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B-P Snow Games
Animal Tracking Game
Game of Big Foot
Goose Hangs High
Running the Gauntlet
Running Indian Scouts
William Gould Vinal
Matching: Obtain several kinds of twigs 8 to 12 inches long. Cut into two
parts. Mount the lower half on a board. Scatter the other halves on a table. At
a given signal the players observe closely one of he twigs and then run to the
twigs on the table to get the other half. If the wrong half is brought back they
try again. This game requires close observation. Leaves may be used in the same
way, or flowers with short stems may be fitted to longer stems, or leaves to
Indoor Twig Relay: Have a group of winter twigs scattered at one end
of the room, as many of each kind as there are players. Show a twig, as the
white ash. The players may look as long as they wish. Samples are then passed
back and they are given 30 seconds to get a white ash twig. Everyone back in his
seat with a white ash twig at the end of 30 seconds gets one point.
Tree: Give each player a sample twig of a tree that may be seen from the
The players go to the window and mark those trees on a map. If it is an elm, for example, they
elm trees spotted from the window. Maple twigs, horse chestnut, pine, and spruce,
all work well. This is a very interesting game to train in
long distance observation.
Spot Spy: This game is great fun when resting on a
hike or when loitering along the way. The leader says: "I can see 5 white
oaks." The group are given one or two minutes to spot the white
those who see them may indicate it by sitting down, taking off their hat, or by
some other agreed signal. All those who see the object get a point.
Census: This game is well adapted to a permanent or temporary camping site. Mark
off a forest area as the "Out Door Museum." Have a large number of
sale tags such as used in a department store. Divide into groups called
foresters, miners, florists, birders, etc. If there are a large variety of trees
and a small display of minerals give each tree the value of one and each mineral
the value of three. The naturalists are then given fifteen minutes to label and
list the natural history objects under their department. In the case of birds it
would be the evidence of the bird rather than the bird itself. The reports around
the council ring are instructive and often amusing.
Tree Cribbage: This may be
played for a time when on a hike. One group may take one side of the road and
the other the opposite or the points may go to the side recognizing the tree
first. It should be limited to trees on the road side of the fences. Counting the
number of legs on the right and left is fun and usually ends up when coming to a
chicken farm or cemetery. Sometimes it is stated beforehand, as a joker, that a
rabbit or a white horse, seen first will count as five points.
Twig Diaries: Suited to late fall. A tree is named, as
tulip. The players must run and get a tulip twig that grew in the preceding
summer. He counts the number of leaf scars and searches for the same
leaves that grew on the tulip tree.
Nature Sounds: The group is given five minutes to see who can make the longest list of things heard in the woods
during that time. It may be a raindrop, crow, cow, rooster in distance, rustling
leaves of oak or the swish of the pine, tapping of the woodpecker, or song of
Exploring Game: Parties are sent out to discover good blue berry
picking, clay for pottery, frog's eggs for the aquarium, a good region for
nutting, sphagnum moss, etc.
Sand Tracking: Make puzzles on the beach, such as: someone has a piggy back ride, someone falls down and is helped up, someone
crawls on hand and knees to view a bird, etc.
Compass-Pacing, Nature Trailing: This again is a game for real Scouts. A meter is given which may read something
Compass and Paces
Trail Observations: A good
Scout can retrace a trail because he remembers certain objects along the trail.
Walk for a certain distance over a trail and then ask ten questions, or each one
may write ten questions and then exchange. Arguments will follow and it will
usually be necessary to go over 'the trail again.