12 Old School Camping Games for Families

Camping Hacks

Family camping trips would not be the same without sitting around the campfire singing songs, telling ghost stories, roasting marshmallow and of course playing a few games. In a world dominated by video games, cell phones and other electronics there is something to be said for going “Old School” and teaching the next generation how to have fun unplugged. Here are 12 awesome camping games for the kids to play or for you to play with the kids on your next family camping trip.

Camping Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts are a great way to keep children interested in a hike or a fun way to keep them busy while you are relaxing around the campsite.  The easiest way to do this is to simply write down some ideas of things to see, things to do and things to feel. Here is a list of ideas for scavenger hunts that we use with our families.

Campfire Bingo

We like to use results from the scavenger hunt for this one! Simply draw out as many 5 by 5 grids as you need or make them on your computer and print them before you go. Then just fill them in.

The Alphabet Game

This classic is sure to keep the kids interested along the trail or around the campground. The kids (and adults if you want to play too) find things that start with each letter of the alphabet in order. It’s a great way to make Ants, Beer (at least in our house) and Campgrounds way more interesting!

Have a Competition

Okay kidos, who can collect the most downed firewood? All parents know a little friendly competition is not going to hurt anything. The winner gets extra marshmallows or something like that. Ideas here are only limited by your imagination!

Design a Campground Obstacle Course

The rules are… Start at the tent, hop on one leg to the picnic table, crawl under it, do three somersaults, walk backwards to the lake, skip a stone at least three times, do ten push-ups, run to a trail sign…  etc etc… Use whatever is around you in the campsite and anything you brought from home!

Make a Fort

Give the kids a place to call their own when camping!  Bring a tarp and some paracord and let their imaginations run wild! This is also totally fun to do as adults too, just saying. 

Hide and Seek… Duck, Duck, Goose… Scarecrow Tag

You can’t go wrong with any of these ones!  Surely you all know the rules!

Dead Fish

Lay perfectly still and silent!  One person walks around the “dead fish” and tags people out that flinch or make a noise.  Those that get tagged out join and try get others to move or make a sound.

Hot Seat

One person sits on the “Hot Seat” facing the other players. Another person writes a funny word or thing on a piece of paper standing behind the person on the hot seat. They show that word to the group. Each person in the group gives the person a hint or clue as to the word. If the person in the hot seat correctly guesses after all the clues they are safe. If not, the group gets to decide a fun punishment like singing a song or showing off their best dance moves.

Marshmallow Maverick

Are you a Marshmallow Maverick? How many times can you roast a marshmallow? The goal is to roast, remove the crust and roast again. This is way tougher than it sounds. Personal best from an experienced marshmallow roasting adult is 8.

Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie is fun for family camping trips and adults only as well. Sitting around the campfire each person takes turns telling two truths and a lie about themselves. You can keep score or not. Regardless, the kids will likely learn a little bit more about mom and dad!

Noah’s Ark

To play Noah’s Ark everyone needs to sit in a circle. The person who starts says I’m going on Noah’s Ark and lists an animal that starts with the letter A. The next person must repeat what that person said plus an animal with the letter B, the next person C, the next D, etc.  The first person to forget an animal is out of the circle.  For those that are not religious, “I’m camping and I hope to see…” works fine as well.