Camping Games #1: Intellectual Triumph with General Knowledge

Hey travelers,

Looking for a game to play on your journey? Well, if so, great! Because this is the first-ever article written by Caravan Sales Online that shares fun games to play for van life entertainment with friends or family or both.

What Is the Game?

The game is called ‘General Knowledge’. There are several versions and iterations of this game, some of which you may have come across. This specific version is the camping addition. All that is required to play is a sheet of paper (preferably A4, landscape position) and a pen/pencil for each player (or team).

Who Can Play?

This game does require some intellectual thought, so it is recommended for kids aged 6+, and any age range for adults. At least 2 people are needed to play the game, and there is an unlimited maximum number of players. Recommended 4-10 players make for the most fun.

What Is The Objective?

The goal of the game is to be the player [or team, if playing in pairs or groups] to score the highest amount of points at the end of the game.

What Is The Setup?

Each player or team needs their own sheet of paper and writing utensils. In the center of the players or teams, needs to be the ‘community’ paper. On this piece of paper, randomly scatter the letters of the alphabet across the sheet from A - Z. The next step is to pick categories, you’ll need a total of six categories that all players must use for the rest of the game. The categories can be anything, here are some ideas or examples of categories you can pick:

  • Car Brands
  • Sports Clubs / Team within a specific sport (ie. NFL, NBA, NHL etc.)
  • Cartoon characters
  • Movies
  • Celebrities (ie. famous singers or movie stars)
  • Fruits &/Or Vegetables
  • Superheroes
  • Animal Species
  • Country, Cities, or States/Provinces

Those are just examples, you can get creative and adjust or create your own categories to play with.

Once you’ve selected your categories, each player or team must take their individual sheet of paper and place it in a landscape layout. From left to right on the top of the page, horizontally write the name of each category and at the end of the row create a column for the total. Then create 26 rows underneath the categories, with a final row for the total.

How To Play?

Start with the youngest player going first, then go in a clockwise direction. Close your eyes, and with your pen or pencil point on the community page in an attempt to randomly select one of the letters between A and Z. If pointing to a blank space, the other players can tell you to go again until a letter is selected. Whatever letter is selected, that is the letter that will be used for the round.

One of the players will need to start a timer, set to 60 seconds. This will give each player or team the opportunity to write down a word that matches the description of the categories but starts with the letter of the round.

When the timer runs out, players must stop and put down their pens to review their answers and tally up their scores from the round. Note that players do not need to finish one category before moving to the next, it can be done in any order.

Starting with the first category, players must take turns to read out their answers. If someone has the same answer as someone else they must mention it as this affects the point grading system. Once all answers from the category have been read aloud, move on to the next category until all answers for that letter have been shared for each category. Then repeat by taking the player directly to the left of the previous player to select a letter, close their eyes, and select the next letter for the next round. Continue repeating this process. Remember to score each answer, from each category, for each round.

Before starting, scratch out the letter on the community page so it’s not selected again later in the game, and continue to do so until all letters have been used in the game, which would bring the game to an end.

Point Grading ?

How do you grade the points from each answer? It’s simple:

  • No answer = 0 points (if a player ran out of time or couldn’t think of an answer)
  • Incorrect answer = 0 points (if a player gives an answer which does not meet the description of the category)
  • Same answer as another player = 5 points (if two or more players share an answer in a category, each player receives 5 points for that answer)
  • Unique answer = 10 points (if a player gives an answer that is not shared with any other player, they receive 5 points)

Example Run

Here’s an example of how to play the game out. Mary, Max, and Mark are going to play. They each have their own sheet of paper and writing utensils. They’ve marked the sheet of paper, the ‘community page’ in the center of the tablet marked with letters from A to Z in a scattered formation.

The group has selected the following categories: cars, cartoon characters, countries, previous presidents of the USA, fruits & vegetables, and famous singers.

Mark is the youngest member of the group, therefore, the first to go. Mark closes his eyes and points randomly at the page, Mary and Max yell out that he has missed. He goes again, and lands on the letter ‘M’. The letter ‘M’ will now be used for the round.

Max sets the timer for 60 seconds and the group begins their attempt at answering the categories with the letter ‘M’.

Their answers are as follows:

Max: Mercedes, Mickey Mouse, Malta, Martin Van Buren, Mango, and Mariah Carey.
Mary: Mahindra, Mufasa, Mexico, [No answer], Mushrooms, and Miley Cyrus.
Mark: Mercedes, Mike Wazowski, Malaysia, [No answer], Mango, and Marvin Gaye.

After reading out their answers with one another, they’d have the following points:
Max: 5 for cars (shared with Mark), 10 for cartoons, 10 for countries, 10 for presidents, 5 for fruit/veg (shared with Mark), and 10 for famous singers. Total: 45

Mary: 10 for cars (unique answer), 10 for cartoons, 10 for countries, 0 for presidents, 10 for fruit/veg (unique), 10 for famous singers. Total: 50

Mark: 5 for cars (shared with Max), 10 for cartoons, 10 for countries, 0 for presidents, 5 for fruit/veg (shared with Max), and 10 for famous singers. Total: 40.

The group would then repeat the process until all 26 letters have been used in the game or they get bored.


What are your thought’s? Sound like a fun game to play? Have you played it before? Do you have any suggestions or any other games for fellow travelers?

Share it in the comments!

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Mel Gibsons kids names could be a category, almost has enough to fill out the alphabet

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