From running rapids to cooking meals, pitching tents, hiking and swimming, almost every minute on a Grand Canyon Expeditions trip on the Colorado River is filled with excitement!
Sometimes, however, there is usually quiet time nightly in camp or when your raft encounters an extensive patch of flat water. I know, you may be thinking “Gasp! Boredom? In the Grand Canyon? This cannot be!” Well, you’re right! Because with the right imagination, ideas, and sense of fun, you will never ever have a lacking moment on your trip.
Sigh, there is no more disappointing moment on a white-water rafting trip than seeing a seemingly endless stretch of flat-water (non-rapids) before you. What ever is to be done? Well, how about rounding up a few buddies for a silly song? Some of our favorites on our family’s GCEX trip were “I Saw A Bird,” the fun campfire song in which everyone takes turns trying to come up with something with which to coax a bird into one’s home and then a way to send it off on its way. On our GCEX rafting adventure, we teenagers loved singing the infamous “Song That Gets on Everybody’s Nerves” and “Song That Never Ends.” My personal favorite was creating our own covers and parodies of famous songs, from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” to Broadway favorites.
If you’re still bored during a momentary lack of rapids and hikes, another fun time with friends are classic “talking games.” The parents, teenagers and kids on our GCEX rafts enjoyed such games as “I’m Going on a Picnic” and the word play where everyone takes a turn at verbally adding a word to create a silly sentence. There’s also always good old “Mad Libs” (best played in camp where your Mad Libs book will stay dry), “Two Truths and a Lie” and “Would You Rather?” Another entertaining pastime both on the rafts and in camp are hand games. This includes Tic Tac Toe (different from the paper game of Xs and Os!), Miss Mary Mac, and Slide.
Another “cool” thing was the water sprayers that the guides let us use periodically. My cousin Ethan (you’ll see him on the ledge to the right of the photo below) surprised some of the adults coming out of cave we hiked into with a refreshing water spray!
In camp, a HUGE and super fun way we filled down-time was card games. A makeshift camp card table can be constructed with a stack of sitting pads with everyone sitting around the “table.” Our favorite game was Egyptian Rat Screw — I understand how funny the name sounds but it WILL BE THE MOST FUN GAME you will EVER play! Others that we enjoyed were Spades (similar to Hearts), Go Fish, B.S. (ButterScotch—duh!!), Spoons (which we played with teabags for lack of spoons), and Uno. So make sure you pack a deck of cards. You’ll be the most popular person on the trip!
Feeling antsy in camp? And I don’t mean those pesky red ants! Ha ha ha! No need to sit and only play cards: why not try something active? Some great games for the sandy canyon beaches are stick baseball (you guessed it: baseball using a giant stick instead of a bat), Frisbee, and bocce—using Canyon rules! Our trip guide Art brought bocce ball that all of us young adults and kids played a few nights. I’ve never played bocce in such beautiful surroundings as the Grand Canyon!
Speaking of which, perhaps one of the coolest places in the Canyon — especially for playing Frisbee, running bases and kickball — is an amphitheater-type cavern. Red Rock Cavern is HUGE and big enough to house a game of Frisbee, kickball, a group of people eating lunch, and an outcropping of rock to sit and chill by. Seriously, this is one of the most amazing, wonderful, unreal, spectacular things you will ever see in your lifetime! Yes, I think that this officially proves that nature is the world’s greatest artist.
So yes, my friends, make no excuses of boredom, for there are quite a number of games to play and songs to sing when there is nothing else to do. Trust me, I know it sounds dorky, but with the group of people on your GCEX family adventure, you WILL have fun!!