Outdoor Advocacy

3 Campfire Discussion Topics to Get Your Campers Communicating

kidsfireMany hands make little work, and an important aspect of any adventure trip is to be able to act collectively as a team. A sure-fire way to get your individuals acting as a group is to all sit down around a fire (nature’s television), and discuss a common topic. And here are three discussions ideas to get your campers speaking one at a time, listening to each other, and practicing great communication:

Aura or Essence
This game is best played after your group has gotten to know each other a bit. The leader starts by thinking of one person in the group, and after they’re done telepathically sending “brain-waves” letting everyone know who’ve they chosen, the rest of the participants can ask their “aura” questions to figure out who it is. The more ridiculous the questions the better (see sample questions below), and the more questions asked the more fun the game turns out to be. Once someone guesses who’s “essence” you are referring to, the person you were thinking of then becomes the questions receiver. Continue until the fire burns out.

Some Aura/Essence Question Ideas:

  • If this person was a type of fruit, what kind would they be?
  • If this person had a superpower, what would it be?
  • If this person was a Tom Cruise movie, which one would they be?
  • If this person was one of nine cat’s lives, which one would they be?
  • If this person was an amusement park ride, which one would they be?

Rose, Thorn, Bud
A great game to get people talking how they are feeling, how their trip is going, and to share some laughs to shed some stress. This can be a popcorn discussion ending when everyone has spoken, or an around-the-circle talk to get the wheels turning quicker. When it’s your turn, you need to share three things; a Rose, a Thorn, and a Bud:

Rose: When it’s your turn to begin with a rose, you can share a moment in your trip so far that already stands as a great memory. Mountain biking single-track or a funny inside joke shared with a friend, big or small, any positive memory is fair game.

Thorn: This is your chance to express a moment of discomfort on your trip. When you rubbed poison-ivy on your hiney or a trying personal time of struggle, a lot of times a positive spin can come out of these difficulties. A shared laugh, airing out the vents, or putting oil on the squeaky wheel; sometimes you just got to let it out.

Bud: This is where you share something you are looking forward to. Improving your patience or a gnarly day on the whitewater; anything that reminds people that their is more awesomeness to come.

kids fireThree Questions or Less
A fun and informative game to play at any point in your trip. Use it as a great ice-breaker to introduce everyone. Simply pose 3 questions and go around the group listening to everyone’s answers.

Some Three Questions 101 Ideas:

  • What’s your name and where are you from?
  • A favorite or highly recommended book or movie?
  • Kind of a dark question, wink-wink, but if you were on death-row, and they asked you what your final meal was going to be, what would you request?

Keep it fun to keep them interested. Once you’ve taken the time to get to know everyone better, you can introduce more meaningful questions that will shed some firelight on the personalities you have on board.

Some Three Questions 201 Ideas:

  • What has been your best vacation? Or if this is your best vacation yet, what is your dream vacation?
  • What is one thing most people don’t know about you? i.e. excellent juggler or 2002 Scrabble Champion of South Connecticut.
  • If you won $1,000,000… and had to give half to a charity, what charity would it be?

And their you have it. So next time you are on trail, and want to keep everyone entertained while learning about everyone, just light a fire, and listen as you lead these discussions.

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