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Memorial Day Games

Published May 26. 2012 09:02AM

Welcome to Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer.

For many, it marks a time to uncover the pool, break out the grill, and honor all those who continue to preserve our freedom.

Assuredly, there won't be any shortage of pool parties, family outings and veterans' services to keep us occupied over the long weekend.

Which leads me to wonder how many of us actually plan to participate in any good old-fashioned outdoor activities that seem to have been phased out over time.

While computers, video games and cell phones certainly have their place in today's technology-driven world, I'm of the school of thought that youngsters need to spend more time outdoors.

So, without further adieu, allow me to introduce the younger generation, or perhaps reintroduce my generation and those older than mine, to some of my personal outdoor favorites.

Bare in mind that I have participated in each game mentioned below at one point or another in my lifetime, both as a kid, and as an adult.

Let's begin with the frisbee, a plastic disc-shaped toy that players can throw and catch.

Quoits is a game played with metal or rubber discs to be thrown over a set distance to land on or near a pin.

Then there are bean bags, small, cloth bags filled with dried beans to be thrown through the hole of a raised platform.

One of the more difficult outdoor games I've ever competed in are lawn darts, whereby darts with a weighted metal or plastic tip are tossed typically into a plastic ring with the tip sticking in the ground.

Badminton, a game with rackets in which a shuttlecock is volleyed across the net, is another one I somehow failed to master.

A somewhat newer game is washers, whereby contestants throw washers into washer pits round in diameter to score points.

Of course, no list of outdoor games would be complete without such all-time classics as volleyball and horseshoes.

Think, for a moment, the adrenaline rush that comes after a spike of the ball over the net, or the thrill of a ringer.

However, outdoor games don't have to be limited to physical activity.

Simply pull up a chair, gather at the picnic table, and have at it in a good game of cards.

Rummy, poker, blackjack, and pinochle happen to be among some of the more well-known card games.

More card game options include UNO, scat, solitaire, and war.

Those not interested in card games should break out their checkers or chess boards.

But, regardless of the activity of choice, remember that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

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