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Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag is a great game for a large group. Our Scouts BSA Troop plays it often as an interpatrol activity during meetings.

Cub Scouts can play it also.  We had a joint Pack/Troop flag retirement ceremony at a local park in the spring. When the ceremony was over, the Scouts BSA organized a game of capture the flag, putting some Cub Scouts on each team. They used most of the park as their play area. It was legendary. 🙂

This game fits in with my Classic Outdoor Games theme. Like many classic games, this has lots of variations. Feel free to add your own version in the comments.

How to Play Capture the Flag

This is an outdoor game for a large number of players. They are divided into two teams.


  • Two “flags” – these can be neckerchiefs, hats, frisbees, almost anything


  1. Determine the field of play and then divide it into two territories, one for each team. Use landmarks such as trees, sidewalks, etc. as boundaries.
  2. Each team chooses a “base” somewhere in their territory and places their flag there.
  3. Each team also chooses an area to be a “prison” somewhere in their territory.
  4. When ready, the teams try to invade each other’s territory, retrieve the opposing teams flag, and return to the safety of their own territory.
  5. If a player is tagged in enemy territory, they must go to the enemies prison. They can be freed from prison if a member of their team runs to the enemy territory, goes to the prison, and tags them, and they both return to their own territory without being tagged. Only one prisoner can be released at a time.
  6. The game ends when one team captures the other team’s flag as described in step 4.


More Games for Scouts

See a wide variety of games for Scouts of all ages.

Classic Outdoor Games

More games like Capture the Flag can be found on my Classic Outdoor Games page.

Patrol Games

Get more ideas for patrol games for your Scouts BSA troop.


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