Summer Camp-Inspired Costume Ideas for Halloween

Looking for costume ideas? Let summer camp provide the inspiration. Here are some costumes inspired by summer camp and summer camp pop culture.


Individual and group s’more costumes are probably the easiest and most common summer camp-inspired costume you’ll see this fall. A couple pieces of cardboard can be easily made to look like graham crackers and the marshmallow and chocolate can simply be pulled off by wearing a white shirt and brown pants. Or you can get more detailed like the group costume pictured above.

Tony Perkis from Heavyweights

Few summer camp movie characters are as memorable as Ben Stiller’s Tony Perkis in the movie Heavyweights. The crazy hair and the ’90s fitness gear would amuse even friends who haven’t seen the movie. A Perkis Power T-shirt can be purchased or made for maximum effect.

Bug Juice

The above Koolaid costume could easily be transformed into an off-brand summer camp-style Bug Juice by removing the smiley face and attaching some flies.

Suzy and Sam from Moonrise Kingdom

This might require a few visits to vintage clothing stores and antique shops, but this would be ideal for the couple that’s young at heart, still in love and wants everyone to know it.

McKinley from Wet Hot American Summer

The cult movie Wet Hot American Summer can (and has) inspired any number of costumes, but none as recognizable or iconic as Michael Ian Black’s McKinley with his red short shorts, tube sox and high school track shirt. Found Item Clothing makes it easy for you.

A campfire

Nothing says summer camp like a campfire. Of course, a campfire isn’t complete without the always-playing-the-guitar guy or girl so you might want to recruit a friend or significant other for the full effect on this one.

Susan and Sharon from The Parent Trap

A couple of blonde wigs (one short, one long) and a Camp Inch patch cut out of felt and sewed on a button up shirt would make a great costume for twins or any friends or siblings who look somewhat alike (or not).

A Buddy Board

This would be a weird concept but would certainly be original. You could put hooks all over your body, wear a hat that says buddy board and have tags for people you meet to fill out and hook to you. If you’re going to a party it might be a way to play matchmaker. You could also have buddy tags with trivia questions, truth or dare challenges or any number of clever and interactive ideas.

Lady Gaga Ball

Dressing up like Lady Gaga seems like a weird thing to do when she is pretty much always wearing a different costume, but dressing up as Lady Gaga Ball would be both challenging to pull off and original.  I picture a Lady Gaga-style wig with a hexagonal shaped box around the abdomen and a headband and camp T-shirt with glitter.

A Camp Sign Post

Help people find their way by putting directional signs on various parts of your body pointing people to key places in the camp like the mess hall, infirmary and Gaga Pit.

A Picture of Yourself As A Camper

Picture frames are an easy and fun costume to wear to a party. Keeping with the summer camp theme, you could dress as yourself as a camper and pose for photos all night long with other people in your frame. I actually did use a frame as a costume at a costume party at summer camp many summers ago and it was a blast.

Summer Camp Horror Movie Villain

I’m not a fan of horror movies or scary costumes, but if that’s your thing you have plenty of summer camp horror movie villains to choose from, including Angela Baker from the Sleepaway Camp series, the obvious and overdone Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th series, Cropsy from The Burning and many, many more.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.


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