Rewarding kids for "fun" activities in home-based camp

Discussion in 'General Education' started by anna9868, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

    Feb 4, 2008
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    Jul 18, 2014

    This would be the second year that I and my friend are running a week-long camp. It's at her house or rather, outside of her house (she has 4 acres, pool, trampoline, etc.). Between the 2 of us we have 4 kids, plus we find 3-4 other friends who give us their kids for the week. The kids are between the ages of 7 and 12.

    We have tons of activities planned for them, but what surprised me most last year is that SOME kids were quite reluctant to join in a few group activities that we wanted everyone to participate. Those were relay races (or something similar) and also group board games, such as Pictionaries, Dixies, etc. Well, I have to say when I brought a familiar game like Apples to apples there was no problem, everyone liked it. However, I don't want to play apples to apples all 5 days, I have lots of other interesting games that I'd like to use there.

    Kids not wanting to participate in relay races and such also surprises me a lot. Right around this time I do birthday party for my son where I have kids (a lot of them are the same ones as for camp) and we play those relay races and everyone plays without complaining.

    Why not in camp, I'm not sure. One thing may be tiredness, so we made sure this year to make a schedule in such a way as to include those "important" activities in the beginning of the day, before the kids get tired.

    Also, this year bought some little prizes to use as a reward. However, I'm not sure how to use them with more results. Promising rewards to just those kids who are reluctant to play is not right. Promising to everybody is way too expensive :(
    Should I say before the game starts that the team that is winning would get prizes?

    So, if anyone has been in a similar situation, please share your thoughts about it. thanks!
  3. burgandy01

    burgandy01 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2014
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    Aug 4, 2014

    Yes, kids love prizes!
  4. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Jul 28, 2006
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    Aug 5, 2014

    My guess here is that the reluctance to participate is more a factor that kids attending camp are not viewing it in the same way they would a birthday party or day camp or sleep away camp. Because it is home based, they may see it as more of a play date where participation is more optional.
    I'd definitely look at rewards for top finishing teams, but maybe try to make it prizes like winners go first on the trampoline, first at snack time, first color choice for the craft, etc. I love the idea of camp. Hope it works out for you.

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