With the winter slowly leaving and the new growth of spring, it's time to get outside! With Indian Hills Camp, we offer tons of ways to enjoy nature, get off the grid, and reconnect with one another. Be sure to check out how weekends, summer camps, and other events can make your time at IHC a memorable one.
There are tons of benefits for kids of all ages when getting outside and back into nature. For all of us here, here are some fun things we like to do to get the wiggles out while exploring plants, animals, ecosystems, and more at camp.
The science it out: being out in nature is good for us. And though it may be a weird term to hear, shinrin-yoku (translated from Japanese as "forest bathing" or "enjoying the forest atmosphere") is a way of experiencing nature that most people are too busy to think of. The UN estimates that by 2050 with current trends, 2 of every 3 people will live in cities. According to this study, getting out of urbanized areas not only brings stress down in the body, but helps us feel more alive, recovered, and refreshed. Combine this with a scavenger hunt and it's a novel way for kids to experience and appreciate God's creation while learning, growing, and moving in it. Bringing home those treasures can also allow more activities inside, with sorting games to fill sections on paper for colors, sizes, and types. There's a great activity for young kids here for exploring in nature.
Running, laughing, and fun are the name of these games. Here are a few you may know and a few that may be new.
What Time Is It, Mr. Owl?
With this game, someone takes on the role of Mr. Owl. He/she will stand at one end of the room or field, pretending to be sitting in a tree. The main group take on the roles of mice and ask--in their best sing-song voices--Mr. Owl, "What time is it, Mr. Owl, Mr. Owl?" Mr. Owl will then respond with any number on the clock. For example, "It's 3 o'clock." The mice will then step forward 3 steps. The size of the steps don't matter, just stepping toward Mr. Owl. They can move right next to or even past until Mr. Owl starts flapping its wings and shouts, "Snack Time!" All the mice try to run back to the starting line. The first mouse tagged or the last one across the line is the next Mr. Owl.
Link Tag/Elbow Tag
This one is great for bigger groups. It's tag, where someone tries to tag another person. But instead of just touching, players link arms after being tagged. The game continues until everyone is tagged and linked into one big line or no one can tag anyone else.
Relay races are some of our favorites, and adding water just makes it more fun. You'll need large buckets for each team, something to carry the water in (a cup, sponge, or any other thing that can fill a bucket but isn't huge), and a main source to get water from. It can be the same place for all teams or something specific for each team. Divide the kids into even-numbered teams and then into straight lines. These are their relay teams. The first person in line gets the cup or sponge and draws from a hose or larger bucket. Then they transport their water to their team's bucket by passing over and under, running, crab walking, or any other crazy way you can think of. The first team to fill their bucket to the predetermined line is the winner. A fun bonus is to dump the winning bucket on the winners' team.
Divide the group into pairs. Each one gets a water balloon. They start closer together, tossing the water balloon to one another on the leader's command. After each toss, each kid backs up a single step. The pair that lasts the longest is the winner.
Everything is better in the pool! Whether you have one at home or come out for our pools (open in May until October), team games, Sharks and Minnows, Red Rover, or Marco Polo are classics that help the fun continue. Play a game of volleyball in the water and fear the diving save no longer! Basketball translates to a ton of fun in the pool, like water polo with a hoop.
We're excited to host the best in outdoor experiences at our amazing 86-acre property. With pools (open in May), hiking trails, obstacle course, BMX pump track, disc golf, farmyard, and more, there are tons of ways for you to make lifelong memories at camp. See how a weekend away can bring you back at IHC.