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Having a camper rewards program will help with camper behavior issues by recognizing your campers for good behavior and giving them an incentive to follow the rules. You would need to purchase things like small toys, trinkets or candy for a prize bin or treasure chest in order to implement your reward system.

Common reward systems have campers earn things like:

  • Stickers
  • Play Money
  • Tickets
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Straws/Craft Pipe Cleaners
  • Badges
  • Pins
  • Beans/Rocks/Marbles
  • Cards

Campers will then start collecting those items when rewarded for doing something good. Have a board, pouch, cup or like items set up in an area for each camper to place and collect what they earned throughout the week. At the end of the week allow them to cash in for prizes, similar to what you would see at an arcade when the kids win tickets. To save on your budget for setting up your prize bin, you can also let them cash in for experiences at the end of the week.

Here are some ideas you can use for camper experience prizes that are always a hit:

  • Pie a counselor or other use things like cold water bucket or slime.
  • Have them pay to challenge a counselor to a contest for a prize in front of the camp. Games like hoola hoop, pool, shooting baskets, ping pong or a dance off are a hit in front of the whole camp.
  • Set up a VIP movie lounge if you watch movies at the end of the day where kids can get popcorn, candy and a drink in a comfortable chair during their movie.
  • Pay for free time or to play their favorite games to end the week.
  • Pay to be a “Counselor for the Day” and allow them to pick and organize an activity with the rest of the campers to end the week.
  • Cash in all their tickets to play a group game like minute to win it, deal or no deal, musical chairs, etc. for the chance to win prizes.
  • Have each counselor set up carnival-type games that each cost one ticket. The kids can play with their winnings for a prize or piece of candy at each game.

With large camps it’s hard to create an experience for every camper so as an added incentive, only allow those with the most to get the best prizes or experiences, and allow lower ticket amounts to get general prizes from your prize bin. Regardless, all kids should leave with something at the end of the week. You can also award “Camper of the Week” to the best campers each week as another incentive for you campers to display good behavior.

Learn More: Camp Fundraising Tips and Ideas

Whichever type of system you come up with you want to make sure you have something in place to reward campers for good behavior like being nice to others, participating in all activities, cleaning up after themselves, displaying good sportsmanship, and going above and beyond.

A great camper rewards program will keep your campers engaged and on track for a fun, incident-free camp.

For more resources on camper rewards programs, visit The Summer Camp Source website.

Jason Schaitz

Jason Schaitz is a parks and recreation director with 15 years of experience managing youth sports, camps and recreation programs. He also created and manages League Source and The Summer Camp Source with the goal of providing free, high-quality resources for any type of youth sports or camp program. Take your leagues and camps to the next level by visiting our websites for free resources and education!

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