Place item was collected
Lehi, Utah in collectors house
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Johnny Babcock has been one of my best friends since I was five years old. He is 22 years old. He grew up in the same neighborhood as me. Johnny was raised in Lehi, Utah as an active member of the Mormon church. He is pursuing a degree in Biology at Utah Valley University in hopes to go to medical school. We have had a strong relationship all our lives. We were both part of the scouting program from 12-18 years of age, where we would frequently participate in scouting activities every week.
I collected this description of a folk game from Johnny in my parent’s living room. It was only him and me with my sister in and out of the room. It was a very casual atmosphere, we were just hanging out. Typically, this folk game would be shared on a scouting campout of some kind, or where stars can be seen outside. Usually, adolescents would play this game or teach others. Playing the game would be more enjoyable if the person you could get to play didn’t know the end result, which usually ends in somebody falling over. Johnny had played this game five or six times. He recalls even if he knows when the flashlight comes out, he still falls over. He believes he learned on a camp out from another scout.
Typically, on a campout or something you have nothing better do. In the evening after the fire’s gone out it the dark, everybody kind of goes off into a field and there’s, just, you can’t see anything no lights at all, all you can see are the stars. And you have one person standing in the middle of a big group of kids and the kids will have a flashlight that they kind of hide, so there’s no light showing, and the kid in the middle just looks up at the stairs and just start spinning. So, they spin and spin and spin and just staring at the stars til like the whole sky starts spinning, and like, you can tell they are super dizzy, and then when we feel like there are ready all the kids pull out their flashlights and shine it right at their face. And for some reason it’s like a sensory overload. It causes them to fall over like immediately. It’s the funniest thing ever, and sometimes people even and stop from falling over at the end but they can’t. [laughter] you just fall over every time, it’s really funny to watch, and it’s a fun game to play and we would do it all the time in a group of kids. And that’s shooting the stars.
Johnny retold this story with a high amount of enthusiasm. His tone got quicker as he retold his account of the game. There is a certain amount of nostalgia as we recounted our tales of our scouting activities together. The way he told the story it seemed like a definitely fun game to him.
Introduction to Folklore/English 2210
Lynne S. Mcneill
Semester and year
G6: Socializing Games
Secretan, Kjeisten, "Shooting the Stars" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 111.