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One of the big requirements for girls camp each year is to complete a certain number of certification activities (e.g., tying knots, learning first aid) and honestly, I feel like most of the time certification is one of the most boring parts of camp. This year I suggested that we make certification fun with a big girls camp certification activity – a certification Olympics. It was one of the big activities I planned for the week, and all of the girls absolutely loved being able to incorporate the things that they were learning in more fun ways than just reading them out of a book and practicing them as a group. Even if you don’t do a full Olympics, you could easily just use these girls camp certification ideas as individual activities.
We set our certification Olympics up by creating eight different stations that were each supervised by one of our level leaders. We then split up all of the young women (including our YCLs) into eight different groups with a specify country name, each group with girls from each of the age groups to help build unity across the camp. Once they were split up, they were sent to one of the eight stations to get started. Once all of the girls completed a station, the leaders reported back to me, and everyone (all eight groups) rotated at once so that there wasn’t a backup at any one particular station. One of our teams was so cute and wrote “Russia” in some way at each event.
Each of the leaders had a timer (iPhone) and a timesheet with team countries on them. At the end of the Olympics, all of the leaders handed over their timesheets, and we gave prizes to the fastest team overall as well as a prize (plastic Olympic medals) to each of the teams for a made up award such as the matching masters for the fastest team to complete the matching game.
We didn’t cover all of the certification requirements from camp but did get quite a few of them, across all of the different age groups. And the girls all agreed that this was a really fun way to do certification! I’ve included a basic description of each of the stations below if you’d like to use this idea, and if you want to make it an Olympics, I’ve also included free printable versions of all of the questions, game pieces, and station signs that I created for the Olympics.
Station #1: Table Tying
Certification: Knots – level 1
Description: Girls were given instructions on various kinds of knots and how to tie them. Once they’d been given instructions, girls each chose a card with one knot on it and were asked to tie their particular knot as quickly as possible. The timer stopped once all girls had completed their knots.
Equipment Needed: String and knot cards
Station #2: Matching Marathon
Certification: Identify plants/animals local to the region – level 1 & 2
Description: Girls were required to play a memory game, matching pictures of animals and plants to their names.
Equipment Needed: Matching cards
Station #3: Freestyle Orienteering
Certification: Compasses and orienteering – level 3
Description: Girls were required to complete an orienteering course using a compass to find flags from various countries along a setup course. I created cards that you can use for the different countries and just add on the steps you need for the course. I purposely left the cards blank so that you can add on the steps that make sense for your course as you are making the course. This is easy to do if you laminate the cards and use dry erase markers.
Equipment Needed: Country cards, compass
Station #4: Recycling Relay
Certification: Recycling – Level 1
Description: Girls were required to take turns picking out recyclable items from a kiddie pool (could use any container) and sorting them in the right pile then run back and tag their next teammate who did the same.
Equipment Needed: Recyclable items, name cards for recycling piles, container to hold recyclable items
Station #5: Sand Diving
Certification: Good nutrition – 2nd years
Description: Girls were required to dig through sand to find plastic food items and then place them in the right food group; teams were required to create three plates full of food containing one of each food group.
Equipment Needed: Plastic plates separated into different sections for food groups, plastic food, sand, and a large container.
Station #6: Cross-Country Stringing
Certification: Various – All
Description: Girls were required to make their way through a string maze by answering certification questions at given points throughout the maze. Each of the questions had three different answers that directed them left, straight, or right. If they got the answer correct, they went to the next question; if not, they hit a dead end and had to return to the previous question. As you are setting up the course, make sure to make it tough to see which way is correct (so the girls really have to follow the string to know the way to go). Also, I left the card directions blank so that you can write in directions that go along with your course, not mine. This is easy to do if you laminate the cards and use dry erase markers.
Equipment Needed: 1/4 to 1/2 mile of string (I used bulk twine from Home Depot) and the question cards.
Station #7: 3-Man Transport Relay
Certification: How to Transport Injured Victims – 4th years
Description: Teams learned various methods to transport injured victims. Once they’d learned all the methods, they had to pick one card at a time with a transport method on it, use that method to transport someone to a specified point and back, and then continue until they’d completed all the cards.
Equipment Needed: Transport cards
Station #8: Artistic Constellation Copying
Certification: Constellations and Stars – 2, 3, and 4th levels
Description: Girls each picked a constellation card and had to re-create the constellation on a paper plate using candies.
Equipment Needed: Constellation cards and skittles or other small food
If you have any questions or want more details about how we ran our Olympics, feel free to email me. Below you can download all of the documents that we used for the Olympics or you can click on the links in the supply lists above.