You know your teenager best, so make sure you plan some fun activities you know they will love such as family favorites from their younger years.
Think about what new interests they might have now, even if they have always loved the outdoors in the past. This will help you to come up with some amazing camping activities for teenagers that everyone will enjoy.
Camping Activities for Teenagers
Can you incorporate those new ideas into your planned activities to make your teenager feel valued and entertained? We have come up with a list of camping activities for teenagers to help you on your next camping trip.
Daytime Camping Activities
hiking may seem like an obvious one, but going on a family hike, or one with just you and your teenager is a great way to explore a new area together.
Hiking allows you to carry on a conversation when you want to, or to create a little bit of space on the trail at times, too. Everyone can go at their own pace, stop together at various points for snacks, and just enjoy the time.
Grab a frisbee from home and make sure you take it camping! You can have a great game, just you and your teen, or involve the whole family.
Tossing around a frisbee is always fun, and it’s a great way to meet some new friends while you’re out camping, since people often like to get involved when a frisbee is being thrown around in an open space.
3. Soccer and Other Camping Sports Activities for Youths
Be sure to take a couple of balls with you such as a soccer ball and a tennis ball. Giving your teen the challenge of coming up with some new games for your family and then deciding on the rules is a great youth camp activity.
It doesn’t take much to setup some outdoor spots and activities, even if there aren’t a ton of people to play a full game. It just takes two people to kick around a soccer ball or to play catch.
4. Den Building
Making a den in the woods is not just for little kids! Supply your teen with some tarpaulin and rope and see what they come up with.
Just make sure you aren’t causing any damage to plants or trees, or making any permanent changes, and definitely not disturbing any animal homes!
Some campsites have great fishing areas and even offer lessons for your teenager to try out fishing if it’s something they haven’t done before.
Lots of places will let you rent tackle and bait, too. Learning a new skill such as fishing is a great camping activity for teenagers and it’s a potentially useful life-skill in general.
It’s unlikely your teenager will be in a survival situation where they need to catch fish to survive and they just so happen to have a rod and a reel, but it’s still a fun pastime and a good thing to know how to do.
If you know the area well set your teen an orienteering task to do with a friend or sibling. Some areas can provide you with a ready-made resource for this- just check online for more information.
All you need is a map and a compass, really, to set something up. Smart phones make this even easier, depending on the degree of difficulty you’re going for. This is probably a better activity for older teens rather than younger kids, unless the parents are sticking with them. You don’t want anyone getting lost!
7. Capture The Flag
If you are in a large family or group, then why not set up a classic game of capture the flag? You may be able to get other families to join in. Allow your teenager to take the lead to help them stay involved.
You’ll just need a decent sized play area (it doesn’t necessarily have to be a field), and make sure you make a pass or two through first to make sure there aren’t any dangerous obstacles, sharp objects, and so on.
8. Water Balloon Fight
Take some biodegradable water balloons with you camping and let your fun-loving teenager let off some steam with their friends or family with a water balloon fight.
This works great in open spaces or forests for extra stealth! Water balloon volleyball is also a great camping activity for youths if you can rig up something to act as a net.
The broken balloons can be very hazardous if any small animals get a hold of them, so this is the type of activity where you want to get everyone into the habit of cleaning up as you go. When a balloon pops, stop for a second to pick it up, put it in your pocket, then continue.
9. Rock Painting as a Craft Camp Activity for Youths
Take some chalk paint pens with you, or even some glow-in-the-dark paints and get arty inspired by nature!
Make sure you’re finding small rocks from somewhere that it’s okay to take a few from, and use non-toxic paints so that you aren’t causing any harm to nature while camping – that’s always an important thing to keep in mind.
10. Bean Bag Toss
You could take an actual bean bag toss game with you, but if you are pushed for storage space in your car then just grab some beanbags from home and improvise! Why not get your teen to make up the rules and targets?
Chances are, there are some items in your vehicle or that you’ve packed that would work for this. For example, a coffee mug or drink cup can serve as a small target (in a pinch) and if you get creative, you’ll have all sorts of ways to improvise a bean bag toss game.
11. Campfire Challenges
Bring out your teenager’s competitive side with some fun campsite games such as who can start the campfire quickest each night and who can collect the most firewood each morning.
Turning chores into challenges is something that parents have been doing for ages, and you feel like an absolute genius when it actually works. This will tend to work better with younger kids, but if a teenager has a competitive streak in them, get them doing some challenges!
12. Relay Races
Make up a few simple yet fun relay races for your family and your teenager is sure to let their competitive edge kick in as you encourage your teenager to create camping activities.
Relay races can be a lot of fun, but it’s probably more suited for a group of teens rather than a family on a camping trip.
Some of these activities are great for families, whereas other ones are better for a group of teens at a campground for summer camp, or a class outing.
Nothing beats a classic game of chasing around a campsite, using trees and boulders to your advantage! This is a classic camping activity for youths to enjoy.
You can use the classic tag rules or come up with something clever of your own. Either way, all you need is a few willing participants to get this game underway.
If your teen loves watching survival programs, then why not head off on a family foraging expedition? Supervision and knowledge are key here, as some plants can be a risk to humans.
If you aren’t sure how to identify different things, then pass this up. Don’t encourage younger teens to find things to eat in the woods, but if there’s a blueberry bush near a campground or some strawberry fields, it can be a lot of fun to forage for your snacks.
15. A Selfie Scavenger Hunt
Set your teenager and their friends or siblings on a selfie scavenger hunt. Cell phones aren’t always ideal on a camping trip, so why not encourage your teen to use the cell phone to enjoy spending more time outdoors?
We have a lot of fun ideas if you’re planning a scavenger hunt for teenagers.
If you can’t take your bikes, then be sure to check out where you can rent them from near the campsite. Cycling is a great way to check out the area without having to walk or hike all day and is another great camping activity for teenagers who enjoy the outdoors.
If you guys are serious about your biking, then you might already have bike racks for the car or an SUV where the bikes can fit in the back. Otherwise, renting a bike might be an easier option compared to bringing your own.
This activity will be great for your teen on a camping trip as it combines spending time outdoors and challenging themselves on a quest! There are so many examples online, so be sure to check out hunts near your campsite.
You could even put together your own cache and leave it there, and then use a geocaching app/community to check up on it a few months after you’ve returned back to your normal day to day life, and see how many people have found it. This is a fun way to reminisce on the time that you spent camping.
Evening Camping Activities for Teenagers
18. Scores of S’mores
You should let your teenager take charge of s’mores making. Let them guide younger ones and take some responsibility. They will enjoy feeling mature and trusted by you, making it one of many great evening youth camp activities.
Also, s’mores are a delicious treat, so there’s that.
19. Campfire Cooking
Why not let your teenager plan and cook a meal one night? They will enjoy being given the chance to be in control of the family’s meal for an evening.
Another option is to have everyone work together to put together a campground meal. One person can only do so much, but if there’s a team, you can make a pretty impressive dinner!
20. Ghost Stories
As long as you won’t all get spooked in the night, then ghost stories by torchlight around the campfire are a must for you and your teenager.
These days, you can just pop open a YouTube video and have someone else read a scary story to you, too. This way, everyone can join in on being terrified instead of one person having to already know and recount the spooky tale.
21. Card Games
Card games are a camping classic and great to play outdoors. Take a classic deck with you, but perhaps some family favorites such as Uno, too.
When you’re camping and it rains, whether you’re in a tent or a cabin, sitting around and listening to the storm and playing cards is one of those core memories that just feels warm and cozy.
22. Camp Journaling is a Thoughtful Youth Camping Activity
Some teenagers love being outdoors so much they will want to record their memories there and then. Journaling is a great way for your teenager to reflect on their day and unwind after other camping activities.
If a teen is into scrapbooking, this is also a great opportunity. They can find some special leaves on the ground, they can take some Polaroid pictures or digital snaps to print out later, and lots more.
Once it is dark and everyone is relaxed, why not have a game of charades around the campfire? If your teen is a bit reluctant to join in at first, why not get them to give each player the action they have to perform for their team?
Charades is just one of many fun games that you can play with a group of friends that’s a bit more chill and relaxed, compared to some of the other activities on this list that require a lot of moving or running around.
24. Classic Wood Whittling as a Camp Activity for Youths
Under supervision, why not encourage your teen to practice some classic wood whittling by the campfire? They will probably enjoy making something they can take home as a reminder of their trip.
Whether it’s just a point stick, or something a bit more creative, if you have some soft enough lumber then whittling is a chill way to relax around the campfire. This is better for older teens, of course, since you have to be very careful to avoid an emergency situation.
Final Thoughts on Camping Activities for Teens
There are so many great classic and new camping activities for teenagers to enjoy. We hope that we have inspired you to adapt some of your family favorites and also to try something new on your next family camping trip.
Why not share some of these ideas with your teen and see what else they can think of? Or, you could keep a few as surprise camping activities for teens to keep them engaged throughout your trip.