A games evening, themed to fit in/around the time between St. Andrews Day (Nov. 30th) and Burns' Night (Jan 25th) - otherwise known as the Haggis Hunting season!
It's long been said that a mysterious creature can be found in the highlands of Scotland, mainly between St. Andrews Day and Burns' Night each year. This creature, the Haggis, can be hunted throughout the season and is often served as a dish, along with neeps and tatties, at a traditional Burns Supper.
Being a creature for the highlands, it has adapted to it's natural surrounding. To make it easy to run around the hilltops - as Haggi (yes, that's the plural!) frequently do - the legs on the left hand side of the creature are longer than those on the right, allowing them to run in a clockwise direction with ease. This explains why they're not often found in other, less hilly, parts of the UK, as the terrain just doesn't suit them.
Game 1 - Haggis Race
On the theory above, the young group members participate in a race. This may be a relay between teams, or a simple 'winner takes all' free for all. The children crawl/hobble on all fours - using outstretched arms and legs on their left hand hide, with elbows and knees on the right. This demonstrates the difficulty a Haggis would have on flat terrain.
Now, before you go hunting for Haggi, you have to be aware of the speed of the things - they don't hang around! You want to catch the Haggis, but it shouldn't catch you...
Game 2 - Haggis Jump
The classic game of 'Ultimate Wipeout'. The participants stand in a circle, facing inwards towards a Leader. The Leader then spins a rope, at ground level, allowing it to extend so that the participants have to jump over it. If hit by the rope, the participant is out. The game continues until the last youth member stands!
If you've been lucky enough to catch a Haggis, or at least see one ready to be caught, then you do, sadly, have to kill it... The most humane way to do this, is with a sharp bump to the head. Originally, this was done by expert hunters from a short distance. They used a caber - a long tree trunk. Now replicated in Highland Games, the caber would be tossed by the hunter, before flipping and landing with a thump. If the hunter was successful, poor little Harry the Haggis would be under the caber at the far end... In more modern times, we've been able to catch the Haggis first. It can then be thrown, with the resulting landing doing the job.
Game 3 - Tossing the Haggis
From a set starting point, youth members take it in turns to throw the Haggis - represtend in size and weight by a rolled up t-shirt covered in tin foil - as far as they can. The final resting position of each throw is then marked, with point being awarded at the end of the game, in relation to the length thrown.
By this point, all youth members should know all that they need to simulate a Haggis Hunting experience.
Game 4 - The Haggis Hunt!
As it's typically dark at this time of year, the youth members are sent out to a set area to hunt for typical Haggi, and the Queen Haggis. This area would be set up in advance - the Queen Haggis being represented by the Haggis used previously, and the standard Haggi being represented by raffle tickets. A pre-determined number of points can be award to whoever finds the Queen Haggis, with the raffle tickets each being worth the value stated on them (higher numbers should have been hidden/located in harder to find areas.)
- Burns Supper
- games night
- scottish games
- St. Andrew
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