For this example, a pair of oversized dice (about 8 inches in diameter), an oversized Monopoly board (customized with our Camp’s locations on poster board) and our own Camp Monopoly money (complete with the faces of our Camp administrators) were all created. However, it would be possible to use the regular version of Monopoly. Outfits, face paints or other decorative objects can also be added to differentiate the teams. Any other required equipment will depend upon the activities that you decide to play.
This version of Monopoly has the same objective as the board game: to end up with all of the money and property and bankrupt your opponents. It still involves rolling dice and moving around a board, but in this rendition each property on the board represents a building or location in Camp. So, when your team lands on a property they then have to physically go to its associated game area and play a game against another team. Both teams then return to the main meeting point and roll the dice againÛ_and so on.
Teams are named after the board-game pieces that represent them, such as Hats, Cars, Boots and the like. Each team starts the game with $1,000,000 in Camp cash. Each team also has a finance committee of 2 boys and 2 girls (from the oldest group of campers) and 1 counselor advisor in charge of making purchase and sale decisions.
Teams roll the dice in turn and have the option of buying what they land on, if that property is not already owned by someone else. If it is owned by someone else, they pay that property’s mandatory amount of rent to the owner. As with the board game, more than one team may land on a property at the same time. When this happens both teams must pay rent to the owner. Unrelated to the paying of rent to the owner, the two teams must then go play each other for a $25,000 prize, which is paid by the losing team. Things get even worse for the losing team if they happen to be playing the team who owns the property they both landed on. In this case, if the visiting team loses to the owner, the prize is doubled to $50,000 on top of the rent that was already paid before the game started. After all the teams play one game each, they gather together in a central location and continue repeating the process of rolling dice, buying property, paying rent and playing for prize money.
The Really Fun Part
Teams can also buy property by making a direct offer to another team. This is where the fun of haggling comes into play. Teams can haggle over the price, or include one of their own properties in the deal. Another fun variation is when the team who loses a game may offer to barter property instead of losing prize money. Instead of paying the $25,000 to the winning team, they may offer to pay with one of their properties, or give the winning team a property for a bargain price.
When teams land on any property or space that cannot be purchased, like GO, JAIL, CHANCE, COMMUNITY CHEST, FREE PARKING or GO TO JAIL, you, the organizer, have a couple of choices. You can make it simple and advance the team to the next property, or you could invent creative quiz questions, forfeits or amusing alternatives.
Area referees, or judges as we call them, can give bonus money at their discretion to the team that shows team spirit with the loudest or best cheers. This discretionary awarding of bonus money is often most appreciated by a team that has lost a couple of games.
An End Note…
It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Once you have decided on which games to play, the toughest part is assigning values, rent (both amounts can be completely and randomly made up) and game areas to each property. An example of how to assign values, rent and game areas is shown below. When all that is done, you are ready to go. This game involves sports, some strategy, some wheelin’ and dealin’ and a measure of luck with the roll of a dice. It really is fun!
- A Couple of Game Descriptions to Give You the IdeaÛ_
- Basket-Hockey: Basically, this is team handball ÛÒ like basketball but using a playground ball and hockey goals.
- Lineup Ball: Played like kickball except there is only one base in the distance, opposite home plate. The ball is thrown in (pitched) and kicked. The hitter (runner) must get to the base and back home before the entire opposing team lines up and passes the ball through their legs through the entire team. If they beat the runner, he/she is out. If they don’t, he/she scores a run.
Number of Staff Required: For this example. about 65, made up from the following: 4 staff to coach each team, so for 10 teams that equals 40 staff, then 23 judges/referees for the activities (around 3-4 judges per activity) and 2 staff members to be bankers an organize all the money and oversee transactions.
Number of Children Required: For this example all 280 campers, from the age of
7-15, participate. This number consists of 10-11 teams with 25-28 campers in each team.
Age Appropriate For: Age 7+ (For this example, all ages of boys and girls play together in this game, at a brother-sister Camp for 7-15 year olds.)
Duration of Activity: 3 hours (For this example, the activity is played over two, 90 minute sessions. One is in the morning following clean up and one is in the afternoon, after rest period). Each group should play about 6 different activities, which last about 20 minutes each. Then there will be a 10 minute period between each game where money will change hands, the dice will be rolled again and decisions will be made about buying property. Extra time can also be allotted for team meetings, to work on cheers, strategies and costumes.
Estimated Set-Up Time: 1-2 hours: to split up teams, type up the teams and instructions, have a judges meeting, set up the equipment for each area and separate the money for each group. Extra time may be required if oversize, specialized Monopoly dice, board and money are made, but this should only be a factor the first time this activity is played.
Space Required: As always this is dependent on the number of participants, but this kind of activity can make use of a whole camp’s playing areas, such as soccer fields, baseball fields and basketball courts. The space required will also depend upon the chosen activities.