This month I am featuring the Cultural Awareness Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA. The meeting plan for week three suggests a blindfolded tent pitching contest. Since the roundtable guide suggests a disablities awareness theme to go with this program feature, this fits in really well. This could be a jumping off point for a discussion about the difficulty of doing things with a vision impairment.
Tent pitching contests are an inter-patrol activity staple. The concept is simple, but I’ve outlined them below in case you’ve never seen one. 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.
Equipment (per team)
- 1 tent, including poles etc. (tents should be identical)
- mallets or bowling pins for driving stakes
- Divide the group into teams. A team could be a patrol, or if that is too many people, divide the patrols in half.
- Each team should start with the tent properly packed.
- On signal, they unpack their tents and start setting it up.
- When they are finished setting it up, they call for inspection and scoring.
Scoring: The first patrol finished gets 100 points, the second gets 80 points, and the third gets 60 points. Deduct 5 points for faults, such as incorrectly tied knots, loose guylines, missing stakes, etc. You might find it helpful to have scoresheets ahead of time and let the particpants see them so they know the criteria. The criteria might vary depending on the design of your units tents.
Do it blindfolded! Or have all of the team members except one blindfolded. The team member who can still see can give verbal instructions to the others only.