Group Games

By Jeff Merhige

The secret to many of these games is not playing them too long. 10-20 minutes often being the maximum. If the kids aren’t allowed to play the game until they are tired of it they will look forward to playing it again later. Some games will work better if the group is broken down into several smaller groups.


Materials needed: power stick, a blindfold

How to play: Everyone sits in a circle facing the center. One person is picked to be the great god Moneto, who sits in the middle of the circle. Moneto is blindfolded and the power stick is placed before him/her. Moneto spends all his/her time protecting the stick but occasionally falls asleep (hence the blindfold). With everyone sitting silently the leader now picks a warrior from the circle to try and sneak in and grab the power stick. He/she fails if Moneto detects the presence and points directly at the person. If this happens the person returns to their place in the circle and someone else is chosen to try and steal the power stick. If the person is successful they grab the stick and must yell in Monet’s face to awaken him/her so Moneto can see what has happened. The successful warrior takes Moneto’s place and Moneto finds a place in the circle.

Some variations:

1. Send in several warriors at a time.

2. If a warrior is caught, rather than to return to the circle they sit right where they got caught to become Moneto’s sighted but silent helper. If a subsequent warrior gets close enough that the helper can reach out and touch them (keeping both cheeks on the floor) that warrior then also becomes a helper at that spot.

Hull Gull-a gambling game
Materials needed: kernels of corn or beans

How to play: Each person is given 5 pieces of corn. These will be placed in one hand (the bank hand). The game is played one on one so once it begins there is a general milling about. The game goes as follows: Person One take 0-5 pieces of corn out of the bank hand and places them into the other hand. Holding this closed hand forward Person Two is approached with the phrase “Hull Gull hand full, how many” and Person Two makes a guess. If Person Two guesses correctly they get that number of pieces from Person One.

If Person Two guesses correctly they get that number of pieces from Person One.

If Person Two guesses incorrectly they give Person the difference between the actual amount and their guess. They now reverse roles. Once this is done each person goes off to find a new player.

EXAMPLE: Person One has three pieces of corn in their hand (leaving two in the bank) Person One approaches Person Two and says “Hull Gull hand full, how many”

If Person Two says three, Person Two gets three pieces from Person One.

If Person Two says five, Person Two gives Person One two pieces (5-3=2).

They now reverse roles with Person Two addressing Person One “Hull Gull hand full, how many? Ect.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE ABOVE: 1) If Person One put 0 in their hand, even though they have some in their bank hand, and Person Two guesses 0, Person One must give Person Two half of what they have in their bank hand.

2) If a person’s bank is out of corn, they can still play since their opponent will not know this. If the opponent should happen to guess 0, they would of course get nothing (except mad) since half of 0 is 0.

Materials needed: none

How to play: Everyone sits in a circle. One person is chosen to be in the middle of the circle. Later 2 or 3 people can be chosen; it makes the game much harder. Someone sitting in the circle is chosen as the leader. The leader’s identity is kept secret from the person or people in the middle of the circle. The object of the game is for them to find the leader. The leader starts a motion everyone else must follow such as tapping his or her head. Patting the floor ECT. The leader should change actions frequently to keep the game moving. The people in the middle guess until they know who is signaling the motion to everyone else. When they are successful, pick more people for the various roles and start again.

Mind Readers

Pick the Magazine
Magazines are arranged in 3 rows of 3. Someone from the audience comes up and picks out one of the magazines. The mind reader knows which one it is by the way the magazines is pointed to. The pointer is placed on the cover in the location of the chosen magazine, as if each cover was divided into 3 rows of 3. Example: The middle magazine of the middle row was chosen. Each time the leader points and asks if that is the one she points to the middle of the cover of the magazine.

Rainy Day Activities

• Cabin Skits

• Story Telling

• Musical Chairs

• Human Letters

• Balloon Volleyball

• Board Games

• Indoor Camp Fire

• Cabin Family Feud

• Minute Mysteries

• Mud Hike

• Mud Soccer

• Bingo

• Dutch Auction

• Slip and Slide

• Mad Libs

• Decorate Cabin

• Arts and Crafts Projects

• Sock Hockey


Dutch Auction
Kids bring 5-10 items each to lodge. The announcer then asks for different thins and if the cabin group has them they get points. (See following sample list of items.)

Dutch Auction Item List!!

• Crest toothpaste

• Red hair-rubber-band

• Harry Potter book

• Yellow sock

• Flashlight

• Pen

• Stationary

• Map of Camp Kern

• Piece of gum

• Chapstick

• Slipper with a face

• Teddy bear

• Watch with indiglo

• Belt with more than 6 holes in it

• Blue hair brush

• Orange tooth brush

• Bug spray

• Stripped scarf

• Walkman/discman

• Green baseball hat

• Bluest eyes

• Biggest shampoo bottle

• Orange bathing suit

• Smelliest shoe

• Biggest burp

• Sunglasses

• Rubber duck

• 7 of spades from a deck of cards

• Cowboy hat

• Hair dryer

• First person to wiggle their ears

• First person to with a camera to come take a picture with________________

• Person with the muddiest pants

• A flip flop

• Picture of someone from their family

• Pinecone

• Purple braces

• Prescription eyeglasses

• A lanyard with green in it

• Person with the longest hair

• Person with the shortest hair

• Muddiest fingernails

• Towel with a cartoon character on it

• Jump-rope

• Degree deodorant

• Dryer sheet

• Biggest bubblegum bubble

• Leftover food from lunch

• Red shoelace

• Anything camouflaged

• Fossil

• Note from a parent

• Smoke alarm

• A bug

• First group to do a three person pyramid

Group Machines
A group of two or three of the kids decides what kind of machine (household appliance) they would like to be. They act it out and the other campers have to guess what they are.

Minute Mysteries
You present the kids with a situation. Asking yes or no questions, they try to solve the mystery.

Clue: A man pushes his car in front of a hotel and says, “ I’m broke and I’m out.” What Happened?

Answer: He is playing Monopoly.

Clue: I want to go home but the man in the mask won’t let me.

Who is the man in the mask?

Answer: A baseball catcher.

Clue: A body is found in the middle of a field with a ring on his finger. How did he die?

Answer: The ring is a ripcord but the parachute didn’t open.

Clue: The music stopped and the man died. What happened?

Answer: The man was a blind tightrope walker who used the music to signal when he was at the end of his rope. The music finished early and he fell to his death.

Clue: Two men go to visit a female friend. She offers them soft drinks, which they accept. The drinks are identical in everyway. One man dies after drinking his drink but the other one does not. Why did just one-man die?

Answer: There was poison in the ice cubes of both drinks. The surviving man chugged his drink so the ice didn’t get a change to melt and release the poison. The other man sipped his drink and was poisoned.

Clue: A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink of water. Instead of serving the man a drink, the bartender pulls out a gun and shoots it into the air. The man says “Thank You” and walks out. What happened?

Answer: The man has the hiccups and wanted a drink of water to get rid of then. Instead the gunshot scared him he lost the hiccups. So he said “Thank-You” and left.

Clue: A man lives on the 24Th floor of a 24-story apartment building. Each day he leaves for work. When he returns home, he rides the elevator to the 24th floor on rainy days only. On sunny days, he rides to the 12th floor and walks the rest of the way. Why doesn’t he ride the elevator all the way up every day?

Answer: The man is a midget who can only reach up to the twelfth floor button. On rainy days he has his umbrella, which lets him reach the 24th floor buttons.

Clue: Two bodies are lying in a puddle of water and there is broken glass about. How did they die?

Answer: The bodies are those of fish whose tank fell and broke.

Clue: One week after visiting a park a man calls the police to report a murder. What happened?

Answer: The body was undetected until it showed up in some pictures he took which had to be developed.

Clue: A man is on an isolated island with only a beach ball and a piece of wood measuring 12” square. Each day he leaves and returns to the island without getting wet. How?

Answer: The water is frozen and he simply walks across it. (The ball and wood are just to add some confusion.)

Clue: A man is swimming when he hears a whistle and drowns. What happened?

Answer: The man is blind and swimming in the ocean. He swam towards the whistle thinking it was a lifeguard on shore, when actually it had come from a passing ship he could never reach.

Clue: A man is found hung in an empty room, locked from the inside, with a puddle on the floor. What happened?

Answer: The man stood on a block of ice which hung him as it melted.

Clue: A man leaves his friends room and pushes the button for the elevator. The doors opened part way then stopped, and his friend was dead. How did his friend die?

Answer: This takes place in a hospital where the electricity failed, so the elevator doors stopped. His friend was on a respirator which also stopped, killing him.

Clue: A man is found stabbed to death lying in a puddle of water. There is no weapon to be found. What happened?

Answer: The man stabbed himself with an icicle.

Clue: Fifty people are in a cabin having a snack. Now they are all dead. What happened?

Answer: It is an airplane cabin and the plane crashed.

Jeff Merhige is the Executive Director of YMCA Camp Widjiwagan in Nashville Tenn. Reach him at