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While You Were Sleeping: The Art of Camp Pranks

While You Were Sleeping: The Art of Camp Pranks

By Kathryn_Williams

We recently posted about preparing for summer camp, which inspired Super Summer Sparkler rockgod2009 to ask, Hey guys, what are some good relatively clean pranks to do on girls?

You are in luck, rockgod2009, because this contributor just so happens to have ten years of summer camp pranking experience up her wizard sleeves.

As any prankster worth her whoopee cushion knows, pranking is an art. (See Looking for Alaska.) There are a few ground rules:

  1. Don't be too mean. There is a fine line between making someone laugh and making someone cry. The fun fades quickly when you find yourself scrubbing bathrooms or explaining to your parents that you got kicked out of camp for supergluing a kid's butt cheeks together.
  2. No one should get hurt. This includes both victims and pranksters. If the caper involves scaling walls, dropping hammers, or shooting staple guns, it probably falls under the "Bad Idea" column.
  3. Consider your audience: age, gender, general sensitivity. If they cry at ghost stories, they will probably not find it funny to wake up to a Scream mask hovering over their sleeping head. Guys are terrified of feminine products; little girls probably won't get it.

Now that we've covered basic guidelines, let's explore some classics. Nothing new, but they'll work every time:

  • Spread Saran wrap over the toilet seat. This works especially well at night, when victims can't see the splashback awaiting them.
  • Squeeze honey, peanut butter, syrup, shaving cream, and/or toothpaste into a sleeping victim's hand. Then tickle her nose and watch gleefully as she slaps goo into her own face.
  • While your victims are sleeping, weave a few balls of string or yarn across the cabin or tent in a kind of spiderweb. Make sure you weave it over their beds—when they wake, they won't be able to sit up.
  • Superglue an object like a quarter or a marble to the middle of a path. Hide and watch as everyone tries to pick it up.
  • Replace the camp flag with underwear.

And some more advanced maneuvers:

  • If your camp has a floating dock, use two canoes or kayaks to paddle the victim's mattress to the dock. For extra effect, make up the mattress with sheets, blankets, and a pillow. Let them find it and try to figure out how to get it back to dry land.
  • [Caveat: This prank requires a light touch.] While your victims are sleeping, put bright red lipstick on one person's mouth. Smear lipstick across the face, neck, and mouth area of the other person(s). Everyone will wonder what went on while they were sleeping.
  • Collect cups or jars of grasshoppers and release them into the dining hall during lunch.
  • When no one's around, turn all the tables in the dining hall upside down.
  • Put a drop of food coloring in the base of the victim's toothbrush.
  • Go around camp switching the right shoe of everyone's sneakers.
  • [Caveat: Unless you're the Incredible Hulk, this prank requires a group effort and works best with younger, lighter campers.] While the kids are sleeping, switch their mattresses so they wake up in different beds. Claim ignorance as to how they got that way.
  • Put cotton balls or pine cones in the toes of shoes or sleeping bags. Then make casual remarks like, "Hey, you know that guy Trevor? He goes to that camp down the river? I heard he found a tarantula in his tent!" Watch your victims freak out when they slip into their sneaks or snuggle in for the night.

Have you ever pulled off any camp pranks? Planning any this summer?

Topics: Life

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About the Author
Kathryn_Williams

Kathryn Williams is the author of three YA novels but only one with an Oxford comma in the title. She is a Taurus and hates writing bios. Check out her website, www.kathrynswilliams.com, and follow her on Twitter @kathrynwauthor.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.