Hit Fast Forward

By Jason Lang

Do your “tween” campers find some of the activities at your camp a little … dated? If so, try video challenges to bring divergent groups together in a creative, fun atmosphere.

Video challenges are themed video-camera activities for campers. Challenge goals are team building, positive communication, and creative assimilation of multiple viewpoints. Ideas are only limited by imagination; here are a few that have been hits with our campers:

Music-Video Smashups
Have campers creatively “smash” together a video from the 1980s with one from today. At our camp, the winning video was a combination of the hit songs “Walk Like an Egyptian” (The Bangles) and “Just Dance” (Lady Gaga).

TV Show Smashups
Similar to the music-video smashup—except with TV shows. Some of our favorites are “Star Search” meets “American Idol,” and “The Cosby Show” meets “Modern Family.”

Sell! Sell! Sell!
For this video challenge, campers create a fun product (candy, drink, etc.) that they have to sell to the other groups. The video is the pitch to hook would-be consumers.

These activities typically keep the campers engaged for 4 to 8 hours for “prep and rehearsal” time, and another 4 hours for actual video production. The videos can be simple, with just the use of a handheld video camcorder, or video-editing software if available. These videos also are great ways to sell your camp to prospective families. When asked by a parent, “So what do the campers do all day?” I send them to Youtube and Facebook, where the videos are uploaded and they can see all of the excitement!

Jason Lang is the Camp Programs Coordinator for the Loudoun County PRCS Summer DAZE & FEST Camps in Leesburg, Va. Reach him at jason.lang@loudoun.gov.