Other Fun Things to Do Outside

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Snowball Capture the Flag

Setup: Set up two hospital points, one for each team, across some length of woods. Larger depending on how many folks you have. We used about 300 yards for 10 people. It should be an identifiable tree or convergence of paths.

Give each team a flag, either a brightly coloured piece of clothing or a totem of some kind. They should place it in a location in between the two hospital points, on level ground, with 180 degrees of visibility. Once you have hidden your team's flag, no one on your team may touch it, even if the other team moves it.

Divide folks into two teams using any means you like.


Play: The object is to find the other teams flag and bring it to your team's hospital point.

If someone from the opposing team hits you with a snowball, you are injured and must tag your team's hospital point before you can rejoin the fight. You cannot collect or throw snowballs while injured, nor may you continue to scout. If you are carrying the flag, you must drop it. You must turn and immediately proceed directly to your hospital point. You may communicate verbally with your team, but you should not deviate from the easiest route back to your hospital point (you don't need to b-line through trees, you may use paths if they will get you back to your hospital point faster).

Unlike other versions of capture the flag, there is no safe side. You can always be hit by your opponents team. However, there is a strategic advantage to engaging the opposing team close by your hospital point. Any hit players on your team will have a shorter distance to run, and therefore will be back in the game sooner than the opposing team.

Aim for the legs or body. If you hit someone in the head, you must sit on the ground, on your butt (as punishment) and count to 10 points of shame. Like this: "One point of shame, two points of shame... etc." Points of shame may be substituted for bananas of shame, bucketsful of shame, angry mothers of shame, etc. depending on your group.


Obscure rules for people who like rules:

- If a snowball is caught, it has no effect. The thrower is not out.

- If a snowball fragments, all significant chunks must hit the target.

- If a snowball fragments, and the target catches one fragment, but is hit by all other significant fragments, the target is injured and must proceed to the hospital.

-you may "execute" a helpless player by simply tapping them with a snowball in your hand. Particularly useful when finishing off a clumsy player who has fallen down or sneaking up behind a player in a middle of a firefight since you will not need to stop and make a new snowball afterwards.

- Also, feel free to make up your own rules.


Summer Edition

This game can easily be played during the summer using flour sock balls instead of snow. Flour sock balls offer a cheap, effective, and relatively safe way to play this game any time of year. A quick trip to a thrift store can yield a large amount of socks for cheap (I once bought 14 pairs of socks for 1 dollar). Because there is a limited amount of ammunition, there are a few additional rules.

If you are hit with a sock ball, you can only possess one and only one flour sock ball. If you are carrying more than one flour sock ball when you are hit, you must drop all but one where you got hit. If you have no flour sock balls when you are hit, you may pick up one nearby flour sock or a flour sock on your way back to your hospital point.

Note: ammunition in the summer edition rules is key to the game. The team with more ammunition can take more chances to hit your opponents, and a team with no ammunition cannot even play defense. Here are some ways you can play an ammunition game.

Collect your opponents spent flour sock balls and guard your ammunition by keeping a stash by your hospital point. Send offensive players out with only the necessary amount of ammo needed. Target players holding lots of flour socks and try to pick up their dropped ammo if you get the chance.

Finally, have fun with this version of capture the flag. There are many roles that a successful team needs, and though an accurate throwing arm is helpful, saavy play can make up for any athletic shortcoming. Your team will need players with speed, stealth, courage, discipline, cunning, and endurance to beat the opposing team. Find how you can best help your team and have a blast while you're out there.