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The Gap Year Blog

A Game Of Forests - Into The Wild Blog - Frontier

11 Jun 2016 10:05 AM

The Forest team are a right fun bunch. They truly are. It’s an absolute treat being able to hang out with this group of lemur hunting, reptile analyzing, butterfly catching, bird call whispering troop of tree huggers!

On the actual surveys they are very professional, they take their scientific data collection extremely seriously, and rightly so! But on the way there and back they have loads of fun! Lots of silly games get played that make them giggle like schoolgirls.

One of these games is ‘Would you rather?’ You may have encountered this before, it’s very funny. We tend to try and come up with the most random ‘would you rather’ questions we can so we can try and stump each other. For example, would you rather have roller skates for feet (fun) and lobster claws for hands (inconvenient) or would you rather have spaghetti for hair (delicious and nutritious) and crab legs for legs (you’d only be able to go sideways….) You get the idea.

Another game we play is ‘Who would win?’ Sometimes we get the odd sinister question like, ‘who would win out of a crocodile and a shark?’ Good question, but nasty fighting is for losers and we’re peaceful folk here at Frontier! We prefer questions like, ‘who would win a jelly eating competition between David Attenborough and a sheep?’ It really does get you thinking…

Stealth mode is a fun game we like to play too. It usually involves standing behind something that doesn’t really hide you at all, i.e. a tiny bush that has no leaves, and seeing if you do actually possess gecko-like camouflage, stealth skills by seeing how long it takes people to spot you! The worse the hiding place, the more Forest points you get!

This next game is my favourite game, and I’m probably the worst at it! It’s called Leaping Lemur, very similar to Bucking Bronco, and the aim of the game is to get as many sticks/ leaves/ twigs into people’s bags/pockets/hair as possible without them noticing! For the more unobservant and trusting person you will probably end up with the entirety of the forest leaf litter about your person. It’s really funny though when you realise you’re covered in leaves and have a crown of twigs that you didn’t know about! Sneaky Foresters!

The Foresters have also discovered a fun and helpful way to learning and remembering your species! For example the Catopsilia florella tharuma has a very fancy posh Latin name that can be difficult to store in your noggin! So the Forest geniuses decided to use the method of association, a well known practice, but Forest style of course means silly style! So the aforementioned butterfly turned into Cats that eat too much Flora end up with Thyroid problems. The Aterica rabena turned into Costa Rica Ribena! It’s a very effective learning tool and the sillier ones get points!

This last one isn’t really a game but it’s still really cool! You Forest points for:

1.    Spotting something amazingly snazzy like a Langaha snake or a Uroplatus Henkeli. You get points because the whole Forest team will be super excited to see such a marvellous critter and also they’ll be mega jealous that you spotted it and not them!

2.    Spotting something that’s extremely well hidden or is very far away. It’s just impressive when someone spots a Panther Chameleon that’s 10ft up a tree behind a leaf! There’s no denying it, it’s really impressive! 

So get thinking about your ‘would you rather’s, your ‘who would win’s and practice your stealth mode and come and join in the fun! 

***Nonsense is a mandatory requirement.

By Lizzie Unsworth - Field Communications Officer | Frontier Madagascar

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!