The games in this chapter are all really easy to set up. Many of them needing no equipment others requiring equipment which you are likely to have at hand.
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
Draw a ring 6′ in diameter. The contestants enter the ring, stoop over and grasp their ankles. The object of the game is to push your opponent over or to make him let go of his ankles. The player is automatically disqualified if he steps out of the circle.
Australian Circle Game
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
• 2 Tennis balls
A player stands in the centre of a circle, holding a tennis ball. He tries to throw this ball to someone in the circle who will drop it. Another ball is also being passed around the circle from one boy to another.
The player in the centre may throw his ball to anyone, but he usually throws it to the boy about to receive the ball being passed around the circle. If either ball is dropped, the one who dropped it changes places with the boy in the centre.
Bash the leader
• Several soft balls
Divide the scouts into 4 teams. The object of the games is to hit the leaders with the soft balls. Scouters are situated in each of four corners of hall 4 teams of scouts, each assigned to different a leader. Scouts place themselves strategically in their quadrant to protect their assigned leader. Once placed, Scouts are not allowed move thier feet (they can twist and turn to intercept and throw balls).
Leaders count each time they are struck by ball. Winner is leader with least amount of hits.
Blind man’s Knot
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
• A rope per player
• A blindfold per player
The squad is blindfolded. The leader passes down the line, holding a piece of cord knotted in one of the familiar knots. Each boy may finger it for ten seconds to discover which knot it is. The squad is then provided with a cord. At the word „Go“ each blind player makes the knot he considers the right one. The quickest (if correct) wins.
Bomb the Bridges
• 2-4 tennis balls
The players stand scattered around the hall with their legs around 2 feet apart. Each player’s legs form a ‚bridge‘ which may be bombed. To bomb a bridge, a tennis ball must be thrown between the player’s legs (hitting a player’s legs is not enough). Once bombed the player is out and must sit down. However, they may still take part by continuing to throw the tennis balls to bomb other players. The last player standing is the winner.
To prevent being bombed a player may protect himself using his hands to catch or deflect the tennis ball. Players may not move their feet or crouch to prevent being ‚hit‘.
Balls which are out of reach may be retrieved quickly by the nearest players so that play can continue. The greater the number of balls the harder and faster the game becomes.
Capture The Fort
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
• 1 Soccer ball
Divide players into two sides: Attackers and Defenders.
Defenders form a circle, holding hands and facing outward, with their captain in the centre. Attackers surround the fort at about eight or ten paces distant. They try to kick a soccer ball into the fort; it may go through the legs of the defenders or over their heads. If it goes over their heads, the captain may catch it and throw it out. But if it touches the ground inside the circle, the fort is captured and the players change sides.
Cat and Mouse
Organise the players into a rectangular grid, or maze, spaced so that they stand two arms lengths away from their partners in all 4 directions. If you have an awkward number of players you may leave out up to 2 players – they will be given roles later in the game. Before the game starts it is best to rehearse changing the maze:
Start with all the players facing in the same direction with their arms spread to their sides – this should create a number of rows. On the command ‚Turn‘ everyone should turn round 90° – don’t be too worried which way just as long as it is a quarter turn. This changes the maze from rows to columns.
Two players a ‚cat‘ and a ‚mouse‘ will run around the maze, the cat trying to catch and tag the mouse. They may run around the maze and along the lines of arms but must not pass or stretch across them. You can shout ‚Turn‘ at any point during the game to change the maze. Thus you may suddenly prevent the mouse getting caught or put the mouse very close to the cat.
When the mouse is caught start again with another pair or start with a new mouse and allow the old mouse to ‚grow‘ to a cat.
• A ball
• 2 chairs
Each team has a boy standing on a chair at the opposite end of the room, the object of the game is for the team to score a goal by having their team member catch the ball that is tossed to him while on the chair. The ball must be dribbled to within throwing distance. The catcher must catch the ball while on the chair.
It’s best to have teams of around 6-8 players.
This games only belongs here insofar as the boys are likely already arranged in the right format to play it. The should sit down the length of the hall facing their partners, with their feet touching those of their partners.
…like so. Starting at the top end of the diagram, upon command, the boys jump up, and run down the hall over the legs of their team (who may not move those legs!) and then touch the end of the hall. They run back around the outside, touch the top wall, and then make their way over any legs back to their place, whence the next boy may do the same. It’s a race.
Note the way I have described it so that each boy must sit down beyond the next person in his team; this helps prevent cheating by starting early.
This game can be made more interesting by providing simple obstacles around the two outside edges of the hall, eg car tyres to get through, turned gym benches to walk along, or chairs to go under.
City, Town, Country
Players sit in two lines team A and Team B, each line numbered 1 to N. Player 1 in team A says to player number 1 in team B the name of a city, town or Country.
We will suppose for example that he says ‚GERMANY“. Player 1 in team B must now say a town city or country, beginning with the last letter of Germany. Let us suppose that he says „YORK“. Player 2 in team A now has to say a city, town or country beginning with the letter K. This goes on all the way down the line. If a player fails to give a correct answer or duplicates a previous answer, then a point is awarded to the other team. When the end of the line is reached play begins at player number 1 again.
From: John Holeman
A game I used to play in scouts was the compass game. Everyone stood spread out around the room and was told to orient themselves to ‚north‘. North could be real north or a convenient wall or corner in the room. Everyone except for the caller and the referees closed their eyes (blindfolded if you don’t think the honor system will work). The caller then calls out a direction, like ‚east‘ and then everyone turns (eyes still closed) and points in the direction of east. The referee the goes around and taps the shoulder of anyone not pointing in the right direction. They are out. The game continues until one player is left. It gets interesting when you start calling headings and bearings.
This is a good game as it only discriminates by your sense of direction, which improves as you play.
From: ‚Scouting Games‘ by Sir Robert Baden-Powell
• 8/16 Poles or a piece of chalk
This game will be found excellent practice in learning the points of the compass.
Eight staves are arranged in star fashion on the ground all radiating from the center. One staff should point due North. One Scout now takes up his position at the outer end of each staff, and represents one of the eight principal points of the compass. The Scoutmaster now calls out any two points, such as S.E. and N., and the two Scouts concerned must immediately change places. Any one moving out of place without his point being named, or moving to a wrong place or even hesitating, should lose a mark. When changing places, Scouts must not cross the staves, but must go outside the circle of players. when three marks have been lost the Scout should fall out. As the game goes on blank spaces will occur. These will make it slightly more difficult for the remaining boys. To make the game more difficult sixteen points may be used instead of eight. When played indoors the lines of the compass may be drawn in chalk on the floor.
Crabs, Crows and Cranes
This is a running about game which is good if you are in a large hall or outside with a lot of boys. Split them into two teams, in two lines across the hall. There should be a gap of a few feet between them. Near each end of the hall should be a home line. One team are the crows, the other the cranes.
If you shout cranes, the cranes team must run to their home line without getting tagged by the crows team. Any member of the cranes that gets tagged has to join the crows team. If you shout crows, the crows team has to run to their home line without getting tagged by the cranes team. Any member of the crows that gets tagged has to join the cranes team.
If you shout crabs they must all stand still. Anyone that moves must join the opposing team. You start off each time with both teams lined up across the hall facing each other. The game ends when one team has all the players. You can have a lot of fun rolling your RRRRR’S with this. CRRRRRRRRABS, CRRRRRRROWS, CRRRRRRANES.
• 1 ball
• 4 chairs
This is a version of football which can be played indoors using chairs as goal posts. The rules are much the same as normal football with the exception that players must be in the crab position. That is on hands and feet with back towards the ground.
You may like to make additional rules to prevent the goal keeper throwing the ball too far across the hall. For example, the ball must bounce at least once on their side of the hall.
From: Jack W. Weinmann
• 1 ball
Divide boys into two teams. One team makes a circle and the other team stands inside it. The boys forming the circle throw a large ball at the boys inside the circle, who are running around trying not to be hit. The inside boys may not catch the ball. A ball hitting a boy on the head does not count. Only boys in the outside circle may catch and throw the ball. Boys who are hit below the knee join the outside circle and try to hit the inside boys.
Refinement: Enter a six or patrol into the centre of the circle and time how long a team can stay in for. Passing the ball across the circle will help catch out the more agile players!
Similar Games: See Sin-bin Dodge Ball, Zone Dodge Ball and Snake Dodge
Dog And Possum
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
• 2 different bean bags
The Cubs form a circle. The Leader takes one bean bag (possum) which he starts on it way round the circle. A moment later he starts the other bean bag (dog). The dog must catch the possum before it reaches the starting point.
The pack or troop sits in a circle and are numbered in 4’s (ie 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4… ). When a player’s number is called he must stand up and run around the circle clockwise trying to catch and tag the player in front. When tagged a player must return to his seat. The cub who is finally left wins. You may need to terminate the round if two of the cubs are too evenly matched.
Frogs and Flies (Wink Murder)
More participants the better.A detective is chosen.She stands in the center of a circle of children, all who are sitting down, indian style.Everyone closes eyes tightly while the adult goes around the outside of the circle of children and secretly taps one of them.This person is the frog.Adult informs everyone to open their eyes. Now, the frog’s job is to eat the flies; the flies being the other children in the circle. The dectective’s job is to try to gues which one of the children in the circle is the frog.The frog tries to „eat“ as many flies by making eye contact with other children in the circle and sticking out his tongue at them without the dectective seeing him. Once he has stuck his tongue out at someone, they extend their legs straight forward, or they can lie down, indicating that they have been „eaten“.The detective watches for the frog, while the frog tries to „eat“ as many flies as he can before being discovered.The dectective gets 3 chances to guess who the frog is.Then, the frog turns into the dectective, and the adult choses a new frog.
Hide & Seek
We turn all the lights off in the entire church (including those intended to be left on permanently). One scout stays in the meeting room and counts to twenty, the rest of the scouts hide anywhere (except for pre-set off limits areas) in the building. „It“ begins looking for the scouts. Once a scout is found, he joins „it“ in the hunt. The last scout found is the winner. The scouts especially enjoy jumping out of a dark corner and scaring their scoutmaster.
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
• 1 Knotting rope
All the Cubs sit in a circle. With the exception of one who has the rope. On „go“ he drops the rope at the feet of one of the players, at the same time calling out the name of a knot. He then commences to hop round the circle, while the knot is being tied. If tied correctly the tier becomes the hopper.
• 1 Handkerchief
A scout is chosen as the IT. He stands in the center, while the others sit in a circle. The players toss a handkerchief to one another; making many false moves and gestures. The IT must touch the handkerchief while in the air. If he does so, the last to throw becomes IT. The passing cannot be delayed.
In The Pond
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
Mark a big circle on the floor. This is the pond. The whole group stands around the edge. The leader is the referee. When he shouts „In the Pond,“ you all jump into the circle. When he shouts „On the Bank,“ you all jump out. But… sometimes he will try and trick you by saying „On the Pond“ or „In the Bank.“ When he does this, nobody should obey. Anyone who moves, on a wrong order, is out of the game or may pay a forfeit and get back in.
Kill the Rattlesnake
• 1 blindfold
• 1 set of keys or tin filled with pebbles
This is a similar game to ‚Whomp’em‘. The snake is nominated and must stand within the circle of players. Another player is the hunter. The hunter calls: ‚Rattlesnake!‘ and the snake must ‚reply‘ by jangling the keys or tin. The snake may move within the circle to avoid the hunter but doing so may create enough noise for the funter to find him.
After the hunter has managed to find the snake (or after 2 minutes) a new hunter is nominated and the old hunter becomes the snake.
From: Mark & Sue; 6th Seaford St.Lenards East Sussex England.
You get two equal teams, one on each side of the line. The teams link arms, one person is sent over the and has has to touch one of the pairs of the people on the other side of the line.The other team can stop them by bring them down to the ground.When a person is out they sit down at the side. Carry on until one of the teams are all out.
WARNING: This game is very rough.
From Mike Stolz:
This is a knockout competition, it is played in two’s. Each person has to keep talking at the other person. It doesn’t matter what they are talking about, but there must be no repetition or pauses. You will need a referee to decide the winner of each pair. We have played this several times and it has proved very popular. Each time we have played it we have been surprised at the eventual winner. Often the younger scouts have walked all over the older scouts in this game.
We played this with our Boy Scouts – they loved it. A likeable 8th grade ‚motor mouth‘ won easily, his only competition was our Jr. Asst. Scoutmaster, who was quoting plays, the Gettysburg address, etc, but eventually ran out of material. We needed to set down a few ground rules though. The pauses had to last at least 2 seconds, ‚common strings‘, like letters, numbers, months, etc. could only be a maximum of 12 in a row, you could not touch your competitor, and ONLY the (adult) judge could call a boy out for repetition. This is a great ‚I need it in a hurry‘ game!
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
• 1 Rope
• Markers for bases
Same teams as baseball, but no bat or ball. Pitcher and batter each have a piece of rope. Pitcher calls name of knot and throws his rope to anyone in the field. If batter reaches first with knot tied correctly, he is safe. If knot tied (correctly) by fielder, reaches first before batter, he is out. If batter cannot tie knot called, he is out. If fielder cannot tie knot called, batting side scores one run whatever else happens. Fielders can then return ropes to second, third or home to „force“ base runners. Make sure pitcher throws rope to all fielders and not too frequently to first base.
From: Dan Mott – Great Salt Lake Council
• A rope per pair of players
This is a game which is played by the the American Indians of Pueblo.
1) Each scout is provided with a thin rope that is a foot and a half long.
2) Two players sit face to face with about 8 feet between them. One player holds his rope in front of him and the other scout is the guesser. When the scout who is the guesser says „Ready!“ the other scout puts his cord behind him and makes any number of simple, single knots on it, from one to four. The knots are made as fast as possible and when done, the player brings his empty hand out in front of him. His opponent guesses how many knots there are on the cord. The guesser only has one chance.
3) Immediately upon the guess the rope is held out in front of the player who made the knots, in order to prove the guess right or wrong. The scout making the knots tries to fool his opponent by only making one knot, none, or several knots in the time it should take to make one, in order to fool his opponent. His face can give the expression that his hands are idle when they are actually busy or vice versa.
4) When playing this game as a den competition, each player on each team has a turn at knotting and guessing before the winning side can count coup. A team can have a brief conference before guessing the number of knots made by the opposing den. In den competition it is best to have a referee such as the Cubmaster or other leader to keep track of the score made by each team.
From: Lynne Axel Fitzsimmons
This game comes from a Games book published by the Bharat Scouts and Guides (India). It is attributed to the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland.
Blindfolds (neckers) for half your group.
The Leader is the lighthouse. Half the troop (pack, company) are ships, and put on the blindfolds at one end of the room. The other half are rocks, and distribute themselves on the floor between the ships and the lighthouse. Please ask the rocks to keep their hands and feet in to minimize tripping. The rocks also should not clump up.
The lighthouse goes „WOO WOO“ to guide the ships. The rocks go „SWISH, SWISH“ quietly to warn the ships of their presence. On go, the ships navigate between the rocks to the lighthouse. If they touch a rock, they are sunk and must sit on the floor (and go „swish, swish“ also). When all the ships have made it to the lighthouse (or have been sunk), the rocks and ships switch places.
Lights out Football
From: Jacob Procuniar; Troop 767
• A football
• A dark hall
2 teames line up on 2 walls they should be directly facing each other with about 20 ft. in between. One person called the switcher (not on any team) must be in control of the lights turning them on or off about every 20 sec. or whenever they choose. The teams are to try to grab the ball when it is thrown in by the switcher (the first time the lights are turned off the ball should be thrown in) and taken in hand to the other teams side and touch the ball to the opposing team’s wall this will give the team with the ball one win. The teams can only move when the lights are off, if a team member is caught moving at all while the lights are on, then he is out(it is best to have the switcher call who is in or out). The team members must crawl at all times. WARNING: This game is very rough.
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
• A small object for each member of one team (eg. a woggle or pen etc.)
Divide the Pack into two teams. One team to stand with legs apart in a straight line (feet touching those of the next Cub). In between each Cubs legs is a small object. The other team are the raiders and have to try to steal the objects, without being caught. They can take them from any direction. The defender is not allowed to move his feet, but can try to tag the raider below the elbow.
• A bean bag or a similar sized object
Boys sit in sixes in a circle. One boy from each six is given the name of a car (eg. Ford, Nissan, Rolls, Jaguar, etc.) When that name is called out those boys get up and run round the circle Various calls are made that the boys have to react to:
Join the M1- Change direction
Steep Hill- Walk
Fog- Pidgin Steps
Accelerate- Start running
Crash- Collect object
When ‚Crash‘ is called the boys run back through their own place and into the middle of the circle to pick up some item placed there. Once ‚Crash‘ has been called the boys can’t change the direction they were running in.
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
This is a game from 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 leader records 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 above his head. For the third number he can nod his head. Most players will find thinking of two numbers at once difficult enough.
My Secret Friend
From: „Weasel“; Volzhsky, Volgograd region, Russia.
• Slip of paper per player
• A set of pens
• A bag or box
Every member of the group puts his or her name on the scrap of paper and put it in the bag.When everybody has put his/her scrap of paper in the bag and shake it carefully. Then let your scouts take one of the scraps & secretly read the name.This person will be her/his secret friend during the game (it may last for several days). During these days everybody is to please his/her secret friend, to present him/her with any present & smth. like that.At the end of the game all players are find out who the secret friend of hers/his is.
One, Two, Three
This is a game similar to ‚Port and Starboard‘. Start with all the players in one corner. When ‚One‘ is called the players must run across the width of the hall. When ‚Two‘ is called they must run across the length. When ‚Three‘ is called players must go to the diagonally opposite corner. Allow the players a little practice before you start to send off players who are the last into the correct corner and who are standing in the wrong corner.
To make the game more complex shout strings of numbers. For example ‚One, One‘ and ‚Two, Two‘ brings players to the same corner they started in. ‚Three, One, Two, Two‘ in the end brings players along the length of the hall. The brighter players will try to work this out to avoid running all the way.
From: Michael Edward McFee 13e Rockland and 51e Clarence leader for the Louveteaux (Cubs) and the Eclaireurs (Scouts) in Association des Scouts du Canada
• A ball
Here is an interesting game that has become quite popular with the various groups I have been associated with over the years, starting with the one I was in as a kid. The rules are simple. Everyone is in a circle except for one person in the middle (usually a leader to start). The person in the leader has a ball which the leader throws to those in the circle. The leader must shout out either PUSH or CATCH. The person to whom the ball is thrown must DO THE OPPOSITE ACTION that was shouted out. That is if the leader shouts PUSH, the Cub must CATCH the ball. If the leader shouts CATCH the cub PUSHES the ball. If an error is committed by either not doing the opposite or stumbling with the ball, The Cub must sit down or step back and is eliminated from play.
To start, it is wise to give one practice shot each to each player, then randomly select players, shooting the ball at them more than once. The game may sound simple but if the Thrower is cunning it can be quite difficult. The last one standing in the circle is the winner. You can then proceed to find out how many throws this person can handle before he/she is eliminated, and keep a record.
If the group gets really good at the game, is that the shouter must shout out 3 words (such as PUSH CATCH PUSH) and the Cub must do the opposite of the middle one (or the first or last).
From: Alastair Honeybun
• 1 Large ball
Pack is divided into two teams, who sit in parallel lines about four feet apart, but facing in opposite directions. The feet of each Cub should just touch the seat of the Cub in front.
A mark is made halfway down the aisle between the two teams. The ball is placed on this mark. When the Leader calls „row“ the players use their inner hands only and try to drive the ball to the front of their respective teams. If this is done a goal is scored. The ball must stay on the ground. As a variation turn the teams around and use the other hands.
The ‚opposite‘ of hide and seek. A few players go and hide in separate locations. After a delay everyone else sets off to find the hidden scouts. When one scout finds another he must hide in the same place, until all the players are hidden.
• Various noise makers such as whistles, rattles and bells
This game is similar to the game where you shout out Port and Starboard. The players are told what action they must perform when a certain sound is heard. Play this a few times with nobody being out, then start taking out people who do the wrong action or who are the last ones to do the action.
Sin-bin Dodge Ball
• 1 ball
• 6 chairs
This is yet another adaptation of the dodge ball game. A player tries hit another player under knee level with the ball. Once a player is hit he goes into the sin-bin for a short time. Players may move anywhere in the hall to avoid the ball, but may not travel with the ball.
The sin-bin is a row of 6 chairs which the scouts stand (or sit) on. At the start of the game the sin-bin is empty. When the first player is hit he sits on the foremost chair, the next player out sits in the next chair and so on until the sin-bin is full. When a player enters a full sin-bin he pushes everyone along a chair. The player at the front of the ‚queue‘ is pushed out and goes back into the game. Thus 6 players need to hit before a player who has just entered the sin-bin can return to the game.
Use more than 1 ball.
Play in patrols – ask scouts to remember how many times they were hit and award points to the patrol with the smallest total number.
Snake Dodge Ball (Indian File Dodge Ball)
• 1 ball
This is a continuous game with no winners or losers. Five or six players stand in a line in the center of a circle formed by the rest of the troop or pack. Each player in the line puts his arms round the waist of the player in front. The object of the game is for the players around the circle to hit the player at the end of the line or snake, below the knees with the ball. The snake can move around inside the circle to make this more difficult. When the player at the back of the snake is struck by the ball, he leaves the snake and moves into the circle of throwers and the player who threw the ball, joins on as the front man of the snake. The game carries on for as long as you wish.
Variation: One patrol is in the middle of the circle at a time and the patrols compete to stay in the circle for the longest time.
Similar Games: Dodge Ball, Sin-bin Dodge Ball and Zone Dodge Ball
Speak And Do The Opposite
I couldn’t think of a better title for this, but it is fun to play both for kids and adults. Each team sends a person to challenge a member of another team. The person challenging says something like ‚I AM PATTING MY HEAD‘ but in fact they are rubbing their tummy. The person being challenged has to say in reply ‚I AM RUBBING MY TUMMY‘ and at the same time be patting their head. If they fail to do it properly in a given time or get it the wrong way round, then the challenging team wins a point.
• 1 Felt-tip pen (non-permanent!)
The pack sits in a circle and are given a number from 1 to n. (n=total number of players). It is easier for the cubs if the numbers are in sequence and not random. One cub (number 5) starts by saying ‚I am 5 spot and I have no spots, how many spots does number 8 have?‘. Cub number 8 replies in the same manner and nominates another cub. If one of the cubs takes too long or makes a mistake he is awarded a spot which is painted on his chin or cheek. He will then have 1 spot. This game is particularly good at cub weekends or holidays since you can tell which cubs have washed properly!
Refinement: Use lip-stick instead of felt-tip pen – it gives an extra incentive for the cubs to get things right.
From: Travis Lauricella
• 1 Ball
Each scout is assigned a number between one and x, x being the number of scouts. In a circle outside (we circle around a flagpole) one person throws a ball (tennis, racquet, or similar) as high as he can, straight up, and calls out a number. The scout whose number is called catches the ball as the rest of the scouts fun away from him as fast as possible. Once the called scout catches the ball, he yells „STOP!“ at which time all retreating scouts are supposed to stop dead in their tracks. (This is where the most argument comes in in this game…) The scout with the ball is allowed to take three really long steps (more like standing long jumps) so that he can get as close to the nearest scout as possible. He then attempts to hit the scout with the ball (not in the head or other vital organs). The scout being shot at is allowed to twist and bend, but may not move his feet. If the scout is hit, he gets to retrieve the ball while the rest of the scouts get back in a circle. He is also given a ‚spud‘ or a point. If the scout is missed, the throwing scout chases after the ball and gets a spud. Once the ball is retrieved, the game begins again, with the number called and the ball thrown. The scout with the least number of spuds at the end of the game wins.
Steal The Bacon
• 1 Hat, scarf or some other ‚bacon‘
Divide the troop into two halves (not three halves, nor one half). Number off EACH half separately. If there are 30 boys in the troop, then you would have two groups, each numbered from 1-15. Line them up facing each other, about 30-40 feet apart. In numerical order. Place your ‚bacon‘ between the lines. Now the field will look kinda like this:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
X O <== SPL or Scoutmaster
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
The idea is for a scout to go out and retrieve the object. The SM calls out a number, and each scout with that number runs out and tries to get the object and go back behind his line.
Once the object is touched, the scout that touched the object can be tagged by the other scout. There are two ways to win a round: Either get the object and bring it behind your line without being tagged, or tag the other scout after he grabs the object and before he makes it past the line.
Tell a story instead of just calling out numbers: „Once, THREE scouts went on a hike. They saw TWO deer and FIVE trees…“.
Call out more than one number: It usually ends up with two scouts circling the object, waiting for an opening, with the other scouts shouting, etc. If nobody makes a move, call out another number so there will be four scouts instead of two out there. As for physical builds, strength is NOT a factor in this game, but speed and planning is.
From Mike Stolz
We also play a variation of this game. We put 2 ‚Bacons‘ out of different colors. We then read out True/False questions (often on First Aid, or from the Tenderfoot or Second Class rank requirements). When we call out a number, the boys have to make a choice – one Bacon is True, the other is False. If you grab the wrong color and take it across your line, you lose. Naturally, if you grab the wrong color and your opponent tags you, HE loses!
From:John Castaldi chairman – troop 55 – Tuckahoe, NJ, USA)
Instead of calling numbers, ask questions that result in a number like:
How many leaves on poison ivy?
How many scouts are there in the Buddy system?
How many first aid hurry cases are there?
How many minutes can someone survive without oxygen?
The possibilities are endless – and it’s not just another meaningless game that is a waste of time.
Vance Kochenderfer (Eagle Scout, Asst. Scoutmaster Troop 967, Baltimore Area Council)
We made it interesting by doing math problems (2 plus 4 divided by 3 or some such).
>From: Stan Bimson – ASM Troop 406
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 (n) (team A)
F T O <— SPL or Scoutmaster
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 (n) (team B)
No numbers are called, True/False questions are asked of the next person in line. Good type of questions deal with First Aid, Scouting history, use of knots, just about anything dealing with Scouting, like „how far can you go into the woods?“
Questions can slow scout’s reaction time leaving the starting position as the idea is to know whether the answer is T or F. The idea is to take the bacon of the correct answer, color of the bacon denotes the T and the F bacon. A Scout taking the correct answer bacon and returning to Home gets a point, if he is „tagged“ then the other team gets the point. If a Scout takes the wrong answer bacon then the Scout from the other team doesn’t have to try and tag him. Taking the Wrong answer bacon gives the other team a point. But if the Scout takes the wrong answer bacon and IS tagged by the Scout from the other team then the Scout’s team taking the bacon gets the point even though he selected incorrectly. Two wrongs don’t make a right but I have seen older boys take the wrong one and then „slip“ so that they can get caught.
This opens up many more chance to win even if your team members are the fastest, it adds the element of knowledge into the game.
Steal the Treasure
• 1 Set of keys
• 1 Blindfold
• 1 Chair (optional)
The cubs sit in a circle around a chair. Place the keys under the chair and sit a blindfolded cub ‚guard‘ on the chair. Nominate a cub to try to steal the keys without the guard noticing. If the guard hears him approaching he can point straight at the cub. He is detected and must return to his seat. Nominate another player to nominate him (pointing to nominate is best otherwise the guard may know which way the cub is approaching from). Once a cub successfully picks up the keys the guard (without blindfold) chases the villain round the circle once and back to the villain’s seat. If the villain gets back without getting caught he becomes the guard.
To make this game work the guard must point directly at the moving cub waving an arm around in the general direction is not enough.
Refinement: Use two guards seated back to back, and more keys if group is large.
From: ‚Games Galore‘, BSC publication
Appoint 3 boys to go „HE“. The chase the rest of the Pack around trying to tag them. If tagged then a boy must stand still, with legs open and arms out. They can be freed by other untagged players, by the other player crawling through their open legs. If however the player is tagged while crawling through then there are two stiff candles at that spot. Vary the number of chasers according to the number playing.
From:’Scouting Games‘ by Sir Robert Baden-Powell
• Several Chairs
Here is the description of a good game for you to play either in your clubrooms or out of doors. There are about six or nine players, and they all join hands and form a ring round some object, which will fall over if touched, such as a footstool stood upright. The players all swing round the stool and each one has to do his best to make one of the others knock the stool over as they swing round, at the same time avoiding knocking it down himself. When a boy knocks over the stool he stands out, and the game goes on until only one player remains.
Refinement: We normally play this game so that anyone who touches a chair is out. Additionally, if the circle breaks the 2 people responsible are out. It is quite a good idea to build 2 chains, one of smaller scouts and one of larger, taller scouts so that the small scouts have a better chance.
From: Travis Lauricella
A troop 53 favorite. In a large, pitch black room, with light switches on each end, the troop is split in half. Each half gets on their hands and knees near the light switch that they are protecting. On the Scoutmaster’s signal, the scouts, staying on their hands and knees, attempt to turn on the light on the other end of the room while protecting their own. Like British Bulldog, this game can get a bit violent, what with kids fighting in the dark to get to the switch. This game would probably have to be modified for other meeting areas (especially those with hard floors!)
Submarines and Minefields
• Blindfolds (neckers) for each member of the minefield
You split into two teams teams, one forms a line across the playing field. They are blindfolded and standing close enough together to touch hands. Each hand is a mine that will ‚destroy‘ a ship (a member of the other team.) that team quietly tries to sneak along the line weaving in and out of the mines, (i.e. between their feet, or between two scouts). We once had someone go fetch a utility ladder and climb over the minefield. After a minefield team member uses one hand and hits a ship, that hand is out of play for the round. Thus later ships may go through an unprotected area. Smaller scouts usually win this one. When the whole team has gone through or not as the case may be, change over. At the end of the game, the winning team is the one that managed to get the most ships through the minefield.
• 1 ball
Split the pack evenly in two and assemble one team in a circle and the other team in a line. A leader positioned in the middle of the circle throws a ball to each boy in turn and counts the number of consecutive catches made. If anyone drops the ball counting starts again from zero.
Meanwhile the team in a line runs ‚relay fashion‘ around the circle and back to the line to tag the next player. This acts as a timer. Once all the cubs have run the teams swap over. The team with the highest number of consecutive catches wins.
Variation: Mark the teams by their final score when the running team has finished. This is more exciting since fortunes can change quickly.
• A rope or cloth tail for each patrol or six
Each patrol stands in a line behind their patrol leader. Each man holds the belt or waist of the man in front. The last man has a tail tucked into his trousers. On the word ‚GO‘ the patrol leaders have to move around the room and try to get as many of the other patrols tails as possible. Any patrols that break their chain are disqualified. The winning patrol is the one with the most tails.
The Flying Doughnut
• 1 rope (length around 15′)
• A ‚doughnut‘ tied to one end of the rope to act as a weight. An old cub cap or rolled-up hiking sock is ideal.
This is an old playground game which used to played with a long skipping rope. It works very well both with small groups and large groups. Spectating can also be quite fun so don’t worry too much about players which have been hit standing out for a few minutes.
The players stand in a circle with the leader in the middle. The leader swings the rope and doughnut around in a large circle at around foot height. The players must jump over the rope and doughnut each revolution to avoid being hit. If they are hit (or hit several times) they are out of the game. The last people standing in the circle are the winners.
To rotate the doughnut stand up and swing the rope, swapping it from hand-to-hand around you. As you spin the doughnut faster it may rise too high – some players may not be able to jump high enough. You can often help by crouching down or reducing the speed. Look out for players who try to stay back from the circle slightly trying to ensure that the doughnut will never reach them.
Three Coins at the Fountain (Pirates)
• 7 Coins
• 4 Chairs
Divided the troop or pack into 4 teams, and number off each member of the team. Position 4 chairs in a square roughly 15 feet apart for the teams to wait behind. Place the 6 coins (of low values incase any get lost) in the middle of the square.
When you call a number, a player from each team must try to get 3 coins onto the seat of their chair. They may only carry one coin at a time and must place the coins they retrieve on their chair to be easily visible. Once all the coins have disappeared from the centre they may steal coins from other players.
Refinement: Call two numbers at the same time. You may need to reduce the total number of coins to 5 if the game becomes too easy.
• 1 ball
All but one of the sixes from a large circle, and one member is given a ball. The other team form a crocodile, and starting outside at the same place as the ball set off running in an anti-clockwise direction around the circle. At the same time the ball is passed around the circle and when it has completed two rounds, they shout ‚Stop!‘. The train must immediately halt and the number of completed laps and part laps are counted. If the train breaks, it must stop immediately to be re-connected.
If your scouts or cubs like rolling around on the floor then they will love this quickie. I would advise activity dress, so as not to dirty uniforms. Pair the scouts off in size. One boy in each pair lies on his back on the ground. On the word go the other scout has to try and turn him over onto his stomach. The scout on the floor tries to prevent this by spreading out his arms and legs and moving around on the floor. No tickling or foul play is allowed.
• 1 Newspaper or stuffed hiking sock
Scouts get in a circle facing in, with both hands, palms up, behind their backs. Scouts must be looking into the circle. One scout, with a rolled up newspaper, walks around the outside of the circle. When he chooses, he puts the newspaper into the hands of a scout, who then proceeds to „whomp“ the scout to his right. The scout being „whomped“ runs as fast as he can (unless he enjoys being whomped) around the circle back to his starting position. The scout now holding the newspaper walks around the outside of the circle, looking for a scout to whomp the person to his right, as above. No winners, everyone wins.
If you play this game a lot you may want to make your own ‚baton‘.We use a hiking sock half stuffed with foam and tied. This gives a good ‚whop‘ sound and is light enough to ensure players do not get hurt.
Wink Murder (Kojak, Who Dunnit, Killer)
This is a nice quiet game. All the players sit in a circle except one, the detective, who must leave the room to allow a ‚murderer‘ to be nominated. The detective must find and reveal the correct identity of the murderer. The murderer can kill by winking at any of the other players in the circle who must then collapse – hopefully not making too much sound. He may ‚win‘ the game by murdering all the other players or by the detective incorrectly guessing the identity of the murderer. Once a round has been played the murderer becomes the detective and a new murderer is nominated.
Everyone closes their eyes, and the leader picks one or more boys to be killers. When everyone opens their eyes, the killers try to kill the other boys by winking at them. The non-killers try to expose the killers before everyone is dead. If a non-killer announces that someone is a killer, then 1) if they are right, the killer is „dead“, or 2) if they are wrong, the guesser is „dead“. Killers can kill other killers. Keep going until all the killers are dead (or until only one killer is left, but this is pretty rare).
This is the same as the last variation, except that 1) everyone in the circle holds hands, and 2) the method of „killing“ other players is different. The killer will lightly squeeze the hand of one of the players next to him n times. That player will squeeze the hand of the player on the other side n-1 times. That player will squeeze the hand of the player on the other side of them n-2 times. And so on. When the player on one side squeezes your hand n times, you squeeze the hand of the next player n-1 times. If someone squeezes your hand once, you are „dead“.
Y is for Yale
From: Dan Mott
The cubmaster or den leader calls out a letter and what it stands for. Each team must rearrange itself to form that letter.
Variation: The letter is formed on the floor.
Zone Dodge Ball
• 1 Ball
Split the troop into 2 or 4 teams and allocate each a zone. The teams should throw the ball at players in an opposition team, trying to hit them under the knee. When a player is hit he joins the team which threw the ball at him. The team who has the most players (or all the players) at the end wins. We use a hall with badminton court lines marked on it. Each of the 4 teams are allocated a corner each. The area in the middle is a no-mans land. Once only two teams remain we re-allocate the zones so more space is used.
Refinement: Use more than 1 ball.
Similar Games: Sin-Bin Dodge ball and Snake Dodge
The Games Compendium
Maintained by Edinburgh Area Scouts