Summer Camp Practical Jokes and Funny Pranks
Summer Camp and Practical Jokes Go Hand In Hand
I was fortunate to be able to go to summer camp in northern New England from the age of eight through my Junior year of high school.
I matured at camp. I became more independent and self-confident. It was at summer camp that my love of the outdoors grew and led me to me become an avid hiker and long-distance backpacker. I learned a lot at summer camp -- new outdoor skills and sports, arts and crafts, boating and water safety, leadership skills.
And, of course, the art of the practical joke.
Here, I'll share with you several of the pranks I remember from summer camp and show you where you can pick up more ideas. I'd also like to hear your practical joke stories, so be sure to share them in the guestbook below.
Did You Go To Summer Camp? - After answering the poll, you'll be able to leave a comment. Do you have a favorite summer camp memory? And where did you go to cam
Were you camper, too?
My Favorite Summer Camp Movie - Which includes some funny practical jokes
I first saw this film in the mid-90s, and I've watched it a couple of times since. If you went to summer camp (or still go) and enjoyed it, I think you'll really enjoy this film too. It's funny and heartwarming and makes me really want to be a camper or camp counselor again.
Practical Joke Ideas for Kids
and Summer Camp
The Huge Pile Of Shoes Prank
Mixed and matched at that
I must take partial credit (or blame rather) for this idea, concocted one afternoon while floating around in a kayak on the lake. I was a "Counselor In Training," and I and my fellow CIT's were exempt from evening activity that night. A perfect time to carry out the plan.
So, while the rest of the camp was attending the talent show, my compatriots and I set to work. We gathered all of the shoes we could find in the deserted cabins and transported them in tarps, one CIT on each corner of the heavy loads, to the big field. There, we deposited the shoes in a great pile. We didn't purposely mix and match, but such was the result.
Needless to say, there was quite the ruckus later that night, when the victims returned to their bunks to find notes from their shoes, explaining they'd walked off to the field for some star-gazing. Actually, I don't really remember what the tell-tale notes said, but I do recall the chewing out we CIT's received from the director the next morning, as campers were still lamenting two left or two right shoes, neither of which seemed to fit right.
The Loud Speaker Under The Bed Summer Camp Lark
It's time to get up, counselor!
Talk about a rude awakening. But it was pure justice, given all of the mornings we weary campers had been jolted from our beds by the sound of the head counselor's much-too-cheery voice over the loud speaker not long after sunrise, followed by a blaring bugle playing Reveille. (Listen below)
I mean, c'mon, our parents paid for us to go to camp! Why couldn't we sleep in when we wanted to? Who needed breakfast anyway, when we had our care packages under our cots?
So, one morning, our grumpy bunk of Senior girls hatched a plan to get even. And we enlisted the help of the Senior boys to carry it out. What we did was remove one of the loud speakers from the tree near our bunk and place it in the head counselor's private cabin, beneath her cot, hiding the wire as best we could. (Which turned out to be good enough.) The ingenious prank wasn't discovered until the next morning, when our own bunk counselor, who was in cahoots with us, went into the main office a bit early and did the morning wake-up call and the playing of Reveille herself.
Moments later, the head counselor came flying out of her cabin, red-faced and mighty ticked, in front of a howling audience of Senior girls and boys. We didn't mind getting up a little earlier than usual that morning.
The Raising Of The Cot
With the sleeping camper in it!
He was a very deep sleeper, the boy in our brother cabin. The morning Reveille never woke him up. No, it would usually take a pile of his bunk-mates on top of him to rouse this particular boy.
How do I know this, being that I was in their sister cabin on the other side of camp? Um ... well, a little bird told me. (I can't remember his name all these years later, but I remember he was cute!)
Anyhow, I had some advanced notice of this practical joke (since I helped devise the raising system), so I was present the morning that the sixteen year-old heavy sleeper was raised, cot and all, to the rafters. Needless to say, he was suddenly very much awake when his bunkmate's rendition of Reveille on the electric guitar roused him from his slumber. Then the rest of us left for the morning flagpole ceremony, with the cot and its occupant still hanging around.
The Old Toothpaste On The Toilet Seat Summer Camp Gag
This one certainly wasn't original, having been a tradition at every summer camp I attended for years before my arrival. But it was always funny nonetheless.
But be sure to use white toothpaste. If you use the blue stuff, it'll be too easily spotted on the seat before the victim sits.
This (what I call) minor practical joke is harmless, as I see it ... unless, of course, you use a fellow camper's toothbrush to apply said toothpaste. I don't recommend that practice, however; you might end up cleaning all the toilets with that same toothbrush. Believe me, I know.
What Would Camp Be Without A Bra Up The Flagpole?
And of course it was always the biggest bra that could be found and pilfered. Which usually belonged to a counselor, since most of the campers hadn't developed enough to wear bras that were much more than double-A's.
This is another traditional summer camp prank, and I always thought it was rather lame ... especially by the time I was a Senior camper and well beyond double-A's myself. (I was always worried it would be my bra up there, so I kept those I wasn't wearing well hidden.) Funny thing was, no one would ever claim the chosen bra once it was brought down the flagpole. Not unless the owner had written her name in it, as campers and counselors often did with their clothing. In that case, her name would be called, and she'd have to walk to the center of the circle of at least 200 campers and retrieve her brazier, much to the delight of the boys while the girls rolled their eyes.
Summer Camp Pranks -- What Do You Think? - Are they a natural, fun part of camp, or are they just naughty?
Do you think these kinds of practical jokes are basically harmless or should the pranksters be punished?
Summer camp practical jokes are generally harmless and fun. No, the pranksters shouldn't be punished.
WillythebamJonson: Have a laugh. It's fun. At my camp we have to serve the cabin we pranked.
anonymous: Depend on the prank in some cases pranksters should be punished In others they shouldn't
anonymous: I think camp pranks are really fun but not if you prank someone who is OCD or something like that then it's mean I've had pranks pulled on me and seeming as I'm a pranker myself usually find them quite funny
anonymous: unless they actually hurt someone emotionally or physically then they are just part of summer camp!
anonymous: You can't make it to extreem and make the camper not want to come again but it can be a silly inocent prank.
wjlambert lm: I definitely side against punishment, but have been first the recipient and then the instigator, I know both sides of the fence. It really sucks to be the receiver especially if you're naïve about the whole thing. I think that camp pranksters should be aware that they are fair game as well
Virginia Allain: Fun activities as long as they don't single out a very shy kid and humiliate him or her. (I was always that shy kid and it would have been excruciatingly painful to have a prank pulled on me)
mariacarbonara: Great fun as long as they don't go too far
Birthday Wishes: C'mon people, everybody did a practical joke when they were young...
anonymous: I love practical jokes! I never went to summer camp, but that never stopped me! I even pull them at work with a select few people!
anonymous: jokes make the world go round
anonymous: They're basically harmless. I'd totally enjoy helping out, or even coming up with my own. :D
anonymous: I don't think practical jokes should be punished unless they endanger people or damage property. Some other ideas that i have done myself are: 1. Fill a super soaker with fermented pickle juice (it helps to make friends with the kitchen staff) and then sneak up behind a camper or counselor for a new take on a "water" fight. 2. To get revenge on someone sneak into their cabin and steal all of their remaining clean clothes. Then fold them all neatly in a pile and soak them with water and stick them in a freezer. (the camp nurse lended her freezer to help) then when all the clothes are frozen in a block of ice set the block on the person's sleeping bag. If you are lucky it will slowly melt soaking their sleeping bag and by the time they find it they will have a wet bed and still frozen clothing. Another suggestion I have is to make friends with all the camp staff. You never know when you may need to borrow some pickle juice or a freezer..... haha
jondar: No I don't think they should be punished. Its all in good fun.
BlackSunflowerB: I never went to summer camp :(
Michelle: As long as the don't involve blood or fire and no one gets their feelings hurt, they can be great fun.
miaponzo: Mostly pretty harmless :)
mindlessnin: it depends on whether the pranks were addressed to those who needed it...
GeekGirl1: I think it's ok as long as it's a harmless practical joke.
Tony Payne: I think there is nothing wrong with harmless pranks, as long as they don't come across as bullying to the recipient and as long as they aren't dangerous.
DogAdvisor LM: Harmless, fun, and a rite of passage into adulthood! You have to learn to laugh at yourself in order to grow, mature, evolve into adulthood.
anonymous: They should'nt be punished for having harmless fun. Of course if it goes too far then sure.
anonymous: Its part of life!
anonymous: it's just a little fun to make summer camp seem fun. No one should be punished
JoleneBelmain: I think they are harmless, but people should be aware of what pranks they are pulling as well and to make sure they don't get out of hand.
gravityx9: It's all in good natured fun, but prankster beware of retaliation! :D
Tolovaj Publishing House: If there is no harm, pranksters should not be punished!
anonymous: Harmless, all in the nature of camp and good natured rivalry.
anonymous: say the name of your fav cousin x1 scratch your head x5 eat a whole pie x1 find an ipad 2 in your closet
MrsPotts: Totally harmless and part of camp experience! Although I think the pranksters shouldn't be surprised at getting some kind of backlash if their discovered.
anonymous: really really weird pranks kinda stupid too really plain...and nothing severe
anonymous: pranking is a ton of fun
Jolyne LM: A little fun to raise spirits is always welcome :)
michael kapsner: Yes they are natural, fun, and naughty (perhaps). I have been the 'victim' of one such prank and somehow managed to continue on with my life :-). It's a good reminder not to take oneself too seriously....
anonymous: Summer Camp minus the practical jokes??? BOR-ING!!!
CruiseReady: It's just part of NORMAL growing up!
anonymous: they should never get in trouble i mean its camp duh there will be pranks. so if you've been pranked and don't like it get over it and get revenge
anonymous: i think as long as they stay harmless the pranker should never be in trouble!! its just innocent fun!
anonymous: They r awesome, i like playing pranks on my guy friends because they r such easy targets
anonymous: perfectly harmless and super funny and they should not be punished
HorseAndPony LM: I think they are a necessity and the pranksters should not be punished.
anonymous: it all depends on the joke
anonymous: these pranks are honestly terrible.. our camp pranks are beast compared to these, like putting life savers in the shower head so they get a sticky shower, and tying up peoples feet then setting off an air horn (:
anonymous: i say i think they aren't naughty enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm mormon, and on july 20th I'm going to young womans church camp, and i garuntee we will be doing pranks that are alot worse than that! come on, step it up, on a scale of one to ten, these are only a 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
anonymous: As long as the joke is that, a joke. If it's meant to be mean or offensive, then it's fine.
anonymous: harmless they brighten up some camps
anonymous: THEY ARE AWESOME I CANT WAIT TILL I GO TO CAMP
anonymous: i think these are funny! i did one of these once and that way the prankster can be getten back a!
Deb4FlatTires: I love it!!! As a summer camp counselor, I've endured my share of pranks and played quite a few. It's rite of passage.
Carolan Ross: Harmless and hilarious, sort of a right of passage.
Nancy Tate Hellams: Yes, they are basically harmless and add to the fun and memories of the Camp Experience.
Faye Rutledge: Harmless and part of the fun of camp.
JMowe: Ha ha! Im a prankster so I think that these are just part of the process. Even though pranks can be a little crazy, in the end people will bond and enjoy friendships and their prank stories for years to come! "I remember when..."
Summer camp practical jokes usually are hurtful or emotionally harmful to someone, and the culprits should always be punished to some degree at least.
BFBDfans: gotta stay strick or it will escalate
peppervel: Depends on the age group. Adults should be able to handle them. Children amy not have the maturity to do so.
anonymous: culprits should be thrown to the bears
anonymous: i agree though those pranks are very funny.
anonymous: They are mean! !people remembetr them for the ret of their lives. my aunt was a loer cause someone gave her a practical joke
Looking For More Practical Joke Ideas? - Check out these websites for some good material....
You can always adapt someone else's prank and add your own twist.
- Ideas For Practical Jokes For Children
I don't know about SOME of these (toothpaste in a cream-filled donut? KoolAid in the shower head???), but others are kinda cute.
- The Duct Tape Practical Joker
A growing list of practical jokes involving ... you guessed it! Duct tape.
- Confessions Of A Summer Camp Prankster
Learn about the Seran Wrap prank, the ZipLoc ambush, the hand lotion hair-do, and more.
A Good Article About the Benefits of Summer Camp
- Independence day: For our children it can be summer camp - CNN.com
Why it's a good thing for parents to let go ... and let the kids go to camp
© 2009 Deb Kingsbury