Part of the fun of a Grand Canyon raft trip is what goes on in camp. No doubt, there’s adventure and lots of fun things that you do all day long as you blast down the Colorado River. But I want to focus on camp. You are off the river and have chosen your piece of real estate for the evening. There are lots of different ways to fill those precious hours before you bed down under the starry sky. Some really fun games have emerged that are geared to supplies at hand.
BOW LINE TUG-O-WAR Grab 2 ammo cans and set them in the sand 20-30 feet apart. Pile a bow line in the middle with ends at the ammo cans. 2 people play this game at a time. Each stands on an ammo can, grabs the end of the rope, reels it in and tries to pull the other off their can. You pull the rope and sometimes give up a little rope trying to get the other person to fall off their can. Size and strength are not a ruling factor here.
BEER BOX PICK UP You only need one empty, cardboard box from a case of pop or beer. As many as want, can play this game. Tear off the small end of the box. Set it up, tall, in the sand. Players must balance on one foot with their hands behind their back and pick up the box WITH THEIR TEETH only. Easy right?! After each player has picked up the box then you tear an inch or so off the box rim and everybody tries again.
SKIPPING STONES Everybody can play. Pick your best skipping rock and go heave it across the water. I think the record stands at 8 skips.
JUMP ROPE Single or Double-Dutch. We use the bow line which is really long and the challenge is to get as many people jumping the same rope at the same time. Double-dutch is just trying to get in, jump a little and get out.
SLIP-N-SLIDE This only works at campsites with a steep, sandy bank. Line up sleeping pads from the top of the slope to the river. Douse the “slide” and the “sliders” with water and a bit of dish soap. Willing participants get a running start and dive onto the pads and slide into the river. Slip-n-slide Grand Canyon style.
FLASHLIGHT TAG After the sun goes down, those that have a flashlight strong enough to reach the canyon wall across the river can be entertained for a long time. Flick your light around on your own or attack those other beams.
These are only a sampling of fun things in camp. Traditional campy games that challenge your wits and creativity may come into play as well. Games like Black Magic, The Moon Has, Mama Likes, Beach Paddle Ball (record of volleys currently stands at 264) or Kubb, which is a Scandinavian game that requires players to throw wooden pieces at other wooden pieces. Card games like Spoons and Spit are known in cultures across the planet and can get highly competitive in camp. Spontaneous sing-a-longs ring out quite often
The truth is, that a Grand Canyon raft trip provides, even encourages, fun and games. Camping alongside the mighty Colorado River, deep in the canyon is a natural place for such shenanigans. You’ve got no worries and very few responsibilities so, you are free to get in touch with your inner child and dive into those zany camp games.
Not all camp time is goofy games. You’ll enjoy a delicious meal, perhaps listen to a story or poem from your guide and get plans for the next day. As darkness steals away the sunset, the night sky heralds the greatest star gazing to be had. Say goodnight.
Rise and shine the next day and start the fun and games all over again.