Tag Archives: archery

Field games

Yesterday there was an archery party at Redwood Bowmen, and Neal asked Spot the Octopus to sing at the event. He had asked us to sing for a similar party around this time last year, and that’s when we all got into archery. We sang a fun set and the crowd seemed really entertained! Squirrel was a favorite.

There was an entire roast pig (on a spit that was driven down from four hours away!) and all kinds of feasting and friends and fun. There were a few members of Spot who couldn’t make the archery party last year, so we got to teach them archery this time!!! And we have a few friends who just got their bows in and shot them for the first time. Carolyn would have shot her new bow if they hadn’t mixed up her stuff — her limbs and riser didn’t fit together. But we had several 30# bows to go around, and Javan and Fritz had fixed up a bunch of arrows on Friday for me to use with my 29# bow, so it was great!

Carolyn always wants to play sardines. So late in the evening, she said, “let’s play sardines!” and we went outside the range house and found a bunch of teenagers playing hide and seek. So Carolyn said, “let’s play sardines!” and thus began a night of running around the entire archery range in the dark and tripping on things and sustaining hilarious minor injuries and having people half our age run circles around us. The highlight of the night was a zombie game of our own making.

One person is it, and they run away and hide somewhere. Everybody else stays in the starting area, closes their eyes, and counts to 50. Once 50 is reached, everyone disperses and looks for it. If you find them, you have to HIDE WITH THEM, hence the name–you end up pretty squished by the time 5 people have found the group, and the group becomes harder to conceal, adding to the hilarity. The last person to find the sardines is it next round.

Come Into My Lair
You have to learn everybody’s names. We had two people be it, since there were so many of us. There is a designated lair, which usually has a bench. To begin the game, it (or the team that are it) close their eyes and count to 50 and stay in the starting area while everybody else runs and hides. Then the it people roam around and look for us. If they see us, they yell “[yourname], come into my lair!” and if you hear your name called in this fashion, you must stop running away and report to the lair. You sit at the lair until someone else comes stealthily up to the lair and frees you by tagging you. Of course, they have to do this when it (or the multiple its) are not watching the lair. This was hilarious. I saved everyone multiple times by dashing around the building (once I smashed my head against a drainage pipe under the eaves on the far side of the range house). One of the kids hid in plain sight for like five minutes against the brick stove practically inside the lair. After the building shenanigans, I spent a lot of time face down under some ferns at the base of a tree near the lair. Carolyn hid for most of the game but saved us all gloriously towards the end. This game went on for a very long time and didn’t really finish–we grew tired and called a break, which ended up turning into starting over with a new game.

Bloody Wolf
There is one wolf. Everybody else runs and hides. There is one safe object (in our case, a wooden pole on the side of the brick stove). The objective of the nonwolves is to sneak up and touch the safe object, but you can only touch the safe object after you yell “bloody wolf,” and you can only yell “bloody wolf” if you can see the wolf. If the wolf tags you, you’re out. So this one has a lot more chasing and is much more fast-paced than come into my lair. There was an epic standoff between the wolf and two kids who somehow got on the roof of the wood shed.

Someone suggested playing ‘zombie tag,’ which was: one person starts out as the zombie, and if they tag you, you also become a zombie… and so on. We took this concept and changed it: there are three zombies, and everybody else is a survivor. We took two lawn chairs and brought them to the middle of the archery range. The objective of the survivors is to bring at least one of the chairs back (the chair being a stand-in for ‘supplies’ of course) to the safe area without being tagged (a two-handed touch). The objective of the zombies is to tag all of the survivors. The catch: the zombies can only olympic powerwalk. This was far and away the best game of the night. When you’re a survivor wading into a dark archery field full of zombies, and you know you’re faster than them but they just keep coming at you out of nowhere, it’s actually really terrifying. And hilarious. One round I was a survivor and snuck up on a chair, took it, and ran screaming. I might have made it if I hadn’t narrowly missed a bench in the middle of the field and then completely ate it by veering into a ditch. Overcome by zombies!!! Fritz was a survivor the first round and when Bryce rose out of the little bridge in the middle of the field Fritz took off screaming.

Fritz ended up in nettles. It was minor — just the inside of his wrist, but you could see how puffy the reaction was, and by this morning it had reduced down to a series of raised red prick marks. We both had some splinters from diving to the ground. One of mine was really hard to get out this morning, and hurt a surprising amount while seeming really small. It turned out to be really long when we finally got it out.

Running around fields is awesome. And I didn’t even sprain my ankle, gopher holes and all!


Yesterday, Fritz, Peanut and l went to the Redwood Bowmen Archery Range! It’s behind Chabot Science & Space center (which I’ve never gone to) in Oakland. It was a beautiful, beautiful day.

We shot loaner recurve bows, while the more experienced archers (such as Fritz’s family friend, Neil) shot their compound bows. Peanut and I started out on 20-pounders and then shared a 25-pounder between us (that’s what… she said?). Fritz borrowed Neil’s 50-pounder recurve bow, but he’s gone shooting more than we have (my second time, Peanut’s first), so he’s had a chance to develop the relevant muscles. Fritz made a face I’ve never seen him make before the first time he drew back the 50-pound bow. It was hilarious. I could draw it back halfway… barely, but I did loose an arrow and it did hit cardboard, so hooray! Muscles!

Peanut and I shot at the nearest targets for a while (10 feet), and then moved on to the 15-foot targets. I worked on keeping my left shoulder down and rotating my arm so that the inside of my elbow faces sideways, not up to the sky. I also learned that I’m not supposed to grip the bow with my left hand, because that’ll torque it (and make the arrow go to the side), which is hard to get used to because you think that you’re gonna drop the bow. I also found that when I was drawing back, my right elbow didn’t go high enough, so I changed that. Sometimes my body would do everything right and a shot would feel pretty good and fly pretty straight. Most of the time my arrows floated to the left or bounced lamely off of the target, haha.

We saw gamer Jon from Eudemonia, who is as new to archery as I am. Neil and another archer took the three of us on the big field range, too, which was awesome! You hike on a trail through the forest on the hillside and shoot at printed animal targets. They’ve got a solid black circle on their heart, and a ring around that to represent a kill shot (piercing a lung). I don’t think I ever hit an animal, but I got cardboard sometimes, so that’s okay. The hike was super nice, though. It was good to get out of the sun for a while.

Damage sustained:

  • My elbow bends pretty far, so I twanged the inside of my elbow repeatedly. (“Twanged” is my own word for “when I released the bowstring, the bowstring hit me omg ow”. I don’t know if there’s an actual name for this in the community.) I moved my forearm protector up to my elbow and promptly twanged my forearm. There are bruises. Yesterday the bruises were really raised and red. Today they are still raised (less than yesterday at least!) and fading to purple.
  • I twanged my boob twice. It stung. It stung worse the 2nd time. I’m not really used to my boob being in the way of stuff.
  • During the hill course, I tried to climb on the horizontal trunk a fallen tree that was suspended my height above a hillside. I reached up and grabbed a branch that was coming out of the top of the trunk with my right hand and wrapped myself around the tree. I was holding the trunk with my legs and left hand, suspended under the tree, when I moved my right hand higher on the branch so I could pull myself up to the top of the trunk. Of course the branch snapped (it was old, I should have seen it was dry) so I fell into some bushes on my back. It was really sad. I have some scrapes and my back hurts. But I’m not paralyzed.
  • Everything hurts and also I didn’t really sleep the night before because I was using railstutorial.org to create a a website. haha. So everything hurts
  • .

I’m pretty clumsy. At least I only hurt myself, not anyone else. Going outside is dangerous!!!