Friday, January 23, 2009

The Summer of 2008, Ligonier, PA - Part 4

One of the best ways to entertain a whole lot of kids is to play a game.

Chubba Chubba Can Can - Form a circle around a trashcan, linking arms in some fashion. If you touch the trashcan, you are out. If you are the last person not-out, you win.
The Stick Game - Form a circle around whoever's turn it is to be "It". This person then takes a stick, of a foot or a foot and a half in length, holds it high above their head, fixes their eyes upon the tip, and spins around for a prescribed amount of time, perhaps 30 seconds, perhaps more. After spinning, they place the stick flat on the ground and jump over it. Those in the circle should do their best to safeguard the spinner from death, leaving the circle, etc. Note: It is not recommended that you play this anywhere dangerous.
HPC Roof Ball - I never figured how this worked, but it involved hitting a large ball with a foam bat onto the roof of the HPC, a small building in the center of Camp. Maybe it is like Wall Ball?
Prison Dodge Ball - Played just like regular two-team Dodgeball, except that when you get out, you go behind the other team, into the end-zone-like jail. Balls can then be thrown to you by members of your team who are still in. If you catch one of these balls, you can then use it to hit a member of the opposing team from behind, at which point you and everyone else on your team currently in the jail are back in. Note: I played this at least twice, if not three or four times, each week.

The Wide Games
Played every night after dinner on The Wide Game Field, way down the hill from the rest of camp, these may have been my favorite part of camp.

Medic - Divide the playing field into two equal parts, and place a big bucket of water in the middle. Each team has a certain number of "medics", each wearing a red pinnie and holding a plastic cup. Play just like Dodgeball, with two exceptions. First, you can not move when you have the ball. Second, when you are hit out, you sti down where you were struck. Medics get water from the bucket and the pour a cup upon someone is out, to get them back in. If a medic is struck out, they are no longer a medic when brough back into play. The last team with medics still in wins. Note: We never played this with the whole camp; we divided into Units to play this.
Gold Rush - Divide the playing field into two equal parts, with "Safe Zones" behind each area, like the end zones of a football field. In each Safe Zone there should be an empty crate in one corner, and a pile of tennis balls in the other corner. The goal of the game is to get as many tennis balls, the titular "gold," from the opposing team's pile back into your team's crate before time runs out. While in the opposing team's half of the field, you may be tagged out, at which point you sit down where you were tagged, until an untagged member of your own team tags you back into play, at which point you get a free walk back to your side. You may not be tagged while in a Safe Zone, but you can not wait in the Safe Zone forever; a time limit is set on this waiting period. You can not throw gold, it is too heavy. You can not hand off gold; it is too heavy? When you tag someone carrying gold, you must take their gold back to your team's pile, but you can only carry one piece at a time; it is too heavy.
Ninja Warfare - The most popular Wide Game. Teams are divided into four roles: Ninjas, Bombers, Blockers and Medics. Each team also has a Monarch, a role filled by a Counselor, and an Armory with Armory Attendants, again Counselors, a station whose role will become apparent. Points are scored by Bombers striking the opposing King or Queen with water balloons, tossed strictly in an underhand fashion. Blockers surround their King or Queen and attempt to stop water balloons from scoring points. Ninjas run around with Ninja Sticks, flattened plastic golf tubes, and lightly strike opposing Bombers and Ninjas below the knees. When thusly struck, Bombers must place their water balloon, if they have one, upon the ground, and Ninjas must do likewise with their Ninja Stick, then go to their Armory and be re-armed. Medics run around collecting dropped Bombs and Sticks, and taking them back to their Armory. Note: Medics are often the smallest children, but never forget that having good medics is key to any successful team. It is best to start the game with an epic charge of the two lines.
Predator - Campers are given one of three roles: Herbivore, Omnivore and Carnivore. Counselors are spread around the playing area, which in this case is the Camp area, not a wide open field, and serve various roles, such as food-stations, water-stations, humans, natural disasters and disease. Each of the three kinds of animal has some amount of food or water or whatever that they need to collect. Having always been a food-station, and only actually playing twice, I am not sure how all the details work.
Spy vs. Spy - I have no idea how to play this. It was canceled every Session except Session 6, when I was no longer at Camp. It is similar to Capture The Flag, but with frisbees, I think.
Siege - I would call this the mother of all wide games, but it is really more like the child of several, and it was brand new during Session 4 this year. It bears a lot of resemblance to Ninja Warfare, so I will start with the Armories, which are placed in the center of the field, not on the edges as in Ninja Warfare. Armories dispense Bombs as before, and also Swords, which are suspiciously identical to Ninja Sticks. Points are scored by collecting tennis balls, now called Treasure, from a crate surrounded by a rope in a circle on the ground, called the Castle, and taking them back to your Castle. Armories and Castles are both Safe Zones. The team with the most Treasures in their Castle at the end of the allotted game-time wins. Teams are divided into three roles: Knights, Infantry and Blockers. Infantry attempt to steal Treasures from their opponent's Castle and take them to their own castle, but they also can get Bombs from the Armory to lob into their opponent's Jail. When a Bomb successfully detonates in a Jail, everyone in that Jail is freed. Blockers surround the Jail, attempting to stop Bombs and thus keep the captives within. Knights run around with Swords and strike opposing Infantry and Knights below the knees, at which point the stricken player must go to the proper Jail. Knights who strike Knights must take their Sword back to the Armory, and likewise with Bombs carried by Infantry, because there are no Medics in this game. Note: This is the most complicated Wide Game. It is also the most awesome.

Most of the Wide Games only allow for simple strategy, but Siege allowed for a surprisingly effective and unforeseen tactic. Raiding parties in Ninja Warfare are always a group of Bombers, with a few Ninjas guarding, and maybe a Medic or two for cleanup. However, in Siege, there are really two kinds of Infantry, those with Bombs and those without. By placing a group of Infantry carrying Bombs at the head of a Raiding Party, great victory may be achieved. Opposing Knights strike the Bomb-carriers first, but are then forced to return those Bombs back to the Armory, allowing the rest of the Infantry to continue to the castle relatively unopposed. It works brilliantly.

Sometimes we would also play Campers vs. Counselors soccer. 30 vs. 200 is a hilarious game.


Alex said...

Prison dodge is also called Greek dodge. Ninja warfare needs to happen at UMBC.

Timothy S. Milligan said...

When I have played the mysteriously titled "Greek Dodge", throwing the ball and hitting someone on the other time while you are in jail only gets you back in, not everyone else in jail. True?

Alex said...

I think you're right, but this is a minor difference.

Also, there should be a game called "Turkish Dodge" that is suspiciously similar to Greek Dodge, but understood to be an entirely different game.