Camping with teenagers can either be super enjoyable or feel like you’re pulling teeth anytime you try to get them to do something. Don’t worry, I’ve got ‘ya covered! Here are 27 fun teenage camping activities and camp games. I’m sure you’ll find AT LEAST one they love!
Something to keep in mind when planning these camp activities is that teens love to use their phones… I mean like a lot. I know not all of us grew up with them, and some families even ban them at camp! However, it’s important to understand the changing times and not think the only way to camp is how YOU enjoy camping!
Instead, try some fun camping games and activities that actually involve their phones. Cell phones can get a bad rap, but really there are tons of fun camp games your teens can do with their phones!
In fact, for new teenage campers especially, the first way to bridge that gap from regular home life to camp life might be through a fun activity… on their phone (such as geocaching!)
Here are some teenage camping activities we’ll go over today!
- Bring the bikes for obstacle courses + challenges
- Learn about the local geology (AKA.. go on a rock hunt!)
- A challenging but FUN “Selfie” Scavenger Hunt
- Make an RC Car course
- Try Geocaching
- Campfire Challenges (fastest firestarter, longest burning DIY firestarter, etc.)
- Get creative with a camping journal
- Bring a hammock (it’s great for that needed alone time!)
- Play charades around the campfire
- Encourage prepping and cooking at least one meal
- Visit an interesting campground with activities your teen likes
- Bring a friend (and an extra tent!) for some confidence
- Go on a hilarious emoji camp scavenger hunt
- Bring this meme card game that teens will LOVE
- Plan some extra fun glow activities for nighttime
- Paint glow-in-the-dark rocks. Make a fairy garden door.
- Learn to make paracord bracelets
- Set up a slackline
- Bring portable versions of cornhole, frisbee golf, bocca, etc.
- Learn to navigate using nature with this book
- Brush up on some wilderness survival during downtime
- Learn how to whittle wood found while camping
- Go foraging to learn about the area
Don’t miss your FREE teen camping activity idea bank and my selife + emoji scavenger hunts (that are ALWAYS a hit it seems!) Get it at the bottom of this post!
20+ Fun Camping Games and Activities for Teens
There’s such a HUGE variety of different camping activities — remember that your teen is unique and the camping activities they like may not be the same ones you liked at that age. Just because as a kid, you fished from dusk till dawn doesn’t mean they’ll want to.
So scroll down this post to brainstorm some camp activities to do with your teens, whether it’s at summer camp or the actual campsite!
Bring the Bikes for Obstacle Courses + Challenges
Even if the campground you’re headed to doesn’t have much riding space, you can make the most out of it by whipping up some easy “jumps”, obstacle courses, or balance beams! Bring shovels, walkie-talkies, and maybe a couple of bucks to encourage some fun competition!
Learn About the Local Geology
(AKA.. go on a rock hunt!)
Until you know how cool rocks are, they all look the same. But once your kids can identify a few rocks (pick up a local geology identification guide/book), they will be WAY more interested in the nature around them!
Try these rock identification challenges to help keep teenagers busy on a camp trip: most rocks identified, rarest rock, most interesting rock, biggest rock, etc.
To make rock collecting even more exciting, see if you can get a rock tumbler. It’s pretty cool seeing what even “normal” rocks look like after a couple of weeks of tumbling and polishing!
“Selfie” Scavenger Hunt
If you have teens, you know they love selfies! So why not try a selfie scavenger hunt camp game?
Yup, it’s just a normal scavenger hunt but with a fun, digital twist… a selfie with each item! Teen campers everywhere love doing recent trends, funny faces, and a bit of competition in this type of photo camping scavenger hunt.
Make a Remote Control Car Course
There’s just something so fun about building jumps, seeing who can get through a course fastest, and the teamwork that might come with it! RC cars like this are PERFECT for sitting around camp and challenging each other in different courses!
This is a camping activity that’s great for teenagers. Yes, it includes using a phone or GPS, but it’s 100% worth it!
Geocaching is the process of searching for “geocaches” (small containers with logs/trinkets in them) via their map in the app. It kinda feels like a giant treasure hunt game – just be sure to leave something small but fun when you find one!
No…I’m not saying that your kids should be playing with fire. 😋 But there are some fun teenage camping activities you all can do around the campfire.
Teenagers love taking any opportunity to prove they’re the best, so give them practice making campfires while having some friendly challenges! I love this video (a screenshot is below) as a refresher on the types of campfires.
Here are some fun campfire challenge ideas for teenagers!
- Best roasted marshmallow (take a vote!)
- Longest burning DIY firestarter
- Quickest campfire builder
- Fastest fire starter only using flint
- Campfire trivia (IE, best type of campfires for various situations)
Get Creative With a Camping Journal
Journaling is a great way to practice storytelling, keep memories, and inspire some creativity! Keep some camp journals like these around the picnic table. They include prompts and encourage teens who are otherwise “one worders” to expand their camping experience!
Bring a Hammock
It’s great for that needed alone time!
And on that note, bring MORE than a single hammock – I made the mistake of only bringing one, and there were five of us who wanted to use it!
Not only are hammocks a great place to relax, but I’ve found that teens really enjoy having a bit of privacy. Whether it’s reading a book or staying in touch with friends via their phone, I guarantee they will happily spend A LOT of time in one if available!
(me pictured below with my hammock that is for me ONLY and hidden over the side of a cliff LOL)
Play Charades Around the Campfire
Acting out funny camping moments is sure to break the ice no matter how the day went.
You can have one person act out a scene for the rest of the group. Or you can switch it up to work as teams. Just stick the card on your forehead instead of looking at it so that your teammate has to act it out, and you try to guess!
Make up your own charade camping games or check out these premade, ready-to-print camp-themed charades!
Have Your Teens Prep and Cook a Meal
Even if it’s something super simple, teens secretly do like some responsibility and getting involved in the planning! After catching a ton of fish, my nephew actually had the seasonings, lemons, and foil needed to prep and cook them on the fire – check out the picture below!! It was delicious!
Choose a Campground with Activities Your Teen Will Love
Fishing, kayaking, rock hunting, biking, mountain biking, hiking, etc… there are TONS of campgrounds that have access to these sorts of activities. Encourage your teenager to do some phone research on potential campgrounds ahead of time so they can contribute to the decision-making.
And of course, I like this option because should I hear from them that they are “bored” at camp, I can remind them they helped pick it! I never thought I’d be sassy like that, but teens will change ya!
Bring a Friend (and an extra tent!)
If your teen has hit the “my parents are super uncool” stage, then bringing a friend might make them more excited for the weekend camp trip. Most teens are naturally super social, and the independence of having their own tent (including having them set it up!) will be wonderful for their confidence!
Plus, most teenagers will more willingly participate in other camping activities – board games, storytelling, hikes, etc. – when they have a friend along.
Check out some more tips here that might help your teen enjoy the camping experience.
Emoji Camp Scavenger Hunts
Adding a twist to things they are already familiar with is fun and easy! This emoji-themed camp scavenger hunt game will make teens laugh, get creative, and most of all… keep busy exploring around camp!
Plus, it’s entertaining to share what everyone wrote once they are completed!
Hilarious Meme Card Game
Bring this hilarious meme card game that teenagers LOVE.
If you’ve ever heard of the games Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, you’ll be happy you know there’s a teen/kid-friendly version that they will LOVE (and it doesn’t lose out on laughs!)
“What do you Meme?” uses recognizable, viral memes and funny questions to see who can best match the situation to the meme!
I always love having a card game or board game on hand. And although you should always keep a traditional deck of cards around, an entertaining card game like this is perfect for rainy days or to laugh together at the end of the night!
Nighttime Glow Activities
Plan some extra fun glow games for nighttime – like a ninja fight with glow-in-the-dark swords!
Everything glow in the dark is sure to be a hit, but Jedi sword tag is just a whole different level! I love that this glowing sword game set includes TEN swords so everyone and their friends can play. Best of all, the hits don’t hurt, so you won’t be breaking up constant fights between siblings who accuse one another of “hitting too hard” every other time! =P
If you’re not looking to spend money though, there are a ton of cute DIY glow-in-the-dark games here!
Paint Glow in the Dark Rocks
Paint glow-in-the-dark rocks with fun designs and inspiring messages for the next campers to find!
Finding the perfect shape rocks, thinking of something special, and making a design that GLOWS IN THE DARK is pretty darn fun! We absolutely love finding painted rocks here and there. Many, many people make beautiful rock art just to hide and surprise others! =)
I really love this glow rock painting kit because it has everything you need!
And if you have teens who aren’t as crafty, these glow-in-the-dark paracord bracelet kits will be perfect.
Learn to Make Paracord Bracelets
Paracord bracelets not only look cool but can come in handy around the campsite. Here’s a video you can use as a guide.
Set Up a Slackline
Setting up a single slackline is nice for older kids. If your kids are younger, just keep the line low to the ground and add a secondary guideline a few feet above the lower one (like you see in this video)
Classic Backyard Games
Instead of trying to invent new camp games, why not bring portable versions of classic backyard games to the campground?
Cornhole and other classic yard games work great as camping games too! The portable versions are much less bulky than their full-size counterparts, so they are easy to just leave in the camper. Games like these are also a great way for your teenagers to meet new friends or connect with family.
Invest in a couple of outdoor skills books (that include activities they can do while at camp!)
It’s worth it to invest in a couple of outdoor skills books (especially ones that include activities they can do while at camp!)
Time at camp is a GREAT time to work on learning a new outdoor skill, whether it’s learning about local plants, survival skills, shelter building, whittling, etc.
Here are a couple of decently priced books to keep in the camper should boredom strike!
- Learn to navigate using nature – I promise, once kids are able to connect and understand a bit of the world around them, they will feel WAY more excited to keep learning! I love this book because you don’t need anything to get started (And it’s pretty darn handy, even as an adult!)
- Brush up on some wildnerness survival – If you have a teen who loves Bear Grylls, loves independence, or just is an outdoor fan, this books is for them! We love trying one or two things from our survival book each trip just to keep our skills sharp.
- Learn how to whittle wood found while camping – I LOVE doing this, my son loves doing this, my 14 year old nephew loved it too… it’s a great, inexpesnvie hobby that has tons of material wherever you go! While there are whittling tools, a good old swiss army knife can be used as well. This book is specifically written for kids/teens, and it includes alot of helpful techniques and safety stuff!
- Go foraging (or atleast identify some new plants!) – It feels super cool to be able to find something in nature, prep it and eat it all yourself! A more area specific guide is best (I’ve always just picked mine up at the local visitor center) but most general guides are organized pretty well.
Feeling a little more prepared to go camping with teenagers?
Sure, as parents it can sometimes be hard to think outside of the biking, fishing, board games thing when it comes to camping activities for teens. But the more in tune you are with what they like/dislike, the more successful your camp trip will be!
***Don’t forget to download + print your selfie and emoji scavenger hunts now so you can use them on your next camping trip!
More camping with kids activities and tips
- Make this “Nature in a Bottle” sand art next time you go camping!
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- How to plan and pack for your first time camping with your toddler
- Check out if roadschooling can work for your family in your RV
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