Celebrities. Paparazzi. Autographs. What could be more fun for a night at camp? This activity blends the red carpet experience with Israeli history and culture by challenging campers to collect the autographs of as many Israeli heroes as possible. In the process, they learn about important personalities in Israel's history and present-day.
Preparation and Implementation
Setting the Stage
This activity does not require a lengthy introduction. You can ask campers in the crowd to shout out names of famous Israelis and one or two things they know about each of them. Then name a variety of Israeli celebrities, ranging from historical figures (Herzl, Ben-Gurion, Kook) to present-day people (Omri Casspi, Bar Refaeli, Natalie Portman, Yair Lapid) and ask the campers if they'd like to meet them.
Campers can be divided by cabins, or in inter-age groups. Each camper receives an autograph book filled with photos and short bios of individuals whose lives and work have impacted Israel.
The Red Carpet
Staff members dressed in costumes representing each of the celebrities enter the space, and campers begin to approach them to ask for autographs. Celebrities share short stories, and then ask each camper a question before signing autographs.
Before bringing the celebrities into the room or the outdoor space where the event is taking place, review the rules of the game:
Group members can work in small teams or individually. Celebrities will sign autographs only after engaging campers in conversation. Campers must do one of three things in order to get their autograph:
- Ask the celebrity a question (Where did you live? What did you do to make you famous? Where did you come from? What is the thing you are most proud of?)
- Provide a fact about the celebrity (i.e. Hey! I know you! You were the Israeli guy who plays NBA basketball!)
- Find something in common with the celebrity's life (Hey! You like basketball! I like basketball!)
If you'd like, you can also allow the celebrities to pose for pictures with the campers to add to the fun.
Once the allotted time is finished, see which group/ cabin has the most autographs and proclaim them the winning paparazzi team. They can take a group picture with all the assembled celebrities.
Ways to Use and Enhance
Variations in Format
- This activity works best when there are a lot of people involved, in order to maximize excitement. It can be a camp wide activity, or it might be an evening activity for a couple of units together.
- Depending on the number of campers involved, you can increase or decrease the number of celebrities who participate.
- The closing activity can include a vote for favorite celeb, an opportunity for celebs to share one sentence with the campers, or other avenues to reinforcing what campers have learned during the contest.
Variations in Content
- While this program is designed with a diverse list of celebrities and types of celebrities included, you can also make it more narrowly focused and choosing to base your choices on theme (politicians, artists, famous women, etc.)
- The autograph book should be tailored to the celebrities you are using -- feel free to add or drop those who won't work for your program.