Nine school camp activities to challenge primary students

School camp activity NSW | Coffs Coast Adventure Centre | School camp experts

An important aspect of school camp is for students to face challenges in a supportive environment. However, a challenge for one student, might be a walk in the park for another. From working in a team, to improving strength, agility, confidence and life skills, carefully selected activities help maximise the long-lasting impact of camp.

Here are nine great school camp activities to challenge primary students.

Adrenaline pumping

The ‘scary stuff’ tends to top students’ school camp bucket list. Overcoming a fear of heights is a biggie, and things like the giant swing, mega drop, leap of faith and ladder logs are perfect activities to encourage students to step out of their comfort zone.

Hut building

Hut building is one of those timeless school camp activities that can be adapted to suit any group and situation. In addition to being a great team building challenge, it can also tick off many curriculum outcomes, from geometry to history to storytelling. (Check out our Man vs Wild survival challenge.)
Tailor the activity to add new challenges with things like:

  • Limiting the materials that can be used.
  • Setting a scenario as a brief for the structure.
  • Incorporating life skills such as basic bushcraft.

Listen up game

In a world cluttered with noise, listening is a challenge for many students. This quick game that requires no equipment is great to have in your camp (or classroom) tool box.

  • Form a circle (size only restricted to the space – the more students the greater the challenge or could be done in multiple groups as a competition).
  • Students need to face outwards and look straight ahead.
  • Object of the game is for the group to count (by ones, twos, fives or whatever is decided) as high as possible with only one student speaking at a time.
  • Each student must speak once before another person speaks again.
  • If two people speak at the same time, or a number is repeated the group goes back to counting from zero.


Archery is a great leveller. The students are usually starting from scratch and often it’s a student who isn’t particularly sporty, that has their time to shine. Plus, with its historical roots, archery can add a cultural aspect to the program.


Canoeing is another great one to add to your activities list as it requires speciality equipment and know how. From technique training on dry land to getting out on the water on Bonville Creek, our activities team will guide your students through an enjoyable and challenging experience.

Time Crisis

School camp activities that challenge the mind are brilliant ice-breakers and team builders. Time crisis works on solving cryptic clues to unlock more clues and eventually solve a problem – against a ticking clock. Guaranteed to intrigue and bring out the masterminds in your group.

Captain Commando

What better way to challenge your students than sloshing through mud? Designed on an armed forces commando course, a series of obstacles incorporates crawling, climbing, swinging, sliding all in the name of personal development.


Maps are everywhere and learning to read one is an essential life skill. The creation of Google maps did wonders for putting learning about navigation back on ‘the map’. From simple navigation with a map and compass to more complex courses, orienteering is one of those golden timeless school camp activities.

Splish splash relay

This is another fun team challenge to have up your sleeve, especially on a hot day. The activity requires two buckets and a large sponge per team. For each team set an empty bucket at the starting line and a full bucket at the finishing line (around 40 metres apart works well). On go, the first person in each team runs to the finishing line, sloshes the sponge into the full bucket, runs back and has to squeeze all the water into the empty bucket. The next runner does the same and so on until everyone has had a turn. The winning team is the one with the most water in the bucket at the starting line.

Challenging school camp activities for primary students are endless at Coffs Coast Adventure Centre, these are just nine of our favourites. Take the pressure off and let Shannon, our Camp Concierge help you design the perfect itinerary to challenge each of your students.

Call our Camp Conccierge 02 6653 5311

Shannon Kent - Bookings Manager at the Coffs Coast Adventure Centre

Let Shannon help you with booking and planning your camp.

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Learning archery is not simply about hitting the bull’s eye. Students learn discipline, mental focus, patience and persistence. Standing side by side with their classmates,…