Scout Games - Part 3

Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head

Collect a variety of items to decorate the spuds. Include vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, carrots) and non-food items like construction paper, beads, ribbon, string. Let the Cubs and Scouts use toothpicks to stick things to the potatoes. Allow group members about 15 minutes to make their own personalized creation.

Multiples of "Buss" (Taiwan)

Players sit in a circle and start counting round the circle from "one." If the agreed figure for the game is seven, each time the number being called includes the figure seven or is a multiple of seven, the player keeps quiet and clasps his hands together. If anyone makes a mistake the leaderrecords a point against him.

When the boys become good at this game, add one or two other numbers, so they will have to keep very sharp not to get caught with numbers four, six and eight going on at once.

For one number the player clasps hands. For the second number he will put both hands up above his head. For the third number he can nod his head. Most players will find thinking of two numbers at once difficult enough.


The leader prepares a slip of paper for each participant-- all blank except two. One of these is marked "Murderer" and the other marked "Detective". No-one reveals the marking on his paper. The lights are turned out and the boys mill about until the Murderer strikes one of them down. The Victim cries out and everyone freezes in his position, whereupon the lights are switched on. The Detective then proceeds to question everyone in an attempt to determine the Murderer's identity. All must tell the truth except the Murderer, who may lie as much as he wishes. Once the Detective discovers the Murderer, the slips are all gathered and the game is repeated.

Nature Memory Hunt

Equipment: on a ground cloth, spread out a nature display of about 20 items, such as acorn cups, bird feathers, small rock, dandelion leaf, large maple leaf, bundle of pine needles, broken bird's egg, fern frond, local wild berry or nut, etc.

Action: Patrols have five minutes to study display in silence and memorize items. After a huddle, the boys scatter for ten minutes to collect items corresponding to display items and place them alongside the originals. Patrol with most items within the time limit wins.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Equipment: Sealed letter for each patrol.

Action: Read letter prepared by leader, which says: (or words to this effect)

"Greetings: Your patrol leader is suffering from a terrible disease, acute mogigraphia. Only the magic antimogigraphia formula will save him. Bring me everything on this !ist within an hour from the moment you read this, or all hope is lost. (List 12 to 20 items fitting the locale and season, such as 12 pine needles, one bird feather, dandelion seeds, five dead flies etc.) Good luck and good hunting! (Signed) The Sorcerer's Apprentice."

The patrol bringing in the most items in one hour wins.

Nerve Test

Have each member of the patrol try this challenge in turn. Blindfold a Scout and ask him to walk six paces forward and drive a tent peg lightly into the ground. Still blindfolded, ask him to return to his start point, turn around, walk back to the peg, and drive it in deeper.

Night Challenges

With lights out, boys walk a prescribed number of steps in one direction, turn around and walk back to their exact starting places.

Arrange boys in a straight line facing away from a number of articles you've placed about 4.5 metres (15') from them. Turn out lights and tell them to turn around, then flick on lights for a few minutes as they observe the objects. When you douse the lights again, each walks out, picks up an object and carries it back to the starting line.

Night Tree Hunt

This game can be tied in with nature lore taught earlier in the day or Black Star Requirement No. 6.

Preparation: One of the leaders must sneak into a wooded area and tack ten numbered cards to ten trees, noting the name of each tree and its corresponding number. In the meantime another leader arranges the players in pairs, with one flashlight per pair. Each pair also needs a piece of paper and pencil.

The hunt begins! The teams scatter and try to locate numbered trees without letting the other teams see. If players find a tree but don't know its name they write down its number and bring in one leaf. If they think they know the correct name, they write both number and name.

Scoring: Each team receives a point for each tree found and an additional point for each tree named correctly.

Note: Tell the players the boundaries of the area in which the numbered trees are located. You can also set a reasonable time limit on this game depending on terrain and distance.

Night Stalking Game

Instead of the weekly meeting, a night-stalking wide game near the meeting place or at another suitable location is always a hit. Try Atom Spies, which is similar to capture the flag. Buy acid-testing litmus paper strips from a drugstore and distribute these to half of the patrols. Place cans of vinegar at different locations in the playing area. Ask boys to bring flashlights and dress for outdoors.

Scouts hide the litmus strips on the body and try to reach the cans, around which you've established a freeze zone. They dip the litmus into the vinegar so that the strips change colour, and try to bring them back to a central point without being intercepted and searched by those who don't have litmus paper. If stopped, they must submit to a search and count loudly to 100.

Patrols gain a point for each strip that has changed colour they return.

Night-time Crossing

Divide pack or troop into two teams attackers and defenders-- and arrange them at opposite ends of the hall. Instruct each team to choose a secret "password". Place empty plastic margarine tubs around the floor as "mines" and a piece of chalk somewhere along the defender's wall. In complete darkness and silence the attackers try to obtain the chalk carry it to their side of the hall and make a mark on the wall. The defenders, of course, try to prevent this.

If someone touches a mine (you'll hear the plastic tub being moved), he yells "boom" and falls down on the spot to become an extra hazard. If two boys meet, one asks the other the password. If it's the password from the opposite team, the challenger must shout "aargh!" and fall to the floor to become yet another hazard.

Old Spotty Face

B.-P. described this game in Scouting For Boys and used it at the first camp on Brownsea Island. Play it outdoors, winter or summer.

Prepare squares of cardboard by dividing them into a dozen or more small squares. Give one to each boy, furnish him a pencil, and send him off a few hundred yards. The leader has a number of black paper discs (1/2" in diameter), pins, and a large sheet of cardboard marked with the same number of squares as the cards held by the Scouts, but left blank on each side so it can be held without obscuring the pattern. Pin a half dozen spots randomly on the cardboard and hold it up so the Scouts can see it. They gradually approach it and, as they get within range, mark their cards with the pattern of dots they see. The Scout who duplicates the pattern from the furthest distance wins. For the rest, consider awarding five points for every spot placed in the correct position.

Old Times

The Ottawa Historical Open House (OHOH) has appealed for the public's assistance in gathering a special series of items to demonstrate our national progress. No later than...., they need two different examples each of an article that could not have existed: 100 years ago; 50 years ago; 10 years ago; one year ago; one month ago; one week ago; yesterday; one hour ago; one minute ago; one second ago.

You can reverse the game theme by having Scouts search for items that will not exist in the same periods of time in the future.

Out of Place

Some things just don't make sense if you see them in the wrong context. They seem out of place. Prove that this is true by bringing in an item you'd never see in a: store window; car; school; coat pocket; lunch pail; refrigerator; kitchen cabinet; garden shed; garage; drawer; closet; wallet; hockey arena; home for seniors; swimming pool; backpack; sleeping bag; canoe; aeroplane; garden.

Be prepared to explain why you'd never see the item in the location you matched it with.

Over and Under

The boys line up in file order. The patrol leader runs to the front of the hall, touches the wall, returns to the front of the patrol and crawls between the legs of the Scouts, through the patrol, touches the back wall of the hall and returns to his place over the backs of his patrol. When he is in place, number two sets off over his back to touch the wall in front, going under the arched legs to touch the back wall and returning to his place over the backs of his patrol. Number three sets off over the backs of those in front of him, and so on. The first patrol to finish is the winner.


Players form a circle an arm's length apart and face right. On signal, they race ahead on the outside in an attempt to pass the person directly in front. A player who is passed drops to the centre of the circle. To keep things interesting, signal occasional changes in direction. The last person left running wins.

Pancake Making Relay

Patrols at one end of troop room. Opposite each patrol at other end, a cooking stove of some sort, matches, a frying pan, a mixing bowl, cooking spoon and fish-slice and the ingredients for pancake making. Object of exercise, to make edible pancakes in record time. Only one man may work on the job at any one time. Cooks change on toot of Scouter's whistle.

Note: It helps to concentrate the minds of the contestants if they are under obligation to eat the end product, whatever it may prove to be.


All boys except one form a large circle and face outward. They spread legs as wide as possible, or until their feet touch the feet of the fellows on either side, bend forward from the waist, and swing their arms back and forth between their legs. They have become flippers. The odd boy out becomes a moving target within the circle, and the flippers try to hit him out by knocking a playball back and forth across the circle. The flipper who hits the target gains a point and changes places with the target. The target gains a point whenever the ball flies out of the circle. After awhile, no one will care much about points.

Ping Pong Relay

For all five members of team--first boy goes into the water, and on a signal he blows a ball to the far end of pool until it touches the pool side, then places it on his belly and swims back to the other side. He then tags the next boy, who repeats the action. Team which finishes first with all men out of water and on deck of pool is the winner.


A neighbourhood child has fallen down a disused well. The rescue teams have reached him with a pipe only 2 cm in diameter. Now they need to send him as many items as possible that will fit easily through this thin tube. The items must be useful to the victim. Bring in one each of as many such items as you can find by no later than..... (Scouter's Note: Give each patrol a short length of 2 cm pipe so that they can measure the items as they collect them. Once they're back at base, have them try to send the items through a one metre length of 2 cm pipe.)

Poachers and Eco-Police


- 50 animal cards (8 cm squares cut from cardboard: draw an animal outline or write an animal name on each)

- Strips of paper 2 cm x 20 cm in two colours for "lives"

- Safety pins one per player and some extras

To Play (15 minute rounds) Hide the cards randomly throughout the play area. Explain that it is a wildlife reserve and hunting is prohibited.

Organize the troop into two equal teams and assign a colour to each. Players pin a life of the appropriate colour to their right shoulder.

Name one team the EcoPolice (conservation officers), who ensure there is no hunting in the preserve. Name the other team the Poachers, who try to capture animals and take them back to their hunting lodge.

Designate a zone at one end of the play area the hunting lodge. Poachers begin the game at the lodge and EcoPolice scatter through the whole preserve area. Set a time of 15 minutes for the game.

On a signal, Poachers set out to hunt animals, capture them by putting the cards in their pocket, and return to the hunting lodge without being caught.

Poachers may capture only one animal on each trip from the lodge.

EcoPolice try to arrest Poachers with animals. They make the arrest by removing the life from a Poacher's shoulder.

If the Poacher has an animal, he must surrender it and return to the hunting lodge for a new life. If he isn't in possession of an animal, the arrest is unlawful and the EcoPolice must return the Poacher's life. Poachers may not capture EcoPolice.

When time is up, bring together the troop and tally up the number of animals captured and the number saved by the EcoPolice. Gather up all the animal cards, including those still hidden in the area, send out leaders to hide them again, switch team roles, and play another 15 minute round.

Pocket Action

Take imaginary items out of your pocket and do something with each, e.g. take out a letter, envelope, pen and stamps. Address the envelope, place the letter inside, seal and stamp. Patrol to deduce objects. Check by doing it with actual objects before you actually try it on your Patrol. You will find that it is not easy - rehearse in front of a mirror.

Pocket Kim

Make sure that your pockets are reasonably full of junk. Sit in front of the Patrol and proceed to empty your pockets. Item by item. As soon as they are all laid out, replace them one by one. Now the Patrol draws up a list of contents of each pocket. Idea: Ask each Scout in turn for an article from his pocket. Boys to list articles and owners.

Pocket Murder

Contents of a murdered man's pocket are displayed. Deduce age, profession, interest in recent activities. You will find lots of scope for imagination here.

Points of the Compass

Equipment: one ball

The Scouts stand in a circle with positions corresponding to points of the compass. The player at one point has the ball, he gives a compass direction, e.g. North says 'South to West'. He then passes the ball to South and in turn South gives the instruction 'West to East' and then passes the ball to West and so on.

Note: There are two rules -- a) the ball must not be passed until after the instruction has been given. b) the instruction should not cause the ball to be returned to the player giving the instruction.

Polliwog Race

Swimmers are sitting on the side of the pool, in front of their team, their feet in the water. On the signal, they slip into the water, swim to the other side, and pull themselves out onto the deck, and sit. Last man is eliminated. The race is repeated, until all but one boy is eliminated. Very strenuous on the boys, but always enjoyed.


Pin up assorted picture postcards of different countries. Number them. Boys list the numbers and guess which countries they represent. Choose pictures with clues.

Potato stuffing

Weigh all group members. Let them stuff as many potatoes as possible into their pockets and clothing, then weigh everyone again fully stuffed. Record the difference.

Potato wheel-barrow race

Organize a wheel-barrow race with a team of two children--one on the floor walking on hands and the other holding up his/her feet Put a potato on the back of each 'wheel barrow'. Listen to the shrieks of glee! If the spud falls off, the team must return to the starting line.

Pylon Relay

Set pylons on the blue line, centre line and blue line and goal crease to form an inside the ice surface racing lane. Run a relay race with four to a team (only four teams can compete at any time). Give the first four racers a baton, and on the signal they race around the ice surface in the lane designated between the pylons and the rink boards. On completion of one lap they pass the baton to their team mate who races around the rink and passes it to number 3. Number 4 finishes the race. Ages must be similar in this event to ensure competition, i.e. first race: all 14 year olds, second: all 13 year olds, etc.

Variation--With pylons set every 8' from goal crease to goal crease down the centre of the rink, you can run a good in and out or weaving relay. Place two team mates at each end of the rink, and on a signal, all the number 1's of each team start out and weave in and out between pylons until they reach their team mate at the opposite goal line and pass him the baton. Number 2 skates in the opposite direction to number 1, again weaving between batons until he reaches number 3, who now takes the baton and skates as his team mates did to number 4, who completes the race.

Quest for the Holy Grail

This game is based on the story of the Holy Grail. A game to see which kingdom can go through a maze to their final goal -- the Holy Grail. Each kingdom has 12 knights on its appointed team. All members of both teams are blindfolded. The head knights then have to lead their 11 other compatriots along a royal thread (rope) to the goal. As in the Holy Grail story, the Grail is never actually retrieved but the team which completes the competition first is the victor.

Quick Frozen Critters

From the Project Wild Activity Guide, this game focuses on the relationship between predators and prey. Use any set of predators and prey you wish (hawks and squirrels, wolves and deer, etc.).


- Strips of paper 2 cm x 20 cm for prey

- Safety pins

- Predator identification (the simplest is to ask predators to tie their neckerchief around the right arm)

- Five small circles (one to two metres diameter) marked with string or flour com on the ground to serve as temporary shelters

- At least three food tokens per player (5 cm squares of cardboard work well)

To Play

Designate one end of the playing area permanent shelter for prey and the other end the prey's food supply where food tokens have been scattered on the ground.

Mark out five temporary shelters between the two ends of the play area. Organize the troop into predators and prey - one predator for every five prey. Prey animals pin a life on the right shoulder. Predators tie on neckerchiefs.

Play a series of five minute rounds so that no prey languish too long in the cemetery and everyone has a chance to be a predator.

During each round, prey must collect food tokens and bring them to their permanent shelter. They may bring only one token each trip. Predators must capture at least two prey animals by tearing a life from the shoulder. Captured prey go to the prey cemetery on the sidelines. Prey are safe from capture when standing in the permanent or any of the temporary shelters, but predators may go anywhere else in the play area. Prey have one other defensive option. They may freeze whenever a predator approaches within two metres. In the freeze position, the only things prey may move are eyelids. As long as a prey animal remains frozen, a predator may not capture him. Once the prey moves. it is open season.

Quickfire Activity

For a quickfire activity on your next visit to the county or district camping and training ground try to borrow from your friend. the camp warden, one 5 to 6 metre spar, one handy billy, one discarded car tire and two 18 metre (60 ft.) light lines for each patrol.

Get them to raise their spars vertically in competition with each other so that one of their number can hoist himself with the handy billy, crown the pole with an empty billycan and lower himself safely to earth again.

Six men will be needed: four to man the ends of the guylines, one to raise himself with the tackle, and the sixth man to stand at the foot of the pole and take up the slack in the handy billy and incidentally to act as safety man as the boy sitting in the tire operates the tackle.

Race for the North Pole

Each team is provided with a map showing the location of the north pole (how about a barber pole as a marker?) and a toboggan. Teams must race to the pole and back. One member of the team must be on the toboggan at all times. Fastest team wins. The map and the route to the pole can be as simple or as complicated as you wish to make them. Keep in mind, to be fun, the boys must find the north pole.


Players in circle; one player starts by saying "I've thought of a kettle," (or any other object). The next might say "That reminds me of steam," and so on. After one or two rounds the leader says "unwind" and the players in the same order repeat the list from the other end back to "kettle", any failing losing a life.

Ring Hockey

The two "keepers" each have a short baton about the size of a 12 inch ruler and man their opponents' goal, facing their own team. A rope quoit is substituted for the ball and is passed from hand to hand.

No man may run with the quoit. If he catches it on the run, he must stop immediately. No physical interference allowed. Goals are scored by ringing the stick. Other rules may be introduced at the discretion of the referee.


For this one, may we suggest a piece of ground with a little 'give'. Scouts lie as closely-packed as possible side by side on their stomachs. The Scout at the starting end rolls over onto his neighbour, and continues rolling all down the line until he's back on his stomach at the end. At this point the next Scout gets rolling. Once things are in motion, the rollercoaster starts moving along at quite a clip. Put two or more rollercoasters in motion and have a race.

Rope Swing

For this energetic game, you need two thick climbing ropes and a tree or two. Fix the ropes to the branch of a tree with an interval of about one metre between them. Tie a big knot at the end of each rope so that it hangs about a metre from the ground. This is a challenge for two Scouts at a time. They can begin by standing on a log or rock with rope in hand to jump-start a swing, or simply leap up, grab on and start swinging. The object is to try to unseat the Scout on the other rope. They may climb onto their opponent's rope if they can. A player is out as soon as any part of his body touches the ground.

Ropeless Tug

Troop in two teams lined up back to back with legs slightly astride on either side of a dividing line. One team stands still while the other takes one sideways step so that each member's back is facing the backs of two members of the opposite team. Both teams then bend forward from the waist, cross arms between their legs and reach out to hold the hands of at least two members of the opposing team. When boys are finally arranged, give them a signal to pull. The object is for one team to pull the other over the dividing line, but the end result may be just a lot of back and forth shuffling, and a whole lot of fun.


Scouts form an arm's length circle and stand with heads down, hands behind backs and eyes closed. A leader gives one Scout a bat (rolled towel or newspaper or stuffed sock). On signal, that Scout chases the boy on his right around the circle in an attempt to hit him on the behind with the bat. The runner is safe when he reaches his place in the circle. Select a new chaser and repeat, or try with more than one chaser.

Run the Gauntlet

Another good game for April, when spring fever is running rampant. You need several playballs or tennis balls, about one for every two boys, although you can get by with fewer.

Line up half the troop against one wall of the room. They must run to the other wall carrying chits of cardboard to place in a box at the end of the run. Station the other half of the troop along both sides of the hall, balls in hand and ready to mow down the runners.

Chit-carrying runners must drop out of the game if hit. Runners who successfully place a chit in the box return for another try and cannot be eliminated on the return trip to pick up a chit.

Play the game for two minutes, or until all chits have been transferred or all runners eliminated. Then, reverse sides and resume play. The team which delivers the largest number of chits before time is called is the winner.

You can also play the game as a relay. Post two leaders (or boys) on each side of the hall and use four playballs. Leaders try to hit the boys (below the knees, please) as they run the gauntlet. No chits are involved in this game, and it's a little more difficult to decide a winner.

Ruthin Bumbang

Ruthin Bumbang is a game which John Sweet featured in his column about four years ago, under the title "Forgotten Games". Possibly it is just as well forgotten, as many Scouters seem reluctant to try it. This is how it goes according to John -- "Ruthin is a small country town in North Wales. The night I visited the troop there were twenty-four boys present. The Scouter carefully counted twenty-two tennis balls into a cardboard box. The boys lined up eagerly. The Scouter walked to the middle of the room, up-ended the box and scattered the balls everywhere. The boys rushed forward to pick them up, and returned to the base line. The two unfortunates who had failed to secure a ball walked disconsolately to the far end of the troop room and leaned against the wall with their backs to the troop and arms shielding their heads. The rest took careful aim and fired. I was horrified. It seemed to me that the poor victims would be annihilated. Not a bit of it. Back they came, right as rain, the balls were returned to the box and the game went on."


Frank Smith of the 1st Hatzik, Mission, B.C., contributed a game guaranteed to help Scouts work off aggressive tendencies. It requires a newspaper rolled - but not too tightly.

Scouts form a circle and face inward with eyes closed and one hand open behind their backs. Scouter walks around the circle and quietly places the rolled newspaper into one Scout's hand. That Scout begins to swat the boy on his right, chasing him around the circle until both are back in their original positions. Scouter retrieves the newspaper and places it in another Scout's hand. Play until everyone has had a chance to swat his neighbour.

When forming a SWAT circle, it's wise to arrange the boys with some care so that you avoid putting the smallest Scout in the troop next to the biggest. You might also consider letting the swatter bash the Scout on his right OR left, which would give him a chance to get revenge on the one who swatted him.

Scout Dragnet

For this test of strength and teamwork, you need a neckerchief for each patrol and a heavy rope large enough to encircle the entire troop. Place a neckerchief in each patrol corner. The Scouts, arranged in their patrols, stand inside the rope circle placed in the centre of the hall. On signal they lift the rope to waist level. They must stay inside the rope and keep it at waist level as they try to retrieve their patrol's necker from its corner

Selling Out

The boys are sitting in a straight line at one end of the hall. At the opposite end are a group of chairs with one less chair than the number of boys. The leader holds up some object to auction off, and the boys bid. When the leader has a satisfactory bid, he calls "Sold". This is the signal for the boys to stand, and run to try and get a chair at the opposite end of the room. If a boy does not get a chair he is eliminated. If the game is going too slowly, remove two or more chairs. This adds an element of surprise to the game.


This is a good parent night activity. Hang a sheet over a doorway with a strong light behind it. Send a patrol of boys behind the door. On a signal each boy passes between the light and the sheet, as close to the sheet as possible. He may disguise his walking style, but make no other changes. The other boys try to guess who the shadow on the screen belongs to. As a variation, provide an old box of clothes, allow the boys to change their appearance somewhat, prior to their appearance on the screen.

Shepherd, Sheep and Wolf

Play in sixes or patrols. One boy from each team is the shepherd, one is the wolf and the rest are the sheep. Sheep stand at the opposite end of the room from the shepherd and wolf and form a line, each holding the belt of the boy in front. Blindfold the sheep and the wolf.

On signal, the blindfolded wolf begins to wander. Standing in one spot and using voice only, the shepherd tries to guide his sheep past the prowling wolf and safely to his side. How many sheep make it?

Shoes & Socks

Organize in sixes or patrols. Players take off socks and shoes. On signal, they race to put them back on, using one hand only! The first successful team wins. To add to the challenge, insist that players use their non-dominant hand.

Skittle Cricket

Equipment -- one old table tennis bat (or similar). Lightweight plastic ball, 10 skittles (plastic washing-up liquid bottles are ideal.)

The skittles are placed on a bench at the side of the field of play about four metres from the wicket (another bench). The ball is bowled underarm from the 'crease' (a chalk line) about seven metres in front of the wicket. When the batsman hits the ball he may run and fetch a skittle and place it on the bench behind him. The batsman collects another skittle after each strike, up to a total of ten, when his inning is completed. He may be bowled (struck) out or caught at any time, whether he is at the wicket or not, and his score is the total number of skittles left standing. There is no leg-before-wicket rule, says Mr. Auty (and he ought to know, since he invented the game) but I imagine that deliberate body obstruction of the wicket would not be tolerated. (Not by me it wouldn't, I can tell you.)

An agile wicket keeper is recommended to keep the game flowing, and the bowler should be changed as the batsmen change.

The beauty of this game is that the batsman cannot be bowled until he has scored at least one run; also that his position becomes more hazardous as his score increases, with a consequent lengthening of the line of skittles on the wicket.


Try this bit of rough and tumble with Scouts or Venturers. You need two cardboard boxes and two soccer-sized balls, and it's best to play in a grassy area. You also need rope or some other obvious way to outline the borders of the "arena", a circle about 10 m in diameter.

Place the boxes at opposite sides of the circle and put a ball in each. Organize players into two teams. Ask everyone to take off shoes and one team to take off socks, too.

Each team begins with players on their knees forming a huddle around their ball in the box. On signal, the teams try to move their ball to the other team's box.

Players must stay on their knees and within the boundaries of the arena. Other than that, anything goes.

Slay the Dragon

This game is similar to the "Stab the Bull" game at CJ'77. It is designed to determine which kingdom can stab the dragon with daggers the most times. The dragon is set along a pulley. Each kingdom has six knights for this competition. Two knights from each kingdom are chosen for each run of the dragon. Two knights pull the dragon along a pulley while the opposing knights attempt to stab as many balloons on the dragon as possible, in a set distance of thirty yards. The kingdom with the most gashes (balloons broken) is the victor.

Sled weight pull

Pile a heavy load on a sled (use cement blocks or logs) and see which patrol team can pull it fastest through an obstacle course.

Sleeping Pirate

Equipment: Two blocks of wood or matching boxes for pirate.

Blindfolded Scout from one patrol becomes the sleeping pirate and sits on a chair in the middle of the room with "treasure" (blocks of wood) which he is defending, at his feet. Scouts line up at one end of the room. On signal, "GO", Scouts stalk in an attempt to pick up treasure without being caught. Sleeping pirate catches Scouts who have made noise by pointing at them. A Scout pointed to must retire and start from beginning. Two trys for each player. Only one block can be captured at a time.

Ten points are given for each block or box successfully captured.

Variation: Use two pirates seated back to back, and more blocks if group is large.

Slipped Disk

The troop forms a circle and gets down on hands and knees, heads facing the centre. Place a frisbee in the middle of the back of one player. Scouts try to pass the disk around the circle from back to back without using hands, except to pick up a fallen frisbee and place it on the back of the person who let it fall.

Smash the Scouter

You play Smash the Scouter in four teams, each assigned a Scouter or a patrol leader as a target. My boys prefer Scouters. Mark boundary lines on the floor to divide the hall into quarters and put a team in each quarter. Scouts may move freely in their own area, but may not cross the boundary into another team's space. The Scouter stands near the outside corner of his area, as far as possible from the other teams' boundaries. Spread half a dozen or more large, soft balls around the hall.

On signal, Scouts pick up the balls in their territory and throw them to try to hit the other teams' Scouters. At the same time, they must try to protect their own Scouter from being hit by the other teams' Missiles. Scouters may twist and duck to avoid being hit, but must not move their feet. Each Scouter keeps track of the number of times he's struck. At the end of the game, the winning team is the one whose Scouter has counted the lowest number of hits.

The best strategy in this game is to position a couple of boys near their Scouter to protect him while the rest concentrate on attacking the others. Whenever we play, however, the strategy goes out the window and all the boys become enthusiastic attackers, happily leaving their Scouter to fend for himself. I can't think why.

Smash the Scouter is a good game for releasing frustrations. I caution you, however, to make sure your hall is large enough that the Scouters are a good distance away from the attackers of the other teams. We want "smash" to be figurative, not literal!

Solar System

Equipment needed: Several empty egg boxes

A plane has crashed in the area carrying the component parts of a revolutionary new solar energy system that will be cheap to produce and will help to save the earth's dwindling natural resources. But, during the crash, the components (which look rather like ordinary egg boxes) have scattered over a wide area.

Two countries have sent their best men to find these components and bring them back to their leaders. The country lucky enough to make use of this secret energy plan will become very rich and powerful but it must have all the parts before the system will work.

Divide boys into two teams and hide enough egg boxes for one complete team to find one box each.

Send boys to search for these and return with them to base. Team with most egg boxes found may then challenge other team to a trial of strength to win remaining components. This could be arm wrestling matches between a boy who returned empty handed from each team. Or the team with most boxes could choose their champion and pit him against one of the boys with a box from the other team. If deadlock occurs settle it with an all-in tug 'o war.

Soup Can

The Incredible Shrinking Scout has decided to quit show-biz and live as a hermit on a desert island. Normal suitcases are too big for him, so pack up this empty soup can with as many useful items as possible. He'll need only one of each item. You must have it packed no later than... (Scouter's Note: Give each patrol a clean empty can. Any size will do as long as each patrol gets the same size.)

Spaghetti Drop

For a hilarious relay with older sections at a Hallowe'en party, try this one. Teams line up in relay formation. Each chooses one member to go to the opposite end of the playing area, take off his shirt, and lie on his back with an empty pop bottle on his stomach. He may hold the bottle in place. Beside the first person in each team, place a pot of cooked, cooled and drained (but still slightly soggy) spaghetti noodles, and a pair of disposable plastic gloves. After the signal, each player in turn puts on the gloves, picks up 10 wet noodles, runs to the other end of the room, and drops the noodles into the pop bottle before racing back to take off the gloves and hand them to the next player. Declare the first team finished the winner. Declare each team's bottle-holder a hero!

Spar Golf

Patrols in relay formation out of doors, each with a 10/12 ft. spar of about 4 in. butt. The first man in each patrol carries his spar out any distance he likes, butts it into the ground or snow then shouts "Go" and takes his hands away so that the spar hangs in the balance. The second man must catch it before the tip strikes the ground. If he succeeds, the patrol moves out to that point, while #2 carries the spar forward and repeats the process for #3. If, however, the runner fails to catch the spar in time, the next attempt must be made from the same spot. The patrol which covers the greatest distance is the winner.

Speed spud

Set up a ramp to roll potatoes down. Use a long stacking table with the legs of one end collapsed, or a household, hollow-core door. Let everyone choose a potato. Set these up at the start line at the top of the ramp. At a signal from the referee, the racers let their spuds go. The first one over the finish line wins.

Improvise different rules: the straightest rolling spud wins; the fastest wins; the one that rolls the farthest wins; the funniest roll wins.

Spinning Jenny

Just the job for enabling the Scouter to get one back on the troop when they've been playing him up.

Players in two concentric circles, facing inwards. Inner circle join hands as for "Ring-a-ring-o'-roses". Players in outer circle stand in gaps with hands on shoulders of pair in front. At signal, all bounce round lightly on toes. Scouter in charge shouts, "One up!" "Two up!" "Two down!" and so on, and outside players have to claw their way in clockwise direction (up) or counter-clockwise (down), while inner circle continues in original direction. Very energy consuming Guaranteed to take the steam out of even the rowdiest troop in five minutes flat. Strongly recommended.

Spud of the Nile

Put a large collection of potatoes on a table. Try to build the tallest pyramid possible. (A great team event.)

Star Dash

The patrols sit in relay formation arranged like spokes of a wheel, all facing centre with patrol leader in front of each. This is done so that there is at least a 6 ft. diameter circle in centre of spokes. Each patrol numbers off, from the patrol leader backwards. There are three commands: Change, Cross, Around -- each of which is followed by a number. When 'Change' is called, that number just runs across the centre and sits in the space vacated by the Scout with the same number in the patrol opposite. When 'Across' is called, the number runs across the centre round the patrol opposite and back to his place. When 'Around' is called, he runs clockwise right round the outside spokes and back to his place. Another order may be given to another number, before the first order has been completed, thus getting most of the troop running round at the same time. The first Scout to complete the order wins a point for his patrol.

Step Over

This is a good game on a parent night, as it produces lots of laughs. The boys are lined up in a relay formation. Between them and a wall 30' in front of them, a number of objects such as chairs, coats, ropes strung across the room, staffs, books, etc., are placed. The boys are asked to study the position of these objects, then place their scarves over their eyes and walk to the far wall without bumping into any object. Anyone touching an object stops where he is. The first person to reach the far wall successfully is the winner. Now the fun begins. Return the boys to relay formation. Rearrange the objects on the floor. Have the boys place their blindfolds over their eyes. Now, create a momentary diversion while someone gathers up all the objects. Then start the game. It will be quite hilarious watching the boys step over, around and under objects that don't exist.

Stick Pull

Two Scouts sit facing each other with the soles of their feet touching. They both grasp a strong stick between them and, on signal, pull. The first to lift the other guy's buttocks off the ground is the winner.

Storm the Fort

Play Storm the Fort in a wooded area. Choose widely separated trees, one for each patrol, and place a safe sparkler in each. Give each patrol five matches. Using flashlights, the Scouts try to light the other patrols' sparklers while guarding their own. This won't work on a windy or rainy night.

Story Time

Give each patrol a newspaper, pair of scissors and tape. In 10 minutes, they are to cut words or phrases out of the newspaper and tape them together to make a story. A Scout from each patrol reads the story and the troop judges the winning patrol.


Get some people who are strangers to the boys to come along as passers-by in the street or road, and let the boys separately notice all about them. After an interval ask each boy for a full description of the passers-by as to appearance, peculiar recognizable points, and what he guesses their business to be.

Or let each boy have two minutes' conversation with some stranger, and try to find out what he can about him in that time by questioning and observation.

Stretcher Race

Equipment: For each patrol, two staves, one strong blanket, one inflated balloon.

Action: Patrols in relay formation, each 20 feet from two patients.

On signal, two men run up with blanket and staves, make stretcher, place a patient on it. Judge places inflated balloon on patient. Bearers pick up patient and carry him to starting line without losing balloon. At starting line, patient is lifted off; two other Scouts make a stretcher and carry second patient back.

Scoring: Patrol that carries both patients to starting line with greatest care (not speed)--with balloon remaining in place- wins.