Now that I’m an adult*I don’t play games much anymore. I used to play all sorts of games, particularly in my mid twenties when it seemed completely normal to turn the kitchen and dining room of our flat into a tennis court and battle against housemates and visitors alike using frying pans for rackets.
Now the only time I play games is when we go camping.
Camping games aren’t only for when you arrive; first you have to keep yourself amused on the way to the camping spot. This is one of those times when I can say, ‘It’s about the journey, man’
Games to play on the journey
– Car Cricket
Car cricket is a traditional game where ‘runs’ are assigned to different car colours from one run to six runs and another colour as the ‘out’ car. Each player bats in turn, getting the runs of each car that passes by until an out car passes by. It’s not as fun as Spotto.
Everyone has played Spotto on a long car journey as a kid they just probably didn’t call it Spotto. A good spotto list has a few easy items (like a horse) and a few items that are unlikely to be spottoed by every person playing (like an airport). Our spotto has a distinct Australian twist to it with things like road kill, a tyre swan and a death road always making the list. What’s a death road? Well drive through enough country towns in Australia and you’ll see many have a Cemetery Road on the outskirts but any road that refers to death will do.
We also award points for any creek named after a friend or family member that can be spottoed.
Rules for Spotto
– List for spotto must be made and agreed on during the first travelling day of the trip
– To score a point a player must yell “Spotto” then the item
– Once the item has been spottoed other players must spotto another of the same item to be awarded points
– Items on the spotto list can be spottoed by each player only once
– Points may be scored at any time during the trip (not only while travelling in the car)
– Winner of spotto gets bragging rights until the next camping trip
Games to play while camping
Bocce, boules, petanque, whatever name you call it by, it makes a great camping game. Bocce is not a physically taxing sport and it’s one that can be played with a beverage in your hand. What more could you ask for in a camping game?
The aim of bocce is to get your balls closest to the jack. If you don’t have any hope of doing this the aim is to ruin the game by careering your ball through all those already on the pitch and scattering them everywhere thereby making the winner completely random rather then the player with the most skill.
Lots of caravan parks have tennis courts that can be used for free. These are great but so often they are occupied by pesky kids from sunrise to sunset. Even if you do score a court the kids often line themselves up along the edge and stare you down until they get a go. I just know they are thinking, ‘God this old lady is unco’. But I’m not really that old.
So for this reason I prefer a simple game of hit to hit on the road. But as I am mature now I use a real tennis racket rather than a frying pan.
Card games and camping, they go together like barbeques and sausages which also appear when camping. Some card games are banned within my group of friends. Well, actually, some people are banned from being paired together in card games because when they win all the time it’s no fun for everyone else. You know who you are!
– Board games
Risk (the game of world domination) is the king of board games. The aim of the game is to fulfil your secret mission by taking over and holding countries and continents with armies controlled by the roll of dice. It sounds geeky (because it is – dungeons & dragons anyone?) but play the game and soon you will see it descend into a farce. Petty squabbles start over who occupies certain countries and people become blatantly patriotic and needlessly loyal despite there being little strategic advantage. Like all good board games it takes forever and generally leads to name calling which then deteriorates into bullying as one player is ganged up on because everyone just wants it to end so they can go to bed.
*This is debatable