There is a wonderful sport that you can play anywhere in the outdoors so long as you have access to a plentiful variety of sticks and small spheroid rocks. It is sure to pass hours of enjoyment and even contains an element of danger.
The game is called Rock Hockey.
The sport begins with wandering into the brush to find the perfect stick. Of course, each player will have their own notion of the ideal stick. My stellar career at the sport is ample evidence that my selections are best. I look for a stick that is no longer than a ruler and has a slight curve at the end. It also must be thick enough to win when up against another stick in a quick bludgeoning, which will become clear later on.
The match cannot begin until you have laughed and made fun of your opponent’s selection and he has angrily said something dismissive about your parentage.
Next, you must agree on a rock. You will pick up a nearby rock, but your opponent will scoff that it is too big, or too small, or not spherical enough. You will simply say that it has character. Ignoring you, your opponent will wander, head bowed through the forest searching for a spherical rock with a diameter no bigger than a quarter.
When he presents his find to you, you must roll your eyes and say something about how it will bring you no pleasure to beat him with such a boring rock. You should then magnanimously relent to his selection.
Now you establish two goals separated anywhere from four to ten feet apart. Ideally, you establish a pitch that has a few more obstacles one one side of the pitch then the other and you generously tell your opponent that you will take that side.
You begin by putting the rock in the middle of the pitch. At the count of three, you both swipe at the rock. Whomever loses the bludgeoning (identified by the fact that the rock ended up on his side of the pitch), gets to take a single swipe at the rock.
Then you take turns trying to hit the rock into the opponent’s goal. When a goal is scored, you set the rock in the middle of the field for another bludgeoning.
A beginner to Rock Hockey believes that the object of the game is to score the most points, but those of us who have played extensively understand that the true objective is to see how many camping companions you can frustrate. In a really competitive game, it is often difficult to determine who wins…or rather loses.
You will find that arguments that arise from the game can persist through the better part of a hike, or a whole camping trip. I have one buddy who still won’t talk to me and we last played in 1998.