I trust that you are all well and looking forward to the New Year, I have been very busy of late and not had a great deal of time to write on here, I hope this will change in the coming year. I thought I would share with you a game I played with a group of young boys in a residential school I once worked in.
The game requires one person to be blindfolded and I would normally start this off as it serves several functions.
1. I get to pay and practise my own skills instead of teaching all the time.
2. The boys get to see how the game will work for them when it is their turn to be blindfolded.
3. It presents them with a chance of out witting me which they love to do, its great fun for them. 4. Over a period of time they learn to slow down and to tune in to their environment if they do not want to be caught.
5. It teaches them to be silent without you having to drum it into them, not that you or I would do that.
OK, first you need to find yourself a suitable location, I used a woodland with a slope on it and with a track running through the woods. I then sat on the edge of the track looking across it towards the wooded slope. I then place two members of staff one either side of me, they were my observers.
The observers job was to get the boys who were caught by me to return to the start point some 20 - 30 metres away from the track, you will need to judge what the best distance is for your group and for the environment that you are in.
The aim for the boys was to move down the slope and to stalk up on me without me sensing where they where and to touch me on the foot, this meant that they had achieved their goal. I also put in out of bounds areas so that they did not wander of too far or even out of sight from the staff. The staff were not aloud to give their positions away to me.
My role was to sit blindfolded in peripheral vision and when I sensed where someone was I would point in that direction, the staff member either side of me would decide if I had caught someone or not. At first this was easy to do as the boys would be making lots of noise because they were eager to tag me, but they soon realised that they were getting caught a lot, as a result of this they were forced to slow down, thus allowing me also to slow down and get in tune with my senses.
After an hour of this a few began to succeed in tagging me, moving up behind me, approaching from the side even a direct approach from the front. And on the way back to school it was all they talked about, how they were able to get up close and tag me and the ones who did not manage it would do it in the future because they would have learnt from their mistakes and from observing the boys who did tag me.
I believe that they were successful because they tapped into the hunter inside every man and this memory allowed them to move and be in such a way that it does not require them to sit and learn from behind a desk, all it needed was for them to get in touch with themselves in nature and the rest came naturally.
This is a great game, you can have hours of fun, modify the rules of the game as you go along but importantly for them their confidence grew, and grew and for me, well I got to play as well...