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Your Guide to Capture the Flag

If you're looking for something to do with a big group of friends on a hot and sunny day, why not step outside and try a couple of rounds of Capture the Flag? It's a lot of fun, it doesn't require a whole lot of preparation and it's been around for years and years.

Capture the Flag - A Brief History

Believe it or not, Capture the Flag originated on the battlefield of some of the most deadly wars in history. In fact, that was exactly how all the soldiers knew when a battle was over - once the enemy's flag was captured, both sides considered the skirmish settled. In the Civil War, soldiers that were able to either capture the enemy's flag or save their own were rewarded with a Medal of Honor. Nobody knows for sure when Capture the Flag took off as an outdoor activity, but Boy Scouts have been playing the game for over 60 years!

Capture the Flag - Setting Up

First of all, a big open space just isn't going to work. Since a big part of this game involves hiding and ducking around corners, a more forested area would be ideal. As far as how many players you need, it doesn't really matter as long as both teams are equal (although at least five per team is generally a good number). The playing field must be divided into three areas, with the two teams separated by a neutral space. Each team must hide their flag somewhere in their area, making sure that nobody from the opposing team can see where it is. If you don't have a couple of flags handy, pretty much anything will do (stuffed animals, CDs, a poster of Hilary Duff, etc).

Capture the Flag - Playing the Game

Now, both teams get five minutes to hide their flags. Once the flags are hidden, the game begins. Obviously, in order to win the game, you must capture the other team's flag (duh!) and bring it back to your own territory. But if an enemy team member grabs you while you're standing on their part of the field, they are allowed to take you straight to jail (which is a small patch of land in their territory). You can be freed from jail if one of your team members touches you, and there's no limit to how many times you can be thrown back into the slammer. Though the game works best outdoors, there's no reason why you couldn't play inside on a rainy day!

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