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Independence Day Excitement

Happy Independence Day! canstockphoto1971591

5 Great Group Games for July 4th

Fireworks, apple pie and fun--three ingredients that make every Independence Day a success. Whether you're celebrating the Fourth of July at camp, at home or somewhere else, consider these five games when your party wants a little fun in their festivities.

1. Celebration Soccer

Requires 2 teams of 11 campers

Equipment:

One pool noodle for each camper

Red, white and blue balloons

Two soccer goals on an open field

Instructions:

At the start of the game, toss up one red, one white and one blue balloon in the middle of the field. Players are to use the pool noodles to bat the balloons toward their team’s goal. Red balloons are worth three points, white balloons four points and blue balloons five points. Goalies are the only players allowed to use their hands, and should a balloon burst before making it into a goal, it is replaced by a balloon of the same color.

2. Freedom Rollers

Requires two opposing teams of campers with approximately the same number of campers on both sides

Equipment:

Five large marbles per team

An assortment of empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls, cut in half

Bucket or bowl for each team

Instructions:

Have each camper stand shoulder to shoulder with their team to make one long line. Each player gets either half of an empty toilet paper or an empty paper towel roll. Set the bucket or bowl at the end of the line. At the start of the line, one teammate holds all five marbles. On the start, the player with the marbles rolls the marble on the tube of the next player. That player and the following player work together to get the marble to roll the length of both tubes and the third player connects their tube as well. If the marble is dropped or touched, it is returned quickly to the first team member and must start again. The goal is for each marble to travel the length of every team member's tube and be deposited in the bucket/bowl at the end.

3. Popcorn Pop Relay

Requires two opposing teams of campers with equal numbers of campers on both sides

Equipment:

Large bowl of popcorn for each team

One pair of swim fins/flippers for each team

Empty bowl for each team

Instructions:

Line up each team in a single-file line behind their bowl of popcorn. Set up the empty bowl approximately 10 yards from the start, opposite the start line. On the start, the first camper puts on the swim fins, adds popcorn to the top of the fins and runs/walks to the empty bowl, where he will lift the swim fins and dump the remaining popcorn in the bowl, then return to the team line where the second player will do the same. The winning team is the team with the most popcorn in the second bowl when the game is finished.

4. Patriotic Plates

Requires two opposing teams of campers with an equal number of campers on both sides

Equipment:

Five paper plates for each team. Each paper plate should be labeled with the following point values:

1 plate with 10

1 plate with 20

1 plate with 30

1 plate with 40

1 plate with 50

One individual square beanbag per team

Instructions:

Line up each team in a single-file line. Approximately 5 feet from the line, lay down the 10 point plate. 2 feet behind that, line up the 20 point plate. Two feet behind that, the 30 point plate and so forth. Give the first player for each team their beanbag. Instruct each player to toss the beanbag toward the plate of their choosing. If the beanbag lands squarely on the plate, they are awarded the points. If not, there are no points for that toss. The player who tossed the beanbag sprints to retrieve the bag, give it to the next player for them to toss. The objective of the game is to be the first team to score 200 (or number of your choice) points.

5. Stars and Stripes Relay

Requires two (or more) opposing teams of campers with an equal number of players

Equipment:

Two (children's) buckets of sand per team

One small flag on an individual dowel rod for each player

Instructions:

Put all the flags for one team in one sand-filled bucket. Line up each team in a single-file line behind a common starting line. Each team receives a bucket filled with sand to set behind the start line. Place the bucket filled with flags approximately fifteen yards from the first player in each line. On the start, the first player is to sprint to their team bucket, grab a flag, return the flag to the bucket behind the finish line, stick it in the sand, then tag the second player to do the same. The game winner is the first team to get all their flags from the far bucket to the bucket at the start line.

Beth Morrow is a freelance blogger, educator and member of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association’s Youth Committee and Camp Leadership Teams. She has served as Senior Week Program Director for Camp Hamwi, a residential, age-based, week-long camp for diabetic youth, for twenty-one years. Reach her on Twitter at @BethFMorrow

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