10 Summer Camp Traditions You & Your Friend Group Need To Bring Back This Summer
Getting dropped off at camp as a kid was the highlight of summer. Between the crisp scent of the outdoors, making new friends, and the unforgettable memories you took home with you each year, you were already packing your bags the second school let out. Today, you probably still hum your beloved camp songs and wish there were a way to experience those nostalgic days all over again. Well, I come bearing great news. There are summer camp traditions you and your friend group need to bring back this season, because you're long overdue for those carefree days of bonfires by the lake and roasting marshmallows.
Summer camps weren't all the same. Some were daily, and others lasted a whole month, but who was complaining? Either way, those summer camp traditions were practiced on the regular, and you couldn't forget them even if you tried. You and your friends can recreate that fun in the sun, and in the end, you'll be tighter than the countless friendship bracelets you've made. Yeah, there are adult summer camps, but if you're balling on a budget this summer, it's time to get creative. You can recreate those golden times of your life at camp by bringing these 10 traditions back into your life.
1. Storytelling And S'mores By The Campfire
Do you still remember those scary stories you heard by the campfire every summer? Luckily, you had a few sweet s'mores to subside those fears, or else your parents would've had to hightail it to come and get you. You and your friends can tell all kinds of stories while eating a sweet treat and sipping an adult beverage (if you're 21 or over). The most amazing conversations transpire when you're chilling by a campfire, no matter how old you are.
2. Scavenger Hunts
Let the competition begin. The good thing about hosting your own scavenger hunt is that you can make it themed. If you and your friends have a shared interest, shape your scavenger hunt idea around that. You also get to pick the reward in the end, so put your game face on.
3. Night Hikes
There's something so exhilarating about night hiking. Your flashlight becomes your best friend, but with a trail of other flashlights following you, the darkness is a tad less intimidating. Make sure to have assigned buddies, and if the trail leads to the beach, be sure to pack a blanket to star-gaze under the moonlight.
4. Water Balloon Fights
Water balloon fights meant every person for themselves and getting soaked under the sun. Back then, you didn't have those handy gadgets that can fill multiple water balloons at once. Fighting with water balloons might seem simple, but when you and your friends are worn out and giggling on the ground afterwards, you'll see it was so worth it.
5. Arts And Crafts
I mean, if you didn't create anything with glue, strings, or paint, did you even go to summer camp as a kid? You and your friends can whip out the beads for bracelets, and tie-dye some cute tank tops. A trip to the crafts store is essential.
6. Sleeping In Bunk Beds
Sleeping in bunk beds may require renting an Airbnb, but you can make a weekend out of it in a nearby lake town. Sure, you'll miss your queen-size bed at home, but how often can you look below your bed and high-five your bestie? Don't even get me started on the pillow fight opportunities.
7. Color Wars
If you have enough people in your friend group, assign teams and let the friendly competition begin. When you were in camp, people were decked out in their team colors as they competed in games like capture the flag and tug of war. It probably took you a few times in the camp showers to get that blue spray out of your hair and hot pink paint off of your face, but you showed your pride like a champ.
8. All-Day Water Play
Get creative with the days you plan on lounging in the pool, and actually play some games. Bring out all of the pool noodles and floats you can find — and if you can get your hands on an inflatable obstacle course, work that into the plan, too.
9. Giving Out Silly Awards
You were once the outstanding "Camper of the Week" back in the day, and while you can't really put that on a resume, it meant everything to you. Hosting a mock awards ceremony with silly titles the next time you're on vacation will be hilarious among your friend group.
10. T-Shirt Signing
You were a pro at getting your T-shirt signed by your camp friends and counselors. With your friends, make it more-so a summer keepsake by having them share their favorite memory with you. It'll be so sweet to look back on, and you'll need to take plenty of pics.
Those campfire sessions from childhood may be in the past, but you can still relive those nostalgic times this summer. Camp life can be yours again, one tradition at a time.