Whether it’s roasting marshmallows by the campfire, sharing a dorm with your best mates or completing a high ropes course we all have lasting memories from our favourite school event… School Camp! While COVID-19 may have changed the way we do school camps for the foreseeable future, don’t worry we aren’t going to suggest you pitch a tent on the school oval (unless you want to of course), that doesn’t mean that we can’t still create a memorable team bonding experience that students and teachers alike will cherish for years to come… without necessarily leaving the school grounds. With that in mind, we wanted to give you our top four tips for creating the ultimate team bonding experience at your next school camp, no matter what your location!
Tip #1 – Start with a Theme
While usually the idea of a school camp involves spending a few nights away with your classmates and heading to an exciting new location… this might not necessarily be the case right now. So while you may not necessarily be leaving the school grounds, there are still plenty of ways to make the usual classroom environment feel like a new and exciting location, with a little help from theming.
Whether you want to create a theme through:
- Decoration – Get the students involved in the lead up and ask them to decorate the space with creations they have created during art class.
- Costumes – Why not try a best dressed competition or encourage everyone to dress up using only house hold items.
- Catering – Ask each student to bring an ingredient, then put the students in teams and task them with the challenge to create a meal to match the theme.
- Activities – Invite students to create an act or skit that ties in with the theme and then hold a concert, inviting parents and peers to show off their hard work.
By incorporating a theme you can set a tone and feel for the entire camp that engages students and teachers and helps them get past the fact that you technically haven’t left the school grounds.
Stuck for ideas? Think about what the students have been learning about, is there something there that you can build on? For example – under the sea, tropical rainforest, key moments in history or outer space, you really are only limited by your imagination!
Tip #3 – Put the Kids In Control
Shake it up and give the kids a chance to bond, whilst using their strategic thinking and showing off their creative flair and task them with coming up with an activity for the group to complete!
Divide the students into even teams and with the assistance of a teacher, allow them to plan and create their very own team activity, that they will later showcase to the rest of their classmates. Not only will this give the students a fantastic opportunity to work on their communication and planning skills, it will also allow them to work on their presenting and facilitation skills, when they present the activity to the rest of their classmates.
You could add a competitive element by asking each student and teacher to vote for their favourite activity they participated in, or ask the facilitating team to award points for participation and performance.
Tip #2 – Do Something Different For Team Building
The key ingredient for any school camp is some form of team building activity. While building a raft, completing a high ropes course or going horse riding may not be practical activities for every location, there are still plenty of options that are sure to impress and the best part is they don’t necessarily have to break the bank.
By engaging a professional team building organisation, you know that all the equipment will be provided and your students will be engaged in a fun and exciting team building program, that will still deliver on all of your key objectives, like trust, team work and communication. And do you want to know what the best part is? The students will be having so much fun, they probably won’t even know that they are gaining those important skills!
We know that there are a lot of team building programs available, which can make choosing the perfect program a little overwhelming. Whether you are looking for something with a charity component or something more adventurous or creative there are plenty of options to suit indoor, outdoor, transitional or online locations. And to make your life even easier, we have compiled our top Team Building programs for schools all in one convenient location.
Tip #4 – Break the Ice
Being thrown into a group environment, where you might not necessarily know everyone can be a daunting experience for anyone, and it’s no different in school environments for students and teachers alike. This is why any school camp can benefit by kicking off with a very simple (yet very effective) ice breaker activities!
While there are some activities that make us all cringe a little bit on the inside, we encourage you to think outside of the box when it comes to ice breaker activities and come up with something that will make everyone feel comfortable and relaxed. Afterall, these activities can help set the tone for the rest of the school camp.
Still not sure what activities to try? We have done the hard work for you, by creating FREE activity briefs that you can try with your school camp. You’re welcome!
While you might not be able to all pile onto a bus and take a school camp to your usual location, that doesn’t mean that the students need to miss out on all the bonding experiences that come with it. By incorporating the tips above into your next school camp, wherever that may be, we promise that the experience for the students and teachers alike will be engaging, fun and exciting, creating memories that all will treasure for years to come.