Night, Winter, Water




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Night, Winter, Water

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"Scouts must be able to find their way equally well by night as by day." 
Scouting for Boys,
p. 64. 

Note: Unedited Raw Text

Night work of various kinds is of considerable value in Scouting, but primarily it is a matter for older Scouts and Rover Scouts rather than for Tenderfoots. It has, however, an appeal to the boys themselves as being more adventurous, and this appeal should not be disregarded.

Advice in regard to Night Work is given on pages 64 and 65 of Scouting for Boys, on Night Scouting on pages 133 and i3q., and on Night Stalking on pages 159 and I 6o. This advice mentions most of the special difficulties which will confront Scouts who are moving about at night, and suggests some means of overcoming them. These sugges­tions provide a program of initial training in night work. Other practices for night work are suggested in Chapter VIII of Training in Tracking. It will be found that various blindfold games-played indoors and outdoors during the day time-will help some boys to overcome their dread of the dark. Boys who have that dread--4nduced generally by silly tales or by being frightened when quite young-must be treated very care­fully and be gradually trained to realize that the dark is not so frightening after all. On no account should they be sent out into the dark on their own, at home or in camp. In camp half an hour's night walking with the rest of the Patrol will be quite enough practice to start with.

In towns night work is easier, and a great deal can be done through treasure-hunts and man-hunts to occupy a fine winter's night. The Shop Window Game (Scouting for Boys, p. 135) can be played at night, although it may seem to some a very small beginning. Practice can also be given after dark in Scout's Pace and in Patrol move­ments. All this does not amount to very much, but it is a beginning, and Scouts must be accustomed to night work before being required to take part in any Wide Game at night. After the Scouts are more accustomed to moving in the dark Night Patrolling (Scouting for Bays, p. 73) can be brought into play, together with a certain amount of road patrolling and outpost work. In camp certain Patrols can be detailed to develop a night attack on the camp, the number of attackers being double the number of defenders. An attack can be foiled if the beam of an electric torch is shone directly on any of the attackers. A game of this kind entails careful umpiring and strict obedience to the umpire's orders and decisions.

Many of the Wide Games practiced during the day can be utilized as night games, after slight modifications -especially in areas-have been made. " Occupying the Thicket " (p. 93) would, for instance, afford good prac­tice in Scouting in the dark. Six night games are detailed in Chapter VIII of Scouting Games ; an article on " Night Scouting Exercises " in The.. Scouter for March 1926 also contains several games. In a normal Troop one night exercise during the summer camp would be quite sufficient, and in any case such exercise should cease by 11 p.m.

Apart from all question of games it will be found that a lot of useful and interesting Scouting can be got out of pathfinding by night, when Scouts in pairs can guide themselves to a certain fixed point by compass and the stars. In the country a low hill-top provides a suitable objective.

Rover Scouts have found interest in all-night hikes, both in town and country. In some Districts night games of the cordon-breaking or man-hunt type have been organized for various Crews. (See The Scouter for March 1931.)

It seems to be necessary, too, to say a word about Wide Games during the winter months. Five games in the snow are given in Chapter IX of Scouting Games, but snow is not essential to the playing of games in the open in winter.

Winter Camping, a publication of the Boy Scouts of America, says : " Attractive as sports and outdoor Scouting games may be in the summer, the winter air makes all the keener the enjoyment of vigorous exercise, especially in new forms to fit the season. All the old games are played with new zest and energy. A snowfall brings new conditions. Many of the Scouting Games can be adapted to snow-covered ground and may even become more interesting for the change. A host of new sports comes into use and affords a welcome contrast to purely summer ones. Now is the season of seasons for all trailing and tracking games. While even games like ` Capture the Flag ' are played with greater vigor, preference is always given to such activities as afford practice in going further afield, in hiding and stalking. Of these there is great variety." Cross-country runs, Harrier Clubs, and so on, are suitable exercises for Rover Scouts and for older Boy


Scouts. There is no reason, however, to indulge in these if facilities for them are provided already by other con­tacts which the Rover Scouts have. But one thing is clear ; Scouters should realize that there is a real need for getting their Scouts out-of-doors during the winter months, and should organize games or other exercises in order to carry out this requirement. The Chief Scout has told us: " The first scouting I did as a boy was sea scouting, in a sailing boat in which, with my brothers, I cruised round the coasts of England and Scotland. I had the time of my life. I hope you

will enjoy it as much as I did when you take it up "

(Scouting for Boys, p. 78).

He then proceeds to give a description of a Whale Hunt which provides a very enjoyable and energetic Wide Game on the water. Chapter X of Scouting Games con­tains the descriptions of four other seamanship games. In Chapter IX of Sea Scouts will be found other sugges­tive games and some advice an their playing. The last paragraph of that Chapter contains an injunction which must be obeyed by all Scouts taking part in any water game " In any water game it is vitally necessary to take every life-saving precaution possible (see P.O.R.). A bathing picket is essential, a life-line must be available, and the number, of Scouters and Rover Scouts acting as judges must be such that any part of the course can be reached quickly (in a boat, if necessary) by someone in authority."

Provided all the necessary precautions are observed there is no reason why an ordinary land Scout Troop should not indulge in the excitement of a water game from time to time. Such games should afford a good opportunity for Land and Sea Scout Troops to come together more frequently than they sometimes do. It would be a mistake always to let the Sea Scouts enact the part of Smugglers and the others that of Preventive-men. It would be much better to mingle both on the same side so that those landlubbers who were acting as Smugglers could be given a certain amount of boat work, say, under Sea Scout supervision and guidance. Inland lakes and waterways, including , can also provide valuable material for the introduction of a certain amount of water work--fording, swimming, rafts, boats, bridging, etc. Convoys can be sent by water as well as by road, while streams can form the basis of an exploring game.  It will be found that the majority of games actually played on the sea will fall under the cordon-breaking and the treasure-hunt types; descriptions of both these types appear in Sea Scouts. 

See Also:

Night Scouting






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!Quick Guide! ] Conquest Type ] Cordon-Breaking Type ] Man-Hunt Type ] Raid Type ] Seizure Type ] Treasure-Hunt Type ] Treasure Type (UK) ] Introduction ] Training ] Care of Countryside ] Playing the Game ] Preparations ] Cloak of Romance ] [ Night, Winter, Water ] Descriptions ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.