Stalking & Awareness Games
Everyone gets one bandana to hide in the nearby woods. After the bandanas are hidden, people try to collect as many as possible without being seen by another person. If you see someone touching a bandana, you yell “busted!” and get a point.
People act out an animal they are thinking of without making a sound. Everyone else tries to guess what they are.
Find the Object
Everyone is shown an object for 3 seconds that can be found nearby. They then have 30 seconds to find it and bring it back.
One person stands in front of everyone else. Then everyone turns away while the person changes something about themselves. Then everyone tries to figure out what it is.
Everyone is blindfolded a considerable distance away. One person beats a drum slowly. The campers try to find the drum by following the sound, navigating the woods without eyesight.
Set up is an open area with fallen logs to stand on, and a small, soft ball on a string suspended from a high branch. While balancing on the logs, campers try to hit the swinging ball with their “lightsaber” sticks. A player is out if they are hit by the ball or fall off their log. Last player wins the round. Play in timed rounds with 3-5 players each round. A variation for younger/less coordinated campers is to stand on one leg instead of on a log. If the second leg touches the ground, they’re out.
Follow the Leader
The group starts a rhythm of clapping, or tapping, or stomping, etc. The rhythm is led and changed by one person who is kept a secret. One person is the detective and they try to figure out who is the leader of the changing rhythm.
Keeper of the Keys
One person is seated on the ground blindfolded with an object(s) in front of them while everyone else is spread out in a very wide circle. People try to stalk in and take the object without being heard and pointed at by the blindfolded person.
- Considerations for Success: This game is best done if prefaced with some stalking practice. First teach the campers how to fox walk; then let them practice on each other, and then move into the game.
- Suggestions for Framing: This is a way for campers to improve their stalking skills by helping them practice or learn how to walk silently.
- Potential Pitfalls: Campers run and steal the object instead of stalking. All the campers are moving at the same time. People throw sticks or rocks to trick the blindfolded person.
Otter Steals Fish (Variation of Keeper of the Keys)
The seated blindfolded person is a Great Blue Heron who just collected a bunch of fish to eat but needed a quick nap before supper. Everyone else are otters who are trying to sneak up on the heron to steal “fish” — short sticks that are 8-12 inches long. The fish can be placed on the ground in front of the Heron; alternately they could be placed on the seated person’s legs, making this a much greater challenge. If the Heron detects an approaching Otter, they point at them, and the otter is out.
Stalk your Partner
Pairs of people find a place away from everybody else. They spread out from each other about ten steps away. One person turns away, while the other tries to touch them on the shoulder without being heard.
- Considerations for Success: First, teach campers the stalking step. Don’t play this on dry leaves or other noisy material like snow. Try this on wet leaves or grass.
- Suggestions for Framing: Deer have powerful hearing and notice at least as much as your partner. This is a chance to really push your skills even if you don’t make it all the way to touching your partner.
- Potential Pitfalls: Ground is too noisy. Partners are too close to other groups and it’s confusing as to who is being heard.
- To accommodate physical distancing, have campers try to tap their partner on the shoulder with a thin stick or a fern instead of with their hand.
Meet a Tree
People are paired up. One is blindfolded and led by the other person to a tree. They are then brought back to the starting point, where they can take their blindfold off and try to find their tree.
Lay out a trail of string that is tied from tree to tree. Blindfolded campers follow the string through all kinds of terrain.
Bat and Moth
Make a circle around two people. One is blindfolded (the bat) and the other must keep moving (the moth). The bat tries to catch the moth by using sound.
- Significant modifications needed. Campers must maintain physical distance while avoiding the tagger. Try making the circle substantially bigger than normal. Have the Bat stand still in the center of the circle and throw bandana balls to tag.
Search and Rescue
Make teams of four. One person is ‘lost’ about 50 feet away. One person is blindfolded trying to find them. They are directed by the other two people. One of which is mute but can see, while the other cannot see what is happening but can talk.
Pass the Rock
A stone is passed from person to person in a circle. People pretend to pass the rock when they don’t have it. A detective steps into the circle and tries to figure out who is holding the rock.
- Have people sit a little farther apart, and have everyone wash or sanitize hands after playing.
This game is for night time. An object(s) is placed near the fire. Campers try to stalk in and steal the item while instructors sit around the fire.
Materials needed: blindfolds, 1 object symbolizing a rabbit (bandana ball or stick)
Instructions: Group divides into 2 teams. One team stands in a circle, blindfolded and facing outward. The object symbolizing a rabbit is lying in the middle of the circle of blindfolded participants (they should be 6-8 steps from the object and 4-5 steps from each other). The other group (in the role of foxes) tries to approach and touch the object. When the blindfolded participants hear a fox, they have to point their fingers in the direction from which the fox is coming. If the indication is correct, the fox must go back to its starting position. The fox that silently passes through the circle and touches the “rabbit” wins. When this occurs, there is a change of groups. The victory of the group is determined based on the time it takes to catch the rabbit.
Create a long row of sturdy sticks/branches that are spaced out at about a foot apart like ladder rungs. In the middle is an object (bandana ball) balanced on the end of a stick stuck in the ground. One person stands at each end of the ladder rungs facing each other. They must stalk towards the stick and take the object before the other. They can’t step on a stick, and they must keep eye contact with each other the entire time.
- Considerations for Success: This game is an advanced stalking game not intended for a rowdy group of campers.
- Suggestions for Framing: When truly stalking an animal, you must always be aware of where it’s looking to know when to freeze. It’s about wide-angle vision.
- Potential Pitfalls: Campers don’t take it seriously and step on each other. Too many people make the log stalk too long, or too few make it too short. Roughly 10-12 people is an ideal sized group.