Pranks to Pull at Summer Camps

Michele Meleen
laughs with friends

Playing pranks on campers and counselors at summer camp helps kids bond, have fun together, and break up the routine of scheduled activities. The best camp pranks should be lighthearted and not mean-spirited or physically dangerous so they are fun for everyone. Look for pranks that don't need a lot of supplies and make sure your camp is open to harmless practical jokes.

Food Pranks

From secret snacks to group meals, messing with food is easy, harmless and fun. If you can't smuggle in the ingredients for these pranks, you might be able to sneak them from the dining hall.

Moldy Food

Bread With Mold

All you need is green food coloring and a moment alone with light-colored foods like sugar cookies, bread or waffles. When no one is looking, drip a couple drops of green dye across a loaf of bread or a big batch of pasta. Other campers will be grossed out when they reach for the food, and counselors or cooks will be confused.

No S'more

Under the disguise of generosity, make fake s'mores for your friends or counselors. Use real graham crackers on the outside to make it appear normal. On the inside, spray whipped cream into a melted marshmallow shape and top with a few pieces of baking chocolate. When your target bites into their "s'more," the whipped cream will squirt out all the edges and the bitter chocolate won't be appealing.

Fake Lemonade

Serve up refreshing fake lemonade to unsuspecting campers. You'll need a gross, edible liquid that is the same color as regular or pink lemonade. The juice in a jar of banana peppers is a good yellow option while the juice in a jar of maraschino cherries is good for pink. Dump the juice into a cup or pitcher, then add enough water to dilute the color. It should be a pale pink or yellow when you're done. Wait until after a physical activity then offer your concoction. Even if people like these flavors they won't expect it and will probably spit the drink out.

Dirty Dining Hall

All you need for this funny prank are chocolate jimmies, those tiny sprinkles you get on ice cream that look like little rods. Sneak into the dining hall when it's empty, but before a big meal, and sprinkle jimmies all over the tables and chairs. When people first walk in, they'll either think the place is covered in ants or mouse droppings. Either way they'll be grossed out!

Bedtime Pranks

One of the easiest times to play tricks on people is while everyone is sleeping. Slumber party pranks work well at summer camp since every night is like a sleepover with friends. You'll need to be stealthy and able to stay awake longer than others to pull off these pranks.

Sandy Sleeping Bag

sand pouring through fingers

If you've ever been to a beach or played in a sandbox, you know sand is tough to get rid of. Bring sand with you or grab some from the camp beach and wipe a little inside your target's sleeping bag. The tiny grains will get stuck in the fuzzy fabric. During the night they may find the sand itchy, and they'll wake up covered in it in the morning. Your friends aren't likely to get all the sand out even if they wash the bag a few times. If you don't have access to sand, glitter also works great.

The Sleeping Beauty Treatment

When the target of your prank is asleep, give her a makeover by applying some not-so-pretty makeup. For best results use bright, ugly colors in powders and creams that are easy to swipe on. To finish, wipe hand lotion in her hair. She'll have no choice but to scrub up good in the shower to get it all off.

Pillow Surprise

A fun, customizable prank to play on your fellow campers is to fill their pillow case with bubble wrap so it pops when they lay down. Fold up bubble wrap until it is about as thick as your target's pillow then replace their pillow with the bubble wrap inside the pillow case. When they lay down, it will pop and scare them. Another noisy pillow option is to place a small balloon or whoopee cushion under their pillow, inside the pillow case. If you want a bigger impact, put a filled water balloon under their pillow. When your target lays down for the night, it will pop and soak her bed.

You're Being Watched

You'll need tons of those large craft supply googly eyes and glue dots for this practical joke made for bunk beds. After everyone goes to sleep, use the glue dots to stick giant googly eyes around the underside of the top bunk. When the person on the bottom bunk wakes up, they'll be startled by all the eyes on them.

Shared Space Pranks

Pulling pranks in the bathrooms, your cabin and other places used by a lot of people allows for more anonymity. Camping pranks meant for larger groups take advantage of equipment left in the open and public spaces.

What Stinks?

girl pinches her nose

To pull this one off, all you need to do is smuggle a can of tuna and a can opener into a cabin. Open the can and leave it under a bed or another location where it won't be detected easily. After a few days, the tuna will start to stink, and counselors and campers alike will have fun trying to locate the source of the odor. This one is best pulled in a cabin you aren't sleeping in.

Dirty Toilets

Set this prank up after everyone falls asleep. Getting up when it's still dark and walking to shared bathrooms is scary enough for many campers. However, this prank will give them an even scarier image. Gather thick mud and place small clumps of it in each toilet. Make sure the mud isn't full of large rocks or other things that could clog the toilets. When campers go to use the bathrooms, they'll find "poop" in all the toilets!

Sticky Shoelaces

Every camp has marshmallows and that's all you need for this trick. Gather melted marshmallows then head to a cabin. Tie every pair of sneakers like normal then smear melted marshmallow on the bows. The white color of the marshmallow will blend in with standard white shoe laces so your victims won't anticipate this surprise. When kids go to put untie their shoes, their hands will get covered in sticky goo.

Vaseline on a Door Knob

Putting a little Vaseline or other slippery substance like hair gel on a door knob makes it almost impossible to open. Rub some of your slippery stuff on the outside handle of a cabin or bathroom door. This will prevent people from getting into the room, but won't trap people inside in case of an emergency. Make sure to smooth it out on the door knob so it's not noticeable.

Secret Stash

You'll need to plan ahead for this silly prank. Before you head to camp, gather items others might be embarrassed to get caught with. For example, boys might not want others to see they have girl's underwear or a stuffed animal in their duffel bag. Girls might get embarrassed if everyone sees a picture of their mom or a kiss-coated poster of a cute guy in their bag. One night when everyone is asleep, stash these secret items in the top of each person's bag. When everyone is getting dressed in the morning, they'll notice the embarrassing items in each other's suitcases.

The Best Camp Pranks Are Fun for All

Harmless pranks can be fun, especially when more than one person is targeted so no one feels singled out. Plan pranks that will be easy to pull off and won't offend anyone to help lighten the mood at camp. Just remember, the key to a great prank is making sure no one knows it was you who did it!

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Pranks to Pull at Summer Camps