Elementary age girl playing 9 Square in the Air using a walker.

Camp games serve many purposes. They fill the hours of camp time, they help kids get to know one another and develop good teamwork, and they ensure you have cabins full of sleepy campers at lights-out. The best camp games do something more: they develop your campers into leaders.

Organic Leadership

The best camp games don’t fall obviously into leaders and followers, such as assigning some kids as captains and others as players. The ideal game allows kids to have a great time together without a clear spotlight on one person designated to be in charge. Unsuspecting campers gather for a game, not knowing that you’re watching for certain qualities to emerge. 

It might be an otherwise-quiet camper that has a word of encouragement at every opportunity. You may see someone display good sportsmanship or offer a great idea to resolve a conflict.

Playing camp games also gives your counselors the perfect setting to model the kinds of leadership qualities you want to see emerge in your campers. 

Positive Reinforcement

Your camp will quickly have a social structure in place. Even if you don’t have something official, kids know the order of things before long, quickly realizing which kids are opinionated or seem to capture the attention of the counselors with a sarcastic comment or by distracting everyone. 

Good camp games shake all of this up, offering campers a new way to connect and pulling attention away from those who might seek it with negative behaviors. It gives counselors and staff the opportunity to celebrate the group as a whole and highlight the positive things going on in the game. Leaders emerge, not based on social influence, but on the great qualities that the camp celebrates. 

Encouraging Vulnerability

Camp games that level the playing field and require no athletic skill offer a great opportunity for kids to let their guard down and have fun. Campers that may shrink back from traditional sports will thrive in a camp game where they don’t feel like they are trying to prove themselves. These kinds of games don’t keep score or have a winning team; they are simply for connection.

When campers are vulnerable, you see new strengths emerge. Communication, problem-solving, collaboration and creativity all thrive when kids are free of any self-consciousness. 

Leaders Emerge: 9 Square in the Air

When you play 9 Square in the Air, you’re seeing so many good things happen simultaneously. Kids are building connections, they are playing a game that’s easy for even the least-athletic camper to learn, and they are playing alongside their counselors, seeing leadership skills in action. 

Through play, your campers flex those game muscles that build good leaders, such as offering words of encouragement, being a good sport when they get “out,” or volunteering to be one of the first ones who wait while others jump in to play. There are many lessons hiding in a fantastically fun game.

Ready to have a 9 Square in the Air game at your summer camp? Contact us, and we’ll get your order started!