One team, blindfolded, forms a line across the room, feet astride so that one player's left foot just touches his neighbour's right, and holding hands. The other team tries to pass through the cordon without being touched. Cordon may let go hands to catch a spy, but may not move their feet or bend their knees. Team getting most through, wins. A time limit is usually needed.
Submarines and Minefields
Half of the boys are in extended relay formation with legs apart. They are blindfolded and become 'mines.' The rest of the boys are submarines. On signal, 'subs' try to crawl between the legs of the mines, without touching. If a mine hears a sub, he 'blows it up' by touching it with one hand. Mines and subs change positions after a given time.
Score two points for each sub getting through mined waters. Mines receive two points for each sub blown up. Deduct two points from the mines' score for each blow made at a sub and missed.
Before heading out, number off the members of each patrol. At any time during the activities, a leader may blow a whistle and shout out a number. The patrols must immediately stop what they are doing and hoist their member with that number up on their shoulders.
Swat the Fly
Five or six players, each with a rolled up newspaper bat, stand in a circle. Attach several balloons on two metre strings to the waist of a player designated the Fly. The Fly races around the outside of the circle while the players in the circle swat at the balloons to try to burst them. The Fly gains a point for each lap he makes in a given time, and another point for each intact balloon remaining when his time is up. Scouts take turns at being the Fly.
The entire troop, save one, lie face downwards, side by side, on the floor to form the tracks. The spare man lies full length on top at one end. The tracks roll over together so that the man on top is borne swiftly along. Others follow in turn.
Players in circle. One starts by saying "Tenderfoot Tim went to camp and took..." mentioning some object. No. 2 repeats No. l's statement and adds another object, and so on, around the circle.
Each falls out as he fails to repeat the list. Last in wins; a list should be kept by the Leader on paper as the game proceeds.
Test Your Senses
Players sit around in a circle so that objects may be easily passed in the dark from player to player.
When explaining the game, the leader should try and create an air of mystery, a ritual-like atmosphere, to add to the fun of the game. Get all the players to whisper each sense in the order you want, See, Touch, Taste, Smell, Hear. After they whisper this, the leader says, "Now we'll chant the senses softly until we're sure of their order."
Fifteen mysterious objects are to be passed around the circle in three series each containing five objects, the first of each series is to be identified by Sight, the second Touch, the third Taste, the fourth Smell and the fifth Hearing. The players must maintain absolute silence throughout the game, concentrate and try to remember the names of all 15 objects.
With the lights out, the leader passes the flash light first, next an object to be identified by touch followed by something to be tasted, next by something to be smelled and then something to be heard (an old cow bell?). The leader continues to pass the objects in the established order. After the first series of five objects, start a second series beginning again with a flashlight. The third series is also started with another flashlight.
When all 15 objects have been passed, assign each player a partner and together they must write a list of the 15 objects passed in their exact order. The pair that prepares the best list is declared winner.
Note: Objects for touch: matchbox, button, wool, candle, thimble etc. This also makes a great Halloween game using the old stand-by's; wet, stuffed rubber glove, cold spaghetti, peeled grape, etc. Objects to smell: sachet powder, herbs and spices such as mint leaves or chili powder. A small piece of cloth could be soaked in a liquid with a distinctive smell, such as the newer scented shampoos, strawberry, lemon, cucumber etc.
The Black Panther
Equipment needed: Flashlights and maybe whistles
This game is played in darkness and in comparative silence. Boys draw slips and one of them is the black panther. Slips are handed back in exchange for flashlights. No-one knows who the panther is. All must now prowl about in a prescribed area listening for boy who, every minute or so, must whistle a snatch of well known tune. If they hear it (and only then) they can shine flashlight in face of boy they think the sound is coming from and if they catch him whistling they've won.
Or, if preferred, each boy can wear an actual whistle round his neck. Only the panther is allowed to blow his, in occasional short sharp blasts. The boy caught in the flashlight's beam with his whistle in his mouth is out. If real whistles are provided, area of play could be much wider -- provided they don't lope off totally out of earshot!
Equipment. One bag and several packages representing each item in your favourite camp menu.
Method. Place packages in a bag. Scouts group around leader (cook) who reaches into bag and picks out packages one at a time, naming each package as it is shown. After all packages have been brought out of cook's bag, Patrols go to corners, make a list of the ingredients from memory, and figure out the menu.
Variation. Each Patrol "cooks" up a new recipe and tries it out on the Troop. Most practical and popular recipe earns 25 points for the originators.
The Incredible Bulk
Equipment needed: Large sack or garbage bag Length of rope
The poor old Incredible Bulk is lurking in the deepest part of the woods, wearing the large sack with holes cut for head and arms. Two teams are after him: the "goodies" who have the scientific know-how to turn him back permanently into a normal chap, and the "baddies" who want to capture him and exploit him by putting him in a sideshow so that people will laugh at him as a freak.
Send Bulk off to hide in the woods and divide remaining boys into two teams. The goodies must try to find him, approach him and remove sack, thus making him normal. The baddies have length of rope hidden among them and their aim is to approach him, tie rope round his middle and drag him (gently lads!) back to base.
Now the point is that the Bulk doesn't know which individual boys are good guys and which are bad guys. So it's up to each boy, or small group from either team, first to locate him and then to creep up on him unawares. Or they might try staying as a team and surrounding him. It is then up to them to convince him that they only want to help him. If the baddies do manage to rope him first, the goodies will have to plan a strategy to overpower the entire gang, untie rope and remove bag.
The Mad Spotter
This fun idea for the troop appeared in Scouting (U.K.) magazine a few years back. You need a flew packages of adhesive spots of different colours (available at office supply stores) and time to lay an outdoor trail leading to a good place to stop for a treat.
Stick some of the spots in obvious places and others where they'll be harder to find (e.g. green spots on green leaves), and assign different point values to different colours.
Tell the troop about the notorious Mad Spotter who recently hit the area, give each patrol a card, and send them out to find as many spots as possible to stick on their cards. Tally up scores as they enjoy a treat at the end of the trail. Later, retrace the route to remove any spots the Scouts didn't find.
The Twig Race
For this fun patrol challenge from Scouting (U.K.) magazine, you need a smooth spar 3 to 4 m long and 10-12 cm in diameter for each team and a twisty course with lots of tight turns and occasional obstacles to get over or through. If you have a treed area adjacent to your playing field, you can design the course by running a string path through the trees. If you don't have enough trees, use stakes and your imagination for other obstacles.
The object is for patrols to race their "twig" through the course against the clock. The challenge is not in the weight of the log but the difficulty in getting it past all the tight bends. At least two members of the team must be in contact with the twig at all times. The clock stops when the last Scout in the team crosses the finish line.
Before you start the clock and Scouts running, set the scene with a story that explains the race. You can make it anything you wish, but the British Scouts heard that the original race took place on Christmas Eve in the time of Ivan the Terrible (mid 1500s). It seems Ivan sent his serfs out in the snow to gather firewood. Because it was bitterly cold,
these poor servants did not want to linger in the forest any longer than they had to. Working in pairs, they picked up the largest branches and logs they could carry and raced back to the warm castle with them as fast as they could.
All relays basically follow this format. The boys are arranged in relay formation by patrol. The lead boy is given a paper plate on which three rubber balls (or tennis balls) are resting. With his hand under the plate, the boy runs to a marker 30' in front of him, imitating a waiter serving in a fancy restaurant. On his return, the second boy repeats the task. As a variation you can instruct the boy to change hands at the marker, or to return with the balls and plate on their heads.
The Wire Game
Play at night in a bushy area. Scatter lots of 20 cm lengths of string throughout the play area.
Organize the troop into two groups of resistance fighters whose bases are located at either end of the play area. Communications between the bases have been severed. The resistance fighters must find bits of wire (the string) and join them together to connect the bases so that they can resume transmissions. Of course, six or seven security guards are patrolling the area so the resistance fighters must accomplish the task without being caught.
Resistance fighters carry a drinking straw (life), which they must surrender to any guard who spots them. A fighter without a life must return to base for another straw before resuming the search for wire or working on connecting the pieces.
Thrashing the Hen
For this activity a man with a bell had a hen tied to his back. Two other men were blindfolded and given sticks to beat the hen to death. For a more tasteful version of the stunt, tie a balloon to the back of one boy and give him a bell. Give two other boys light rolled-paper batons with which to try to break the balloon.
For older sections, try a soccer game in which the field men are two players tied together at the leg as if for a three-legged race and the goalies are two players tied back-to-back at the waist. Make the playing field smaller than for a regular game. Players may kick with their combined leg or their free legs.
Throwing at Cocks
In its original, most barbaric form, a hen was sealed into an earthen crock which was then suspended from a high pole. People paid a fee to throw stones at the crock. When the crock broke, whoever caught the hen ate it. Here's a tamer version. Seal a pound of candy in a papier mache hen and hang the hen from the ceiling like a pinata. One at a time, blindfolded boys swing a stick at the hen. Each has three swings before he passes blindfold and stick to another boy.
Tops and Tails
Players in circle; first player mentions a two-syllable word - e.g., "England"; second player mentions a word, also of two syllables, of which the first must be the second of the previous word - e.g., "landlord"; third player might say "lordship", and so on till a player fails and loses a life. Three lives lost, player falls out.
(Each team is to provide a towel.) The story--a victim is drowning, you are to send a team mate after him, bring him ashore by approaching victim carefully, towing him back, lifting him from pool and demonstrating proper procedure for rescue breathing.
Select one boy from each team and assign him to the right or left side of the pool deck, near the middle of the pool. When you have your 20 boys lined up (10 on each side), throw a puck into the pool and see which boy can retrieve it first. One boy dives into the pool from each side, one retrieves the puck, and then both return to their respective teams.
Equipment needed: Mayan treasure chest Weapons, such as red felt pens or short lengths of rope
Inside the treasure chest or box (not too large as the boys must be able to carry it and run) can be rocks or leaves but it would be more imaginative if it contained a small statue or mask. This could be fashioned from driftwood or carved earlier, by a leader or boy. Or, as a previous camp assignment, each boy could carve or whittle a small animal or idol-like statue, or perhaps mould one from clay, and they could all be wrapped and placed in the box.
A leader buries the treasure some distance from base and just out of sight -- maybe under a pile of leaves or tucked under the overhanging banks of a small stream. He then draws two identical maps of the area, indicating where the treasure may be found.
Boys now divide into two teams: the archaeology students and the bounty hunters. Leader tells them that a world famous historian has sent word that, during his researches, he has unearthed maps and information to the effect that priceless Mayan treasure is buried somewhere in the area. The government very much wants this treasure trove to be placed in a national museum so that all may share its beauty and so that historians and archaeologists may unravel some of the hidden secrets of Mayan civilization.
However, the bounty hunters know that they will get a good price for it if they sell it to a bunch of rich foreign potentates lurking back at base along with the senior archaeologists. (Leaders take on these roles.)
Each group is handed a map (or you could hand each team a cryptic clue leading them to the maps which could be hidden somewhere nearby). They are told to search for the treasure and to do all in their power to keep it in their possession until they can get it safely back to base.
Points will be awarded as follows:
Five points for finding the treasure first.
Ten points for bringing it back to base.
One point for each opponent captured.
Captures could be made by marking bullet holes on boys' foreheads with a red felt pen (ugh!) or by tying his wrists behind his back using fiendishly clever knots -- but not so fiendish that his circulation is cut off! A time limit may need to be set.
Triangular Bandage Relay
Equipment: One neckerchief per patrol.
Action: Patrols in relay formation, each facing a seated "patient" and a judge across room. Game leader announces bandage to be tied: hand, head, knee or foot.
On signal, first Scout runs up, applies bandage, is scored by judge, unties bandage, runs back, touches off next Scout, who runs up to apply next bandage. Continue until seven runners have tied a bandage.
Scoring: Score for quality not speed: perfect bandage 10 points; good 8; fair, 6.
This game requires muscle and stamina. It is begun by any number of players sitting in a row, each grasping his right ankle with his left hand and his left ankle with his right hand. (If you do not think this is a difficult position to hold, try it.) At a given signal, the players leave their mark and move as fast as possible toward another mark, a short distance away. The boy who crosses the goal line first, without removing his hands from his ankles, wins.
Two Man Carry Relay
Action: Patrols in relay formation, Scouts numbered from one to eight.
On signal, Scouts No.'s 1 and 2 carry No. 3 using four-hand carry (conscious patient carry) 20 feet, turn around and return to starting line. Next, No.'s 3 and 4 carry No. 5 around the course. Continue sequence until patrol makes four carries.
Scoring: First patrol to complete four carries wins.
This wide game, also from Scouting (U.K.), is a fun way to get Scouts or Venturers better acquainted with each other early in the Scouting year. Organize them into two teams of equal numbers and supply each team lengths of rope. 10 flags, and a supply of "lives".
Divide the outdoor playing area (preferably mixed field and woods) in two and identify territorial borders. Teams establish bases at opposite ends of the playing area and plant their flags. Then, they organize themselves in pairs, each of which ties itself together at the ankle, three-legged style, and collects one life from the team captain.
On a signal, teams try to raid the flags at their opponents' base while protecting their own. The three-legged players may tag opponents they find in their territory and remove a life from them. Lifeless pairs must hobble back to base to get a new life from their captain. While lifeless, they may not raid flags or tag opponents.
Pairs who successfully obtain a flag have free passage back to their own base where they add it to their team's collection. At the end of a set time (or when players are black and blue from failing over each other), blow a whistle to call in teams and count up flags.
This version of frisbee football was a weekly game for our Scout troop whenever we could get outdoors. It is a non-contact team game where players pass the frisbee up and down the field by throwing. Running with the frisbee is not allowed. Each goal (a frisbee caught in the opponent's end zone) scores a point. When an opposing team member intercepts or knocks down a throw, there is a quick turnover and the frisbee begins moving in the opposite direction.
Ultimate involves a lot of running and jumping, which makes it a great warm-up game in the spring, and Scouts quickly learn it. For stability in throws, it's best to play with the 141 g size disk.
Underwater Kim's game
Place a number of non-floating objects close together underwater at the bottom of a pool or at the beach. For Beavers, place objects in water about waist-deep-- deeper for swimming Cubs and Scouts.
Each swimmer must wade, jump or dive into the water, look at the objects (without touching them), come to the surface, return to the leader and report what he can remember.
Underwater treasure hunt
Distribute fifteen or twenty "treasure" items on the bottom of a pool or lake. Treasures should be shiny objects (metal washers-- gold pirates coins), marbles, etc.. Avoid breakable objects or those with sharp corners.
Mark the general area of the treasure by a floating marker.
On a signal, a single member from each competing team dives into the water with a bag to search for the treasure. Allow each diver several minutes before another diver from his team replaces him. The team scoring the most points wins. (You might score "1" for a washer, "2" for a smooth stone, etc..)
The boys are seated in a circle with one boy in the centre. The leader assigns the name of a vegetable to each of two boys in the circle. When the name of their vegetable is called, the two 'corns' or 'potatoes' run to change places, while the boy in the centre tries to get one of the vacant places. When the leader calls 'vegetable stew' everyone scrambles to get a different seat. The one left standing is it' for the next round
Boys are in relay formation. Each team has a "tray"-a paper plate on which is balanced three tennis balls. Boys race to a mark and back holding the tray in the flat of the hand and extended from the body, as waiters do when carrying meals through busy restaurants.
Play this game in shallow water (about waist deep) with a plastic soccer or beach ball. Using floating markers set up goals at each end of the playing area. Players must not grasp, hold or throw the ball. They may only push or kick the ball on the water surface.
A game we picked up in Sweden many moons ago: for each patrol, a bowl of drinkable water and a pint mug. At the far end of the field -- say thirty yards -- a bowl of equal capacity. At the word "Go," the first man in each team takes a mouthful of water, sprints down the track, spouts the water into the other bowl and returns to hand the mug to the next in line; and so on till all the water has been transferred. In Sweden, they added to the hardship by playing the game on a fairly steep, very rough slope.
- Six silver or gold ingots (if budget restraints prevent the use of real ingots, pieces of 2x2 wrapped in silver or gold foil will do).
- Strips of paper 2 cm x 20 cm in two colours for "lives".
- Safety pins (one per player plus extras)
To Play (20 minutes)
Organize the troop in two equal teams and assign each a "life" colour. Each player pins a life of the appropriate colour on his right shoulder.
Organize the play area unto halves and assign each team one half to defend. Each team sets up a bank and a jail in its territory, marking out a ground area 3 m x 3 m for each with string or flour.
Give each team three ingots to deposit in its bank.
On signal, players try to sneak into their opponents' territory to steal their ingots and carry them to their own bank.
A player may carry only one ingot at a time.
A player is captured when an opponent tears his life from his shoulder. Captures may be made only in the opposition's territory (attacking zone).
If he is carrying one, a captured player must surrender the ingot to his captor, then go to the enemy jail, where he receives a new life but must stay until rescued by a teammate. In order to make the rescue, the teammate must run into the jail and tag inmates without being caught.
When time is up, the team with the most ingots in the bank is winner.
Wet Egg Toss
Fill small balloons generously with water for an inexpensive version of an egg-toss. Scouts in pairs toss the fragile missile back and forth between them, increasing the distance tossed with each successful catch. A great game for a hot day!
Make an arrangement of six containers (more if you like) in which you've placed aromatic materials such as turpentine, coffee grounds, cinnamon, pepper, perfume, etc. Cover the containers and punch small holes in the covers.
Organize the boys in relay formation and give each boy a card numbered 1 to 6. Every boy runs six times. On each run, he tries to identify one of the odours and marks it on his card.
You can play this as a circle game or simply as a pass-around, but the relay adds a bit of fun to the proceedings.
An activity day involving a sun-up to sundown round of activities is the next best thing to a winter camp. In fact it should precede any winter outing in order to check the boys' dress, brush them up on winter foods and cooking, and reinforce the idea of the shortness of the winter day. Many boys make the mistake of putting off chores in winter camp assuming, as in summer camps, they will be able to complete their wood gathering, or similar tasks, after supper.
The activities listed here work best when you have several patrols in competition. So invite your neighbouring troops or those from other districts. Have each set up a base station and on a pre-arranged signal, send one member of the patrol to receive instructions at a central point. Then the boy returns to his patrol, explains the activity, and the patrol carries out the project. First patrol finished or with best job, gets some reward--either points, ribbons, etc. At noontime all return to base to cook dinner, and after lunch the games resume. Some ideas:
1. Using the bodies of your patrol, spell the international symbol for help in clean snow. (But you'd better make sure there are no aircraft in the vicinity when you try this, or you may be unexpectedly rescued!)
2. Using any method you know, demonstrate how to rescue one of your buddies who has fallen through the ice of a nearby pond.
3. Devise a way of bringing an injured Scout from your base to the central point without him touching the ground. Demonstrate.
4. Find some way, in addition to No. 1, of signalling to an imaginary airplane that you are lost.
5. Take a balloon (provided) back to your base. Devise a way of breaking it from 25' away. Come to central and demonstrate your method. You have only two chances.
6. Find the champion "snow chicken fighter" in your patrol. Once determined, send him to central to see who is the grand champ.
7. With whatever material you've handy, devise a rabbit snare. Once done, send someone to advise central so they can check it.
8. Get one of your members 5' off the ground, have him light a fire sufficient to boil a billy of water on his perch.
9. Capture and tie up one of the patrol leaders of a rival patrol--no fisticuffs--and don't get wet.
10. Send your best axeman to the axemanship contest. (In pulp log, drill ten 1/8" holes 2" apart. Set a wooden match head-up in each hole. Each contestant gets ten direct chops at the matches. The number he lights is his score. A hatchet is recommended over a 2 1/4 pound axe.)
You can round this program off with a toboggan pulling contest, tug of war on ice, tin can curling, ice pond bowling (using frozen milk containers for pins and frozen snowballs for balls), tin can hockey (using dead branches as sticks and tin cans for pucks).
This game may be introduced when the Scouts have mastered "Buzz". The rules are exactly the same, except that as well as saying "Buzz" for 7, the players also say "Whizz" for 5.
E.g., 67 is "whizz buzz."
75 is "buzz whizz."
Who Are You A-Shoving?
A bit of floor is marked off capable of holding half the players packed tight. Teams line up around it. All try to get into the marked area; only shoulder-heaving allowed. After two minutes team with most in wins.
A wombat is a clumsy bear-like animal that lives in a hole in the ground. Play the game like table tennis using a ping pong ball on any large flat surface with a net or barrier stretched across the centre. The difference is the bat. A wombat bat is the size and shape of a table tennis paddle, but it has a 7 cm hole cut into the centre! Make bats from plywood or old ping pong paddles.
Give each patrol a newspaper, scissors and 10 minutes to come up with four jumbled words. They then challenge other patrols to make words from their letters.
Ye Old Catapult
A game to test the patrol skills between the kingdoms, by firing off catapults. Each kingdom has five catapults. Extra knights are royal water balloon fillers. The two kingdoms are set on the highest point of land near the camp, facing each other thirty yards apart. Both kingdoms fire water filled balloons at each other and the kingdom with the most hits (the driest) is the victor.
Ye Old Long Staff
A game to pit the strength of the individual knight against a knight of the opposing kingdom. Each kingdom has six knights representing it and opponents of equal physical stature are paired off. Both opponents are placed on an 8' x 1' plank. Each then attempts to force the other off by clashing staffs and thus pushing the opposing knight off the plank to his death.
Ye Old Spear Throwing
A game to test the collective skills of lancers. Each kingdom has six lancers. The knights selected attempt to hit an 8' x 3' target of a knight in shining armour. The kingdom with the most collective strikes on the knight is the victor.
Ye Old Wide Game
This game is similar to "Flags". Each kingdom tries to successfully take the other kingdom's treasure (kingdom flag). The kingdom which does it twice is the victor.
Ye Old Wild Boar
A game to determine which kingdom has the finest archers. The target is a 5' x 4' painted image of a wild boar. Each kingdom is allowed six archers, with six arrows each, and the kingdom which scores the most hits is the victor.
You Can See It--Can't You?
This game can be played indoors or out.
Show the players the article to be hidden. Explain the game and then ask them to leave the room or standby in a designated spot, if outdoors.
Hide the object 'in plain view', that is, place it in an out-of-the- way spot where it may be easily seen when a player flashes his flashlight upon it if standing in just the right spot.
When the object is 'hidden' call the players back to start the hunt. As soon as a player sees the object, he sits down. The hunt continues until everyone spots the object and is sitting down.
Note: A flashlight is needed for each player or team them in pairs with one flashlight a pair.
Variation: One player with a flashlight hunts for the object while the group watches, yelling out HOT, COLD or WARM as the player gets closer or farther from the hidden object.