Top Programming Ideas 2005

An even number of players sit in a circle and pass two objects around the circle. One object is the Rabbit. It gets passed to every other person in the circle. The other object is the Fox. It gets passed to every other person in the circle who is not passing the Rabbit.

The Fox and the Rabbit start on opposites sides of the circle. The object of the game is for the Fox to catch and overtake the Rabbit. This happens when they end up at the same place in the circle at the same time. When this happens one point is scored for the Fox team.

Once the Fox has caught the Rabbit the people who were passing the Rabbit begin the next round by passing the Fox. The Fox and Rabbit can travel in either direction in the circle. The objects being passed must not skip anyone on the team and the objects are never thrown from person to person.


Take two sheets or more of newspaper, wad it up, and wrap masking tape around the paper forming a ball. The rules are:

• Players spread out and can not move from their positions.

• No talking.

• Ball is thrown underhand.

• If a player drops the ball he/she is out of the game. If the player over throws the ball they are out of the game.

• Pass the ball quickly. Players may not hold the ball for more than three seconds.

• Last person(s) are winners.


People sit in a circle. One person whispers a statement to the person next to them and so on until the last person hears the message. This person tells it out loud.

The first person tells what the original statement was. This game is always good for a laugh.

Be careful as to the type of message being sent.

What If

• You could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

• You had a million dollars?

• You were on a desert island? Who would you want to be with?

• What three things would you take with you?

• What books would you take with you?

• How would you like to live life?

Ask the kids different questions. This is a good get-to-know-you game too!

–Jeff Merhige is the executive director of YMCA Camp Kern, Dayton YMCA, Dayton, Ohio.

Lands for Learning

Recently, YMCA Storer Camps has undertaken a rather large long- term project to enhance the diversity of our lands by improving and promoting valuable native ecosystems found on camp.

The Lands for Learning project, as it is called, seeks to further the mission of camp by involving staff and campers in projects that enable them to be better stewards of our land. We actively involve our campers in one of our most important and largest projects concerned with Lands for Learning, which is the removal of exotic and invasive plant species such as European and Glossy Buckthorn.

The activity, which is becoming one of the most popular on camp, gives campers the opportunity to learn about these invasive species, how to identify them and the detrimental effects they have on native ecosystems.

After learning how to properly identify Buckthorn campers are given the opportunity to take part in the removal of these invasive plants from camp lands.

The ability to not only learn about invasive species, but also use that knowledge in a hands-on application is an extremely valuable and rewarding experience for the campers and staff involved.

The activity gives students ownership in camp programs and the ability to take part in an immediately visible and lasting change that has a positive affect on the landscape and the participants as well.

–John Marlatt is the adventure program coordinator for YMCA Storer Camps in Jackson, Mich.

They Shoot, They Score!

• Russian Football is played with two teams; teams line up facing each other, and each member has a number. Between the teams are two old brooms and an old towel. When your number is called, you (and the corresponding person from the other team) run out and pick up a broom and try to sweep or otherwise move the towel across your starting line. The player who gets the towel safely home first scores a point for her/his team. The towel and brooms are returned to the middle, and another number is called.

• All-sports baseball is played like baseball, except that when the “batter” steps up, he/she can select the sport of their choice. If the sport is soccer, the “batter” kicks the soccer ball as far as possible, then runs the bases (as in baseball). If the sport is Frisbee, the “batter” throws the Frisbee.

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