In the old days, games were not only designed for children to have fun but also to learn the fundamental skills needed to survive and provide. The following games touch on that traditional approach to learning important skills through play.
Heads and Tails Hike
Flip a coin at each fork in the road to determine whether to turn right or left.
Brief yourself by reading and consulting others about some nearby historical spot and hike out to visit.
Give each a list of nature specimens (flowers, trees, animals or insects) to identify and mark off their list.
Trail clearing hike
Find and clear a new trail and establish an outpost clear a new trail and establish an outpost camp at the end. Leave a supply of wood for the next group.
Hare and Hound Hike
The “hares” lay a trail and conceal themselves at intervals within 50 feet of the trail. The “hounds” then follow the trail and try to spot the hares. If a hare can escape being seen until all the hounds have passed, they are free. Use small groups and make the hounds stay on the trail.
Tracking and Stalking Games
Trail the Deer
A leader wearing shoes with a peculiar shoe print (or wrap a skipping rope once around the leaders foot so it leaves a distinct track) starts out ahead ;the others try to track the leader.
One player, the “deer,” places him/herself in an environment providing some covering such as grass, bushes and trees. The other scatter out about 100 yards away and each tries to approach the “deer” without being seen. Anyone the “deer” sees well enough to identify is eliminated; the one closest to the “deer” at the end of the designated time wind and becomes the “deer” for the next game.
“Rabbit” sits on the ground with eyes closed while others gather around in a circle. The Leader points to one player who tries to sneak up to “it” and touch him/her gently on the top of the head or foot without being heard. If “Rabbit” hears him/her and points directly at him/her, the student must return to place. Anyone able to come in and touch “Rabbit” without being detected becomes the new ‘Rabbit.”
“It” is in front with the others lined up about 100 feet away. As “it” turns his/her back and counts to ten, the others move towards “It” as rapidly as possible. At the end of the count, “It” shouts “freeze” and quickly turns around and calls out the name of any persons he/she sees making the slightest motion. If a person is caught moving they must go back to the starting line. First person to touch “IT” or cross the finish line wins and becomes the new “It.”
Capture the Flag
The field is divided into two halves with a line marked across the centre.
Each team occupies its own half of the area and has its own flag erected 100 to 200 yards behind the center line.
The object of the game is to enter the opponents’ half of the field, capture their flag and return to your own half without being tagged.
Any person tagged in enemy territory is “caught” and must remain in the enemies holding area, a site at one side of the and about twenty to thirty steps back of the center line.
To be “caught” a player must gently touch another person on the back.
A prisoner is released when a teammate touches him / her; then both of them get a “free trip” home.
Set a time limit, as a half hour, and the winner is the team with the most prisoners if neither has captured the other’s flag by the end of the time.
A variation is to widen the area and include trees, rocks, bushes and natural hiding places which may be used for concealment when trying to approach the flag or release prisoners. The time may be extended to hours or even a half day without having the players lose interest. Choosing a good terrain is the secret of success in this game.