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By Sir Robert Baden-Powell




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 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 coast-guards 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 bidden 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.)


(For Night or Day.)

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. So 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

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 spearman 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. 

I. 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.) 

III. 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.

See Also:

Ernest Seton's Water Games

 Baden-Powell's Scouting Games






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Scouting Games ] Stalking Games ] Tracking Games ] Indoor Games ] Camp or Playground ] Cycists' Games: Bikes ] Town Games ] Night Games ] [ Seamanship Games ] First Aid Games ] Games for Strength ] On Trek ] Kim's Game ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Baden-Powell's  Games ] B-P's Adult Military Games ] Dan Beard's Games ] A. Mackenzie's Games ] G. S. Ripley's Games ] Ernest Seton's Games ] J. Thurman's Games ] Smith's Advancement Games ] Wide Games ] Relay Games ] Special Needs Boys' Games ] Politically Incorrect Scout Games ] Game Leadership ] Compass Training Games ] Highland Games ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.