A group of youth playing games with hoops and cones.

Games for Scouts

Games promote team building, cooperation, and friendly competition. Active games also promote the BSA aim of personal fitness.

Many Cub Scout requirements involve playing games. And for Scouts BSA, games can make learning skills more fun and interactive.

I’ve included some of the most popular games on the site at the bottom of this post. For more ideas, you can also see:

Puzzles and Printables

Gathering activities

Even more games for youth

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Team Building, Initiative, and Cooperative Games

I Can Do That With One Hand Behind My Back

I Can Do That With One Hand Behind My Back

The goal of this game is for two Scouts to work together to make a simple lunch. The challenge is that they each have one hand tied behind their back.

nitro transport game

Nitro Transport

Nitro Transport is an initiative game. Its purpose these type of games is to get a group to work together to solve a problem. This should build teamwork and cooperation in the group.

Picture Telephone

Picture Telephone

Picture Telephone game is a visual version of the classic telephone game. Youth will enjoy looking at the pictures and phrases later and seeing how far off they were from the original message.

who am i

Who Am I?

Who Am I? is a game were players are given an identity, but they don’t know what it is? Everyone else does know. So they ask each other questions to try to figure out who they are.

Human Knot

This is an icebreaker in which a group must work together to “untie” themselves from a knot. This is a cooperative rather than competitive game.

Jack Rabbit

Our Crew president led this jack rabbit posing game at our last meeting. It is a fun game for teenagers, but would work for other age groups also. The idea of this game is to remember different poses and to strike the correct pose quickly.

Guide Me Game

This game focuses on communication. It is appropriate for Webelos, Scouts BSA, or Venturers. The will have to work together to accomplish their goal.

Egg Drop Challenge

In an egg drop challenge, Scouts try to design a container which can prevent an egg from breaking when dropped. This is an excellent activity to get kids interested in STEM activities

Elbow Balloon Pass

This elbow balloon pass game is all about cooperation. Talk afterwards about what made it easier to pass the balloon and what made it harder.

My Story Mystery

The My Story Mystery Game is a great way to get to know some “history” about a group of individuals. It makes a great icebreaker. It can also serve as an introduction to a discussion about oral history and storytelling.

wont you smile game

Won’t You Smile

In the Won’t You Smile game one person tries to make someone else in the group smile. Everyone else must keep a straight face. Won’t You Smile is a team-building or icebreaker game suitable for Venturers or Scouts BSA.

Four Facts

Four Facts game is an icebreaker game. It would also work well with any activity relating to personal history or storytelling. I think it could also be worked into a discussion about honesty.

Faith and Our Ancestors

The Faith and Our Ancestors Game is an icebreaker activity with a genealogy twist. Players ask each other questions about how they think their ancestors lived.

Chicken on a Hut

This game makes a fun break in a meeting. It is a favorite with our Venturing Crew. Because of the physical contact with the partners, when playing games like this with our coed Crew, boys are partners with boys and girls are partners with girls.

Games to Teach Skills and Ideas

constellation match game

Constellation Matching Game

This constellation matching game will add fun to any astronomy focused meeting or achievement. It will also familiarize youth with some of the constellations. The drawings behind the constellations will help them understand why they are named for people or animals.

Orienteering Scavenger Hunt

Orienteering Scavenger Hunt

This requires some setup, but it is a fun way to introduce Webelos and Scouts BSA to orienteering. You can just set up one course and have them all do it together, or you can set up two or three courses and split them into groups. The courses don’t have to be long. Three points make a fine course. If you have different teams, use different colors of paper to designate which clues are for which teams.

Tent Pitching Competition (Standard or Blindfolded)

Tent pitching competitions are an inter-patrol activity staple. To make it a blindfolded tent pitching contest, just add blindfolds. If you want, let one team member keep his vision, but he can only participate by giving verbal instructions to the others. This makes a good communications exercise also.

Citizenship Football

Citizenship Football is a fun way to help Webelos and Scouts BSA work on citizenship requirements.

Cleanup Treasure Hunt

If you are looking for a little outdoor service project for Cub Scouts, try doing a Cleanup Treasure Hunt for your chartered organization, local park, a small business, or the like. Turning service projects into games keeps younger Scouts engaged.

Kims Game with Items for a Home First Aid Kit

Kim’s Game with Items for a Home First Aid Kit

Kim’s game is a traditional Scouting game which was introduced by Sir Robert Baden-Powell. It is based on a game described by Rudyard Kipling. This version of the game helps Scouts learn what should be in a home first aid kit.

Wild weather adventure game

Wild Weather Adventure

This is a board game I came across recently on the NASA Space Place website. It is going to take a little time for you to print and prepare the materials, but I think this would be a hit at any weather themed scout meeting.

Snapper Fishing – A Lashings Game

This is a traditional Scout lashings game which might date back to Baden-Powell himself. It practices Scoutcraft (lashings) as well as cooperation and problem solving.

Cub Scout Nutrition Game – Food Go Fish

This is basically a go fish game with different types of food. I liked how the kids talked about the different types of food they saw on the cards.

Show Me the Truth

Let’s be truthful. Some of the Cub Scout requirements which are all talking can be tough to do with a group of restless kids. Games like this can make talking about truth and honesty easier.

scout law game

Scout Law Game

Learning the Scout Law will be more enjoyable with a Scout Law game. This game helps Scouts learn all twelve points of the law in order.

state capitals bingo game

State Capitals Bingo Cards

One theme for teaching citizenship is the Fifty Great States theme. State capitals bingo would be a fun game or gathering activity to go with this theme

first aid baseball

First Aid Baseball

First aid baseball is a fun way to review first aid skills with Scouts BSA and Webelos. There are instructions for the game and a set of question cards included in the printable file.

Crossing the Alligator Pit

This is a very challenging game which combines lashing skills and teamwork. It would work well for an interpatrol activity at a meeting focused on pioneering skills.

Animal Match: When Does It Sleep?

One of the requirements for the Lion Fun on the Run adventure is “Understand the importance of rest.” A suggested activity for this requirement is to discuss nocturnal and diurnal animals and play a matching game. I have made a set of cards to help you with this.

Tell It Like It Isn’t (Telephone)

Tell It Like It Isn’t is the game most of us know as Telephone. Yes, it really is that simple.

Large Area and Active Games

Dock Your Flying Saucer Game

Dock Your Flying Saucer

The idea of this game is to put the flying saucer (a Frisbee) in its space dock (a box). Dock Your Flying Saucer Game is a good game for indoors or out. If it is windy, it is a lot more challenging outdoors.

Red Light Green Light

Red Light Green Light

When working with Cub Scouts, remember KISMIF – Keep It Simple. Make It Fun. Sometimes we come up with elaborate or complicated plans when our young Scouts would really be just as happy with something simple. Red Light Green Light is a great example of this. It is simple and requires no preparation or materials. My Cub Scouts always enjoy these “classic” playground games.

Hospital Tag

Hospital Tag

In this hospital tag game, players pretend they are wounded and go to the hospital to get fixed up.

Soccer Croquet

Soccer Croquet

Soccer Croquet is a fun game to include a soccer themed meeting for Cub Scouts. A soccer drill can make a fun gathering activity or an end of the meeting game for a Cub Scout pack meeting. This drill emphasizes teamwork, dribbling skills, and passing accuracy.

Soccer Marbles

Soccer Marbles

If you are having a soccer or sports themed meeting, a soccer drill can be a fun way to burn of some energy. Soccer marbles is a three person soccer drill. It is simple enough for young Scouts.

crash course game

Crash Course

Crash course is a relay where players run to the opposite corner, possibly crashing in the middle.

Clothesline Relay

In this relay, the Scouts are doing the laundry. They hang out towels on a clothesline and then bring them back in.

Caterpillar Race

The Caterpillar Race is a fun active game for younger children.. They will have to work together to match their movements, so it teaches them teamwork and coordination. Games like this make a nice little break in a meeting.

SPUD game

SPUD

SPUD works well for a group of 8 to 10 Scouts. This goes with my Classic Outdoor Games theme. I’m sure many of us played this as children.

tug of war

Tug of War

Tug of War can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. Have a little tug of war tournament with your Scouts to encourage fitness, teamwork, and good sportsmanship.

Island Tug of War Game

Island tug-of-war is an adaptation of traditional tug of war which not only requires strength but also agility and balance. This game is appropriate for all ages from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA to Venturers.

Forces of Flight

The Forces of Flight game would make a fun addition to a pack meeting for the Soaring the Skies Cub Scout theme. Use this game when the Cub Scouts have been sitting for too long and need to get up and move around.

Steal the Bacon

Steal the Bacon is good for a large group of Scouts. This is fun for all age levels – from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA to Venturers. Your older Scouts might try to employ some strategy when playing games like this.

Sharks and Minnows

Here is a game to go with an aquatic theme. It can be used at your pack pool party or at a meeting focused on swimming skills.

Kick the Can

Kick the can is another one of those classic games. It combines tag and hide and go seek. This is a great wide area game for a large group. Use it as an activity at a pack campout or to add some physical activity to a pack meeting.

Flip the Bird Tag

Flip the Bird tag is an active game which is a combination of tag and keep away. In it, a players work together to keep their friends from being tagged.

Soccer Tennis

When my den meetings were immediately after school, I often did a physical activity during the gathering time. The Scouts needed to run around and burn off a little energy before they were ready to concentrate on the den activities.

Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag is a great game for a large group. Scouts BSA troops can play it as an interpatrol activity during meetings. Cub Scouts can play it also, especially Bears and Webelos.

Shoot The Gap

Games like this are active but also serve as a team building game or ice breaker, since the participants must know the names of the other players.

Pahsahëman

Pahsahëman is similar to football. It has been played by the Lenape of the American Northeast for many generations. These instructions include tips for adapting this game for use with scouts.

Indoor Games

water dropper race

Water Dropper Race

Water Dropper Race is a fun little game for a pack meeting or for an interpatrol activity. Youth will use an eye dropper to transfer water from one container to another. The team or individual with the most water in the end wins.

Flip Out Card Game

Flip Out Card Game

Flip Out Card Game is a fast paced relay game. This works well for an inter-patrol activity for a Scouts BSA troop or a game for a Venturing Crew.

mystery taste test

Mystery Taste Test

Food games keep things interesting. This mystery taste test game will help youth think about what they are detecting with their taste buds. Play it with a nutrition themed meeting or just for fun.

Pirate Pick Up Game

Pirate Pick Up

Ahoy there me hearties! Pirate games will add fun to your meeting or gathering. This Pirate Pick Up game is easy to set up and play.

Antichess Game

Antichess

Do you feel like you always lose when you play chess? If you are better at getting your own pieces captured than capturing your opponents pieces, then Antichess is the game for you. In Antichess (sometimes called Suicide Chess or Giveaway Chess) the object is to lose all of your pieces.

Rules for Ringer

Ringer

When you think of kids playing marbles, you are probably picturing Ringer in your mind – a circle on the ground and kids shooting at the marbles within.

Hubbub A Native American Dice Game

Hubbub

This is a traditional Native American dice game. The scoring systems seem to vary from one reference to another, so the system below is a simplified system which scouts should be able to follow.

Sleeping Pirate

This sleeping pirate game works well for an opening activity or to run off some steam at a meeting. It doesn’t require much equipment and additional Scouts can join in as they arrive.

Picaria

Picaria is a Native American board game which seems like a cross between tic-tac-toe and checkers. The board is pictured on the right. A printable version of the board is includes with the instructions, but it is simple enough that the scouts can draw their own. They can even color it or decorate it .

Atomic Chess

Do you think regular chess is boring? Then try atomic chess. In atomic chess, pieces don’t just capture other pieces, they explode! Both pieces involved in the capture are destroyed along with any in the surrounding area. Sound like fun?

Use the Force

Everyone likes Star Wars games! The idea of this game is for each player to “use the force” to keep a balloon on a pool noodle light saber.

Hail Storm

Hail Storm game doesn’t take much space, so it can be played indoors. If you think ahead and take the materials to camp with you, you can even play it under a fly on a rainy day.

Whats in the bag game

What’s In the Bag

What’s In the Bag is a simple guessing game which can be adjusted for any meeting theme. Use it at a den meeting or a pack meeting.

Bughouse Chess Game

Bughouse

Bughouse (or Bunk House) is a chess game which helps even the playing field. Basically, there are two teams which simultaneously play chess together

Light the Candle

Light the candle game is a simple game which works in well with a holiday themed meeting. It only requires a few materials and not much preparation, which makes it ideal in my mind. And it works indoors.

Sleeping Guard

Sleeping Guard game is a fun game for a den. The object of the game is for the Scouts to be quiet enough to sneak up on a blindfolded guard and steal an object. Perfect for a bunch of noisy Cub Scouts!

Picture Telephone

Picture Telephone Game

Picture Telephone game is a visual version of the classic telephone game. Youth will enjoy looking at the pictures and phrases later and seeing how far off they were from the original message.

Holiday Games

Bobbing for Worms Halloween Party Game

Bobbing for Worms

Looking for a last minute Halloween party games? Here is a really easy which is fun for the players and spectators alike. And it is good for all ages.

Stocking Surprise

Stocking Surprise is an easy game for your Christmas themed meeting or party. It works with almost any age group. When choosing items for the “stocking”, think of all of the senses. Include something with a scent, or something which makes noise.

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