- RED ROVER
since we grew up without television (ok, I can't lie...we did have CBC... on cloudy days...), outdoor games happened a lot. We had a "Guest House" in the camp that we grew up in (it was for visiting bigwigs of the logging company) and it had a fabulous back yard that was the meeting place for all the kids. We spent hours playing Red Rover and British Bulldog - now that I am older, I don't really remember the difference...but basically it involved 2 teams and one person running like a madman trying to break through the chain of arms on the opposite team. I am amazed that no one ever broke an arm! Please note that I do not know those people in the picture...but since I wasn't a scrapbooker when I was 10, I had to rely on google to provide the image for me!
Technically, we didn't own this game...but my Granny did. She would play this (or Yahtzee which was not my favourite) with us and do everything possibly to avoid "bonking" anyone elses men back to the home square. And when she did have to "bonk", she would repeat how truly sorry she was!
3. MILLE BOURNE (card game)
I have no idea where we ever got this game. I am the only one in my family who speaks French and this was a French card game... It was only ever played when we were on our boat (which was a lot of the time) while we were waiting to catch something. Somehow, we got this crazy rule that we couldn't eat until we caught something that we could keep (if it was too small or a dogfish, it didn't count)... so we spent a lot of time starving and a lot of time playing this game.
4. KING'S CORNERS (card game)
So yes, poor television deprived me usually spent the majority of the summer either at a cabin at a lake (let's be honest and call it a shack...running water came from a macgyver-like invention my dad rigged up to the creek, no electricity, and our toilet location changed depending on which bush was closest to the cabin without getting us in trouble for going too close!) or on our boat in the middle of the ocean. We played a lot of cards. A lot. But this one I usually only played with my Grampa C. He was good and would give a little cough when I was missing an opportunity and he loved to tease me when I got down to last my last card, he would pretend like he was going to say it first but always let me get away with it.
Remember this fun little game? Such a simple game but provided hours of fun...and I think in later years, they made a version with only black and white pegs and it was just as much fun!
6. DONKEY KONG by COLECO
I have no idea how we ever got so lucky as to get the Coleco when it first came out but I don't think you have ever seen 4 more excited kids in your life! Seriously! I can honestly only remember Donkey Kong so it is quite possible that was the only game we ever got for it but then again, my memory isn't the best lately. The difference between video games now and then is quite simply incredible...but the biggest difference I remember? We didn't sit for hours and play it, we sat as a family on a Friday night and played...as a family. And I still remember the little ditty that went with it!
Okay so not really a game, but I sure spent a lot of time building forts. We would sneak dishes and books and pretty much anything we could get away with to make our fort more like a home. I seem to remember my mom going crazy about the broom missing until I decided to bring it back from the fort before I got caught! And we hit the motherload of all forts when we got brave enough to venture into the train yard and build a fort on an old train.... we were so cool!
So you know how you get older and you think about things you did as a kid and wonder how you ever survived it?? Yeah...this is one of those games.
As a kid, pretty much everyone had dirt bikes. And I waited for the day till I was old enough to get one...and then my brother had to go and ruin it all by playing chicken with a friend, crashing and getting his finger cut off. Gone went my dreams of a dirt bike. I was not happy. But then a new girl moved to camp ( woohoo, we went from 3 girls my age to 4!!) and she had one. I got caught riding it once, got severely punished, and decided not to try that again... but then one day we got this brilliant idea that my rather long skipping rope would work really well to have her tow me on my pedal bike! Yeah... you see where this is going right?!
We tied up my hot red banana seat bike to her little dirt bikes and we rode around the back roads of camp (which is funny if you knew that camp was all back roads) thinking we were so smart.... My hair blowing in the wind, feeling the need for speed but yet I wasn't breaking the rules, I wasn't riding the dirt bike.... but gravel roads are not made for bicycles to be going that fast. The wipeout was spectacular - but how on earth was I going to explain the blood all over my body? No need...because as I lay on the ground bawling, my dad decided to drive down the back road and find his daughter caught up in a mess of gravel, blood and a bright pink skipping rope. Towtruck ended. And I vowed never to spank my child when they were bleeding.
You sunk my battleship! I hated saying those words...this was one game I hated losing. Hated. So I got smart enough to figure out if I bent the pegs of the battleship just a little bit, I could actually get the battleship in on a diagonal...hence fooling anyone I played with! But it didn't take long for my brothers and sister to catch on. Looking back at it now, I don't think I ever knew that the battleships were war ships...wonder what I thought they were?
10. PET MANIA
Okay, so I made up the name for this game... because there wasn't really a name. I loved pets and loved doing anything with them. My friend Lianne loved dressing her cats up in doll cloths and I thought it was the coolest idea I had ever seen. Two problems with that though - I didn't have a cat and I hated dolls so didn't have those either. I once came home on the school bus with a cat in my backpack thinking that once my mom saw how cute it was she would let us keep it. Wrong.
So usually we borrowed whomever's pet we could - we played veterinarian, dress up, and somehow I even got the brilliant idea to do a pet parade. I think it only happened once because untrained pets (we lived in camp, who had a leash?!) should not be brought into close quarters with other untrained pets. But here for your viewing pleasure, is the picture of the famous Nimpkish Pet Parade in 1977 - can you figure out which one is me?!