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Camp Game: Capture the Flag

This is a perfect game for the whole camp. Have cabin groups stay together for this game.

Purpose

There are many purposes to this game. First, it’s a great way for campers and counselors, especially those new to camp, to get acquainted with the physical landscape of your campground. Second, this game is a great way for individual cabin groups to bond as they compete with other cabin groups – divide the camp in half, and now you have a common enemy to fight together!

Supplies Needed

One flag per team. We recommend making your own flags (it’s super easy!). You can use old t-shirts, bandannas, socks, other some other kind of fabric.

Each flag should be about the same size and brightly colored.

Instructions

Create Your Teams

Divide the whole camp in half – so, two teams. It’s up to you how you want to divide the camp, but we recommend having a balanced mix of ages and sizes (i.e., don’t pin all the older kids against the younger kids). This can be a fun way to divide by gender (boys v. girls), or even leaders versus campers (the leaders will obviously be older and stronger, but since there are way more campers than leaders, it evens out!). You can totally mix things up and have people chose a team based on pop culture, like Batman v. Superman.

Pick Your Arena 

You will need an open area to play this game. We recommend a giant field, dried up lake, or a clearing in the forest. The bigger the better. Large obstacles such as trees, bushes, and boulders can help make the game more fun. However, make sure the area is still safe for running and playing – if there are a bunch of sharp bushes or low tree stumps that are easy to trip over, we recommend finding a different area.

Divide the open area in half – one side for one team, one side for the other. Use something to indicate where the boundaries are – landmarks such as trees or sidewalks, or use chalk, cones, or rope.

Hide Your Flags

Place one flag into each territory. You can hide the flag, but it can’t be totally hidden. Part of it must still be visible. Chose someone to place the flag into each territory – can be a neutral person who isn’t playing, or one representative from each time. Once it’s placed, the flag can’t be moved by its home team.

The Game Begins…

  • All players start at a neutral location on the edge of the arena. We like to call this area “no man’s land”.
  • When the game begins, players try to cross into their opponent’s territory to grab their flag.
  • Team players need to protect their own flag, but not too closely. Tell players they cannot be within 10 feet of their own flag unless an opponent has breached the territory and is coming near.
  • When a player has entered the other team’s territory, they can be captured by that team’s players. If they are captured, they can do a few things in order to be released back to their home territory. You can make them perform a task, either physical, or something funny. Some examples include five push-ups, five jumping jacks, or a funny chant/cheer for the opposing team (e.g., “hail, Team A”).
    Tips

    To add an extra layer of fun to this game, each territory can build a “jail” where they keep opposing team members who have been captured. We recommend a time limit on this, though. Say, 5 minutes in jail before they can return to their home team. Any longer than that, and you’ll end up with too many team members out of the game for too long.

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