From: Andrew Burt
• Pen per leader
• Scrap of paper per player
The cubs are issued with scraps of paper which they must not lose. Leaders (bad pirates) will paint a ‚Long John Silver‘ style spot on their scrap of paper to curse the cub if they can catch and tag them. Any cub without a spot, or with the least spots, wins.
Brass Rubbing Race
• Heavy duty paper or brown wrapping paper
• A Thick wax crayon per team
On the command go, each patrol leaves the hut in search of roadsigns to rub. They have to make up the phrase „BE PREPARED“ on the sheet of paper. They have to brass rub the letters onto the sheet of paper with the wax crayon, from the road signs. The first patrol back with the completed phrase are the winners. This is an excellent game as it makes the scouts think of all the road names in their locality that might contain the letters they need. You can of course use other phrases for repeated use. It is also a good idea to supply each patrol with a damp cloth, this is to clean the road sign of wax crayon should the paper split.
Capture The Flag
From: email@example.com (Rick Clements), Credit to: Joe Ramirez – Life Scout
• 2 flags orFor night play 2+ lanterns
First you pick out two even teams. Once you have the teams you set boundaries for the game. The boundaries can be wherever you want them. What you should end up with is a large rectangle or square. Once you have decided on the boundaries, you should draw a line through the middle of your playing zone. This line is divides the two sides. Each team should be able to choose where they want their flag and jail but they have to show the other team where they are and both teams have to agree on the placement of the flags and jails.
Once this is done, each team goes to their own side of the playing field. Once the game begins, the teams are free to go at the others flag. If a team member is caught on the other teams side, (To be caught you must be „tagged“ by a player on the opposite side on his own territory), he will be sent to jail. This player must sit in jail until either the game ends or he is freed by a member of his own team. To be freed, you have to be touched by a „free“ member of his own team. The freed player gets a free walk to his own side of the playing field. The person freeing the player is on his own, he may still be tagged and put in jail. To win the game you must capture the other teams flag and return it to your own side with out being captured.
It is up to the team on how they want to place their members. When we play, we usually have two players guard the flag and one player be the jail guard. Two or more players stick around and help provide the defence. The rest go for the flag.
From Mike Stolz
Our troop plays this on every overnite campout. For night play, we use 2 or 4 lanterns. Two are used to mark the center line, while the other two can be used to show the ‚approximate‘ area where the team’s flag is. Our flag guards MUST remain at least 15 feet (5 meters) from their own flag unless chasing someone, and the flags must be completely exposed (no stuffing them into holes in the ground, or tying them to trees). When the teams are small, we do away with the jail. Instead, we create ‚Check Point Charlie‘ at the centerline. Captured prisoners can be exchanged for a point. In case of a tie (equal games won, or no winner at all), the team that earned the most points is declared the winner.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug)
This game, played at night, is a variant of Capture the Flag that we just call „The Candle Game“. Two small pots are placed at opposite ends of a field (with trees or bush down the sides of the field) and lids for the pots are placed on the ground, just beside the pots; a small, lighted candle is placed in each pot. Each team tries to put out the other team’s candle by sneaking up on their opponent’s candle and putting the lid on the pot without being caught. The rest of the rules are pretty much the same as Capture the Flag.
Double Your Money
From: Andrew Burt
• Set of monopoly/trading post money
This is a game similar to ‚Mixed Up Names‘ and ‚Merchants‘. Each player is given a $1 note at the start of the game. The players must then find the very generous leader with the $5 note who will swap a $1 for $5. The players can then go on to find and swap their currency with other generous leaders going from $5 to $10, $50, $100. $500 up to about $1000. You can award points to the first players with a $1000 note, or total the money held by a team after a certain time limit.
It is easier to have one leader give one type of note but it is workable to have a leader give out 2 different notes as long as there is a few steps between them eg. $5 and $100, or $50 and $1000. It requires much agility from the leaders who need to deal with several handfuls of notes coming and going but it is well worth while. The cubs who have played this game really love it. The idea of being handed large sums of cash for nothing really got them running around, even when the money wasn’t real. A few cubs asked ‚Why don’t you use real money?‘ – obvious really, you wouldn’t see the leaders for dust.
• Coloured wool to match up with six’s colours
• 1 Tin Talcum powder
• Plastic plant identification labels
Tell story to the pack about the elephants who have escaped from the local circus, who have asked for the cubs help in getting the elephants back. The circus tell us that each elephant is wearing a coloured mat on it’s back, each mat matches one of the sixes colours. So each six can look for the elephant wearing their sixes colour on it’s back.
The cubs then follow a trail of wool, picking up their colours as they go. They must not pick up any other colours. You could tell them how many pieces they should find. The trail divides and finally the coloured wool disappears. All that can be seen is large (talcum powder) elephants footprints on the ground. These all lead to one place where the elephants can clearly be seen, wearing tatty mats on their backs, (parents or leaders). But the elephants have been caught by a gang of thieves who will sell them back to the cubs for £200 no more, no less.
The cubs are then told that they can gather this money from around a certain bush. This money is the plastic plant tabs, stuck into the ground around the bush. Each label is marked with an amount of money. Each six must only take labels to exactly £200 and pay the thieves for their elephant . They then take their elephant back to the circus where there is sure to be a reward.
From: Andrew Burt
• 1 Pack of face paints
The cubs are looking for a job in the circus, but the make-up artists have gone mad! The cubs must catch the mad artists (leaders) who will add a little face paint before running away to hide. At te end of the game you can hold an audition for the best face and clown. Ideal for a cub camp – you can tell from 100ft which cubs haven’t washed the next morning!
Game Of Life
From: email@example.com (H. James de St. Germain)
I learned a game at national scout camp which I forget the name of, but basically goes like this. All the scouts save one (or a couple) start out side of the woods. They are considered the prey of the forest (deer, antelope, small game). In the forest you place a large number of objects (hats, chips, scarves, etc) which represent food. The prey must go into the forest and gather three items of food (and return them to the safety zone) or risk starvation during the winter.
The one scout who is not prey is considered a predator (wolf, grizzly, eagle, etc). The predators job is to capture the prey. he does this by simply touching the prey.
The prey has three methods of defense:
Run – Deer use it, (Be careful if you allow running at your camp.)
Freeze – A prey that is totally immobile is considered to by camouflaged, and cannot be touched until he moves (looks around, etc)
Hide – Touch a tree to symbolize hiding in the tree.
Each prey carries one object to symbolize themselves. If they are „eaten“ by the predator, they must give their chip to the predator that got them. They then become a predator for the next year. If the predator doesn’t get three prey, he starves for the winter. Any predator that starves becomes prey for the next year.
Note, you should start with only a small number of food in the forest the first year (maybe 2 x number of prey) (remember they need three to survive).
The game is fun and shows how there must be a balance between the prey and the predators. I’m sure you can adapt this game to many environments and change the rules where needed to make it more fun and or educational.
From: Andrew Burt
• 200 Small coloured cards or similar
• 1 Big ball of aluminium foil
A few days ago the queen haggis came into season as she does every 5 years. Last night the queen haggis laid her first brood of eggs (the coloured cards) which are a delicacy akin to truffles and caviare. The teams must collect as many eggs from around the wide game area as possible before the wee haggis hatch (despite the better environmental instincts of cubs) for points! A special reward is made for the team who catches the queen haggis who looks uncannily like some scrumpled aluminium foil!
Hunt & Chase
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert W. Fulton)
• Many different coloured ‚flashes‘ or ‚flags‘
We play a game called Hunt and Chase. We divide into an 5 teams. All the members on each team have personal flags of the same color they tuck into their belts. Each team can catch team members of one other team, and can be caught by the team members of a different team. When you are caught, you surrender your flag and are given the flag of the capturing team. There is no natural ending unless one teach catches everyone else. We usually play it for an hour or so, and then see which team is the largest. For „flags“ we use things like pieces of twine, clothesline, manila rope, green garbage bags and brown garbage bags. Then the „twines“ chase the „clotheslines,“ the „clotheslines“ chase the „manila ropes,“ the etc. Some teams usually try to get other teams to help them. For example, the manila ropes could conspire with the twines to entrap the clotheslines. It is much more fun in that respect if you have 5 teams rather than 4 or fewer.
From: email@example.com (Rick Clements)
There are two „cops“ and one „jailor“. The rest of the people are „robbers“. The number of „cops“ and „jailors“ can vary depending on the number of players. A fairly central location is designated as „jail“, The jail should be fairly out in the open and the boundaries definite. A picnic table can work great as a jail (those in the jail would sit on top of the table).
All robbers are given some designated time to go hide (like hide-and-go-seek maybe 30-60 seconds). After the appropriate hiding time, the cops go looking for the robbers. The robbers usually are not in the same spot all of the time for reasons I will describe in a minute. The cops catch a robber by one of many methods (this is where the variations come into play). The robber may be tagged, hit with a light beam, person identified correctly, or combinations of these. When a robber is caught, they are taken to jail by the cop.
The big difference between this and hide-n-seek is, if someone is quick and sly (someone being a robber), they can cause a „jail-break“ and let all that are in jail get out of jail. This is done by sneaking up into jail (not being caught by the jailor), stepping IN the jail (or touching the table with both hands), and yelling „JAIL BREAK!“ At this point, all that are in jail are FREE. The jailor must give everyone that was in jail and the breaker some time to get away (maybe 15 seconds). Sometimes this game has gone on for hours for one game.
Sometimes it is a fairly short game (but not too often). If you want, you can have the game continue on by having the final (in this example) 3 people to be the cops and jailor.
Kim’s Wide Game
From: Andrew Burt
• Selection of common ‚outdoor‘ objects
Before the game pick up a few 10+ objects which the players may find lying about in the area eg. beech nuts, holly leaves, berries, sweet wrappers and lay them out. The teams or individuals must find as close matches to the objects you have collected. You can either display or hide your collection so that the players can or cannot come back and refresh their memories. The team with the display best matching the original wins.
• 4 Lamps such as hurricane lamps
The game is played in the dark between two teams. Two lamps are placed about 100 metres apart. These are the home bases. Another two lamps are placed about 40 metres apart, and at right angles to the first two lamps. They should be about halfway between the first two lamps. One team is split into two, one half going to each home base lamp. Their object is to get to the other homebase lamp, without being caught. They must go between the other two lamps to get there. There is no restriction on how far out they go to either side to get to the other home lamp, but they must go between the two 40 metres apart lamps. For each member who reaches the other home base, their team wins a point.
Long Distance Chinese Whispers
From: Andrew Burt
• Long message written on piece of paper per team
• Pen and paper per team
Distribute members of a patrol or six some distance away from one another. Give the patrol leader a scrap of paper with a message (around 30 words for Scouts). The PL must remember the message and relay it to his APL who in turn relays it down the line to the final scout. The final scout writes down the message when he returns back at the starting point. The team with the message most resembling the starting message wins. The longer the distance the more breathless (and less articulate) and more forgetful the scouts become.
From: Andrew Burt
• 1 Bag pasta shapes or macaroni
• 1 Bag dried peas or soya beans
Split the pack or troop into 2 teams and give one team 6 macaroni (Gold) and the other team 6 dried peas (Silver). Explain that the teams should try to make as much money as possible in the time available. They may do this by trading with the 2 merchants (leaders) who will be roaming around. One merchant will give you 2 gold for 1 silver, the other will give you 2 silver for every 1 gold. The team with the most money by the end of the game wins (count silver and gold as equal value).
Refinement: The merchants may swap their bags to confuse the players
Refinement: Player and/or other leaders may steal from other players using tagging or lives.
Refinement: Introduce another trading stage and merchant (and possibly another team) eg. bronze or platinum. Merchants only trade bronze for silver, silver for gold, gold for bronze.
Mixed Up Names
• 1 Name card for each activity base leader and an activity for them to look after at that base
Each of the leaders or the people manning the bases is given a card similar to the ones described below:
1.You are ‚Thunder Fist‘.
Tell them they must find ‚The Kraken‘.
2.You are ‚The Kraken‘.
Tell them they must find ‚Thorin‘.
3.You are ‚Thorin‘.
Tell them they must find ‚The Hulk‘.
4.You are ‚The Hulk‘.
Tell them they must find ‚Robin Hood‘.
5.You are ‚Robin Hood‘.
Tell them they must find ‚Thunder Fist‘.
You can of course vary the number of bases that you have. Each person manning a base is also given an activity that the cubs or scouts have to complete at that base. The base men are sent out and hide within a given area. The patrols are then sent out, each having been given a different ‚NAME‘ to find. When a baseman is found, the scouts or cubs have to ask him if he is the name they are looking for. If he is not then they have to keep looking. If he is then he asks them to complete a simple scouting exercise such as tying a bowline. He then gives them the name of the next person they have to find. A point is given for completion of an exercise to the satisfaction of the baseman. The winning patrol is the one that finds all the basemen and completes the most tasks.
Mr. Spongee man
From: Andrew J. Higgins; Cub Scout instructor 315th Manchester St. Stephen’s cubs
• 2 sets of watercolour paint
• 2 sponges
This game is brilliant if played occasionally (like camp) The game consists of two leaders running into bushs and hiding. and two other leaders running as „Mr. Spongee Man“ The cubs have to get about 8 colours and get back to an allocated base. The problem is they have to take it in turn to get the colours from the leaders, but Mr. Spongee man is on the look out for people. Mr. Spongee man is to rub off ALL the colours that the cub/scout has! So this is tiring the minimum leaders needed is 4 but you can have more if you want. You can also increase the amount of colours of you have them!
Naval Combat (Nigel’s Navy)
• Coloured wool for lives
• 6 Cards bearing the name „DESTROYER“
• 4 Cards bearing the name „SUBMARINE“
• 2 Cards bearing the name „BATTLESHIP“
Instead of cards you could use coloured counters or plastic clothes pegs.
This is best played with three or more teams. Each team is given a base which is their naval shipyard. Each player is allowed to take one card from their shipyard to take part in the combat. When they take a card, they also take a length of their teams coloured wool to tie round one arm. A combat area is marked off in the center of the field and combat may only take place within this area. Combat takes place in the following manner, a player will tag a player from an opposing team. Both players then compare their cards as follows:
A battleship takes a destroyer, a destroyer takes a submarine and a submarine takes a battleship. The losing boy hands over his piece of wool to the winner and returns to his shipyard for a new piece of wool. Combat can only take place between two players who are each wearing a piece of wool. If both players have craft of equal status such as two submarines then it is an even match and there is no victor, they then have to go and challenge somebody else. A boy can exchange ships only at his shipyard when he is getting a new piece of wool. The winning team is the one which has collected the most pieces of wool at the end of the game.
• 3 plastic bags
• 2 sets of differently coloured cards (2″ squared is big enough)
Three leaders are required for this game. The first leader is the postbox, the other two give out the the different postcards. The troop or pack is split into two teams. One team collects and posts one colour of card, the second team posts the other colour. Players can only hold one postcard at a time – they must post one card before collecting another. The postbox and distributors can roam and hide to evade the players. The team who has posted the most postcards wins.
Refinement: Leaders can swap jobs so that players do not always know who to go to
Refinement: Spare leaders can rob players of their cards
Rockets And Interceptors
• 1 Bucket or large tin
• Large number of coloured balls or plastic clothes pegs all the same colour
• Skittles or rope to mark off the target area
This is played by two teams. The attacking team are called the rockets and the defending team are called the interceptors. The target area is marked off and the bucket or large tin is placed in the center. Only rockets are allowed to go inside the target area. Up to four interceptors are allowed to hover around the target area. The rockets have a base at which they pick up their warheads. Each rocket can carry only one warhead to the target area. If a rocket is tagged by an interceptor before going inside the target area, they must hand over their warhead and return to their base. 20 warhead units in the bucket or tin destroy the interceptor target area. All the coloured balls count for 1 warhead unit. The five white balls are special multi warheads and count as 5 warhead units for each white ball. If the interceptor target area is not destroyed after 20 minutes then change over the teams so that everyone has a turn at attacking and defending. This game is best played where there is a bit of cover for hiding and creeping up on the target, or at night when visibility is reduced.
Scout-Staff Treasure Hunt
A wide game that is popular in our scouts is to distribute various items of a trangia around our local village, on the Scout Leaders doorstep, and the Exec.’s etc, and send the scouts off on a kind of a treasure hunt, with the aim to make a cup of tea for the S.L. and the A.S.L. at the end. The hunt started with a note telling them where to find the next item of the Trangia, and then the next note was on the next item, etc… It also helped the scouts to learn who their Exec. were, as the notes told them it was in the Secretary’s garden, and it helped immensely if they knew who the secretary was…
Tragia: Swedish outdoor cooker, I’m not at all sure if it’s known at all in the U.S., but it is very popular over here. It’s light weight, and uses meths to run, but Butane attachments are available now. Mine splits up into several pieces, and so was ideal for this exercise.
Smugglers and Spies
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Speirs) – ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
• Pieces of paper with the following smuggled items with point values written on each:
• 10 x Chocolate (50 points)
• 8 x Sugar (75 points)
• 8 x Animal pelts (100 points)
• 6 x Gunpowder (150 points)
• 3 x Designs for new secret weapon (300 points)
• 1 x Map to buried treasure (500 points)
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.
Troglodytes (Burning Bridges, Murder In The Dark)
From: email@example.com (Adam Edmonds) 1st Kanata Knights of the March Rover Crew, 5th Burnaby Mountain Cub Pack, Secretary for Ontario Rover Round Table
• 1 Candle
• 1 Box of matches
• Some torches
Here is a wide game that we call „Troglodytes“ although I think that it’s common name is burning bridges. The premise behind the game is that Troglodytes have landed on our planet from another galaxy and are preparing to take over the world. The troglodytes have a faulty spaceship which will explode if it is set on fire.
The scouts job is to sneak up to the troglodyte ship and blow it up. However, The troglodytes are more advanced than humans and have laser blasters that can kill the scouts.
The game is played on a dark night in a large field with many hiding spots.
The leaders place a candle and some matches at a designated location. The leaders then pick a place near the candle but not right up close to it. Each leader carries a flashlight and is not allowed to move from his/her location.
The scouts start at one location and must sneak up and light the candle. If a leader hears a scout he/she turns on his/her flashlight and blasts the scout. If a scout is hit with the flashlight then he is out.
The game continues until a scout can light the candle or until all scouts are dead. Note that the flashlights can only be used for a short burst.
From: ‚Scouting Games‘ by Sir Robert Baden-Powell
• 1 Flashlight
This game should take place across country at night. Two Scouts set off in a given direction with a lighted bull’s-eye lantern. After two minutes have passed the patrol or troop starts in pursuit. The lantern bearer must show his light at least every minute, concealing it for the rest of the time. The two Scouts take turns in carrying the light, and so may relieve each other in difficulties, but either may be captured. The Scout without the light can often mingle with the pursuers without being recognized and relieve his friend when he is being hard pressed. They should arrange certain calls or signals between themselves.
Zorch (Much like Troglodytes)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rick Clements), Credit to: Joe Ramirez – Life Scout
• 1 Flashlight
• 1 Pot
This game has to be played on a rather dark night. Playing this game on a hill is preferable. One player sits at the top of the hill with the flashlight, the rest of the people start at the bottom of the hill. The object of the game is to advance up the hill and touch the pot with out being „zapped“ by the person with the flashlight. If a person is zapped they have to go back down to the bottom of the hill and has to start over. The first person to get the pot is the winner. He then becomes the person with the flashlight and the game starts over. My troop has played this game for hours on end. It is really fun and even some of the adults get in on the action.