Clever In The Kitchen

Meal themes are a great way to bring a group together. Here are just a couple ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

• A to Z lunch--Have a buffet that serves every letter of the alphabet from drinks to desserts

• Breakfast for dinner

• Medieval meal--Dine without utensils

• Clue meal--Solve the riddles to move from station to station to get to your meal

• Masquerade lunch--Decorate masks and wear them while you eat

• Silent breakfast

• Pajama breakfast


Get The Ball Rolling

Activities don’t have to end when summer skies turn grey. Bring the action inside with these five great activities that are ideal for small indoor spaces and require minimal equipment.

Escape Ball

Number of players: 8 or more

Ages: 6 and up

Time period: 20 minutes

Equipment: Kickball or coated foam ball

Activity level: Low to moderate

Focus: Cardio, core strength, flexibility

Children stand in a circle with one child (“it”) in the center. The children standing in the circle stand facing in, with their feet spread apart so that they are touching the feet of the people next to them. They cannot move their feet or legs during the game. They should keep their hands on their knees until the activity begins.

The “it” child has the ball and tries to roll the ball through the legs of any player. “It” should fake his/her intent, using feints and changes of direction. Without moving their feet or legs, children in the circle have to stop the ball from going between their legs by bending over from the waste and using their hands to block. Any player that allows the ball to go through their legs becomes the new “it.”

My Friends

Number of players: 10 or more

Ages: 9 and up

Time period: 20 minutes

Equipment: Poly spots

Activity level: Low to moderate

Focus: Cardio, listening

This activity helps campers get to know each other.

This is a walking or fast-walking activity. The counselor gives a poly spot to all but one child and has them make a large circle. Children then stand on the poly spots. The child without a poly spot is chosen to be the caller and stands in the middle of the circle. The caller then asks a question of the group that pertains to him or her, i.e., “I wonder if any of ‘my friends’ are wearing the color red today?” Only the children wearing red may move to a new poly spot, including the caller. Whoever is left without a new poly spot to stand on becomes the new caller. Children may not move to the spot directly on either side of them.

Over-Under Relay

Number of players: 10 or more

Ages: 6 and up

Time period: 20 minutes

Equipment: Kickball or medicine ball

Activity level: Moderate to vigorous

Focus: Cardio, core strength, flexibility, coordination, cooperation

This activity brings in a little friendly competition.

Form teams of 5 or 6 children. Players in each team stand in line, one behind the other. The first person in line has the ball. On a signal, this player hands the ball (backwards) over his/her head to the next player. The second player passes the object through his/her legs to the third player who hands it over his/her head and so on. When the ball reaches the last player, s/he passes the ball back and the ball moves in the same over-under fashion back to the first player. The first team to get the ball back to the first player in line is the winner.

Birds Fly

Number of players: 5 or more

Ages: 5-9

Time period: 20 minutes

Equipment: None

Activity level: Low to moderate

Focus: Cardio, coordination, listening

This activity is similar to Simon Says, but with a twist.

Have children spread out at least an arm’s length apart. The object of the game is for children to flap their arms (fly) only when the counselor says something that flies. This game requires good listening skills. For example, the counselor says, “Dogs fly. Carrots fly. Pencils fly. Pigeons fly,” etc. To be tricky, while the counselor is saying these phrases, s/he is also flapping his/her arms. Children should flap their arms only when something that flies is stated. If they flap incorrectly, they are temporarily out of the game and sit down until another flying word is stated and then they should stand up and re-enter the game. After some time, choose a child to lead the game. Continue to switch leaders of the game and consider new categories, like “fish swim” while children make a swimming motion with their arms.

Pass The Scarves

Number of players: 10 or more

Ages: 9 and up

Time period: 30 minutes

Equipment: Scarves

Activity level: Low to moderate

Focus: Coordination, cooperation

This activity challenges your campers to graduate to the more challenging levels.

Level One: Have children form a circle. One scarf is held in each child’s right hand, the other scarf is tucked away for later use. Everyone will toss their scarf to the person on their right while catching the scarf from the person on their left, using their left hand. After catching the scarf, the children transfer the scarf to their right hand and the sequence repeats. The command is “toss, catch, change hands, wait 1,2,3” (to see that everyone has a scarf in their right hand) and repeat, “toss, catch, change hands, wait 1,2,3. “ Continue this pattern for 10 to 12 tosses, then change directions! Everyone puts the scarf in their left hand and now has to toss left and catch with their right hand. Use the same command as before. Once the group masters this level, go to level two.

Level Two: This time children can only use their right hand to toss and catch. The counselor’s command changes to “toss, catch, toss, catch.” Again continue for 10 to 12 tosses and then change directions. If the group is ready, move to level three.

Level Three: This level is that same as Level Two except for a new command: “Toss, toss, toss, toss.” Continue in the same direction and speed up the cadence gong faster and faster. Soon, the scarves will be piling up! Change directions and try again. Ready for level four?

Level Four: The children take out the second scarf and hold one scarf in each hand. The object is to toss both scarves to the right and then attempt to catch both scarves coming from the left! Go slowly at first and start with the command from level one. Change directions, cadence and speed as the group masters the skill. Ready for the last level?

Level Five: Children hold one scarf in each hand. T he object is to toss both scarves in opposite directions and catch the scarves coming to them from each direction! This is difficult and challenging but very rewarding for children to accomplish. Go VERY SLOW LY and use the command found in Level One. Set a goal to see how many tosses and catches children can achieve.

Activities are from StartFIT Classroom Activity Packages (K-2 and 3-5) and courtesy of EverActive Brands. For more information, visit .


The Girl Scout Movement--How 18 Girls Became 50 Million Women

Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts, by Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, is now available.

The book addresses one of the nation’s most underused resources--girls, and the women they ultimately can become.

Cloninger makes a case for the enormous untapped potential of America’s girls and issues a ringing call to action to girls, boys, parents, the business community, and public to help females make a better, stronger, and more prosperous future for all. $24.95; October 2011; available in hardcover and E-Book. For more information, visit .