Mediaeval Camp Theme & Wide Game

Sport and games:

archery, dance, "live" chess, falconry, maypole dancing
board games (draughts, chess, backgammon etc) and card games

Knights' Challenge / Duel jousting -ride stick "horses" with an empty paper towel roll in their hand and they have to catch a ring hanging somewhere.
Crafts and activities

Embroidery, tapestry money/ jewel pouches made out of hessian, calligraphy, pottery, paper making ,
soap making, candle dipping, writing with feather quill pens they made themselves, pot pourri sachets (to disguise the stench of the open sewers) weaving, spinning etc, leather work, illuminated manuscripts.
Heraldry (devise your own coat of arms)
'Kissing Stones." Find a bag of 1" white rocks and have the girls use old nailpolish to paint a heart on a rock. Renaissance girls would do this and slip the rock to a boy they liked. He could later exchange it for a kiss. This would be nice to take home after the event.
Candle Holder: take a soup can (or bigger), freeze water in it and make interesting designs with a nail - it becomes a candle holder when the ice melts (the ice is to keep the can intact when making holes.
Pomander balls: take an orange (available from China in 15th century, which is only sort of cheating) and put whole cloves in it. This is a scented thing that hangs in a wardrobe or drawer and smells good.
Carving - get 25lb of plaster of paris and make batches and put in school-sized milk cartons (could use bigger). Let dry, peel off the carton, and have kids carve with butter-type knife.
Jesters, Puppet shows, Juggling
Astronomy - Great advancements were made during this time, tracking planets and constellations, proving the idea of a sun centric universe, and the first telescope was invented

Feasts and banquets: Punch, no fizzy drinks except cider and beer. Mostly finger foods. Roasted or BBQ chicken legs - large joints of meat instead of portions. Venison, rabbit and game would be eaten - pork beef and lamb would be expensive. Ordinary people didn't get much meat. There were no tomatoes, potatoes, corn, sugar, rice or pasta. Use honey as a sweetener. Salt, herbs and spices would be valuable. Eat off of a "trencher" instead of a plate: Like a naan bread, pitta bread or yorkshire pudding this would be used to mop up gravy and eaten afterwards. Try stews of parnsips, turnips etc with pearl barley in.
Clothes: Tunics and tights for men. Long dresses for women. Head-dresses: a head-sized ring or two of wire garland and tie off with long curling ribbon streamers in the back (you can use the streamer colours to identify age-levels or units at a big event). More elaborate ones would incorporate silk or dried flowers, real ribbons, more garland to thicken it up.
Other details:

Old-style language: Have the girls call each other by "Lady _____" the whole time Lady Laura, Lady Katie, Lady Jennifer, etc.
Different life-style: Tease them with the fact there was no toilet paper back then and chocolate was just being invented...and only sampled by the wealthy. There were no zips, only using ties and hooks and eyes, no watches. The only utensils were spoons and knives, forks didn't exist.
Stocks (use wet sponges not rotten food!)
Sundials and hourglasses
Witches and wizards, Dragons, Unicorns, myth and fable
King Arthur, Excalibur eyc.

Music Troubadours / minstrels - Instruments that were widely used - Recorder, finger cymbals, drums, tambourine
Greensleeves, Early one morning, The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies, Lady of Shallott (poem)

Quest for Excalibur (Wide Game)
Obviously this will need adapting to your own particular circumstances and location

Start: Equipment: 2 bamboo lights, citronella oil, matches

All meet in Peg's place. Wear warm clothes, bring torches.

QUEEN: (costume) The legendary sword of the kingdom, the magical Excalibur has been stolen. I need you to find it for me. In small groups you will be going on a quest that will involve things like bravery, magic and chivalry. Please go to your subcamp leader, she will give you a token.

Equipment: 3x playing card decks with numbers 1-8 only
Jesters: 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,8
Knights: 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,7,7,8,8
Wizards: 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,6,6,7,7,8,8
Outlaws: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 (with destinations on back)
1. paddock (white tent)
2. paddock
3. ranger cabin
4. telephone box
5. giraffe hut
6. BP hut 7.
8. Camp fire circle

Sub camp leaders give out playing cards.

QUEEN: Now I have enlisted the help of the outlaws for there are some tasks only they can perform. On the token that you have been given is a number, please go to the outlaw with that number.

Split into groups.

QUEEN: The quest for Excalibur will be hard and fraught with perils. Each of you will be called upon for your special skills and talents. Each of your groups contains at least one outlaw, wizard, jester and knight. You must work together to find my lost sword. There are two rules of conduct - 1. stay in your groups and work together. 2. do not touch anything unless you are meant to. You will meet 8 people on the quest, you need to get from them something that will help you get the sword from the thief.

1. The WITCH - Paddocks (white tent) Equipment: - white tent - witches costume, witches hat - cauldron - vinegar, bicarb soda, green food colouring - torch, green cellophane - poem for mini scavenger hunt - 8 times talisman

WITCH: Welcome brave adventurers, I see there are wizards among you, come forward. I need some ingredients for a spell I'm creating - find these things for me and I'll give you a magic talisman to use against the sword thief's magic field of detection. - gives the wizard a copy of the poem to read out

The finger bone of a long dead knight,
Make it one who died of fright.
Two wings from a small grey bat
Eye of newt, tail of rat.
Find these things, but don't you mind
Don't try to fool a witch half blind. -

Guides need to find things that are about the shape of the things mentioned in the poem, the witch is half blind and in the darkness won't notice. - put all the ingredients into the cauldron, add a good dash of bicarb to make green foam - give them a talisman for the group

WITCH: Ahh, lovely, the next part of your quest is to go to the dragons lair. (Tunnel on paddocks)

2. DRAGONS LAIR - paddocks Equipment: - 2 ridge poles, ropes, pegs - tarps to cover and make a tunnel - lantern at start - glow in dark bats, spiders, bugs etc - 8 pieces of map - copy of poem needs 2 leaders. One at start of tunnel with poem and the other at back of the tunnel (outside?) who makes a dragon growl where appropriate

HELPER: At the back of the dragons lair is something you need to get Excalibur back. Pretend to be scared of the cave. (Gives the poem to the Knight

KNIGHT. No torches in the tunnel.

Sir Knight, bravery is the test you face
Take all your friends just in case
The thing you seek is deep inside
Beware, in the shadows a dragon hides.

HELPER: This is a piece of the map to the thief's lair. Next stop is the gnome in ranger cabin.

3. GNOME - ranger cabin Equipment: - staff (gadget wood) - 8 pieces of map - copy of poem

GNOME: So you need something for me ehhh? I don't like wizards and outlaws and knights. I do however like jesters. I tell you what - if you can guess the secret to my game - I'll give you something to help you on your quest. Give JESTER the poem.

Oh funny one your task is here
The answer to the puzzle I fear
Will not be an easy one to find
I think you'll have to use your minds.
The gnome he is a grumpy fellow
If you guess it will make him mellow.

Riddle game - Say the following verse quickly (but not too quickly) Gold, gold, I like gold, gold, gold more each day. While repeating the verse hold the staff and bang the staff once for every word you say. Try bending your knees it makes you seem more serious! When you hold the staff hold it with your left hand above your right. The guides must repeat the phrase correctly. Go around the circle. The correct way is with their hands the same as yours, left above right. Tell them after each go if they did it right or not. Go all around the circle before they are allowed to guess the trick (if they can)

GNOME: Hang on, I had a message for you - meet the head outlaw at the five ways meeting place (telephone box)

4. OUTLAW - five ways meeting place Equipment: - 8 pouches with jelly beans, tape - poem - rope

HEAD OUTLAW: About time you got here!!! I've got a job for you, you need to rob the treasure vault of the palace. Mind though, there is usually a guard you will need to tie up. When you have robbed the cellar, come to me. - group needs to go into Guide House (back door) QUIETLY and sneak up on Maureen. Tie her up and then the outlaw goes down into the cellar to get the treasure. Outlaw can hold the door if there is someone brave enough to go down. (As many as they like can go down = BUT DO NOT SHUT THE DOOR WITH ANYONE INSIDE) Go back to Head outlaw when finished. - ONLY TAKE ONE BAG OF TREASURE - guard - sit in chair in kitchen, pretend to be asleep, if they are too noisy wake up

OUTLAW: I've heard there's treasure in the cellar But the guard is a hefty fellow Tie her up and outlaw go To the cellar down below.

HEAD OUTLAW: Your next stop is Giraffe Hut ** Queen untied guard between groups! She was sitting in the lounge of Guide House

5. MAIDEN - giraffe hut Equipment - - ring - 8 fake Excaliburs

The princess is in an awful bind
Her jewelled ring she cannot find
It is lost within this dusty shed
Without the ring she cannot wed. - hide the thimble using the ring - gives the replica sword

BP HUT - is your next port of call

6. CAPTAIN OF THE GUARDS - BP hut - Equipment: arrows and bows - targets - piece of map

The Queen is our mistress, our leader, our all
Our task is to protect her, to guard her castle walls
Our arrows must be straight, and steady in their flight
We must practice now, until we get it right

Captain of the guards - these are the people her majesty sent to learn to protect the castle?? - target practise at targets with bow and arrows

7. HEALER - Canobio - gives herbal sleep potion (eno in snap lock bags) - camp scarves - arrows


The battle is finished, the enemy's gone home
And now the wounded soldiers come to me in droves
Fighting is important - it keeps our kingdom whole
But when it is all over, important is my role.

Healer - teach donuts and pressure bandage for puncture wounds using arrows sticking out of arms. - next stop is camp fire circle

8. JESTER - camp fire circle - salt to toss on camp fire for effect - gives noise maker to distract the thief (party favours)


Come ye merry jesters, come sing a lively song
Tell the world the tale of the quest you are on
Everyone's important - every name must go in
Sing around the campfire and make a lively din -

group is make up a song about the quest, try to include everyone in the song - next stop is the witch in the white tent on the paddocks

The end of the game: For each group (we had 8) there is a thief hidden somewhere. The 8th group at each stop (ie the last ones to come) is given a place (was going to be map reference but I ran out of time) where the thief is hiding.

THIEVES: ** thief to have cup of water - excalibur Sit at your *place* with Excalibur under your seat or near you. Get distracted by a noise -leave your cup of water down. Come back and drink some of the water - fall asleep Come back to guide house when finished. The idea was that the group needed to go through the steps to get the sword. Firstly sticking the map pieces together etc. Some of the groups ad-libbed a bit at the end!!!!

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