Games and Wide Games
Evening game, outdoors
Equipment: 2 handmade flags
on staffs 2' long; 2 different colored sets of
arm or headbands made of
Divide the group into two
teams. Identify each by a set of arm or headbands.
Set up a jail area (3-4
square yards) and a separate hiding spot for each flag. Jails are set
up at opposite ends of a 5-20 acre area.
The object of the game
is to penetrate the other team's area and capture their flag. A flag is
'captured' after it has been returned to the captor's jail area.
Prisoners are taken by
having their arm or headbands removed by an opponent. Prisoners are taken
to the jail of their captor's; then they wait there quietly until they
are released. Prisoners can only be released when a member of their team
(with arm or headband intact) runs through the jail in which they are
being held captive. After their release, prisoners are given free escort
back to a central spot near their end of the area. Here, they are issued
a new arm or headband.
The game continues until
a flag is captured, or time is up.
Note: Supervision at the
jails and 'new arm or headband area' is important. Encourage teams to
plan elaborate strategies of defense and offense.
Variation: try playing
the game with three or four teams, each with its own jail area and hiding
spot for their flag.
2 flags or For night play
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 defense. The rest go for the flag.
Variation From Mike Stolz:
Our troop plays this on
every overnight 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 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
Evening game, outdoors
Equipment: Tiny pieces of paper with the following smuggled items and point
values written on each:
Chocolate - 50 points.
Sugar - 75 points. Quantity:
Animal pelts - 100 points.
Gunpowder - 150 points.
Designs for new secret
weapon - 300 points. Quantity: 3
Map to buried treasure
- 500 points. Quantity: 1
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 continues for
a set period of time. When it ends, goods (points) are totaled, and a
winner is declared.
Evening game, outdoors
Equipment: one whistle for each 'hunted' leader or staff member.
The group is divided into
teams of 6-8 players. The leaders or staff members who are to be 'hunted'
are given a two-minute head start into the playing area (5 acre wooded
area is ideal).
Teams have to stay together
during the entire game. Each team begins to 'hunt' the staff members,
who are required to blow their whistles at one minute intervals (or variations
which you may want to work out). Leaders may remain mobile, or seek a
Teams try to touch as many
staff members as possible within the time limit of the game. Captured
staff are immediately freed to run and whistle again.
The team who tags the most
Variation: as a night game,
using flashlights instead of whistles. Same rules apply.
Evening game, outdoors
The game is best in a large
open wooded area.
Players line up at one
end of the playing area, while one player, holding a flashlight, stands
at the other end.
The object of the game
is to move from one end of the playing area to the other, past the person
holding the flashlight.
The player with the flashlight
stands with his back to the other players. Every five seconds, he turns
around, turns on the light and scans the area for three seconds. If a
moving player gets caught by the flashlight beam, he has to return to
the starting end. Stationary players may remain where they are.
The first person to successfully
move past the 'flasher' becomes the light for the next round.
Variation: The player with
the flashlight keeps the flashlight on, and continuously scans the playing
area. Stalking players dress in dark clothes. If stalking players are
caught, they must return to the starting end.
Evening game, outdoors/indoors.
Equipment: a little bell that rings easily.
Have the group sit in a
circle. Choose one person to sit in the center of the circle.
The leader gives the bell
to one of the players, who begins to pass it around the circle.
The object of the game
is to pass the bell quietly so that the person in the middle cannot guess
who is holding the bell. Players may not silence the bell by holding the
clapper - they have to try to pass it carefully enough so that it does
Evening game, outdoors.
Equipment: 3 soccer balls painted white; 6 markers with reflectors attached
(to make 3 goals).
Divide the players into
three teams. On the playing field, set up three goals in the shape of
The game begins with a
jump ball in the center of the field. All three balls are put into circulation
at once and players try to move the ball through either of their opponents
The balls may be rolled,
kicked or thrown to teammates. No player may hold a ball longer than five
Teams devise strategies
to protect their own goal, while trying to advance to score goals.
Our troop often plays a game
similar to Stratego called Frontiers.
You divide the boys into
teams. Each team is given a small "home base". In the "home base" each
team is given 10 - 15 tokens (flags).
The playing field is divided
in to parts with a home base on each. (The game is best played in a area
with trees and bushes).
The goal of the game is
to sneak into the other teams area and capture a token. If someone from
the other team is being able to tag you on their side of the field you
are taken as a prisoner to their "home base".
Now when a member of your
own team reaches the "homes base" he is able to free you instead of taking
If you have a token or
a "free" prisoner you are free to go back to your own home base.
The game last for a specified
time and the team with the most tokens wins.
I hope this description
is understandable, if not feel free to mail me any questions.
-- Thanks to Carl Persson,
Troop Leader, SKOGSLOPARNA Utby NSF Gothenburg Sweden.
Materials: Heavy duty paper
or brown wrapping paper, and a thick wax crayon per team
On the command go, each
patrol leaves the hut in search of road signs 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.
Materials: Set of monopoly/trading
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 e.g. $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.
Materials: Colored wool to
match up with six's colors, 1 Tin Talcum powder, Plastic plant identification
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 colored mat on it's back, each mat matches
one of the sixes colors. So each six can look for the elephant wearing
their sixes color on it's back. The cubs then follow a trail of wool,
picking up their colors as they go. They must not pick up any other colors.
You could tell them how many pieces they should find. The trail divides
and finally the colored 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 ú200
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 ú200 and pay the
thieves for their elephant . They then take their elephant back to the
circus where there is sure to be a reward.
Materials: 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 the 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!
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.
Materials: 200 Small colored
cards or similar, 1 Big ball of aluminum 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 colored cards) which are a delicacy
akin to truffles and caviar. 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 aluminum foil!
Materials: Many different colored
'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.
There are two "cops" and one
"jailer". The rest of the people are "robbers". The number of "cops" and
"jailers" 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 jailer), 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 jailer 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
Materials: Selection of common
Before the game pick up
a few 10+ objects which the players may find lying about in the area e.g.
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.
Materials: 4 Lamps such as
The game is played in the
dark between two teams. Two lamps are placed about 100 meters apart. These
are the home bases. Another two lamps are placed about 40 meters 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 home base
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 meters
apart lamps. For each member who reaches the other home base, their team
wins a point.
Materials: 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.
Materials: 1 Bag pasta shapes
or macaroni, 1 Bag dried peas or soy 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).
The merchants may swap
their bags to confuse the players
Player and/or other leaders
may steal from other players using tagging or lives.
Introduce another trading
stage and merchant (and possibly another team) e.g. bronze or platinum.
Merchants only trade bronze for silver, silver for gold, gold for bronze.
Materials: 1 Name card for
each activity base leader and an activity for them to look after at that
Each of the leaders or
the people manning the bases is given a card similar to the ones described
1. You are 'Thunder Fist'.
Tell them they must find
2. You are 'The Kraken'.
Tell them they must find
3. You are 'Thorin'.
Tell them they must find
4. You are 'The Hulk'.
Tell them they must find
5. You are 'Robin Hood'.
Tell them they must find
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.
Materials: Colored 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 colored 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 colored 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.
Materials: 3 plastic bags,
2 sets of differently colored 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 different postcards. The troop or pack is split into two teams. One
team collects and posts one color of card, the second team posts the other
color. 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
Leaders can swap jobs so
that players do not always know who to go to
Spare leaders can rob players
of their cards
Materials: 1 Bucket or large
tin, Large number of colored balls or plastic clothes pegs all the same
color, 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 colored 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.
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...
Trangia: Swedish outdoor
cooker, I'm not at all sure if it's known at all in the US, but it is
very popular over here. It's light weight, and uses methane to run, but
Butane attachments are available now. Mine splits up into several pieces,
and so was ideal for this exercise.