The forest is dark, and the fire is raging. Each camper has told her best ghost stories and stuffed her belly with as many s’mores as she could. It is not quite bedtime, but conversation is dwindling, and the nearest television set is miles away. You may be wondering how on earth the group can have a little fun before settling in to their sleeping bags. Keep the action going with some games to play around the campfire.
ABC Name Game
Everyone around the campfire claps in unison to a slow and steady beat. The first camper begins by saying the name of a famous person, dead or alive. The next camper, moving clockwise, must pick up where the first left off by naming a new celebrity whose first name begins with the last name of the celebrity just named. The trick is, names must roll off tongues in this manner roughly in time with the beat held by the clapping.
For example, if the first camper says, "Frank Sinatra," the next camper could say, "Sally Field," and the next could chime in with, "Fred Astaire," and so on. In the advanced version, players must comply with a category chosen. For instance, celebrity names could be limited to baseball players or musicians.
The host selects a category. Anything is fair game—car companies, brands of gum, words that start with “s." The host gives every camper a pen and paper. Then he sets a timer for two minutes. In the time given, campers must write down as many items in the category as they can.
For example, if the category is “types of pasta,” one camper’s list might include rigatoni, angel hair, farfalle, spaghetti, penne and linguini. When the two minutes are up, the host selects one camper to read her list aloud. All players must listen carefully, crossing out answers that they share in common with the reader. When, for instance, the first reader says, “spaghetti,” everyone who has also written “spaghetti” must cross out the item and then let the group know that she has done so. All participants take a turn reading their lists aloud. The objective is to earn the most points by listing items no one else has thought of. Each unique item is worth one point.
One person acts as the host. The host does not play but must select a murderer and a detective. She does this duck-duck-goose style, by asking everyone in the group to sit in a circle with eyes closed. She then elects a murderer by tapping on someone’s head twice and a detective by tapping on someone else's head once. When all eyes are open, the detective sits in the middle, and the murderer must begin “killing” fellow campers by winking at them.
The objective for the murderer is to do his killing without getting caught. The detective is charged with figuring out who is doing all this winking. The idea for everyone else is to die, when they are winked at, in dramatic and glorious fashion. Throughout the course of game play, the detective makes three guesses as to who the murderer is. If she guesses correctly, she becomes the host. If she doesn't nab the killer, she must remain the detective for another round of murder.
Leigha Butler is co-owner of The Yoga House in Kingston, N.Y., where she teaches Vinyasa and Ashtanga-based yoga classes and workshops. Her teaching emphasizes anatomical alignment, individual modifications and hands-on adjustments. She is also a lecturer in college English, specializing in literature of the environment. Butler holds a Master of Arts in English from University of Nevada, Reno.