Animal Relay

Based on text from: (Dan Mott)

Each member of a team is allocated a different animal. He must then move across the hall in the style of that animal. Brilliant fun, but hard to grade.

Donkey – Travelling on all fours to the goal and imitating the donkey’s bray.

Duck – Walking on two feet in squat position squawking without stopping..

Lame Dog – Walking on two hands and one foot and barking..

Bear – Bent over standing on their hands and feet, moves right and left foot together, and then left hand and right foot together..

Duck – Squatting down low, with knees spread, arms stretched out with their hands clasped in front of their legs below their knees..

Crab – Back toward the floor, supported on hands and feet, the feet facing forward..

Elephant – On hands and feet, with legs and arms absolutely rigid..

Frog – Feet spread with his knees outside his hands, which are together. Advancing by frog-like jumps, landing on hands at each leap, then bringing the feet up..

Back-to-Back Relay

Idea from: (Dan Mott)

Pairs standing back to back their backs touching and must run together to a goal and back with one running forward and the

other running backward. If they separate, they must start over again.

Backward Trip Race

From: (Dan Mott)

This is run in teams of three, the central player facing forward; the other two, with arms linked, facing backwards. The first team to finish intact wins.

Bat the Balloon

From (Jim Speirs) – ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication

• A pack of balloons.

Teams line up with members standing side by side, separated by the distance obtained when players stretch their arms

sideways. Fingertips should touch between players.

The first player in line takes and inflated balloon, and bats it towards the second person in line, who bats it to the third person,

on down the line and back again.

The only rule is this: once the players have taken their stance, they may not move their feet. If a balloon falls to the floor, or if

someone moves his feet in an attempt to reach the balloon, the first person in line must run and get the balloon, and take it back to the starting line to begin again.

Refinement: Add more than one balloon per line, going in both directions.

Blind men’s Race

From: (Dan Mott)

• Blindfolds for 2/3 players

This is raced by teams of three. Two are blindfolded, and clasp hands. The one not blindfolded holds their outside hands and

guides them through the course.

Bucket Relay

From (Jim Speirs) – ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication

• Two buckets per team

• Water

Fill one of the buckets half-full with water, and leave the other empty. On ‚Go‘, the first player runs to the other end of the

playing area where the buckets have been placed, pours the water into the other bucket, leaves the empty bucket there, and

carries the full bucket to the next player in line.

The second player takes the bucket with water down to the other end of the playing area and empties it into the empty bucket.

He then picks up the full bucket and carries it back.

The relay is finished when all have had a turn. The winner is the team with their water intact.

Candle And Straw Relay Race

• A Candle per team

• A box of matches per team

• A drinking straw per team member

Each team member is given a straw. They have to race to the opposite end of the hall where their candle and box of matches is

located. They must light the candle and then blow it out by blowing the flame through the straw. This can also be played in

subdued lighting.

Candle Race

From: (Dan Mott)

• A candle per team

• Matches

First person lights a candle, carries it to a specified point, returns to the next person in line, hands him the candle; all without

letting the flame go out. If the flame does go out, he must return to the starting line, re-light the flame and start over again.

Centipede Relay

Cub 1 of the team runs up hall and back, he puts one hand between his legs for the cub 2 to hold. They run up hall and back

together, cub 3 joins chain etc. Team penalised if chain breaks – must start again.

Variation: Instead of holding hands the team holds onto a pole.

Checker Relay

• 6 Wooden checkers playing pieces (or coins) per team

Scouts race up and down the hall in relay fashion, with a pile of 6 checkers balanced on the back of one hand. They are not

allowed to steady the pile with the other hand. The only time they can touch the checkers with the other hand, is either when

they have dropped them and are picking them up, or when they are transferring the checkers to another scout in their team.

Clodhopper Race

From: (Dan Mott)

• A Newspaper per teamA Blindfold per team

A series of pieces of paper are placed in a circle after a team member is blindfolded. The team member must step on each piece

of paper following directions from team mates. They cannot touch him or move him themselves.

Clothes Pin Relay

From: Jack W. Weinmann

• Clothes peg per team

• Bottle per team

Divide into teams. Each team member must run from the starting line to a team bottle placed a distance away, attempt to drop a wooden clothes pin into the bottle (Each boy has only one attempt to get the clothes pin in the bottle) and run back to tag the next team member, who then repeats the action. The rules are to hold the clothes pin with a straight arm at shoulder height or with a bent arm at waist height (as long as all do it the same way. When all the teams are done the team with the most clothes pins in their bottle wins the game.

Compass Skills Patience

• Sets of cards with compass points printed on them

This game is played the same way as the patience relay (described earlier). This time the boys have to place the cards at the

correct compass position for that card. Suggested order for laying down cards: North, South, East, West, North East, South

East, South West, North West. NNE, SSW, NNW, SSE, ENE, WSW, ESE, WNW.

Refinement: Replace some directions with bearings (eg. 270 is East)

Cone Race

• Cord per team

• Paper cone (cup) per team

Thread paper cones onto a cord stretched between chairs, or posts. Each team member blows cone to the end of the cord,

brings it back; next boy does the same. First team finished wins.

Crew Race

From: (Dan Mott)

• A pole per team

Groups of four or more straddle a pole, which must be held with both hands by each player. The front racer having at least one

hand on the rail in front of him and the boy on the rear having at least one hand on the rail behind him. All scouts face backward except the last one who is the crosswain and steers.

Cross the River

• 4 Card or carpet tile stepping stones per team

• 3 Awkward pieces of equipment per team eg.rucksack, football or hoop

Line up sixes with their equipment and draw two lines to represent the river. Lay the stepping stones across the river. Cub 1

carries cub 2 on his back across the river using the stepping stones. Cub 2 comes back and picks up cub 3 plus a piece of

equipment. Cub 3 comes back and picks up cub 4 plus a piece of equipment and so on until all the cubs have crossed the river.

Those cubs on the bank should be encouraged to cheer their team on.

Dizzy Pole Relay (Izzy Dizzy)

• A pole per team

Each team member runs up hall, picks up a pole. Then puts one end stationary on the ground and runs around it 10 (or so)

times before running dizzily back to his team to tag the next boy.

Donkey Race

• Pole or broom per team

Two boys straddle a broomstick, back to back. On signal, one runs forward and the other runs backwards about 50 ft. They

then run back to the starting line, but this time they change positions (forward becomes backward runner) then the next two

team members go.

Dribble Ball

• A Ball per team

• 3+ Skittles (or chairs) per team

Standing in teams, each person in turn dribbles the ball down the line of skittles slalom fashion, either using their foot, a stick or a washing up liquid bottle and then straight back to the next man in their team. If a skittle is knocked over, the player has to return to the start and begin again.

Driving the Pig

• A 3″ pole per team

• A 5 pint plastic milk carton per team

Fill each bottle with a little water as ballast. In turn, each member of the team uses the stick to push the bottle (pig) to the end of the hall (fair) and runs back with the equipment. (Game not too suitable for varnished wood floors)

Variation: Teams run laps around a grand-prix course around several chairs in a circular or (harder) figure-of-eight course.

Feather Relay

• A long feather per team

Each player throws a long feather javelin style, toward the finish line. As soon as it comes to earth, he picks it up and throws it again, and continues until across the finish line. He then picks it up and runs back to his team to give the feather to the next player.

Variation: Replace feather with a paper aeroplane (each team can make it) for outdoors.

File Race (Chinaman’s Race)

From: (Dan Mott)

Teams of 6 to 12 ( or 4 to 8) each race, one behind the other. No scout is permitted to pass his teammate ahead of him.

Fireman, Save My Child

• Drinking straw per player

• Paper cut-out of a child, about 1.5 to 2″ tall.

Each team has a pile of the cut-out children on a table and a drinking straw for each player. Approximately 15-20 feet away from the start, place a small pail for each team on another table, chair, stool, or whatever. At the call of „Fireman, save my child“, the first player on each team must pick up a child by sucking up the figure against their straw. While holding the figure this way, they run to their respective pail and deposit the figure. The next team member then goes. If they drop the figure en-route, they must stop and pick up their child, again, by sucking it up with the straw.

Variation: Use dried peas instead of paper cut outs.

Flapping Fish Relay

A paper fish per team

A newspaper per team

Players must waft a paper cut-out of a fish (1′ length) across the hall and back using the newspaper as a fan. Best approach: fan the fish using flat slightly unfolded newspaper standing a couple of feet back, or just cheat. Worst Approach: Whack the fish as hard as you can with a rolled-up newspaper.

Heel Race

From: (Dan Mott)

Each runner runs on his heels. Scouts are not allowed to touch the toes to the floor.


• A short rope per team

• A chair per team

Teams stand in lines at one end of the hall. There is a wooden chair with a bar back at the other end of the hall opposite each team. The front player of each team has a length of rope in one hand. On the command ‚GO‘ the second player jumps onto the back of the front player and they race piggy back style to the chair at the other end of the hall. The player riding jumps down and ties one end of the rope around the top bar of the chair using the highwayman’s hitch. He then jumps back on the other players back, pulls the end of the rope to free it and they then race back to their team. The player who was the horse goes to the back of the team and the player who was the rider now becomes the horse or front player.

Human Boat Race

Each boat is made up of eight to ten players each in full knees-bent position. Each player has his hands on the shoulders of the man in front. Facing the line of players in each boat is a ‚COX‘. The cox holds the hands of the front player in the boat. When the race starts, the boats move forwards by all players in a boat springing together off both feet. The cox for each boat shouts encouragement for his team and calls out the rhythm for the spring. During the race, any boat that breaks up into two or more parts is deemed to have sunk and is disqualified from the race.

Island Race

• 4+ chairs per team

Each team must cross the hall without touching the floor. This can be done if the team stand on all but one chair which is passed to the front of the ‚island‘. The team can then move forward so that the chair at the back is free, this can be passed to the front etc. To increase difficulty reduce the number of chairs.

Nail Driving Relay

From: Jack W. Weinmann

• A Hammer per team

• A Wooden block per team

• Bag of nails

Stand one 2×4 block for each team on edge and start two or three 16 penny nails to the same height in the edge. Place the blocks about fifteen feet from the starting line and put a hammer next to each of the blocks. On „GO!“ one boy from each team races to the block, picks up the hammer, and swings ONE blow to drive the nail into the block. He then lays the hammer down and returns to his team, tagging the next boy in the relay. The race continues, with each boy in turn going as many times as it takes for one team to drive all of its nails flush into the block. Be ready to straighten bent nails.

Variation: Drive tent pegs into the ground with a mallet.

Newsprint Race

From: (Dan Mott)

• 1 Newspaper

Each scout is provided with two sheets of newspaper which he uses to run the race. He can only step on the newspapers; this is done by: stepping on one, lay the other in front of him, steps on it, retrieves the paper behind him, which he places in front of him moving forward in this fashion.

Paper Hoops

From: Joe Irvine; Helper/Warboys Wizards Pack – Cromwell District

• Several newspapers

This is a relay race between sixes. A pile of newspapers for each six is placed at one end of the room with the sixes lined up at the other end. When the whistle blows they race up to the newspapers. The object is to cut the newsper sheet in the middle and then step through the paper without ripping it right through to the edge. If that happens they have to start again. When they have stepped through they race back so that the next team member can go. The winners are those who are all sitting down with their arms folded. Use newspapers that are not too big.

Patience Relay

• A pack of playing cards for every 4 teams

Separate the cards into a suit per team. Lay out the 10 number cards (including ace) in any order face down at the end of the hall. One at a time the boys run up and turn over a card. If it is not the Ace then they turn it face down again and run back to their team and the next player has a go. When the ace is turned up they can lay it face up. The next card needed is the two and so on. Play continues until one team has all its cards turned face up. Requires team to use memory and team-work to reduce errors.

Ping Pong Ball Relay

From: (Dan Mott)

• A party blower per team

• A ping pong ball per team

Each player gets a party blower (the type that unrolls when you blow it) That he uses to push the ping pong ball across the floor. He can only use the party blower, nothing else, he can’t blow the ball himself, or touch it in any way except for the blower.

Potato Jump Race

• Small ball per team

Establish a start and a finish line. Line the boys up on the starting line. Give each boy a potato (ping-pong ball, balloon, etc.) to put between his knees. On ‚GO‘ see who can jump to the finish line first without dropping the potato.

Potato Race

• Fork per team

• Potato per team

Each team member tosses the potato into the air and catches it on the fork, takes it off and hands them to the next player.

Rocket Relay

From> (Jim Speirs) – ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication

• A chair per team

The Sixes line up with a chair at the head of each, facing away from the Six. The chairs are ‚launching pads‘ and the first Cub or ‚rocket‘ stands on the chair awaiting the countdown. When the leader reaches zero, the ‚rocket‘ blasts off round the room, touching all four walls, and returns to the ‚launching pad‘ where the next ‚rocket is waiting to be launched. The first ‚rocket‘ lets off the second and returns to his Six.

Round the Moon

From (Jim Speirs) – ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication

• A chair per team.

All the Sixes line up at the end of the room. Each Cub places his hands on the waist of the Cub in front so the Sixes form a ‚rocket‘. One chair is placed at the far end of the room opposite each Six, these are the ‚moons‘. When the leader calls ‚Go‘, the Sixes run the length of the room, round their ‚moon‘ and back into orbit. As they pass base, the ‚rockets‘ drop a section each time and the Cubs sit down there one by one, until finally the ‚nose cone‘ – the Sixer – returns home. The first team to be sitting down is the winner.

Skin the Snake

From: (Jim Speirs)

Team members stand one behind the other with legs apart and pass their right hands between the legs to grasp the left hands of those behind. Starting at the back, members crawl through the legs of those in front of them, without losing hand grip, until the whole team is standing in a line holding hands.

Seed Planting Relay

• 6 cups, or jars per team

• One bag of seeds, or pasta shells, or dried peas

Following a line, or rope on the ground, and by walking heel to toe, each team member must stop (about every 3 feet and drop a seed in a small mouthed jar set near the line. When he reaches the end, he runs back and taps the next boy on the team.

Stacking the Cans

• 6 cans per team

Patrols or sixes stand in lines. They have to run to the end of the hall in relay fashion and each one add a can to the stack. The winning team is the first one back with a completed stack and all their team standing to attention.

Variation: Teams work against each other in pairs – One team stands at the side throwing bean bags or dusters at the piles of cans, the other team attempts to build up the pile. After swapping over the team with the fastest time wins.

Tunnel Relay

The team members stand in a line one behind another with their legs apart. The person at the back of the team crawls through the legs of the other members and then stands at the front, legs open. The next team member then goes. When everyone has crawled through (team is back in order) the team has finished.

Variation: Instead of crawling through a ball is passed backwards between the legs of the players. This will require the person at the end of the line to run to the front when he receives the ball.

Water Relay Race

• Paper cup per team

• 2 dixies or buckets per team

Transport water from point A to point B holding water can above head. Water can has small nail holes in bottom edge resulting in a shower effect on the carrier. Team that has the most water average per den wins.

Variation: Carry cup of water on foot.


Line patrols up. Give each team member a number. Then shout out modes of transport e.g. car. Number four runs because it has four wheels. Any mode of transport is applicable:

1 – unicycle

2 – bicycle

3 – trike or a unicycle and a bicycle.

4 – car

5 – Unicycle on top of a car

6 – 3 bikes.

TRAIN – Whole team runs.

You can make it up as you go along: But when you shout TRAIN then the whole team must run.

Whirling Wheels

From (Jim Speirs) – ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication

• A beanbag per team

Formation: Relay, like the spokes of a wheel, facing in a clockwise direction with the Sixers in the centre. The beanbags lie at the feet of each Sixer and when the leader gives the starting signal, they pick up the beanbag, run down the back of their Six and in a clockwise direction, round the wheel and back to the outside end of the Six. The beanbag is then passed up the Six to the Cub now at the centre. This continues until all the Cubs have had a turn.

Wild Wheelbarrow

Adapted by (Dan Mott) – Great Salt Lake Council

• A blindfold per team

One pushes a wheelbarrow and the other person blindfolded with the rider giving directions.

Some other very well known relays:

• Egg and spoon race

• Running Backwards

• Hopping, Jumping

• Wheelbarrow race

• Piggy-back race

• Sack race

Relays are described in other chapters

• Obstacle courses

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