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Campfire Collective Jun 26th, 2019

6 Ultimate Outdoor Summer Games

Man balancing on a slackline on beach beside a pier.

Summer is all about shared experiences with family and friends at the cottage or in the backyard. The games we played as children that are passed down through generations are memories that unite us all. This summer pass on the games and play them yourself and enjoy a fun-filled weekend.

Manhunt

The classic game that everyone grew up playing, Manhunt will test your outdoor tracking skills and keen sense of awareness. The rules of Manhunt are quite simple. A single person or group of people hides while everyone else looks for them. The game ends once all the hiders have been found. You’ll want to set some boundaries before starting the game so the seekers have a chance to find the hiders. You’ll also want to switch up your hiding spot now and again. Don’t stay in the same place for too long or you’ll run the risk of getting caught easier. For more tips and tricks of this epic game, check out this site.

Capture the Flag

Kids playing in a park.

This is a quintessential summer classic that offers both fun and fitness. You can play with two to four teams of any size. What you will need to play this game is a large, open area and material to make flags, think old t-shirts, socks or bandannas. The “flags” should be different colours for each team. Divide the playing area into equal-sized territories (one for each team) and place a flag in each territory. Players attempt to cross the opposing teams’ territories to grab their flag without being caught. If they are, they’re put in “jail” or must perform an active task such as jumping jacks or push-ups instead. For a full list of rules click here.

Sardines

This game is close to that of hide-and-seek but in reverse. The rules of the game are one person hides and the rest of the players look for that person. When someone finds the hidden person, they quietly join them in hiding. This continues until there is only one seeker left. The object of the game is to not be the last seeker. By the end of the game the hiders begin to resemble a bunch of squashed sardines. This game requires at least three people to play it and there is no material involved.

Ring Toss

This versatile game can be played on land or in the water. It has a skill level from easy to difficult and everyone from kids to adults can partake in this fun activity. You can play this game with two to four players. Each player takes a turn throwing their rings attempting to throw them on a peg. Ring toss is played up to 21 points. A ringer is when a ring is thrown onto a peg or stake. These count for three points and if a player gets two rings on the same peg, that counts as six. If players don’t make any ringers, the ring closest to the peg gets a point. If two players both make ringers on the same peg, they cancel each other and no points are scored. You can find complete game details at this site.

Slackline

This is a game of skill and balance. This game was created by two Yosemite rock climbers, Adam Grosowky and Jeff Ellington in the 1980’s. It consists of balancing and walking along a taught slackline. Typically the line should be mounted on trees with a minimum diameter of 30 centimeters. You should always follow the rules of slacklining to protect ourselves and others.

Two shirtless men balancing on a slackline next to the ocean.

There are plenty of slackline kits that you can purchase such as the Flybold Complete Kit which is great for beginners. It includes a high-quality line with an overhead hand line to practice balance. For traditional slacklining, the Balance Community Primitive Kit  is a must-have for the intermediate-to-advance slacker. This is a one-inch system with pieces of the kit that grow with you as you move from short to long lines.

Kick the Can

This hide-and-seek, tag and capture the flag hybrid is an awesome outdoor game you’re going to want to take advantage of this summer! The game requires at least five players, but the more the better for this activity. The objective of the game is to kick the can without being tagged. One person (or a team of people if the group is larger) is designated as the seeker/ guarder of the can. The others run and hide. The seeker must seek and tag the others while keeping a watchful eye on the can. Any player who is tagged by the seeker is sent to “jail”. The free players attempt to kick the can without being tagged out. If they succeed in kicking the can, the captured players are freed.

We have many things that unite us and make us uniquely Canadian. Outdoor games have been an integral part of our heritage for years. These games will help bring out the kid in all of us as we gear up for the weekend to create some memories and share some experiences.

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