By Sir Robert Baden-Powell
The Patrol Leader picks a scout to be pursued; then the whole patrol meets in a fairly quiet street in a town. The chosen Scout is allowed two minutes' grace, whilst the others hide and do not watch him during that time, except two, who follow him closely. After two minutes one of them then runs back and, brings the rest of the patrol along, hot on the track of the pursued one.
Meanwhile the remaining shadower holds on carefully and tenaciously, pursuer and pursued being at least four or five minutes in advance of the rest. To show which way they have gone, the pursuing Scout drops confetti or makes chalk-marks until the others reach him.
All must, of course, be well trained in running and using their Scoutcraft, and the pursued Scout can make use of many dodges to throw his pursuers off the track. It should be agreed beforehand that if he keeps away for a certain time he wins the game.
Send out a "hare," either walking or cycling, with a pocketful of corn, nutshells, or confetti, which he must drop here and there to give a trail for the patrol to follow.
Or, with a piece of chalk, let him draw the patrol sign on walls, pavements, lamp-posts, and trees, and let the patrol hunt him by these marks. Patrols must wipe out all these marks as they pass them for the sake of tidiness and so as not to mislead them for another day's practice.
The other road signs should also be used, such as closing up certain roads, and hiding a letter at some point, giving directions as to the next turn.
The object of the " hare" in this game is to explain those behind the way he has gone as well as he can, and not to throw them off his trail as in "shadowing."
3. CATCHING THE DODGER.
One Scout, who is well known to the rest, is chosen the dodger. A spot is selected some two miles away from the Scouts' headquarters as the starting-point preference being given to a place from which the mosts streets or ways lead to headquarters.
The main idea is that the dodger has to start from this spot at, say, 7 or 8 p.m., and make his way to headquarters without being caught. He will be previously introduce to the others as their "Quarry," and may then adopt any disguise in order to throw off suspicion. He may even carry a large sack full of paper or some soft material upon his head, so as to partly hide his face, but he should not adopt feminine attire.
It will be the duty of all Scouts to distribute themselves well over the area likely to be travelled, all streets, alley and byways being carefully watched, but for obvious reasons a rule must be made that no Scout must approach within a given radius, say, of 250 yards, of the starting or finishing point.
The dodger must be instructed to start strictly at a given time, and may use the middle of the street as well the the pavement, as this will be necessary to dodge a Scout whom he may espy, and he must travel on foot during his journey, not taking advantage of any tramcar or other vehicle. Should he see a Scout approaching, there would be no objection to his stepping aside into a shop and asking the price of an article until the danger has passed, as this is no more than an ordinary thief would do to evade capture.
Should a Scout recognise the dodger, he must get quite near enough to him to say: "Good-night " without any danger of not being heard--or, better, to touch him--and the dodger then yields quietly and is taken to headquarters by his captor, no other Scout being allowed to join them. One hour after the arranged starting time all Scouts must return to headquarters, for by that time the dodger will have either been caught or have reported himself there, as he must do the two miles in one hour.
Should a Scout notice the dodger being pursued by another Scout he may assist in the capture this where the dodger has espied a Scout in the distance who appears to have recognised him--but though the marks are divided, the greater portion will be awarded to the Scout who commenced the actual pursuit.
This is a game full of excitement from start to finish, especially as a Scout may secrete himself should he see the dodger approaching at a distance, only showing himself when his man has come within capturing distance.
4. THE SIGNATURE COLLECTOR.
A convenient circuit of long, well-crowded streets is selected, and a base area--about fifty yards of the street--formed in the middle of some of the streets. A Scout will be posted at the center of the area, and will be called a "Base-Scout." The number of bases will depend on the number of Scouts--as each base needs one Base Scout and two opposers. There should not be more than six bases.
The signature collector and all Base-Scouts will wear a piece of red ribbon attached to their buttonhole badges or pinned to their coats. The opposing Scouts will wear blue ribbons.
The collector must go round the circuit of bases and try to obtain the signature of each Base-Scout. The opposing Scouts are posted, two to each base, to prevent the collector from reaching the Base-Scout by simply touching him. If touched while attempting to reach a base the collector gives up his own signature to his captor and forfeits his own chance at that base.
But if he reaches the base area without being touched he is safe to obtain the signature and leave unmolested to make his attempt on the next base. It is understood he can make an attempt on every base.
The bases are posted in a circle, so that when he finishes his journey he will be back at the starting-point, where the umpire is.
The Base-Scouts, being in league with the collector, can aid him by signalling when best to make the attempt. It therefore resolves itself into a competition between the "reds" and "blues." The party of Scouts obtaining the most signatures wins.
1. Hiding in shops is barred.
2. Cover must be taken in the street only.
3. Base boundaries must be well understood by all players at that base. If necessary, they may be chalked out.
4. When the collector has got through a base and obtained the signature, the opposing Scouts who were guarding that base must not watch round another base: they are beaten and must make for the starting-point.
5. WHAT'S WRONG?
Scouts should be mustered at a given point, then divided into two sections, one section proceeding along either side of the street, crossing each other at the end, and returning on the opposite sides.
They may be sent either in line or irregularly, the latter for preference, each carrying pencil and notebook or paper, and noting, during their journey, every article or thing which is out of the straight. It may be a placard fixed to a shopkeeper's door or board, or a small swing sign, which is out of the horizontal, window-blinds crooked, goods in shop windows markedly crooked, and so on. Irregularities on vehicles in motion are not to be noted, as no opportunity would be given for the judge to verify.
Upon approaching the judge each Scout signs his own paper or book and hands it over; marks should then be given according to merit, and a prize awarded to the most observant Scout of the patrol which gets most marks among all its Scouts.
The idea is, that not only shall Scouts observe details, but also that they shall make their entries in such a guarded manner and at such times that Scouts following them shall not notice the entry being made.
This may be worked with or without a time-limit.
The Scoutmaster goes along a given road or line of country with a patrol in patrol formation. He carries a scoring card with the name of each Scout on it, first reading to the Scouts a list of certain things he wants.
Each Scout looks out for the details required, and directly he notices one he runs to the umpire and informs him or hands in the article, if it is an article he finds. The umpire enters a mark against his name accordingly. The Scout who gains most marks in the walk wins.
Details like the following should be chosen, to develop the Scout's observation and to encourage him to look far and near, up and down.
The details should be varied every time the game is played; and about 8 or 10 items should be given at a time.
Every match found: 1 mark.
Every button found: 1 mark.
Bird's foot track: 2 marks.
Patch noticed on stranger's clothing or boots: 2 marks.
Grey horse seen: 2 marks.
Pigeon flying: 2 marks.
Sparrow sitting: 1 mark.
Broken chimney-pot: 2 marks.
Broken window: 1 mark
7. MORGAN'S GAME.
Scouts are ordered to run to a certain hoarding where an umpire is already posted to time them. They are each allowed to look at this for one minute--of course no notes may be taken in writing--and must then run back to headquarters and report to the instructor all that was on the hoarding in the way of advertisements.
The Scoutmaster or Patrol-leader takes a patrol down a street past six shops. He lets them stay half a minute at each shop, and then, after moving them off to some distance, he gives each boy a pencil and card, and tells him to write from memory, or himself takes down, what they noticed in, say, the third and fifth shops. The boy who correctly sets down most articles wins.
It is a useful practice to match one boy against another in heats--the loser competing again, till you arrive at the worst. This gives the worst Scouts the most practice.
9. TAKING NOTES.
When next you go scouting in the streets, here are some things for you to note:
The number of every motor-car that is going too fast or whose driver is acting strangely; the number of signs used by the policeman in regulating the traffic; the various chalk marks made on pavement and doorsteps by surveyors, tramps, or children. Which men turn their toes in. And if you wish to make a game of it all, take a brother Scout with you.
Let each look in a few windows for one minute then go away and write down all the articles remembered. The one who gets the most correctly is the winner.
And though it may be a small matter in itself, you will rejoice when you realize how quickly you learn to no and remember and thus get a power which may may make your fortune, all through practice at scouting in the streets.
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Last modified: October 15, 2016.