This blog post is hidden because you have chosen to ignore DintyWMoore. Show Details
This blog post is hidden because you have submitted an abuse report against it. Show Details
My fondest memories of growing up, some of the most magical moments, revolve around games. Not the type played at the dining room table -- though Monopoly and Clue were fun, certainly -- but the kind we would play in the woods, or the backyards, those sorts of games that involved running, hiding, and leaping.
Kick the Can was especially magical because it was usually played at dusk, and the darker and darker the evening grew, the more dangerous and magical the game seemed. It was very simple: there was a can in my neighbor’s driveway, and four or five neighborhood kids would guard the can. They had to tag those of us on the other team before we kicked the can, and we had to kick the can before we were tagged and taken prisoner. If they tagged all of us, and the can remained intact, they won. If we managed to kick the can across the driveway before being tagged, we won. These were the only rules (except, I believe, when one parent complained, we added a rule about not going through someone’s front door and coming out the back door in order to evade capture.)
Another game, also a variant on capture the flag, was Ringolevio. We played this in the woods, at summer day camp, with teams of twenty on either side. It was particularly thrilling because we had acres of playing field, most of it forested. As a boy, I often played a game called ‘Army,” but this game, with 40 kids, and so much territory, felt like the real thing.
Ringolevio went like this: One team of twenty went off to hide in the woods. The other team set up a jail in an open location. The second team, after a certain set time, entered the woods to try to capture us. They would have to grab us and yell “1, 2, 3, Ringolevio!” If we could not wriggle fee in the time it took them to shout that phrase, we were jailed.
There were more rules, having to do with being freed from jail, or capturing a pursuer and tagging them out of the game, but the real fun was running through the woods, half-scared, half-exhilarated, and trying not to get caught. This was a summer day camp for lower income city kids, so there were no color-coordinated t-shirts to distinguish one team from the other. The camp counselors simply used mercurochrome to paint red X’s on the foreheads of half the kids and red O’s on the foreheads of the other half. That was fun too. I remember forming a fierce loyalty to the ‘O’ team, simply because I was one of them.
My older sisters would play Kick the Can alongside the boys, but Ringolevio was all boys because camp was all boys. I don’t know what games were played at the girl’s camp, but I’d be curious.
I remember that the neighborhood girls spent far more time at hopscotch and jumping rope than we boys did, but beyond that, I suppose I could use a lesson generally in what girls did during the summer, especially the big outside games they loved to play.
So, what were your games? What were the rules? What made the games so much fun and where did you play them? Who was allowed to play?
I’m guessing we’ll get some regional variants of the same games, but that’s interesting too. Each state, each region, each hilltop, each neighborhood seemed to put a unique stamp on the games of summer, and thus each memory is different.
Bring your summer games to life.