TOP 10 CAMP OUTDOOR NIGHT ACTIVITIES
With years of experience working collaboratively with groups, we’ve put together our Top 10 camp outdoor night activities to help support teachers for those evening activities. For a link to Top 10 Camping Indoor Night Activities, click here.
1. Environmental Night Hike / Walk
Like camping during the day, camping at night doesn’t have to have a lot of bells and whistles for you to enjoy yourself. Just grabbing a torch or headlamp and taking a cruise around the campsite can be an excellent way to wind down before bed. To make it even more fun, you can turn off the torch, let your eyes adjust and be amazed at what you can see! If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot some wildlife as well.
2. Guess the object
This is a great activity from young children to the toughest adult. It’s simple. Have a collection of odd objects eg cup, spatula, battery, tongs, bandaid, roller bandage, leaves, teabag, glowstick – you get the picture.
Turn off all lights and place the objects in from of either a player or a team of players. Can they guess what it is? Nice to ask them to describe what they are feeling.
3. Star Gazing
Of course, only good on a clear night. Have students lie down in a clearing and look up at the sky. Do some prior planning on constellations, satelittes that may be passing overhead at certain times and even some of the zodiac signs. To find out more information on how to identify constellations click here.
4. Sing-a-long around the campfire
If you’re lucky enough to have a musically talented friend, encourage them to bring their guitar or banjo to your next camping trip and sing along to some tunes while the fire provides background noise. You can even make it into a game by merely humming a tune and seeing if your friends can guess the song! Just remember to observe “quiet hours” if you’re at an established campground!
Making music and singing songs around the fire is a great way to get everyone involved. If anyone plays the guitar, be sure to bring it on your camping trip. Otherwise bring whatever instruments you have, such as bells, triangles, and harmonicas. Or grab a pot and use it as a drum.
Improvising with what you have is half the fun! Get a beat going to popular campfire songs such as “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” or “Do Your Ears Hang Low.” Or sing any song that everyone knows. Any song sung around the fire becomes a campfire song!
5. Spotlight / torch tiggy
This game mixes the popular games like hide and seek with tag. To start you need to set boundaries where students can and can’t go i.e. over fences or inside buldings. Create a ‘jail area’ with cones. Ask someone to be “it” and they wait at the “jail”. Counting to say 20, everyone else hides. The jailer armed with a torch, then searches for the others in their hiding spots. Keep the torch on at all times. When the jailer spots someone, he or she must use the torch to get close enough to identify them and call out their name.
THere are two variations from here.
- 1. Pass the torch to the person found and it’s their turn to be the jailer and look for people
- 2. The caught person goes and stands in the jail. When everyone is caught, you can start again.
A safety briefing prior to the activity to help students understand what’s expected of them is essential.
6. Cooking marshmallows on a campfire
Always a favourite. Prepare kids during the day to find the right length stick that is about 800mm long and is easy to place a marshmallow on the end. Demonstrate how to cook one – in the fire bed, not in the flame.
7. Story telling
All camping trips involve some sort of story telling and I’m sure you’ve got your own great memories. It may seem a little old fashioned, but story telling is just as fun now as it was then. I would not recommend ghost stories. Keep them fun, adventurous, curious and interesting. For younger children, tell stories that aren’t going to keep them up all night! This is also included in the indoor as different discussions happen in different environments.
8. Glow stick ring toss
There is something about glow sticks that kids and adults like. Before your camp, source a variety of glow sticks. Long straight ones for this activity. For the next one you need to have ones that can be made into a round shape.
Peg some stakes into the ground and create a start line or throwing line. Pick up a glow stick ring and toss at the stakes. You can have it team or individual activity.
9. Bowling in the dark
This is quite a spectaculor game when the bottles fall over. Prior preparation helps. Collect 1.25 litre empty clear bottles -minimum of 12. You’ll also need glow sticks that are straight. Place a glow stick in each bottle, using different colors if you can. Set the “pins” up anywhere it’s flat. Either make it a team game or individual. Use a ball like a soccer ball and kids can roll it forwards to the pins.
10. Night pirate
This is a game of stealth! Firstly, choose one player to be the “pirate” with the torch. You’ll also need a special object to represent the ‘treasure’. The pirate sits in the dark with the “treasure” sitting in front. The other players line up 15 steps away, readying themselves to steal the treasure. Each player sneaks as secretly close to the pirate as possible, without being detected. If the pirate hears a sound, he shines the flashlight in that direction. If the flashlight beam tags a player, that player must go back to the starting line. The first player to nab the treasure without being tagged with the torch beam is the new pirate.
We hope you’ll enjoy these Top 10 camp outdoor night activities.