Many leaders like to have a theme for their camps, as it helps with programme planning, so we have a small library of camp themes that may help you provide something a little different. Of course the Damboree Team prefer Scouting as the default theme, as our Damboree badges are planned around elements of the Challenge Badges.

Camp Themes

Camp Theme – Scouting


This camp theme is centered around the popular topic of Scouting. Enjoyed by over 30 million young people worldwide, in nearly 200 countries. Scouting is enjoyed by so many across the planet we thought it would be a great topic for a camp theme.


This theme is designed to last a weekend, from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.



Beavers are the foundation of Scouting in the UK & Canada, although the youngest section has other names around the world including Joeys and Keas. We suggest the following activities to help them get into the theme of Scouting, and to start their #skillsforlife journey.

Tick Box Activity Badge Link
[ ]Camp outside in tents with your Colony for at least one night Link
[ ]Help put up a tent Link
[ ] Build and light a fire Link
[ ] Learn how to tie three simple knots Link
[ ] Cook over a fire (e.g. twists or s’mores) Link
[ ] Learn a new campfire song and perform it Link
[ ] Set up your bed and sleeping bag Link
[ ] Find out how Beavers live in the wild Link
[ ] Draw a picture of the original Beaver uniform and name 3 differences Link
[ ] Take part in a brand new adventurous activity with your Colony Link

Building on Scouting skills developed in the youngest section, Cubs can get really involved in the Scouting theme; here are some suggested activities and links to an appropriate badge.

Tick Box Activity Badge Link
[ ]Cubs sleeping outside for 2 or 3 nights Link
[ ]Help to pitch and strike your tent Link
[ ] Cook a Backwoods meal with your tent buddies Link
[ ] Show you know what things you need to do to look after your campsite and kit Link
[ ] Make, name and look after an imaginary camp pet… Link
[ ] Build a shelter/bivouac for two, and sleep in it for at least one night of your camp Link
[ ] Make a useful camp gadget Link
[ ] Erect and use a weather stone to give local weather forecast Link
[ ] Make a woggle out of something you have on camp, e.g. wood or cord, using knife skills or knotsLink
[ ] Perform a campfire skit or teach a new song Link

Scouts is where the Scouting theme really comes into its own, almost if it was tailor made for them. Building on the Outdoor skills gained from Beavers and Cubs, Scouts experience the confidence to be able to fend for themselves with minimal interference from grown ups.

Tick Box Activity Badge Link
[ ]Scouts sleep for at least 2 nights as part of a Troop, Group, District or larger event or on a Nights Away Passport.Link
[ ]Create a free standing Damboree sign or camp gateway using pioneering skills and materials. Link
[ ]With others, pitch and strike your tents on the event, including kitchen/storage as well as sleeping. Link
[ ]Be part of a group of Scouts to arrange and set up a well-organised site. It should include sleeping tents, food and equipment stores, a fire or stove, kitchen and eating area. Link
[ ] Explore the environment of your camp and make sure you know where everything is. Respect the environment you are in and, at the end of the camp, leave the site as you found it. Take steps to reduce any harm to the environment. Link
[ ] Show how to use an axe, saw AND knife safely, setup an appropriate area for this activity. Link
[ ] Build a bivouac and sleep in it for the entire event, ensure your creation is robust and secure enough to last. Link
[ ] Paracord stuff; Be creative and teach others different techniques, e.g. woggles, bracelets, keyrings etc. Link
[ ] Plan and run a wide game for the event, at least 2 hours of activity. Link
[ ] Take an active part in a campfire or other entertainment, including laying and tending to the fire and ensuring it is well controlled. Link
[ ] Lead and run the cooking of an entire meal for the event. Understand the importance of food hygiene and a balanced diet and how that can work at camp. Link
[ ] Perform a campfire skit or teach a new song. Link

Explorers and Young Leaders are in the unique position when it comes to a Scouting themed camp, as they can both show off the skills they have learnt along the way, through educating their peers or leading the younger sections to develop those important #skillsforlife.

For this theme we suggest that Explorers and Young Leaders can partake in both the Scouts level activities, but obviously bigger and better, with more flames and more bacon, as well as supporting the camp organisers & helpers (see below).

Event Organisers, Leaders, Young Leaders and Parent Helpers

There is even a programme of activities for yourselves as part of this Scouting themed camp. You are a vital component of a successful Scouting themed camp, whether that’s preparation in advance, the point of execution, or helping provide drying space for wet tents.

Tick BoxActivityLink
[ ]Mentor another leader through the Permit process Link
[ ] Organise a Damboree camping event for your Colony, Pack, Troop or Group Link
[ ] Take an active role in a larger District or County Damboree Event Link
[ ] Be a non-Uniformed or Parent helper on a Damboree Event Link
[ ] Be a Young Leader on a Damboree Event Link
[ ] Be a Uniformed helper on a Damboree Event Link
[ ] Be a Parent/Grandparent/Carer/Guardian helper on a Damboree Event Link

Menu & Feeding Times


Scouting themed camping can be a huge energy consumer as the young people get deep into the Scouting themed activities, so we propose the following meal schedule.

Whilst we will propose menu ideas on other themes, as we write them, Scouting themed camps should be youth led. The young people should be involved in the menu selection, as with the activities above, they should be involved in some elements of the preparation & cooking (we know, scary huh?).

Feeding Times
09:00Second Breakfast
11:00Elevenses (D’uh!)
12:00-14:00Variable Lunchtime Window
16:00High Tea
21:00Hot Chocolate and Biccies
Repeat as necessary

If you’ve made it this far down the page, you will realise this is somewhat tongue in cheek. Scouting is a great theme for camping across all age ranges, and Damboree provides a framework for those Scouting themed camps to take place.

The Turquoise, Emerald, and Teal badges are based around the Outdoor Challenge badge which forms part of the Chief Scouts award for the relevant section.

Silver badges for adults are a way of rewarding yourselves and those who enable your camps whether that’s warm bodies for ratios, or full-on active participants.

Those who take young people camping, we salute you.

Links to Additional Resources

The following links are suitable activities for Scouting themed camps, you will need to vary the levels of support and supervision as part of your risk assessment – Beavers will need more hands on support than Scouts, and Explorers may need more fire extinguishers available than Cubs.

You know your young people and their abilities, to arrange the right levels of supervision, and drink lots of hot beverages, although camp tea in a metal mug is vile.

Website/Description Link
Bored Paracord (Youtube Channel)Link
Washing Up Stand (Youtube)Link



Camp Theme – Harry Potter


The Wizarding World of Harry Pottertm has been a fantasy of many a young person since the Philosophers Stone hit our bookshelves in 2001, nearly 20 years later Beavers, Cubs and Scouts have incorporated the world of JK Rowling in their weekend camping adventures. With the help of our Damboree Community member Jonathan Lloyd we’re presenting the resources and notes they used for their HP weekend


This theme is designed to last a weekend, from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.


Hogwarts letter and envelope

Download the Nico Stamping font to get the correct harry potter style font, I used a mail merge to fill in the names and address on both the letter and envelope.

“We bought packs of parchment paper to print on to, to give it the right look and feel. All letters were then wax stamped and hand delivered which the kids really loved. We also used the parchment paper and font to print things like the menu, tent lists etc.”

Venue Setup

Create House Point jars using big sweet jars (free from our local newsagent) and printed House logos

Large badges to mark out the House tables to recreate the great hall, and if your budget runs to it, you can get large house banners online for above each table.

Water bottle labels – We stuck the labels to our drinks water barrels.

Tent numbers – we used these around the site so everyone knew which tent they were in.

Depending how creative you and your team are there are a wealt of creative resources on the likes of PInterest & Instructibles


Each activity was worth house points and was recorded on the house point sheet. We used sweets from a cash-and-carry as the points system (1 sweet for each point) and filled up the sweet jars for each house (at the end of the weekend all the sweets for each house were divided up amongst the house to take home.)

Sorting Hat

“We recorded the sorting hat saying each of the houses on a phone and then used a Halloween witches hat to recreate the scene playing the correct house for each Young Person. (We used a Bluetooth speaker to make it louder).”

Each young person was then given a scarf/necker in the house colour with an iron on house badge already on. (all leaders were given a black scarf/necker with the Hogwarts badge on).

Philosophers stone challenges


3 leaders link together to create Fluffy (3 headed dog) and try and stop the YP from getting tennis balls across the room, if they catch them that person is out of the challenge.

Devil’s Snare

Is a game of Musical statues:

  • Young people move around (dancing, hopping, skipping, running) while the music is playing and to freeze into a statue when the music stops.
  • Tell him to remain like a statue until the music starts again.
  • Randomly stop and start the music by pressing and releasing the pause button on your CD player.
  • Anyone moving whilst the music is stopped is caught in the Devil’s Snare

Collect the Keys

You will need a lock with a working key (and something for the lock to open like a chest) and then 9 spares keys that all look similar. Hide the keys with varying degrees of challenge based on the section, around your site.

Wizards Chess

For Beavers we suggest changing this out for Giant Connect 4 and the YP had to beat one of the leaders for Cubs & Scouts a Garden sized-chess set version might work.

The Mirror of Erised

Spray paint a stone bright red (like the philosophers stone) and hide it along with a mirror in a wooded area. Suspend the stone in a tree above the mirror so they need to look into the mirror on the floor to be able to see the Philosophers Stone.

Riddle Challenge

The example below was used as a Riddle Challenge, it’s a thought-provoking problem involving the Grain, Chicken & Fox and getting them across a river. There are a number of ways you could make this an interesting experience and Potterfying it, by making the man Hagrid and replacing the fox and Chickens with Fantastic Beasts

The Question

A man has to get a fox, a chicken, and a sack of corn across a river.
He has a rowboat, and it can only carry him and one other thing.
If the fox and the chicken are left together, the fox will eat the chicken.
If the chicken and the corn are left together, the chicken will eat the corn.
How does the man do it?

The solution is linked to in Files and Resources towards the bottom of this page

Other similer logic problem solving puzzles could also be used.

Quidditch World Cup – Pong Edition

There are loads of resources online to show how this works. Use 500ml plastic bottles filled with sand and then use dowelling with a sewing hoop glue to it to create the big hoops, It was then all sprayed in gold.

We suggest using big cups and a ping pong ball for the pong part of the game. Make one of the cups a golden snitch cup worth more points than the other cups.

Each house was put into pairs and each pair takes it in turns to play another pair from a different house. Each game was timed and all scoring ping pong balls convert to their house points.

Hunt for Horcruxes – Orienteeri

Points were awarded for the time it took to complete the course as a team.                                                                                                  

  • The Ring/Resurrection Stone – I use a ring with a gem on it that I got from the dollar/pound store.
  • Tom Riddle’s Diary – Cheap stationery journal book                               
  • Hufflepuff’s Cup – Use a coffee mug that I got from the craft store, and with glitter glue, I wrote on the cup “Hufflepuff”.                                                                                                                    
  • Slytherin’s Locket – Locket that I got from the craft store.
  • Ravenclaw’s Diadem – Plastic tiara.
  • Nagini – Plastic/Rubber/Soft Toy snake.
  • Harry Potter – Framed picture of Harry Potter.                                                                                                                         

Making Slime!


Planting some Cress or Sunflower seeds to take home

Trip to Hogsmede

Trip to the onsite Tuck Shop.

Photo Frame

Make your own ‘Have you seen this wizard’ photo booth. For example create a big cardboard cut out for the surround and then lots of extra bits for the kids to hold up.

Files and Resources

Nico Stamping FontLink
Water bottle labels – were stuck to our drinks water barrels.PDF
Tent numbersPDF
Slime LinksInstructibles
Quidditch – Pong EditionLink
Quidditch – Live Action VersionLink
Photo FrameEtsy
Riddle Challenge Solution to River CrossingLink
Hogwarts Envelope TemplateLink
Hogwarts Letter TemplateLink
Hogwarts Letter MailMerge SpreadsheetLink
Whilst Every effort has been made to check the Files and Resources, Damboree is not responsible for 3rd Party links hosted away from the Damboree website


Jonathan Lloyd – Originator2nd Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands District
Damboree has taken input from the Contributors, and fit it into the overall template and structure of the Camp Theme, we really appreciate the support our contributors make to the Themes in order that we can share them for others to use.

Disclaimer: Firstly this article resources here may contain images from protected properties, their display here is not a challenge to any ownership of those properties, they are provided here to help Camp Organisers plan their event with a Harry Potter theme. We do not claim any rights whatsoever to Harry Potter, we do not wish to cause any offence to rights holders by offering these resources to help organise Harry Potter themed camps.

If you have a theme you would like to add to our library, please use the form below to tell us more about it, so we can add it, and credit it to you, and send you a Damboree Hero badge.

Camp Theme Suggestion

Step 1 of 2

A Bit About You

So we can properly credit you for your theme
If you have a Group/District/County Website you want to be linked to
So we can send you a coupon code for your Hero Badge when we publish your theme