From: Jim Speirs
Water game, outdoors.
Equipment: 1 soccer ball; 2 inner tubes; 1 water ball; 2 water basketball
hoops; blindfolds; string.
The object of this game
is to allow players to experience the sensation of having a disability.
Divide the players into
four teams, and set up a rotation so that each team takes part in each
of the following activities:
1. Sensitivity walk,
2. Obstacle course in water,
using inner tubes.
3. dodge ball, and
4. water basketball.
Each activity is performed
with a specific handicap:
1) When a team goes on
the sensitivity hike, all participants are blindfolded. They simply go
on a short hike, and experience it without sight.
2) In a short obstacle
course in shallow water (through an inner tube, crawl on the bottom then
through a second inner tube) players must not use their arms.
3) In the dame of dodge
ball in shallow water, each player's ankles are tied together. (One player
in the center of the circle tries to hit another player with the soccer
4) In a game of water basketball,
players may not speak.
Following ten minute rotations
of each event, the group can discuss the sensations experienced by being
We can soon learn it is
not what you cannot do -- it is what you can do !
Water game, outdoors.
This is a super small group
game. Ask everyone to wear bathing suits and an old pair of shoes (a pair
they can get wet). The game takes place in a stream or along the shallow
shoreline of a lake or river.
The leader steps into the
water, and instructs the group to 'follow the leader'. Everything the
leader does is copied by the followers. After a few minutes of hiking,
the leader falls to the back of the line to let a new leader take over.
The hike can be as long or as short as time allows - it is fun to walk
back to home base in the water, rather than by land; see if the group
can hike backwards for some of the return distance.
Some 'follow the leader'
Sit down on a stone; hop
on one foot; play leap frog; skip a flat stone out to sea; jump from one
stone to another; build a small castle on the shore; climb a tree; stop,
take off one shoe, empty water from it, and put it on again; crouch so
that all of you is under water; sing a song about the sea; try to catch
Water game, outdoors.
Divide the group into teams
of 8-10 players.
Set up a 'monster' relay
where every player has a role. Some swim through shallow water, some through
deep water. Have some do cartwheels through shallow areas, while other
swim with one hand in the air.
The design of the relay
depends on your waterfront set-up and the abilities of your swimmers.
End the relay by having
one player piggyback a teammate across a finish line, located in shallow
Place the insulin (a plastic
bleach bottle) in the lake or river about 20 feet from shore. Patrols equipped
with a pike pole, two 8 ft. planks and some rope must try to retrieve the
insulin needed by a dying man. The water is full of man-eating sharks which
will instantly attack anyone who steps or falls into it.
Of course, this must be set
up according to the location and equipment available, but here are some
examples. Make it a timed relay in which one boy from each patrol starts
off. He swims to a raft or dock, enters a canoe or rowboat, paddles it in
a certain manner, jumps out or capsizes it and stays underneath to sing
for 10 seconds, pushes or tows the craft back to the dock. Or, he picks
up a passenger from dock or raft, paddles around a buoy, jumps out into
the water and climbs back in, etc., etc.
Although this challenge doesn't
happen in the water, it should be done near the water. Provide plastic detergent
bottles or other convenient containers for transferring water, and patrols
must try to use them to fill a drum in which you've banged as many holes
as possible. The only things boys can use to plug the holes are parts of
their bodies. Fifty holes will occupy all of the fingers of five boys.
For this effective night activity,
you need wooden logs for raft-building; lashing twine; matches and fire-lighting
materials; and a source of small rocks for ammunition. Each patrol constructs
a small lashed raft and arranges fire materials on it. They tow each raft
to an equal distance off shore and light the fires. Patrols then line up
on shore (make sure boys stay in line to prevent injuries) and, on signal,
start bombarding their rafts. A "direct hit" which splashes water onto a
burning raft counts 10 points. The first raft to be extinguished wins. Alternately,
you can use just one raft and judge the direct hits.
Here's a traditional challenge
that means buying enough tins of food to provide six tins for each patrol.
You can keep down the cost by buying from "bash and dent" bins, but make
sure the cans aren't damaged enough to be leaking or bulging. Mix it up
so that you have soups, vegetables, fruits, stews, spaghetti, puddings,
etc. Peel off all the labels, load the cans into a boat and dump them at
a marked spot in the river, lake or pond. Avoid muddy bottoms and strong
One boy from each patrol
dives for the cans. He must bring up only one at a time and toss it to
other members of his patrol who are on shore, on a dock, or in a boat.
When he has retrieved six cans, the patrol must leave the area. Back on
shore they open the cans and decide how to prepare a meal from the offerings.
Swapping between patrols is not allowed and, in order to win the challenge,
every member of the patrol must eat and all food must be consumed.
Operation Neptune pulls together
a series of aquatic challenges for a summer camp "funoree", a swim meet
at the "Y", a camporee or jamboree, or a pool party.
Have each patrol adopt
an aquatic name (Barracudas, Sharks, Porpoises, Fin-Busters, etc.) and
make themselves an identification poster for the operation. Encourage
the boys to prepare and practice special patrol cheers to add spirit to
the event. You may want to design a "Neptune Scroll" to award the winning
team when scores from all events have been tallied.
Plan the program to make
participation possible for every boy in the troop--not just the good swimmers.
To keep things moving along, arrange for a megaphone so that you can announce
each event and have contestants assemble in a special staging area.
If you use a blackboard
to display up-to-the minute scores, you'll keep spirit high with spectators
cheering for their teams. You'll need extra help on hand to keep spectators
under control, and you can recruit parents as timers and judges.
Success depends upon preparation.
All necessary equipment must be ready and lifeguards in attendance. In
all events, water safety regulations must be observed. For an outdoor
meet, the boys should each keep a towel and sweater handy.
You can choose from an
infinite list of possible events. Mix up skill and fun challenges to make
a well-rounded meet in which every boy can take part.
Devise contests for the
best straight dive, the best fancy dive, the best crazy dive, or the biggest
Try a dog-paddle race in
which the boys must bark while swimming; lifejacket race; dead man's float
glide; free-style underwater distance swim; free style leaders vs boys
relay; front and back crawl race; side or breast stroke race; towing rescue
where a boy must tow a buddy for a certain distance; team relay.
Operation Neptune Novelty
Each team has one pair of
pajamas. The first boy must put on the pajamas, swim across a given area,
take off the pj's and hand them to the second boy, who puts them on, swims,
removes them and hands them to the next, and so on.
One boy per patrol must swim
a certain distance with a lighted candle. To prevent hot wax from dripping
onto the swimmer's skin, push the candle through a hole in the center of
a foil plate. The plate will act as a hand guard.
One boy per patrol swims a
certain distance holding an apple, potato or rock-filled spoon in his mouth
(sideways works best). If he drops the object, he must dive to retrieve
One boy per patrol swims a
certain distance on his back carrying a newspaper. He must hand the paper
to a judge at the finish line. The judge decides the winner on the basis
of whose newspaper remained the driest.
One boy per patrol blows a
ping-pong ball ahead of him as he swims a given distance. He cannot touch
the ball with his body.
One boy per patrol must submerge
and tie a given knot underwater; a round turn or a clove hitch around his
leg, for example. You can do this in shallow water for junior boys.
One boy per patrol swims a
given distance with a match. The object is to keep the match dry because
he must strike it for the judges at the finish line. The winner is the first
to light his match after the swim.
Four boys in a team. The first
boy dives through the legs of a partner who is standing in a shallow area.
The partner then must swim to a finish line while carrying a ball between
his legs, after which the third boy picks up an object (puck, rock, ring)
from the bottom of the pool or lake. When this is accomplished. the fourth
boy swims a given distance with a Frisbee on his head and finishes by tossing
the Frisbee to the judges. Winner is the first patrol to complete the series.
Operation Neptune Fun Events
Members of a patrol sit in
a line on the edge of a dock or pool and link arms. On signal, the boy
at the starting end lets himself drop into the water. Each successive
boy in the chain must be pulled into the water by the boy who precedes
him. They cannot help things along by jumping in. First chain to slide
off the deck is the winner.
Hold this in shallow water
and supervise closely. Each patrol is represented by either one or several
teams of "horse and rider". On signal, riders engage other riders in an
attempt to pull them from their horses. When a rider is down, the team must
immediately leave the playing area. Last horse and rider standing is the
Two teams, each defending a
goal line. The object is to get the watermelon to touch the enemy's goal
line. The melon cannot be carried.
Hold in shallow water. Each
patrol competes against all others, then winners against winners and losers
Each patrol is given three
minutes to dive for candies you've thrown in the water. Wrapped caramels
work well. Boys who retrieve the largest number of sweets are the winners.
This is a water version of
British Bulldog. Choose one or more of the good swimmers to stay in the
middle as "Jaws". On signal, each patrol tries to swim from one side of
the circle to the other without being touched by Jaws. When caught, a boy
joins Jaws. Continue crossings until time is called. The patrol with the
largest number of boys to escape Jaws is the winner.