Fun Icebreakers to Welcome Campers

June 7, 2023

Fun icebreaker games are a great way to involve your campers and help them feel welcomed while meeting new people at your camp. Coming to camp may feel intimidating for some campers, especially if it’s their first time away from home, or they’re attending a camp without any friends yet. As a camp director or leader, it’s important to create an environment where all campers feel welcomed, comfortable, and can have a fun time. 

We have compiled a brief list of fun icebreaker games you can implement at your upcoming camp this season. Your campers are sure to make friends and feel welcomed with these simple, yet very fun, icebreaker games.

Speed Friending 

What You Will Need: Timer and music (optional). 

Set Up: No prior setup is needed, choose a location with a lot of space. 

How to Play: Campers pick a partner. One partner is “peanut butter,” and the other is “jelly.” The specific names aren’t important, you could choose another pair for your camp such as “macaroni” and “cheese.” Once every camper has a partner and a name, have all the peanut butters make a circle, and then the jellies make a bigger circle around the peanut butters while standing across from their partner. Now the game begins, start the music and timer for 30 seconds while the campers “speed friend” by asking their partner questions to get to know them. Once the timer is up, the outside circle rotates one space to the right so they are in front of another person and the game continues. There isn’t a winner and the game ends once most campers have met everyone in the opposite circle.

Name That Tune 

What You Will Need: Music playlist and speaker.  

Set Up: Create a playlist of song choices for the game and connect your music to a speaker for all the campers to hear. 

How to Play: Divide the campers into teams, or assign them teams based on their cabins and have them sit in a circle.  At the front of the room, play about 10 seconds of a song. If a team knows the song before the 10 seconds is over, they jump up to signal they know the answer. Once standing, they shout the name of the song. If the team gets it wrong, the second fastest team gets the chance to steal the point and it becomes a free for all. If teams don’t know the song before the 10 seconds is over, anyone who says the correct song title first gets the point. The first team to 10 points wins. 

Two Truths and a Lie 

What You Will Need: No materials needed. 

Set Up: No prior setup is needed. 

How to Play: Split campers into groups of 5-15, depending on the size. Campers each think of two truths and one lie about themselves. Then campers go around in the circle and say their three statements, while the other campers try to guess which one is their lie.

Would You Rather 

What You Will Need: No materials needed. 

Set Up: Prepare a list of “would you rather” scenarios. 

How to Play: Campers stand together in the middle of an area while a camp leader stands at the front. The camp leader reads a “would you rather” scenario. The left side of the room represents one scenario, while the right side represents the other. Once the leader reads the scenario, campers run to the side of the room they would rather do. There isn’t a winner, but this is a fun icebreaker to learn about people and burn off some energy.

Never Have I Ever 

What You Will Need: A chair for each participant, minus one. 

Set Up: Place the chairs in a giant circle. 

How to Play: Each camper sits in a chair, while one camper stands in the middle of the circle. The camper in the middle states a scenario they have never done before. For example, if they have never been on a cruise, they would say “never have I ever been on a cruise.” Once they finish the statement, everyone in the chairs who has been on a cruise before will quickly get up and run across the circle to an empty chair while the person in the middle finds a chair as well. Whoever doesn’t have a chair is “it” for the next round. They say their never have I ever statement and the game continues. There isn’t a winner. 

1-2-3 Look 

What You Will Need: No materials needed. 

Set Up: No prior setup is needed. 

How to Play: Campers stand in a big circle while looking down at the ground. The leader will say “1… 2… 3… look!” Once they finish the command, all the campers will quickly look up at another camper in the circle. If a camper looks at someone who is looking back at them, they’re out. The game continues until there are only two people left and they are the winners. 

Find a Friend Bingo 

What You Will Need: Paper and pens for each camper. 

Set Up: Create bingo card sheets. The bingo squares should say prompts such as “find a camper who has a dog,” “find a camper whose favorite color is orange,” or “fina camper from Oklahoma.” The idea is to create bingo squares that will be fitting for your campers. 

How to Play: Each camper is given a bingo card and once the leader says go, everyone runs around to find campers who fit the bingo square. If the camper fits the criteria in the square, they sign the square. Each camper can only sign one square per card. The camper who gets bingo the fastest wins. 

Beach Ball – Get to Know Me 

What You Will Need: One large beach ball and a permanent marker to write with. 

Set Up: Inflate the beach ball and write various get to know me questions on the beach ball. A few ideas are what is your favorite color, do you have any pets, most fun place you’ve been, etc. 

How to Play: The campers stand together in a circle and toss the beach ball across the circle to a different person as the music plays. Once the music stops, whoever is holding the beach ball must look to see which question their right hand is covering. The camper answers the question and the game continues. There isn’t a winner, the game ends once everyone has answered a beach ball question.

We hope you find this list of icebreakers helpful for your next camp season. Trust us, your campers will have a blast!