Lee Hawkers – A 1960s Cape Breton Adolescent Hide-‘n-Seek Game – A Precursor to Paint Ball?

There are segments of sociology, found perhaps only on Cape Breton Island, that need to be recorded, if not studied. The game of “Lee Hawkers” is such a segment; a common summer night cry of “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers” heard from the woods surrounding the New Waterford neighbourhood of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. This game of modified hide-and-seek involving two teams was part of teen years in the mid-1960s. Lee Hawkers was a creative hide-and-seek game played in the specific suburban area of New Waterford called River Ryan/Scotchtown.

The River Ryan/Scotchtown area was, and still is today, a residential community. Unlike today back then the neighbourhoods were more widely interlaced with forests and fields. Throughout the 1960s, summer days would see teenaged boys playing baseball, pitching horseshoes, building forts in the woods, shooting practice rounds with BB guns , or biking out of town to Kilkenny Lake for a swim. But what would these typically testosterone-driven males do for night-time fun? What mischief could they find cloaked in the darkness of sultry summer nights?

The mischief arose when the child’s game of Hide-and-Seek morphed into a more adult oriented game involving two teams, a ‘jail’ and few, but specific, rules of engagement around being captured and being freed from jail. The best recollection is that this after dark game was originally a male only sport. Two teams of male teens would take turns being the captured (Hiders) or the captors (Seekers). To begin, in a clearing, a field or in someone’s dirt driveway, using a tree branch or the heel of a player’s boot or sneaker, a large circle (6-8 feet in diameter) would be roughly marked in the sun-baked ground. This would become the jail into which the captured Hiders would be thrown by the Seekers.

To capture or catch a hiding member of the opposing team, the Seekers would start their hunt in the dark wooded areas for any Hiders. It’s dark. It’s the forest. Seekers could jump out at a Hider… so usually the hunt was carried out in pairs of Seekers. But why the name Lee Hawkers? Read on… once a Hider was isolated, according to the original rules of seek and capture, a Seeker would be required to spit (yes a hawker!) on the Hider, pound them on the back while yelling “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”. This marked the Hider as a “catch” or “captured”. The Seekers would lead the captured Hider back to jail (the circle) for safe keeping. The “Lee” (short for leeward) in “Lee Hawkers” was a obvious warning that you should spit, or hawk, in the direction of the wind to avoid getting hit with your own spit (ugh!). And so this spitting, or hawking – the “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers” capture sequence – would be repeated until all the Hiders were caught and in jail. Once all the Hiders were captured, the teams would switch roles – Seekers would become Hiders and Hiders would become Seekers. Hide. Catch. Jail. Switch. Were that the game was so simplistic. The game was a more complicated and a whole lot more dynamic because jailed Hiders could be freed from “jail”. Say what!

The jail was guarded by a couple Seekers. These Guard Seekers remained on high alert to prevent Hider teammates from freeing their jailed buddies. If an uncaptured Hider ran through the jail then all jailed Hiders were now technically freed from jail, free to run back into the forest and hide once again. How could the Seekers stop these repeated breakouts?

The trick was to catch these rogue Hider breakout experts before they ran through the jail. By using the same capture 1-2-3 sequence (hawking, back pounding, yelling “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”) it would not only stop a breakout attempt but also result in a fresh Hider capture. “Off to jail with ya!” At this point in the evolution of Lee Hawkers you have a teen male-dominated, hawkin’ ‘n hittin’, after dark, hide ‘n seek game. A bit messy, somewhat primitive, but relatively harmless.

Enter the teen girls. They want to play. Co-ed Lee Hawkers. This had new possibilities, new promise. Hmmm, a thought. A thought that met an age-old goal – have some fun while you find a mate. Just like the Stag Line (see the Ezine article: “The “Stag Line” – A Cape Breton Dance Hall Etiquette (Part of Cape Breton Social Heritage)”), Lee Hawkers seems to have evolved from an excuse for a dating game wrapped in the guise of team sports. Or was Lee Hawkers a primitive form of the game now called Paint Ball? Could Paint Ball splats of color have replaced the spit, or hawker, in the culturally historical Cape Breton game of Lee Hawkers? Or was this game called Lee Hawkers simply a ruse by teenage boys to play with the girls? Surely these are questions requiring further discussion.

The girls were in the game. But first the spitin’ and hawkin’ had to go! And so it did. Lee Hawkers became a more gentile sport for the combined sexes. Catching a Hider now involved only “rapping” (lightly pounding) a girl Hider on the back while yelling “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”. Since the new rules eliminated hawking, Hiders about to be captured, would no longer run to avoid the ‘guber’. Instead Hiders would resist capture by the Seeker by lying on their back to prevent from being rapped. Based on the size/strength ratio of Seeker-to-Hider, the attempt(s) to flip and “back rap” could turn out to be quite an extended tussle. Sometimes it would require the efforts of 2 or more Seekers to flip and rap a potential captured Hider.

Now let your imaginations fill in the blanks here. Imagine what happened when the Hider was a female, the Seeker was a male. Hider – female. Seeker – male. Tussle. If the Seeker was a male, and he discovered a female Hider, he would never call for help from his Seeker teammates. This is the part where subtle changes in the ‘unwritten’ rules came into effect when the girls joined the game. The effort was always different in these female-to-male capture encounters. There was an unspoken adjustment in the game rules and a somewhat neutralizing of male brute force. The male Seeker would tussle gently with the female Hider until she could be flipped or rolled off her back, and the male Seeker’s was able to tap her back combined with the cry “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”. It was amazing the length of time it took for one strong teen male to perform a simple 45 to 90 degree roll of a female to gain access to her back. It must that unexplainable physics of females!

Like the game of Lee Hawkers so goes dating, and so goes love. The brute strength in hormone-driven games is neutralized. It becomes gentler. It emotes the chemistry of sexual attraction. And so goes life.

Lee Hawkers was one of those 1960s Cape Breton (or at least a Scotchtown – River Ryan) phenomena that, perhaps just like the Stag Line, was a dating game ritual wrapped in the guise of team sports. Or maybe it was the pre-cursor to today’s Paint Ball. Whatever it was, it sure was memorable!

Various Pool Party Games For Children

Pool party games add thrilling entertainment and enjoyment into any child’s party by the pool. You do not need a large swimming pool because a small one will do for the purpose as long as you can put your imagination to work. In addition, you can always alter the staple land-based games for playing the water.

Pinata by the Pool

The pinata with its sack full of goodies that range from little toys to large candies and are common in a kid’s celebration. Children enjoy attempting to break open the paper mache, which is formed into different shapes containing the surprises inside. Now, why not add a pinata to your swimming pool party? You can have the children hit the pinata while they are in the pool by using the classical method ( putting a blindfold over the eyes) or allowing each child to hit the pinata while he/she jumps into the water ( without a blindfold on). Imagine cannonball with a twist.

Definitely, you should make certain that every kid is safe from harm. Ensure that the children are stationed a good distance away from the pinata. As well, as an alternative, you can replace candies with other treats protected in waterproof containers and the toys may include things like squirt guns, swimming goggles and sunglasses. You will see that this is one of the most desired pool party games.

This game with a twist would be throwing many prizes in the center of the swimming pool, as if in a treasure hunt. The children can stand on either side of the swimming poll and then swim to the center when you have thrown the prizes. Certainly, you must make sure that only older children are included in the game.

Crossing the River
This game needs mental planning, physical balance and social cooperation, all of which are the major aspects of a wonderful game enjoyed by parents and kids as well. You should set up two ropes across the length of the pool, one for every group of children. You can then give every team rafts such as an inflatable pool bed, one that both adults and kids can use. The aim of the rafts is that it can be something that the children can float on however it is not stable if a person stands or sits on it.

To begin, all the party members will stay on one side of the pool. The first person in line will pull himself towards the other side of the pool and then back again. The second person does this too and so on until everybody has completed crossing the river, or pool. You can select the winner either by who finished first or by what group was not as wet. Like the pinata game, this is one of the more liked of all pool party games.

Regardless which of the two pool party games you pick, it is vital to make sure that the children are safe. Therefore, you must give life vests as well as adult supervision at all times. You want your children and their friends to have a good time in the pool, and not be exposed to hazards.

Games Are Equally Advantageous To Adults And Children

Benjamin Franklin states “Games lubricate the mind and body”. Just like how an automobile cannot function or run without petrol or diesel, similarly, man whether children or adults cannot live for long without games.

For a child, games are a natural instinct and, he does almost all his activities naturally in a play way style.

However, a man of 21st has realized or should soon realize, to a large extent, the importance of games in his life, the hard way, and learn to make it a part and parcel of his lifestyle.

That is the present generation, who are mostly leading a sedentary lifestyle due to substantial improvement in technology, must understand to a great extent the need to play and have some frivolous activities regularly like games and sports often to increase his lifespan.

Certainly, games are a source of entertainment, great physical and mental exercise for the adults too just as it is to the children.

Just like how games are vital for every child’s intellectual and physical development, it is equally a genuine fact that adults need them too. For an adult to stay fit and healthy, he must exercise regularly backed up with proper balanced diet. If he ignores the former at the expense of latter, he is definitely losing a balance which will make him unfit, unhealthy, and he will be prone to illness often.

If an adult wants to stay healthy and happy, playing games or exercises is the turning point to overall strength, well-being so as to achieve superb health and longevity. So, every adult must play games to keep himself physically and mentally fit.

Furthermore, the sedentary lifestyle and the intake of junk food especially in the urban areas has made man prone to illness like obesity, diabetes, heart stroke, mental fatigue, sprains, stress, insomnia, blood pressure, backache and so on.

If a man inculcates the habit of playing games as a part of his daily schedule, perhaps his health problems could be minimized, controlled and prevented.

The best way to protect and insure our health is through exercises and physical movement which could be done either through aerobics, yoga or running over a treadmill. Or, another alternative is by playing games like basket ball, football, tennis, badminton, running race, swimming etc. The games such as these are, indeed, not only fascinating and enthralling to kids but equally advantageous to adults too.

An hour a day spent playing games is the best source of investment in health, wealth and security for future. This means playing games and getting involved in sports increases our life span which any medical practitioner or health experts would agree to. So, just imagine how long our life could be in this planet if we were thoughtful enough to invest in games and sports.

Similarly, we all know that children need to be playing to grow. Playing games help children keep fit, healthy and strengthens their bones and helps in their overall growth and personality. But in case of an adult be it a man or a woman, it is not a matter of physical development, but a concern of keeping fit, slim, stress free and disease free.

Let’s get a bit deeper into types of games and how they benefit us. Games can be broadly classified into two categories: indoor and outdoor games.

The indoor games such as chess, carom, puzzles, dominos, computer games etc. help develop ones intellectual capacity; enhances IQ. and, also hones ones social skills.

The outdoor games like badminton, tennis, swimming, football, basket ball, cycling etc. are still more important as it helps us acquire both physical and mental health benefits. The physical health benefits are building sportsmanship spirit, friendship, relaxation, burning calories and good blood circulation. The mental health benefits are to help overcome negative thoughts, forget unnecessary worries of past and attain mental stability which eliminate stress, tension and psychological problems.

Thus playing games are so fundamental to maintain good health just like how we need water to survive in this planet. This leaves me to wind up with a quote “There are really only two requirements when it comes to exercise. One is that you do it. The other is that you continue to do it”. ~The New Glucose Revolution for Diabetes by Jennie Brand-Miller, Kaye Foster-Powell, Stephen Colagiuri, Alan W. Barclay

Finding Fun Swimming Pool Activities

Swimming pool activities can be fun and offer great exercise to all those involved. The wonderful thing about being in the water is there is no age restriction. Both adults and children love to take advantage of the powers of fun and the opportunities that the water can offer them.

There are numerous very popular time honored games that have been played in the water. Marco Polo is one of those favorites. The game consists of having a group of people choose a person who would make their way around the group in an attempt to catch each of them. Similar to that of the game tag you must prevent that person from touching you. The next person who is touch will then be the person you must flee from.

Inflatable balls are often a great choice for groups both big and small. Pretty much any game you can play on land you can play while using an inflatable ball. Create teams and play things such as basketball or soccer. You would use many of the rules that exist in the classic games you would merely just be in the water instead of on solid ground.

Relay races can be a lot of fun. They can be organized to be very easy or more difficult if you have more skilled swimmers in your midst. Choose a variety of swimming strokes or activities that the participant must complete in order to win the game. It is a good idea to set this game up at the shallower end of the water if you have participants were not strong swimmers.

Games that consist of diving for items are often a lot of fun for those who are not nervous about getting their face wet. You can provide a number of different items that can be retrieved. To add an extra element to the game consider timing each of the participants and the person who gets the items quickest wins.

For the much younger participants in your group consider races with toys such as rubber ducky’s. Give each child one of their own and have them race against each other to see who’s duck can get to the finish line first.

Many local discount shops offer a variety of products that can be used in swimming pool activities at relatively low costs. Consider purchasing a variety of different products including some prizes for your winners. Include your friends and guests in the process of choosing the activities beforehand to give you an idea of what everyone might enjoy.

An important safety tip to remember regardless of what game you are playing, if you do not already have a lifeguard on duty have the members of your group take turns watching over the everyone to ensure that nobody is in need of assistance. If you are dealing with a lot of younger participants it is especially important that there are a lot of adults committed to watching over them. Make sure everyone is in agreement and aware of what is acceptable behavior is while playing so you can all focus on having a great time.

10 Pool Safety Tips & Pool Games to Strengthen Swimming Skills

School is out, summer is here, and it’s hot. Let’s hit the pool. Just be sure to make safety your first priority.

Death by drowning is the number one leading accidental cause of death for children ages 1 to 4. These fundamental rules will help keep your children safe in the pool but every situation involving water may have its own unique risks. Make sure you are aware of the particular risks for boating, canoeing, swimming at the beach and any other activity where water is present or close by.

Never leave a child unattended in the water or near the water. Never. Assign a designated person to be the lifeguard and be sure everyone knows who is watching the kids.
Avoid distractions. Put away the cell phone or magazine and anything else that may take your eyes off the prize.
If you need to leave the pool area take the kids with you. Don’t be tempted to leave them in the pool alone for even a moment.
Teach children how to swim at an early age.
Brush up on your own swimming skills and make sure anyone watching the kids knows how to swim.
Install appropriate barriers, fences, covers, alarms and locks on and around the pool and spa area. Be sure these measures are in place if your child is visiting a home with a pool or spa.
Teach children to stay away from pool and spa drains.
Keep rescue equipment on the pool deck such as a shepherds hook or life preserver and know how to use them.
Purchase the correct flotation devices. Do your own research for safe, age appropriate devices but never use them as a substitute for adult supervision.
Establish pool rules and enforce them. Let your children learn that the consequence of disobeying the rules is: NO SWIMMING.

Games are a fun way for the family to enjoy the pool and will strengthen everyone’s swimming skills.

Water Ballet

Show off your dance moves in the water. Each team comes up with a water dance routine. Add props such as hats, noodles or boogie boards. Give them 60 seconds to show their best moves and then assign points for creativity, silliness, best synchronized, etc.

Colors

One player will be “It” and will stand with their back to the pool. The other players will think of a color and keep it to themselves. “It” will call out one color at a time. If your color is called out, you must try to swim across the pool without “It” hearing you. If “It” hears movement in the water “It” can jump in the water and tag the swimming player. The tagged player then becomes the “IT”.

Dolphin Race or Relay

This game can be played as a race with two players or as a relay with teams. Players must push a beach ball across the length of the pool using only their noses. If they use their hands they must start over. The first player or team to reach the end of the pool wins.

Top Games at the Beach While Wearing the Kids’ Wetsuits

There are so many games you can play at the beach while donning your children with their favorite kids’ wetsuits. You can choose from fun solo games or group games that can entertain people from all walks of life. From all these beach games, here are some of the top games that you can play with your kids during your trip down the beach.

One of the most popular beach games is the beach volleyball. People think that this ballgame is only for teens and adults, but children can also enjoy this game. Also, since kids have little arms, you can opt for a beach ball instead of the traditional ball for volleyball games. You can also modify some of the rules of this game to suit the skills of the kids. For example, you can say that the main objective of the game is to toss the ball to your opponent, instead of hitting the ball as hard as you can towards your opponent.

Another great game to play with kids at the beach is kite flying. It is very common for cool and mildly strong breeze to pass through the beach, so you can count on it that it will be an excellent place to fly kites. For your kids, buy some nice and colorful kites that they can fly on their own. You can also build and design the kids’ kites to make it extra special. Once in the beach, position your kids into wide open spaces with no trees so that they can freely run around and fly their kites in peace.

Since your kid is wearing his or her kid’s wetsuit, then you can play a water balloon fight. This fun game requires several blown balloons filled with water, and placed in buckets so that everyone can toss their own balloons. You can play this like a game of tag, wherein the kids will run around and chase each other with their water balloons. You can also play this like a game of catch, wherein you can toss the ball to each other. Naturally, the balloon will burst into your hands or chest, so it is advisable that you are in your swim wear.

Finally, another game that you can play at the beach is sandcastle building. This can be a solo or group activity for the kids and yourself. Make sure that you also have the necessary tools like shovels and buckets to make the building much easier. You can also apply more sunscreen to your skin because you will be under the sun for a long period of time. Other than sandcastles, you can also try doing some sand art, where your kids will try to form other figures using the sand and some water.

Playing in the beach can be a great family activity. You can make stronger bonds with your kids while having fun. So, the next time that you feel like packing your swimsuit and your kids’ wetsuits, head down immediately to the beach and try these top beach games for kids.