Games for Scouts
Games are an essential part of scouting. They provide an opportunity for scouts to learn new skills, develop teamwork and cooperation, and have fun. There are many types of games that scouts can play, each with its unique benefits. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different types of games that scouts can play.
Games are an essential part of scouting. They provide an opportunity for scouts to learn new skills, develop teamwork and cooperation, and have fun. There are many types of games that scouts can play, each with its unique benefits. Whether it’s team building games, games to teach skills and ideas, large area and active games, indoor games, or holiday games, there is a game for every occasion. So next time you’re planning a scouting activity, be sure to include some games!
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:
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Games are a crucial part of the Scouting program, providing Scouts with opportunities to develop essential skills while having fun. There are many types of games that Scouts can participate in, ranging from team-building and initiative games to indoor and holiday games.
Team Building, Initiative, and Cooperative Games
Team building games are an excellent way to help scouts work together towards a common goal. These games promote teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. Initiative games challenge scouts to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions. These games also promote leadership skills and build confidence.
Cooperative games are games that require scouts to work together towards a common goal. These games promote teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. Examples of cooperative games include the Human Knot, where scouts must untangle themselves without letting go of each other’s hands, and Guide Me Game, where scouts must work together to gather objects.
The “I Can Do That With One Hand Behind My Back” game is a fun activity that requires Scouts to make a jelly sandwich and pack it in a brown paper lunch bag using only one hand while their other hand is behind their back. It promotes communication and teamwork, and can also be a good opportunity to raise awareness about disabilities.
The Nitro Transport game is an initiative game designed to promote teamwork and cooperation. The objective is to transport a can of water (“nitro”) from one point to another using only a board with ropes attached to it.
Who Am I? is a guessing game where players are given a secret identity and must ask yes or no questions to try to figure out who they are. The first player to correctly guess their identity wins.
The Jack Rabbit Posing Game is a simple game where players take turns to pose with their neighbors in a way indicated by the leader. It is a fun game that can be modified to include more poses as the game progresses.
The Guide Me Game is a fun initiative game for scouts, which requires teamwork and communication skills. Players are blindfolded and must rely on verbal instructions from their team leader to locate and retrieve their team’s objects before the opposing team.
Four Facts is a paper and pencil game where players write down four facts about themselves, but one of them is not true. Other players in the group must guess which fact is false. It can be played in groups of 4 to 6 people and makes for a fun icebreaker.
The egg drop challenge is a science and engineering activity where Scouts design a container to protect an egg from breaking when dropped. Scouts collect recyclable materials, work in teams, and create a contraption for the egg which is then dropped from a height to see which designs were most effective.
The Elbow Balloon Pass Game involves passing a balloon around a circle using only elbows. The objective is to count how many times the balloon can be passed and try to increase that number with each round.
My Story Mystery Game is a fun group game in which players write a few sentences about something that happened to them recently, without using their name or writing something that others already know. The leader then selects three stories, and the members of the audience try to decide which story belongs to which person based on the story-telling style.
The Human Knot Game is a team-building activity where the group stands in a circle and hold hands with two different people, creating a knot that must be untangled without anyone letting go of their hands. This game can be used as an icebreaker or to develop communication and problem-solving skills.
The Won’t You Smile Game is a simple circle game that requires no materials. One person in the middle asks a player to smile, but the player must respond, “You know I love you, but I just can’t smile,” without smiling, otherwise, they become the person in the middle.
The Faith and Our Ancestors Game is a 3×3 grid game featuring interview questions related to faith and ancestry. Players ask each other the questions and fill in the answers given, with the goal of learning more about their ancestors and family traditions.
The Chicken on a Hut Game is a team building game where Scouts pair up and complete various moves such as Chicken on a Hut, Backpack, Lover’s Leap, and Bunk bed in order to stay in the game, with the last pair standing being the winners. No equipment is needed for this game.
Games to Teach Skills and Ideas
Games can be used to teach scouts new skills and ideas. For example, scouts can play a game to learn about first aid or knot tying. These games are a fun and interactive way to teach important skills. Games can also be used to reinforce ideas that scouts have already learned. For example, scouts can play a game to reinforce the Leave No Trace principles.
The Constellation Matching Game is a fun and educational game that can help children learn more about astronomy and the different constellations. Players have to match different constellations and the drawings behind them, encouraging imagination and visual-spatial skills.
In an orienteering scavenger hunt, scouts are given clues and navigate using a compass to find the treasure. The treasure can be anything from a piece of candy to a small trinket, but the goal is to encourage problem-solving, teamwork, and navigation skills.
The Tent-Pitching Competition is a team-building game that requires scouts to unpack, set up, and call for inspection of their tent to earn points. The competition can be made more challenging by doing it blindfolded, with only one team member being able to give verbal instructions to the rest of the team.
Citizenship Football is a game designed to make learning about citizenship and government fun. The game involves two teams, answering questions to gain yards and score touchdowns, with extra points and field goals also available.
The Cleanup Treasure Hunt is a team activity that encourages cleaning up the environment while having fun. The participants are divided into teams and given a list of items to find and pick up, with the team that collects the most different types of trash winning.
Kim’s Game is a memory game used to teach Scouts what should be in a home first aid kit. The game involves showing participants a number of items, covering them, and then having participants try to remember the items in a particular category.
The Wild Weather Adventure Game is a weather-themed game with question cards labeled easy, medium, or hard. The game includes a large board and multiple printable parts.
The Snapper Fishing Game is a lashings game that requires a few materials such as poles, rope, and a mousetrap. The objective is for a patrol to lash poles together and use their long “fishing” pole to snap the mousetrap.
The Food Go Fish game is a fun way to teach kids about different types of food and encourage discussion about healthy eating habits. The game includes printable cards and instructions, and can be adapted for different age groups.
This is a simple game called Show Me the Truth Game that can make talking about truth and honesty easier for Cub Scouts. The purpose of the game is to inject some fun into the activity and make it a little more lively for the scouts.
Learning the Scout Law will be more enjoyable with a game. This is a game to help Scouts learn the Scout Law by putting a set of 12 craft sticks with each point of the Scout Law in the correct order.
The State Capitals Game is a bingo-style game that can be played using either state or capital bingo cards and call cards. Players mark their cards when the corresponding state or capital is called and the first player to get a whole row covered yells BINGO!
First Aid Baseball is a game designed to reinforce first aid knowledge. Players answer first aid questions, and if they answer correctly, they advance around bases like in a baseball game.
The Crossing the Alligator Pit activity requires each patrol to build an A-frame structure and then “walk” it across a designated area called the “alligator pit.” The first patrol to successfully cross the pit with the structure wins.
The game includes cards with animals that sleep at different times, as well as sun and moon pictures for matching, and can be played in various ways. This activity can be a fun and interactive way for younger Scouts to learn about the importance of rest and the different sleep patterns of animals.
“Tell It Like It Isn’t” is a fun game that reinforces the importance of accurate communication and can be used as a teachable moment for discussions on gossip. Players whisper a phrase around a circle, and the last person says what they heard, with the first person revealing the original phrase.
Large Area and Active Games
Large area and active games are games that require a lot of space and physical activity. These games are perfect for outdoor activities and can help scouts develop their physical fitness. Examples of large area and active games include tag games, relays, and field games.
The objective of Dock Your Flying Saucer Game is to land the Frisbee in its designated space dock, which is a box. This game can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors, but it becomes more demanding when played outdoors in windy conditions.
When dealing with Cub Scouts, bear in mind the acronym KISMIF, which stands for Keep It Simple. Make It Fun. At times, we tend to devise intricate or convoluted schemes, while our young Scouts may be content with something elementary. A perfect illustration of this is the game Red Light Green Light, which is straightforward and needs no prior arrangement or equipment.
Hospital Tag is a pretend game where players act as if they’re injured and seek treatment at the hospital. The game has no clear winner, making it a fun way to burn off energy.
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 soccer drill suitable for young Scouts that involves three players. The game is played in a 10-foot by 10-foot area marked with cones, with one player designated as the attacker and the other two as defenders. The objective is for the attacker to dribble around while avoiding getting hit by the defenders’ balls, and the game ends when a defender successfully hits the attacker’s ball, with the attacker who goes the longest without getting hit being the winner.
Crash Course is a relay game played with two teams and six inner tubes. Players stack three inner tubes and run to the opposite corner of the field, making contact in the middle but without being excessive, and the first team to move all their players to the opposite corner wins.
Caterpillar Race is a simple and fun game suitable for younger children that teaches coordination and teamwork. The game involves dividing the group into two teams, with each player holding the ankles of the person in front of them to form a caterpillar, and they must work together to move to a pre-determined endpoint while staying attached, with the first team to complete the race declared the winner.
SPUD is a classic playground game that requires only a playground ball and can be played by multiple players. The game involves throwing the ball in the air and calling out a number, with the player assigned that number trying to catch the ball and yelling “SPUD” to freeze the other players, followed by trying to hit one of the other players with the ball, with those who get hit or move their feet being assigned letters until they spell “SPUD” and are out of the game, with the last player remaining being the winner.
Tug of War is a classic game that promotes fitness, teamwork, and good sportsmanship and can be played by kids of all ages. The game involves dividing into two teams, each with a maximum of 8 people, and pulling a long rope with a red center mark over a white mark on each side of the center line, with the first team to pull the opposing side’s white mark over the center line being declared the winner, and the game typically played in best of three matches.
Island Tug of War is an adaptation of traditional tug of war that requires strength, agility, and balance and is suitable for all ages. In this game, pairs of Scouts stand on upside-down buckets, holding opposite ends of a rope, and try to pull their opponent off their bucket, with the last Scout standing declared the winner.
Clothesline Relay is a simple relay game suitable for all age groups where Scouts pretend to do laundry. The game involves hanging towels on a clothesline with clothespins and removing them one by one until all the towels are back in the starting position, with the first team to finish declared the winner.
Forces of Flight is a game suitable for Cub Scouts, which involves briefly teaching the forces involved in flying, including thrust, drag, gravity, and lift, followed by having the Scouts stand in a line and do the appropriate action for the force called out by the leader, with the game serving as a fun way to get the Scouts up and moving around and potentially being made competitive.
Steal the Bacon is a game that is great for a large group of Scouts, and is fun for all ages. The game involves running, tagging, and strategic thinking, and can be adapted to fit any theme or learning objective.
Sharks and Minnows is a pool game where one player is the shark and tries to tag the other players who are the minnows. The game continues until all the minnows reach the base or are tagged by the shark, and the last remaining minnow becomes the shark for the next round.
In Kick the Can, players hide while one person, “It”, tries to find and tag them. When a player is tagged, they go to jail, and the game ends when all non-It players are in jail, but kicking the can frees everyone from jail.
Flip the Bird Tag is a game that requires players to work together to avoid being tagged by the “It.” Players throw a rubber chicken or a bird-shaped object to each other to prevent the tagger from getting them, and the last person standing becomes the next “It.”
Soccer Tennis is a game played with a soccer ball and a rope bisecting the playing area. Each team can kick or head the ball three times among its own players before playing it over the rope into the other team’s half.
Capture the Flag is an outdoor game for a large group of players that involves two teams dividing a field of play into two territories. Each team tries to invade the other team’s territory, retrieve the opposing team’s flag, and return it to the safety of their own territory while avoiding being tagged by the opposing team.
Shoot the Gap is a game that promotes teamwork and communication, and can be played in a large open room, gym, or outside. The objective of the game is to run past a “guardian” and reach the opposite goal without being tagged.
Pahsahëman is a Native American game similar to football, played by the Lenape tribe. The game involves two teams, traditionally of men and women, and a ball that can be kicked, thrown, or carried by women, but only kicked by men. This version of the game has been adapted for use with Scouts.
The Trailblazer Relay Race is a fun game that celebrates the spirit of adventure and exploration of our pioneer forefathers. The game requires resourcefulness, agility, and teamwork, which were essential qualities for pioneers to thrive in the Wild West. The game involves two teams racing to a pile of pioneer-themed supplies, selecting an object, and racing back to their team’s starting line to pass the object to the next player in line. To increase the challenge, obstacles can be added, and the game can be played outdoors in a wooded area to enhance the pioneer theme.
Indoor games are games that can be played inside. These games are perfect for rainy days or when outdoor activities are not possible. Other examples of indoor games include board games, card games, and trivia games.
Water Dropper Race is a fun and simple game that can be played as an interpatrol activity or as a team-building game during a pack meeting. In this game, participants use an eye dropper to transfer water from one container to another, and the team or individual with the most water in the end wins. The game can teach players the importance of taking their time and being careful, as careless teams may spill more water and not come out on top.
Flip Out is a team game that involves teamwork, communication and concentration. The objective of the game is for the teams to flip over their set of cards before the other teams do, by taking turns and only flipping one card at a time.
Mystery Taste Test is an enjoyable and educational game that promotes the use of taste buds and other senses among youth. It can be played during a nutrition-themed meeting or as a recreational activity. Players are blindfolded, presented with a food item, asked to taste it, and guess what it is. The post provides some food item suggestions to use in the game.
Pirate Pick Up is a simple and fun game that can be played at any gathering. Players try to pick up pretzels using a candy cane hook inserted in a plastic cup, and the player with the most pretzels at the end wins. You can also add to the fun by using pirate slang and talking like a pirate during the game.
Antichess is a chess variant in which the goal is to lose all your pieces, and players must capture a piece on each move if possible. Kings can be captured, there is no check or checkmate, and in case of a stalemate, the player with fewer pieces wins.
Ringer is a traditional game of marbles where players shoot marbles into a ring with the aim of knocking other marbles out of the ring. The player who collects the most marbles at the end of the game wins.
Hubbub is a traditional Native American dice game that requires a flat-bottomed bowl or pie dish, 5 “dice”, and 50 sticks. The objective of the game is to score points by tossing the dice in the bowl and collecting sticks equal to the points scored, with the winner being the player with the most sticks at the end.
Sleeping Pirate is a fun game that can be played as an opening activity or to release energy during a meeting. Blindfolded “pirates” try to catch the other players as they try to sneak in and steal treasure.
Picaria is a Native American board game similar to tic-tac-toe and checkers. Players take turns placing markers and moving them until one player gets three in a row, either in a straight line or diagonally.
Atomic Chess is played on a regular chessboard with standard pieces, but when a piece is captured, an explosion destroys all surrounding pieces (except pawns). The goal is still to capture the opponent’s king, but players must strategically plan their moves to avoid being exploded and set up potential explosions of their own.
Use the Force Star Wars game is a fun and active game where players use a pool noodle as a light saber to keep a balloon in the air without using their hands or feet. The last player to keep their balloon up wins the round, and if there aren’t enough pool noodles for everyone, the game can be played in rounds.
The Hail Storm game involves throwing ping pong balls into a bucket from five feet away and keeping score. It can be played indoors and can be adjusted for team play if individual competition is not preferred.
What’s in the Bag is a versatile activity that can be adjusted to fit any meeting theme. The game involves paper bags with letters printed on them, and players must guess what object is inside each bag based on the corresponding letter.
Bughouse (or Bunk House) Chess is a team-based variation of chess where two teams simultaneously play together. Each player has a direct opponent, but when a player captures a piece, he passes it to one of his teammates to play on the board. The first team to achieve checkmate wins.
The Light the Candle game is a fun and simple relay game that can be played indoors and is perfect for a holiday-themed meeting. The game requires toilet paper tubes and wadded-up yellow paper, and players must race across the room to place the paper in the cardboard tube to make it look like a lit candle.
The Sleeping Guard game involves a blindfolded guard sitting next to an object, and the other players attempt to steal it without being caught. The guard must listen for the thieves approaching and point to catch them, and whoever successfully steals the object becomes the guard for the next round.
The Picture Telephone Game is played to improve communication skills by writing a phrase on a paper, passing it to the right, and drawing a picture that represents the phrase, then passing it again and writing a phrase that describes the picture, and this process continues until the stacks of paper make their way around the circle. At the end of the game, each player stands up and shows each paper in their stack, so everyone can see how the message changed as it was passed from one person to another.
Holiday games are games that are played during holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. These games are a fun way to celebrate the holiday season and can help scouts develop their creativity and imagination. Examples of holiday games include Pumpkin Bowling, Turkey Hunt, and Christmas Scavenger Hunt.
Bobbing for Worms is a Halloween game that can be enjoyed by all ages. Players have to eat a gummy worm covered in whipped cream without using their hands.
This “What’s in the Stocking” game is a fun Christmas game suitable for any age group. Players try to guess what is inside the stocking by feeling, smelling, and shaking it, and then the contents are revealed.