Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

New Import: Capture the Flag

March 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

Well its been two weeks since I have volunteered at the New Hope Christian Center Youth Club. Last week, the kids in Lakenham had off from school, so club was canceled.

On my journey over to the centre, I thought two things:

1. This is the week we decided we were going to try capture the flag, a game that does not seem to be as big in UK.

2. Oh wait… it’s kind of cold outside… this could be… fun

So we did decide to try capture the flag, using two tea towels as flags. For the first few round we tried playing a simplified version of the game where each team hides their flag and goes and looks for the respective team’s flag without anyone tagging anyone. First team to find the other team’s flag wins. Given no one had ever played the game before, this seemed like a good move, and the kids seemed to have fun. One kid declared the game was boring when we first said we were playing (An interesting conclusion since he had never played) but was quite invested into finding the other team’s flag within seconds.

After two quick rounds of this simplified game, we switched to an altered version of the regular game. Now one could tag someone from the other team if they were on “your side” of the field. Instead of going to a jail or team base, as is custom, the kid had to freeze a la the game “stick in the mud” until someone from his or her team tagged him. This game went well for about ten minutes. At that point, all the kid’s attention spans kicked in and they began complaining that neither team was finding the flag. Clearly, they argued, someone cheated. Frustration ensued, but luckily at this point it was time for a snack break.

The centre was out of biscuits, but luckily the younger kids had been making pancakes in celebration of “Pancake Day” next week (celebrated at the beginning of Lent, and way bigger here than in the U.S., where there are variations of it) So we gave the older kids some of the pancakes. These were not real American pancakes of course, but rather those crepe-like things.

After break, the kids decided to play manhunt, as usual. Once again, this was quite successful. It was cold outside, but the kids did not seem to mind.

I am amazed none of the kids had ever played capture the flag before. The game was such an integral part of my childhood. I remember playing at least two or three times a week as a kid. Was it as big elsewhere in the United States? Anyone never play before? Is it a regional thing or a national thing?

Volunteered on 02/03/2011

From 18:00-20:00

2 Hours: Total of 14 Hours

New Hope Christian Centre

Supervisor: Duane Elkins

Tags: 2010 Andrew