Cub Games - Part I

You Can't See Me !

Nature game, outdoors
Equipment: A nature trail.
Formation: Scatter

The object of this game is to allow the players the opportunity to pretend they are animals, trying to hide from Man.

The group walks a given distance down a nature trail, while the leader explains the rules:

Each player is given time to hide along the trail. They may travel no more than 15 feet from either side of the trail, and may use anything in the natural environment to provide camouflage.

The leader waits about five minutes until all players are hidden. He walks the distance of the trail ONCE ONLY, and tries to find as many players as possible. After his walk, he calls out, and watches to see where all the successful 'animals' hid.

This game can be repeated many times, with different players taking the role of the searcher.

It is fun to talk about the hiding places that were the most successful, and how animals might protect themselves from predators.

The Stalker.

Nature game, outdoors.
Equipment: Blindfolds, stones.
Formation: scatter.

Half the group is given blindfolds to wear. These players are placed in scatter formation within the boundaries of the playing area. A stone is placed between their fee, but not touching them.

The other half of the group (the ones that can see) begin to stalk the blindfolded players in an effort to obtain the stone from between their feet. In an attempt to pinpoint a stalker, the blindfolded players may point to a sound. If a stalker is there, the two players switch positions.

Stalkers try to collect as many stones as possible without being caught.

The Stalker (Variation)

Nature game, indoors
Equipment: blindfolds, flashlight.
Formation: scatter.

This is a terrific evening program variation to the original Stalker game. The players protecting the stone between their feet are given flashlights. When they think they know the location of a stalker, instead of pointing to him, they flash the light in the direction from where they hear the noise. Each player is given three separate 'flashes' of light before losing his stone to the nearest stalker


Nature game, outdoors.
Equipment: pen and paper.
Formation: small groups.

Divide the group into teams of 4 to 6. Give each team a large piece of paper and a pen.

Each letter in the word SWAMP stands for another word that describes something in nature:

S Stars
W Weather
A Animals
M Minerals
P Plants

On 'Go', each team writes down as many words as it can think of that relate to the words STARS. The only stipulation is this: They must be able to SEE what they write down from where they are sitting (e.g., sky is where stars are seen; clouds cover stars on a dull night). Each team has five minutes to write down as many words as possible.

The next five minutes are devoted to the word WEATHER, the next five to ANIMALS and so on until all letters of the word SWAMP have been given equal time.

At the end of the writing session, the leader tallies the number of words to see which team has the sharpest eyes, and the most vivid imagination (some teams may have to explain their rationale behind writing down certain words - the leader may not understand how they relate to the 'master' word).

You'll be amazed at the boy's imagination.

Meet My Friend

Nature game, outdoors
Equipment: None
Formation: Group

The object of this game is to discover a friend in nature, without harming any living thing that might be found in the out- of-doors.

Players are taken on a short hike during which time each player collects something from the natural environment (nothing may be broken or picked from any living thing - the item has to be either lying on the ground or resting on another object (e.g. stump or log)). Everyone keeps his object hidden from all players.

Following the hike, each player is given the opportunity to build a small home for his 'friend'. He is also asked to give his friend a name, and to think of one way in which he could take care of his friend, if it was still out of it's natural environment.

When all in the group is ready, everyone tours the small homes that have been created, and meets each special friend.

E.g.: 'This is my friend Twiggy. He is a small branch that I found lying on the ground. I've built him a house from soft leaves and moss that I found on the ground. If he was still on a tree, I could take care of him by protecting him from the wind. I could build him a fence so the wind wouldn't snap him off his tree. I could also make sure he doesn't catch diseases - I could check for termites and insects that might harm him."

The friends that are made are refreshing to everyone.


Nature game, outdoors.
Equipment: None.
Formation: scatter, in a wooded area with several varieties of trees.

Players are divided into three or four groups such as Sugar Maple, Beeches, Yellow birches, ironwoods. In an appropriate and defined area, players stand touching their trees - only one per tree. 'It' stands at the centre spot and calls the name of a group.. 'Beeches' for example. At this signal, the designated group changes place with on another, running from one beech tree to another. 'It' tries to claim a tree of his own during the interchange. If 'It' is successful in claiming a tree, the player who is left without a tree becomes the new 'It'. If 'it' calls 'FOREST', everyone is required to change to another tree of his team's name.

To end the game, it is fun to have 'it be it' for four or five rounds of the game calling 'FOREST' every time. As 'it' beats a player to a tree, that player is eliminated. In this way, some trees may be altogether wiped out from the forest, as could happen in our natural environment.

Silly Symphony

Nature game, outdoors.
Equipment: The Outdoors.
Formation: semi-circle.

The purpose of this game is to discover the beautiful sounds that can be created by the natural objects in our environment.

Each player is given 10 - 15 minutes to find objects in nature that make a noise when banged together, or blown on, or rubbed together. Players bring back their 'instruments' and a conductor is chosen, who organizes the group into a semi-circular orchestra.

Each musician is allowed to 'tune' is instrument, so the rest of the group can hear the different sounds. If a player can play more than one instrument at the same time, he is welcome to do so.

The conductor can then choose a familiar tune with an easy rhythm, and lead his orchestra in song. Let the players make requests for songs they would like to play; give musicians the opportunity to work on 'solos' that they can perform for everyone.

North by Northeast

Nature game, outdoors/indoors
Equipment: 1 compass
Formation: scatter

The leader gathers the group together. Using the compass, they all learn how to determine which direction is north. Someone from the group is asked to select an object that lies directly north, (e.g., a tree, or a doorstep, or a post). Then the group decides on an object that lies directly south, one that lies directly east, and one that lies directly west.

Everyone assembles in the centre of the playing area. The leader calls out one of 'North', 'South', 'East' or 'West', and everyone runs to touch the object that lies in that direction. The last one to touch the object is eliminated.

After a new rounds of the game, play can stop, and objects for the intercardinal points (Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest) can be added. Everyone can begin the game again, as all eight points are used.

A great game to introduce the skill of orienteering !

A Little Inconvenience

Water game, outdoors.
Equipment: 1 soccer ball; 2 innertubes; 1 waterball; 2 water basketball hoops; blindfolds; string.
Formation: teams.

The object of this game is to allow players to experience the sensation of having a disability.

Divide the players into four teams, and set up a rotation so that each team takes part in each of the following activities:

1. Sensitivity walk,
2. Obstacle course in water, using innertubes.
3. dodgeball, and
4. water basketball.

Each activity is performed with a specific handicap:

1) When a team goes on the sensitivity hike, all participants are blindfolded. They simply go on a short hike, and experience it without sight.

2) In a short obstacle course in shallow water (through an innertube, crawl on the bottom then through a second innertube) players must not use their arms.

3) In the dame of dodgeball in shallow water, each player's ankles are tied together. (One player in the centre of the circle tries to hit another player with the soccer ball.

4) In a game of water basketball, players may not speak.

Following ten minute rotations of each event, the group can discuss the sensations experienced by being temporarily handicapped.

We can soon learn it is not what you cannot do -- it is what you can do !

Splash hike

Water game, outdoors.
Equipment: None
Formation: group

This is a super small group game.

As everyone to wear bathing suits and an old pair of shoes (a pair they can get wet).

The game takes place in a stream or along the shallow shoreline of a lake or river.

The leader steps into the water, and instructs the group to 'follow the leader'. Everything the leader does is copied by the followers. After a few minutes of hiking, the leader falls to the back of the line to let a new leader take over. The hike can be as long or as short as time allows - it is fun to walk back to home base in the water, rather than by land; see if the group can hike backwards for some of the return distance.

Some 'follow the leader' ideas:

Sit down on a stone; hop on one foot; play leap frog; skip a flat stone out to sea; jump from one stone to another; build a small castle on the shore; climb a tree; stop, take off one shoe, empty water from it, and put it on again; crouch so that all of you is under water; sing a song about the sea; try to catch a frog.

Monster Relay

Water game, outdoors.
Equipment: none.
Formation: teams

Divide the group into teams of 8-10 players.

Set up a 'monster' relay where every player has a role. Some swim through shallow water, some through deep water. Have some do cartwheels through shallow areas, while other swim with one hand in the air.

The design of the relay depends on your waterfront set-up and the abilities of your swimmers.

End the relay by having one player piggyback a teammate across a finish line, located in shallow water.

Capture the Flag

Evening game, outdoors
Equipment: 2 handmade flags on staffs 2' long; 2 different coloured sets of arm or headbands made of crepe paper.
Formation: teams.

Divide the group into two teams. Identify each by a set of arm or headbands.

Set up a jail area (3-4 square yards) and a separate hiding spot for each flag. Jails are set up at opposite ends of a 5-20 acre area.

The object of the game is to penetrate the other team's area and capture their flag. A flag is 'captured' after it has been returned to the captor's jail area.

Prisoners are taken by having their arm or headbands removed by an opponent. Prisoners are taken to the jail of their captor's; then they wait there quietly until they are released. Prisoners can only be released when a member of their team (with arm or headband intact) runs through the jail in which they are being held captive. After their release, prisoners are given free escort back to a central spot near their end of the area. Here, they are issued a new arm or headband.

The game continues until a flag is captured, or time is up.

Note: Supervision at the jails and 'new arm or headband area' is important. Encourage teams to plan elaborate strategies of defence and offence.

Variation: try playing the game with three or four teams, each with its own jail area and hiding spot for their flag.

Smugglers and Spies

Evening game, outdoors
Equipment: Tiny pieces of paper with the following smuggled items and point values written on each:
Chocolate - 50 points. Quantity: 10
Sugar - 75 points. Quantity: 8
Animal pelts - 100 points. Quantity: 8
Gunpowder - 150 points. Quantity: 6
Designs for new secret weapon - 300 points. Quantity: 3
Map to buried treasure - 500 points. Quantity: 1
Formation: teams

Divide the group into two teams. Have each team put on its armbands. One team becomes the smugglers - the other the spies. After the rules of the game are given, each team retreats to separate ends of the playing area (3-20 acres with open woods is ideal for the game.)

The smugglers each receive the tiny pieces of paper, which they are going to try to carry into enemy (spy) headquarters. The spies set up their headquarters inside a 10' by 10' square area that has its definite boundaries. The scorekeeper sits inside spy headquarters.

After each team has been given the opportunity to devise a strategy, play begins. The spies fan out away from their headquarters and try to intercept smugglers as they attempt to take their goods inside.

When a smuggler gets caught (tagged), he must stand still and permit a one minute search of his person by the spy who caught him. If the spy cannot find the piece of paper within one minute (paper has to be hidden in external clothing layers), the smuggler is free to try to advance again into the headquarters. If the spy does find the 'loot', he takes the piece of paper into spy headquarters and gives it to the scorekeeper, while the smuggler returns to his headquarters to receive another piece of paper.

If a smuggler penetrates inside the spy headquarters, he gives his goods to the scorekeeper, and is escorted back to his own headquarters by a staff person or leader supervising the game.

The game continues for a set period of time. When it ends, goods (points) are totalled, and a winner is declared.

Whistle tag

Evening game, outdoors
Equipment: one whistle for each 'hunted' leader or staff member.
Formation: teams.

The group is divided into teams of 6-8 players. The leaders or staff members who are to be 'hunted' are given a two-minute head start into the playing area (5 acre wooded area is ideal).

Teams have to stay together during the entire game. Each team begins to 'hunt' the staff members, who are required to blow their whistles at one minute intervals (or variations which you may want to work out). Leaders may remain mobile, or seek a hiding place.

Teams try to touch as many staff members as possible within the time limit of the game. Captured staff are immediately freed to run and whistle again.

The team who tags the most wins.

Variation: as a night game, using flashlights instead of whistles. Same rules apply.

Light - No light

Evening game, outdoors
Equipment: flashlight
Formation: scatter

The game is best in a large open wooded area.

Players line up at one end of the playing area, while one player, holding a flashlight, stands at the other end.

The object of the game is to move from one end of the playing area to the other, past the person holding the flashlight.

The player with the flashlight stands with his back to the other players. Every five seconds, he turns around, turns on the light and scans the area for three seconds. If a moving player gets caught by the flashlight beam, he has to return to the starting end. Stationary players may remain where they are.

The first person to successfully move past the 'flasher' becomes the light for the next round.

Variation: The player with the flashlight keeps the flashlight on, and continuously scans the playing area. Stalking players dress in dark clothes. If stalking players are caught, they must return to the starting end.

Find the Bell

Evening game, outdoors/indoors.
Equipment: a little bell that rings easily.
Formation: circle.

Have the group sit in a circle. Choose one person to sit in the centre of the circle.

The leader gives the bell to one of the players, who begins to pass it around the circle.

The object of the game is to pass the bell quietly so that the person in the middle cannot guess who is holding the bell. Players may not silence the bell by holding the clapper - they have to try to pass it carefully enough so that it does not ring.


Evening game, outdoors.
Equipment: 3 soccer balls painted white; 6 markers with reflectors attached (to make 3 goals).
Formation: teams.

Divide the players into three teams. On the playing field, set up three goals in the shape of a triangle.

The game begins with a jump ball in the centre of the field. All three balls are put into circulation at once and players try to move the ball through either of their opponents goals.

The balls may be rolled, kicked or thrown to teammates. No player may hold a ball longer than five seconds.

Teams devise strategies to protect their own goal, while trying to advance to score goals.

Richmond Hill Hand Ball

Active, outdoors
Equipment: soccer or volleyball.
Formation: teams.

Divide the group into two equal teams. Find a suitable playing field about the size of a soccer field, with an area to be used as an end zone.

The play starts with a jump ball. The object is to move the ball down the field to score points. Players throw the ball to their teammates, or run with the ball. Players may not take more than five steps while carrying the ball. If they do, the ball is handed to the other team, who throws it in from the sidelines.

Points are scored when the ball is thrown to a teammate in the opposing team's end zone, and caught. The ball must be thrown from outside the end zone into the end zone and caught by a teammate. If the ball is missed or dropped, the opposing team gets a chance to move it out of their end zone. One point is scored for each catch.

The team with the most points after a given amount of time is declared the winner.

Go To Cub Games Part II