the perfect theme for your campers who have a strong side for competition and encourage getting active. Involve the camp leaders in Olympic day and your campers are sure to have a blast. 

  • Begin the day with a fun ceremony to get your campers excited. 
  • Host games similar to a school field day for your Olympic day. Our top picks: 3-legged race, tug-o-war, long jump, ring toss, hula hoop contest, and beach volleyball. But the choices are endless! Choose games that are best fit for your camper age groups and interests. The idea is to create friendly competition and fun. 
  • At the end of the day, have the top 3 winners stand on the classic Olympic podium to receive their medals.

#4 – Pajama Day 

Ditch the regular outfits and opt for a fun pajama day (or pajama evening) instead! This theme day is most popular during off season camp times when it isn’t too hot outside. 

  • Gather around the campfire in your pajamas and roast marshmallows.
  • Write a group “bedtime story” around the campfire.
  • If your campers thrive from competition, make pajama day a little competitive by rewarding the best dressed camper. 

#5 – Backwards Day 

Incorporate a silly theme day into your week of camp. The choice is yours, but you can take this theme day to whatever extreme best fits your camp. This theme might be a little confusing for younger age children, so be sure to make adjustments based on your campers ages. 

  • Tell your campers to “dress backwards.” This could mean wearing a shirt inside out, pants backwards, or shoes on the wrong feet. The point is to have fun and be silly with the outfit. This is especially fun for young campers. 
  • When it’s time for a meal, serve it backwards. Have dessert first and dinner second. Upgrade with fun foods like pineapple upside down cake.
  •  Implement backwards day into your camp games. If your campers are running a relay race, have them run backwards and see who’s the fastest backwards runner. 

#6 – Camping Day

You may be running a camp, but having a dedicated camping day can be a fun theme to incorporate depending on your type and size of camp. This theme day is more popular amongst high school aged campers. This is the perfect time to lean into the kitsch. 

  • Add wholesome traditional camping activities like hikes, fishing, bird watching, whittling, and sack races.
  • Have your campers dress up in their most quintessential camp outfits.
  • If your campers traditionally sleep in cabins, move the fun outside to camp in traditional tents and sleeping bags.
  • Sit around the campfire while cooking your dinner over the fire. After dinner, make s’mores and sing campfire songs. Tell spooky (but not too spooky) stories around the campfire later that night. 

#7 – Wacky Wednesday 

If your camp falls on a Wednesday, celebrate Wacky Wednesday by encouraging your campers to dress in the craziest outfit they can think of and play the silliest games. The cabin with the wackiest dressed camper wins! 

  • Serve your campers wacky food combinations. Green eggs and ham, breakfast for dinner, fruit kabobs with fun shapes—the options are endless!
  • Play typical camp games, but add a wacky twist by incorporating something unexpected. Whether this means adding mustard on the bases in kickball, or having a relay race with a bowl of spaghetti, make it fun! (PRO TIP: If Wacky Wednesday is going to get extra messy and result in stains, don’t forget to inform your campers and camp families ahead of time.)

# 8 – Team Day

This theme is all about spirit and is a good team bonding activity towards the beginning of camp. Campers are assigned a team based on their cabin and celebrate team day by strongly representing their team. The greatest team by the end of the day wins a prize. 

  • Have each camp cabin create a fun chant for their cabin. When the camp teams gather together each day for camp activities, teams yell their chants and battle to be the loudest. 
  • Teams dress up in the same color for the day to show where their loyalty lies. 
  • Campers participate in games with their team throughout the day and build points for their team. 

#9 – Disney Day 

This theme day is fun for all ages, but especially popular amongst younger campers. Tell your campers to dress up as their favorite Disney character, or wear something that represents their character. The best dressed camper wins a prize. 

  • Incorporate Disney day into your lunch menu. If you’re dressing up as Ratatouille, serve cheese and fruit. Honey and biscuits for Winnie The Pooh. Apple pie for Snow White. 
  • Create a Disney themed scavenger hunt around camp. Cabins compete against each other to complete the scavenger hunt first.
  • Play the movie soundtrack during meal times. (Our apologies if this means listening to the Frozen soundtrack for the 10 millionth time.)

#10 – Famous Duo Day 

Encourage your campers to pick a partner and dress up with them for duo day. They can pick a friend, or someone new they haven’t met, the idea is for them to make friends and have fun. Once they have chosen a partner, they can pick a famous duo to dress up as. The best duo costume wins!

Some ideas you could suggest to your campers: 

  • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse
  • Scooby Doo and Shaggy 
  • Mario and Luigi 
  • Elsa and Anna 
  • Spongebob and Patrick 
  • Tom and Jerry 

💡PRO TIP: Duo day can be stressful for introverted campers. Have your counselors at the ready to quickly match up campers who may need help finding a partner. 

Preparing for Theme Days

As you’re planning theme days for your next camp, be sure to inform your campers of the themes before camp so they can best prepare. Announce your theme days ahead of time and put together a short list of any items your campers need to bring. This is a great way to connect with parents and guardians and can even be a great marketing tool to advertise what will make your upcoming camp session special.

Pics or it Didn’t Happen

Theme days are an amazing opportunity for your campers to make lifelong memories. Taking photos of your campers is important everyday, but theme days are a great time to snap those extra and silly pictures. Don’t forget to capture the moment!

WaldoCamps is built to support your camp’s photo management and delivery to your camp families. With WaldoCamps, your photographers, counselors, and camp staff can easily upload and organize camper photos. Our AI-powered concierge then sends face matched photos directly to your camp families. Sign up for your 100% free, no strings attached 30-day trial to experience the power of WaldoCamps for yourself.