Choosing Up Sides
[Troops using the Patrol Method should always use Patrols as teams and not count off by two's, as below]
Give the command BY HEIGHT-FALL IN! The tall boys should always fall in at the right. Count two's and execute "two's right." This will bring the troop into column of two's, and the No. 1 boys will constitute one team and the No. 2 boys the other. If the troop does not know "twos right" have the No. 2 boys step 1 pace to the front, thus forming the teams.
Two parallel chalk lines are drawn about 20 yards apart, the two teams forming on these lines facing each other. The idea is to throw a tennis ball, indoor baseball or basketball at the opponents. If a Scout is hit he is out of the game. If he catches the ball, however, the thrower is out. The Scouts throw in turn, each team alternating, beginning with the tallest Scout of each team, who is the captain of that team. It is the duty of this captain to shout "Fire!" This is the signal for his team to dodge as far back of the line as they wish, and for the other team to throw the ball. After each throw the team that has been dodging re-forms on the line. No one may throw or dodge before the captain shouts "Fire!" The best distance varies greatly with the sort of ball used.
Three large Indian clubs are arranged on the floor at the corners of an imaginary equilateral triangle with 18 inch sides. The Scouts form a circle around these, each Scout gripping his right hand neighbor's left wrist with his right hand. Thus it will be seen that if the circle breaks the director can instantly tell who let go. The object of the game is to pull and crowd someone onto the clubs so they will be knocked over. The Scout who lets go or knocks down a club is out of the game. When only three or four are left the game becomes quite interesting. There are many variations of this game, one of the best being a chalk circle on the floor.
We were surprised at the popularity of this old game at a Scout camp one summer. The variation used was as follows: the players formed a circle around and ran round and round until he called "Halt." He then tried to identify the players by sense of feeling. The Scouts could move their bodies to avoid the blindman, but could not move their feet. This game despite its age is it remarkable developer of observation.
This Idea has been developed in various ways. The following rules have worked out very well wherever they have been played: A list of questions are made up beforehand and are divided into three columns for the three ranks in Scouting. Four chairs are placed to represent four bases, also a chair for a pitcher's box if desired. Of course the players' benches must not be forgotten. The fielders are placed as In baseball and a Scout comes up to bat. The pitcher asks him a question according to his rank. If he fails and the catcher answers it, it is a strike. If the catcher fails also, It is a ball. If he answers correctly he is allowed to ask a question to the baseman. These questions to basemen start at first and go right around the diamond in order as different men come up, but start at the first baseman every inning. If the baseman "muffs" the Scout goes to the first If he answers correctly it constitutes a put out. Scouts advance around the bases by being forced, but if a man wants to steal he can obtain permission from the umpire to put a question to the next baseman. If the baseman fails the runner takes one base, but if he answers correctly the runner is out. In like manner if a baseman wants to try a put out on a runner who has an imaginary "lead" he can put a question to the runner. If the runner answers correctly he advances one base, if not he Is out. The Scoutmaster will act as umpire.
Cracker Eating Relay
The teams form in column of twos. A milk cracker is given each Scout. At the word "Go" the first two have to eat their cracker and whistle. As soon as a Scout whistles the next one on his team may eat his cracker. The team that finishes first, including the last whistle, wins. A suitable prize has been found to be a glass of water.
A circle Is formed, and the Scout who is "it" is given a handkerchief with a knot in one corner. The others place their hands behind them and look up at the ceiling as he passes behind them around the circle. He places the handkerchief in the hands of some Scout who immediately chases his left hand neighbor completely around the ring beating him over the head with the knotted end of the handkerchief. Then the one with the Handkerchief gives it to someone else and so on. Making a large hard knot, soaking same in water or enclosing in its folds a marble or two should be gently but firmly discouraged.
The Scouts form in a double circle, that is, each Scout has another fellow back of him. There is also a Scout who is "it" and one that he is chasing whom we will call the runner. If the runner can get in front of any of the "two deep" units forming the circle he is safe and the third or rear man of that unit becomes the runner. Thus it will be seen that the man who is "it" has to chase several runners before he Is lucky enough to tag one, thus making him "it."
This is similar to knot tag. A circle is formed, a Scout Is chosen to be "it" and one to be the runner for him to chase. When the runner succeeds in stepping into the circle at any point the Scout to his left instantly becomes the runner. This game also reminds one of three deep.
One Scout faces the wall with his head bent down. The others take turns throwing a soft ball at him. If a Scout misses he is "it." If he hits, the man who is "it" tries to guess who threw. If he hits on the right man that man is "it." The Scoutmaster should tell who is to throw, trying to give each one an even chance. If the ball is thrown in order it will be easy to determine who threw.
The teams line up as in "fire." One team about faces and may or may not bend over, as agreed upon. The other team tries to hit one of them in the back with a soft ball thrown underhand. Scouts who get hit or who miss their throw are out. After each throw both teams about face and the other team throws the ball, the Scouts throwing in turn, the teams alternating. The object Is to eliminate all the Scouts in the opposing team.
Scout Spelling Bee
Line the teams up as for an old fashioned spelling bee. The Scoutmaster puts Scouting questions to the Scouts according to their rank. If a Scout fails, the question goes to the next man of the other team of the same rank, and the Scout who failed is "spelled down." This game may be played with knots, each Scout having a small piece of rope, and being required to tie certain knots. And still another is good-give each Scout instructions to apply a triangular bandage to his right or left-hand neighbor, using the above rules to eliminate the ones that fail.
Snatch the Hat
Scouts form In 2 lines facing each other across the room or open space. Tall Scouts are opposite each other, grading down to the little chaps on the far end of the lines. A Scout hat is placed In the center of the field or room, and at the word "go" a Scout from each team runs out to the hat. Turns are taken by starting at the "tall" end of the line and so on to the end--then begin again.
The object Is to get away with the hat and bring it across your own line without being tagged by the opponent. If you touch the hat you may be tagged and are out of the game. Or if your opponent gets away with the hat you are out also. Eliminate until one team is wiped out.
This one of the very best Scout games, either for Indoor or outdoor work.
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Last modified: October 15, 2016.