The Scout Library, No. 4

Scouting Games

by Sir Robert S. S. Baden-Powell

Author of "Scouting for Boys," "Yarns for Boy Scouts,"
"Boy Scouts Beyond the Seas," etc.

Sixth Edition

Table of Contents



The smugglers have got their contraband hidden among some rocks, and it is entrusted to one smuggler to take to their hiding-place, a building or some place marked by flags or trees, about half a mile inland. One patrol act as smugglers and the one chosen to carry the contraband who wears tracking irons and has to carry a small sack or parcel containing the contraband. The "border" is a certain tract of land, a road, or stretch of sand along the shore between the smugglers and their hiding-place inland. The coastguards (two patrols) have to guard the border with sentries, and. keep their main reserve bivouacked some little way inland. As soon as a sentry sees the tracks of the smuggler (wearing tracking irons) crossing the ,border" he gives the alarm, and the coastguards have to catch him before he can get his contraband to the hiding-place. It should be agreed that the smugglers cross the border " between two boundaries. The length should depend upon the number of sentries-one sentry should have a beat of about 200 yards. The smugglers have to bring their cargo up from the rocks within a certain time, because the tide is coming in. They should assist the one chosen to carry the contraband by distracting the coastguards and leading them in the wrong direction, because they do not know at first who is wearing the tracking irons.


A treasure is known to be hidden upon a certain island or bit of shore marked off, and the man who hid it left a map with clues for finding it (compass directions, tide marks, etc.). This map is hidden somewhere near the landing-place; the patrols come in turn to look for it-they have to row from a certain distance, land, find the map, and finally discover the treasure. They should be careful to leave no foot-tracks, etc., near the treasure, because then the patrols that follow them will easily find it. The map and treasure are to be hidden afresh for the next patrol when they have been found. The patrol wins which return to the starting-place with the treasure in the shortest time. (This can be played on a river, the patrols having to row across the river to find the treasure.)


One party of smugglers from the sea endeavor to land and conceal their goods (a brick per man) in a base called the "Smugglers' Cave," and get away in their boat again. Another party of "preventive men" is distributed to watch the coast a long distance with single Scouts. go soon as one preventive man sees the smugglers land he gives the alarm, and collects the rest to attack, but the attack cannot be successful unless there are at least as many preventive men on the spot as smugglers. The preventive men must remain bivouacked at their station until the alarm is given by the look-out men.


[This is the same game as that of "Spearing the Sturgeon', in Mr. E. Thompson Seton's Birch Bark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians. 1s. Constable.]

The whale is made of a big log of wood with a roughly- shaped head and tail to represent a whale. Two boats will usually carry out the whale hunt, each boat manned by one patrol-the Patrol-leader acting as captain, the corporal as bowman or harpooner, the remainder of the patrol as oarsmen. Each boat belongs to a different harbor, the two harbors being about a mile apart. The umpire takes the whale, and lets it loose about half- way between the two harbors, and on a given signal the two boats race out to see who can get to the whale first. The harpooner who first arrives within range of the whale drives his harpoon into it, and the boat promptly turns round and tows the whale to its harbor. The second boat pursues, and when it overtakes the other, also harpoons the whale, turns round, and endeavors to tow the whale back to its harbor. In this way the two boats have a tug-of-war, and eventually the better boat tows the whale, and possibly the opposing boat, into its harbor. It will be found that discipline and strict silence and attention to the captain's orders are very strong points towards winning the game. It shows, above all things, the value of discipline. You are allowed to dislodge your enemy's spear by throwing your own over it, but on no account must you throw your spear over the other boat or over the heads of your crew, or a serious accident may result. The spearsman must not resign the spear to any other member of the boat. It is forbidden to lay hands on the fish or on the other boat-unless this is done to avoid a collision.


There are several kinds of water sports, which, when practiced enough, make a very interesting display. 1. WATER POLO.-Stakes driven in to make goal- posts, and a large rubber ball, if a proper water polo ball cannot be obtained. II. GREASY POLE - fastened from the end of a pier or landing-stage, with some prize fastened to the end of it. (N.B.-The pole should not stick straight out from the end of the stage, but should incline to the right or left, so that it can be seen better from the shore.) 111. JOUSTING.-In small canoes or on logs, one boy to paddle and one to joust, armed with a small wooden shield and a 6 foot pole with something soft attached to the end. IV. Swimming races, diving competitions, and races to get into a lifebuoy.



Placed at various points, each fifty yards from camp, are prisoners, one for each competitor in the game. These prisoners can be the smaller boys of the troop, and their arms and legs should be securely bound. They are supposed to be unconscious. At a signal each of the competitors has to make for a prisoner and bring him home, and the one who reaches camp first with an unbound prisoner receives twelve marks. The competitors can either untie the knots directly they reach the prisoner-which would aid in carrying-or on arrival at Camp, but the ropes must be removed before the result can be arrived at. No knives must be used and the prisoners, being unconscious, cannot give any assistance. The Scoutmaster has his eye on the competitors all the time, and is particularly observant for cases of rough handling or bad carrying, both of which are naturally injurious to wounded people. The competitor who obtains most marks wins. A boy, for instance, might win twelve marks for getting home before the others, but he may lose three marks through handling his captive roughly, therefore the second boy, who would receive ten marks, should be acclaimed the winner. Generally speaking, however, the first arrival wins. This provides good practice in untying knots and carrying the wounded. It can be adopted as an inter-patrol game, the first boy home out of twelve receiving 24 points, the last, 2, and the patrol which obtains the most marks winning.


One day while the whole camp are enjoying themselves a messenger arrives and tells a Patrol-leader that while he was being pursued by the enemy on their side of the border he saw one of his men lying on the ground, wounded, and was unable to render him any assistance. The Patrol-leader then tells his men the bad news, and calls for a volunteer to go and bring or endeavor to bring their comrade back to camp. Thus the "Red Cross Hero" is found. His duty is to find the wounded man (who will have been placed in a fairly hidden position before- hand) and then carry him back to camp, without being captured by the opposing Scouts. This game needs a Scout of brain and resource to act the part of the " Red Cross Hero," for he is supposed to be in a hostile country with a wounded man whom he must bring back to camp. If seen he must endeavor to dodge. Two of the enemy must get hold of him before he is captured. This is a game which will severely test the resourcefulness of the Scout. For example, if pressed he might be sharp enough to leave his comrade completely hidden until he has knocked his pursuers off his track. When the wounded Scout has been hidden all who can be spared from camp should go out to act as enemy, then one comes in as messenger and describes roughly where the wounded man is. There could be several wounded men and red cross heroes, if the enemy's number is sufficient.


Orders are given to a patrol to march in a certain direction until they find a camp, and, when they arrive there, they are to act as they think best. They find the camp after a short time, with every- thing disordered, as though there had been a fight. There is a man lying in the tent labeled : " Shot through the head - dead." Near by is another man, with a label, " Broken thigh," while some way off there is yet another wounded man, who crawled away after he had been shot, and had fainted from loss of blood. It is interesting to watch different patrols at work. A tenderfoot patrol will very likely spend the first ten minutes fussing round the dead man when they arrive on the scene ; and, after prodding him, poking him, and rolling him about, will, perhaps, make a stretcher, and carry him off for burial. After wasting all this precious time, they turn to the man with the broken thigh, and carry him to the tent to patch him up, making the fracture a compound one on the way. They then tie up the wrong leg with numerous granny knots, and, after some quite needless artificial respiration, leave the unfortunate patient to himself. The spoor of the third man passes unnoticed, and he is left to bleed to death. But now watch the arrival of a more experienced patrol. As soon as the leader sees that the men have been wounded in a fight, he puts out two sentries to prevent another surprise attack ; the dead man is briefly examined and left to himself, and the broken thigh carefully put into splints on the spot, and the patient gently carried into the tent. Then one of the Scouts notices that there are three tea cans by the fire, so they hunt round for the owner of the third. When he is found, a Scout's scarf makes a tourniquet, and the man's life is saved. This game makes a good subject for a display.


The boys are divided into pairs. One boy starts the game by turning to his neighbor and saying: " I have twisted my ankle," or " cut my finger," at the same time assuming a position he considers the accident will cause, or simply holding out the injured member. His neighbor has to explain at once the proper treatment for the injury. If he cannot answer he must take up the sufferer's burden. If he answers correctly the sufferer has to keep in the position. The procedure is repeated with each pair, different troubles being used in each case, therefore at the end of the first round half the boys are sufferers (the losers) and the other half uninjured (the winners). The sufferer now suddenly conquers his malady, but discovers one equally troublesome which he asks his neighbor to solve. If the neighbor is successful it proves that be is the better boy at First-Aid, because he has won twice. Only those boys who have won twice enter the next round; those who have lost both times, or won one and lost the other, being counted out. The winning boys are pitted against each other until a final winner is discovered. If the final between the last two boys be a draw, they should test each other again. Of course the winner is not necessarily the smartest boy in the troop at First-Aid, but the game undoubtedly helps to impress the principles of First-Aid upon the memory of the boys. The Scoutmaster listens to the recital of each injury and judges the suggested treatment. He may also ask .supplementary questions to make sure that the doctor really understands.


In this game a big boy takes the place of a horse, and a small one rides on his back. Each small boy is labeled with the name of an injury, and holds a stick in his band. Rings-allowing one for each pair of boys-are bung at a certain distance in such a manner that they can be easily dislodged by the sticks, and this is the object of the game, the big boys carrying the small ones past the rings at a run. When a small boy has succeeded in getting the ring upon his stick, the big one who is carrying him has to reach a given point, put the mail boy down, examine his label, and treat him for his injury. The one who does this in the quickest and most correct style wins. Should the small boy fail to dislodge the ring at the first attempt, the big one may go back to the starting- place and try again. Necessary appliances must be supplied for the big boys.


A judge is necessary for this game. Sides are taken as in ordinary rounders, and the game played as usual, those who are "in" each having a label representing some kind of hemorrhage tied on to their arms. When one is caught out, or hit with the ball, he drops on to the ground. The judge immediately calls out the name of his supposed injury, and the one who has caught him out or hit him runs to treat him instantly in the correct manner. The opposite side must be on the look-out for faulty treatment, for should there be any it counts to them, and the injured person is released, his side still remaining in. In all other respects the game is exactly the same as usual, but each member of the side which is " out " should be provided with a bandage and piece of stick.


The boys are all labeled with the name of some injury and are divided into two parties - one French, one English. Captains should be chosen for each side, and certain boundaries agreed upon. Two camps are chosen as far apart as possible, and in each are placed as many objects as there are boys on one side. Anything that is light to carry is suitable, such as sticks, empty match-boxes, etc. The object of the game, as in ordinary French and English, is for the boys on one side to obtain the articles from the opposite camp and bring them back to their own. There is no division of territory as in the ordinary game when played in a garden, and a boy is only safe when in his own camp, which must be quite a small space, when he is on a return journey with an article from the enemy's camp, or when he is on a return journey with a prisoner. The game should be played where there is as much .cover as possible, as it makes it so much more exciting. The boy on one side who can first snatch the label off an enemy and read it has a right to make him prisoner. The prisoner must then be attended to 'with the best improvised treatment possible in the circumstances, and must accompany his captor to the latter's camp. It is of course a great object to obtain as many prisoners as possible 'without delay. The prisoner can only be rescued by one of his own side. He is free when he has been touched, and can then shed his bandages, etc., and return. The captain does not take an active part in the game. He picks up, and then remains in camp to put fresh labels on liberated prisoners, judge the ambulance work, and keep a list of marks obtained for his side. The captain can be changed at half-time if desired. The game lasts until the whistle is sounded at a certain time, and then the marks on each side are added up. Marks are given as follows: one for every article from the enemy's camp, one for every prisoner, one, two, or three for the ambulance work according to its quality.


Tables are arranged on which are various games, such as spillikens, draughts, sticking pins into corks with scissors, building card houses, etc. Two boys sit at each table and play against one another, and by each boy is a folded paper and pencil. When a bell rings, the boys begin to play the games when it rings a second time, they leave off, unfold the paper, on which is a " first-aid " question, and answer it to the best of their ability. When the bell rings a third time, all stop and give in their answers. Each pair then moves to the next table, where the same performance is gone through. The same questions must, of course, be asked each pair of boys at each table. When the game is finished, every boy's marks are added together for both competitions, and the highest score wins. This game may be found useful for asking such questions as : What would you do if your clothes-or those of an- other person-caught fire ? How would you treat a bad burn I How would you treat a frostbite ? How would you treat a foreign body in the eye or ear ? etc., etc.


The players are divided into two sides, and toss up to decide which should begin.

He who commences tosses a ball or handkerchief to any one on the opposite side, saying the name of some artery as he does so. The one to whom the ball is thrown immediately calls out where the artery is situated before the thrower can count ten. Should he fail to do this, he must cross over to the opposite side. The Ride wins which has most players at the end of a given time. The name of an artery is only given as an example. It might be required, for instance, that upon giving the name of any fracture, the requisite number of bandages should be called out, or anything else of the kind. This game may be found useful for filling up odd minutes.



Two Scouts face each other about a yard apart, stretch arms out sideways, lock fingers of both hands, and lean towards each other till their chests touch, push cheat to chest, and see who can drive the other back to the wall of the room or on to a goal line. At first a very short struggle is sufficient to set their hearts pumping, but after practice for a few days the heart grows stronger and they can go on a long time.


This game can be played by one boy alone. Stand with both your arms to the front about level with the waist, cross your wrists so that one hand has knuckles up, the other knuckles down and clench the fists. Now make the lower hand press upwards and make the upper hand press downwards. Press as hard as you can with both wrists gradually, and only after great resistance let the lower push the upper one upwards till opposite your forehead, then let the upper press the lower down, the lower one resisting all the time.

These two exercises, although they sound small and simple, if carried out with all your might, develop most muscles in your body and especially those about the heart. They should not be carried on too long at a time, but should be done at frequent intervals during the day for a minute or so. "Wrist Pushing" can also be played by two boys half facing each other, each putting out the wrist nearest to his opponent, at arm's length, pressing it against the other wrist, and trying to turn him round backwards.


Two teams of Scouts form up in line and stand face to face across the middle of the room. The Scouts grasp one another round the waist in order to make each line compact.

When the whistle is blown, the opposing teams lean towards one another, and push steadily with their heads -and shoulders until one line is driven back six yards from the starting place, This is done three times, and the winning team is the one which gains two "scrums" out of the three.


Two boys stand facing each other with their hands behind their backs. They have to stand on one leg, and each tries to push the other over with the leg he is not standing on.


One boy has to lie flat on his back on the ground, while another lifts him up by the head-he must try to keep perfectly rigid until he is upright. If he can do it, it is a sign that he has a strong back.


The Scouts stand in single file, No. 1. facing his Scouts. No. 2. bends at the hips and puts his arms around the hips of No. 1. Nos. 3, 4 and 5, etc., take the same position as No. 2, forming a straight line of Scouts, bend forward at the hips, and holding the hips of the Scouts in front of them. Team No. 2, then, in a manner similar to " A Foot and a half " takes along jump and jumps astride the back of one of the Scouts. Other members of No. 2 follow suit until the men are piled up three and four high. The object of the game is to try and upset the Scouts who are endeavoring to bear the burden.


Each of the bigger boys chooses a small one and gives him a " pick-a-back." These mounted knights divide into two companies who challenge one another to combat, either in separate duels or in a general melee. The " knights " try to pull each other to the ground, and the " horses " may assist by putting their weight into the pull or by charging their opponents. When a rider's foot touches the ground he may not take any further part in the game. The tournament is finished when all the riders of one company have been unhorsed.


Two boys stand facing each other, and lock fingers of both hands, and see who can make the other kneel down by pressing his wrists downwards.

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