Skits and Skills at Camp

A strawberry, two clouds, a concerned citizen and a newscaster are all racing around in the Mountainside Lodge at Rockbrook. They stop twirling long enough to host a pretend newscast about the weather, which seems to involve strawberries falling from the sky and a cloud-dance. And a LOT of giggles. After five minutes of zipping back and forth, blurting out lines, and more giggling, they dash back to their seats, basking in the applause of their audience. 

true summer camp friends

An uninformed observer would be completely baffled as to what just happened. But here at Rockbrook Camp, cabin skits are a staple of camp life. They’re an opportunity for campers to try out life skills, be completely silly, and make memories with their new friends. 

Evening programs begin as the sun sets behind the mountains and the crickets warm up for the night. Each age group of campers gathers in its respective lodge around camp. This brings campers together to meet new friends and touch base about the day they just had and talk about the new day ahead. Cabin skits also play a big role in the evening activities. The “themes” for skits may vary, but they generally involve each cabin getting their “assignment,” racing off to their respective cabins to self-organize, and then coming back to deliver their big performance to the group.

There are dozens of different types of cabin skits, and new ones are always being created by enterprising counselors. Things like creating silly advertisements, hosting a pretend TV program, building a plot based around a random cabin item are performed regularly. After campers dash off, costumes come out of trunks, items in the cabin are put to creative use, and imaginations run wild. “Scripts” are jotted down on scraps of stationary, and “rehearsals” involve heated discussions and occasional flashes of emotion as campers decide on a plot, roles, and props for the big show.

summer camp dance class

Being at camp is an opportunity for campers to learn and hone all kinds of life skills. Cabin skits are one such opportunity, and counselors deliberately stay hands-off during the planning. Each group is assigned a “director,” a role that rotates over the course of the camp session so everyone can have a turn. Beyond that structure, it’s up to them to self-organize, plan, and create. This can sometimes be difficult or frustrating, especially for younger age groups and different personality types. Listening to the ideas of others and compromising, especially when you believe YOUR idea is “best” can be a tough skill, even for adults! There’s also a fixed amount of time to plan, and as the clock ticks down the voices from cabins grow more intense.  

As they say in show business, the curtain doesn’t go up because you’re ready; it goes up because it’s time! Counselors summon cabin groups back to the lodge, with excitement and anticipation crackling in the air and an assortment of wacky props hidden behind backs. To nervous giggles and shuffling, the first group takes the stage in costume, and the skits begin. 

summer camp gaga ball game

While minor details like “plot” and “dialogue” are not always clear, what is clear is how much fun the campers are having, and how they’ve come together as a group for each performance. Together, they face the experience of public speaking, acting, singing, and producing. They learn how to work together, listen to each other, and respect different opinions. The final result is always magnificent, even if the casual observer leaves confused why the strawberry ran off stage and the clouds jumped up and yelled “tah-dah!” and the newscaster put a cowboy hat on and started singing a Taylor Swift song. The only thing that matters is that campers are learning and growing and creating. They know it, and their cheering audience knows it too. 

Each cabin takes their turn, with each performance growing more exuberant and costumes more outrageous. Meanwhile, unnoticed, the sun quietly slips behind the mountains and the volume of the crickets begins to compete with the actors. The air temperature drops a bit, and evening softly descends on camp.

Our actors take a final bow, to the cheers of the fellow campers. After a round of the goodnight circle and milk and cookies, it’s time for teeth-brushing, pajamas, and a good night’s rest. After all, tomorrow is another day full of new skills, new friends, and more wild imagination. And definitely more wacky costumes.        

Miranda Barrett
Camp Mom, former camper and counselor 

summer camp kids costumes


Comment section

Leave your reply on “Skits and Skills at Camp”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *