I have used this idea for both an incentive and a fun theme night.
It’s a fun activity which doesn’t take a whole lot of preparation, just a little bit of creativity.
Make a spacious room into a fun outdoor-like campground only you don’t have to plan for good weather! Set up a mock fire place in the center of the room by using firewood and a flood light or christmas lights. Spread out blankets or sheets around the fireplace for kids to sit on. (Old tree stumps or benches would be even better) Stick glow in the dark stars and planets on the ceiling and walls. Play a nature sounds tape or cd and turn off the lights!
The construction on the tents will be the highlight of the activity. Have kids bring or you supply sheets and blankets for each team. Break the kids into small groups. Give them sheets/blanket, a whole bunch of clothes pins and a stack of chairs. Allow them approx. 10 minutes to construct a tent in which their team can fit comfortably. (You may need to turn the lights on during this time) At the end of the 10 minutes, all children are to be in their tents, and selected judges are to come around for inspection. You may want to have prizes for biggest tent, most creative tent, best constructed tent, etc… Children will love to spend time playing in their newly constructed tents.
Have kids sit around the campfire. Draw their attention to the stars and the sounds around them. You may want to allow some to share stories of their family camping trips. Choose a story that would best fit your class or tell the story of when Jesus made a campfire on the beach. Allow this to be a special time for your group. You may want to use this as a time to tell them how proud you are of them, to reward them for working so hard if this is their incentive.
There aren’t too many kids who don’t like Smores. Allow kids to come up to a table and assemble their own smores. Instead of using marshmallows, you may want to use marshmallow fluff.
Have the kids bring flashlights, sleeping bags, etc…
Sing camp songs around the fire place