by Kit
Published: Updated: 496 views

“This game is still favourite in our mixed teen woodcraft folk group. It’s not as tasteless as it sounds [Editor: it was orignally titled “Grope”] but it does involve contact and rough play.”

Andrew Watkins, Banbury Woodcraft Folk. Shared Sky Venturers Group (Ages 13..16)

You need at least 9 players and its best with about 21 or 31. There needs to be an odd number of players.

Everyone pairs off and sits in a big circle with one member of the pair facing inwards and the other member of the pair sitting close behind them also facing inwards. One person sitting in the circle is without a partner – they go first.

Everyone is given a number – they keep that number for the rest of the game. You can give every couple different numbers but it also works well if you run from 1 to 9 and start again so that 2 or 4 or 6 people end up with the same number.

The solitary person then calls out one or more numbers e.g. 4,7,2. The front person of each couple that has this number now has to try to make their way to the solitary person. The back person simply tries to stop them. This is where the robust contact comes in as the back person hangs on whilst the front person crawls across the floor.

The first person to reach the caller and give them a hug, kiss or whatever token you choose wins that round. They take their place behind the old caller and the person they escaped from becomes the new caller. If no one seems to be making any progress the caller can add some more numbers.

A very lonely person can call “scrum” (or some other keyword) at which point every front person will try to get to them. This can end in quite a heap.


Instead of numbers, the caller can try for specific characteristics such as everyone wearing red, people born in February. The difference then is that instead of the back person waiting for a specific number to be called they have to decide whether their partner is going to move and act accordingly.

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