This is a great game to play when you’re outdoors surrounded by natural obstacles. Use it to enhance a hike, a campout, or just to kill time in the neighbourhood. No skills, no equipment, no budget, no problem. It’s really easy. Once your group knows how to play, you can play anywhere, anytime and students love the game. I’ve only tried it with about 10-30 players, so you’d have to adapt it for larger or smaller groups. Here’s how to play.

Object:

Camouflage is a variation of Hide and Seek. The object is to be the person who can hide closest to the seeker without being spotted, hence the name ‘camouflage’. The winner gets to be the seeker in the next round or may award the seeker title to another person.

Set Up:

To begin, pick a seeker. When the seeker is ready, he or she yells “camouflage”, closes his eyes, and counts to 60 (or whatever). The other players hide as close as possible to the seeker using trees, rocks, ditches, vehicles, etc., to block the seekers view of their bodies. Once hidden players stay in the hiding spot until seen or until called out when the game is over. You can specify the length of each game before hand (5-10 minute games are normal)

Play:

When the seeker opens her eyes, she should feel all alone, but know the rest of group is close by. She is allowed to pivot (like in basketball), but can’t move off her original spot. To catch someone, she must be able to see them. “I see a guy in a red shirt lying in the ditch.” When a player hears himself described, he is caught, and leaves the hiding spot without alerting the seeker to anyone else’s presence.

End Game:

Play until all players are caught or the time limit is reached. If players remain hidden after the time limit, yell “game over”, and all players emerge from their spots. The winner is the one who was hiding the closest. If necessary you can measure the distance by pacing a direct line from the each hiding spot to the seeker.

Once a winner is determined, he or she becomes the new seeker, and the former seeker gets to hide. It’s best if you can move the game to a new area so that the seeker has a different vantage point, and players can use different obstacles for camouflage.

(I first encountered this game at Stevenson Children’s Camp, in Ontario, Canada)

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