Scout Library, No. 4
by Sir Robert S. S. Baden-Powell
Author of "Scouting for Boys," "Yarns for Boy Scouts,"
"Boy Scouts Beyond the Seas," etc.
The training of the
Boy Scouts is done mainly by means of games, practices and competitions
such as interest them, and at the same time bring into use the attributes
of manliness and good citizenship which we desire to inculcate into
There is, therefore,
an aim, physical or moral, underlying those which are given in the
following pages. These games do not exhaust what it is possible
to give; they are but samples or suggestions upon which imaginative
Scoutmasters will easily contrive better ones and more of them,
suited to their local conditions. But in devising these the higher
aim should always be kept in view; that is the instructor should
think of what points he wishes to teach. and then invent a game
or display in which to bring them into practice. In playing these
Games it should be remembered that they improve very much on the
second and third trial, as minor rules have often to be introduced
to suit local circumstances. A time limit should generally be imposed
to bring them off successfully.
Through these games,
apart from their health - and joy giving properties, we can instill
the sense of fair play, discipline, and self-control - in a word,
good sportsmanship, among our future men. Then in addition to the
games mentioned in this book we have adopted other activities in
the Scout movement in the shape more particularly of swimming and
climbing. These are for the fuller development of the boys morally
as well as physically. Morally, because swimming gives a sense of
mastery over one of the elements and of fitness for service to them
as a result of exercising pluck and perseverance; and climbing similarly
gives a sense of self-reliance and power through achievement in
overcoming a difficult adventure.
They are good physically,
because both activities are the better agents for developing health
and strength in that they are not artificial like " physical jerks,"
" setting-up drill," etc., but are natural and appeal to the boy
so that he continues to practice them voluntarily in his spare time.
In these days when
so large a proportion of the manhood is physically unsound and incapable
of 'any great strain of hard work, Scoutmasters are rendering a
really valuable service to the nation in turning out a new generation
of citizens healthier in body and mind than their predecessors.
The games described in the previous editions have been carefully
checked in the light of fuller experience, and improvements made.
R. S. S. B. P.
This game is for two patrols,
or a larger number divided into two parts, each under one Patrol-leader.
Three flags (signalling flags will do) are posted within a given tract of
country at about 20 yards apart. It rests upon the judgment of the leader
of the defending party to choose the spot. He then posts his patrol not
less than 200 yards from the flags, and the game begins. The attackers send
out Scouts to discover (1) where the flags are, (2) where the outpost is
placed. They then try and reach the flags and carry them off without being
seen by the outpost. One Scout may not take away more than one flag. The
defending patrol may not come within the 200 yards of the flags, and to
capture one of the raiders they must have at least two Scouts within 10
yards of him, and call out "hands-up". At a signal given by one of the Patrol-leaders
or an umpire, to show that time is up, all must stand up in their places,
to see how near the raiders are, and the exact position of the outpost.
It is a great point for the Patrol-leaders to keep their own patrols in
touch. If they like the attackers can arrange a false alarm on one side,
while a single Scout makes for the flags from the opposite direction and
secures one. At night lanterns can be substituted for flags.
TO SIXTH EDITION
I -- SCOUTING GAMES.
FLAG RAIDING, 2. THE RIVAL DISPATCH
BEARERS, 3. DISPATCH RUNNING,
4. READING THE MAP, 5. RELAY RACE, 6.
FLYING COLUMNS, 7. NUMBERS, 8.
SURVEYING THE COUNTRY, 9. SCOUT MEETS
SCOUT, 10. TELEGRAPH CUTTING, 11.
THE SIGNALLERS' GAME. (A GAME FOR GOOD SIGNALLERS), 12.
THE TRAITOR'S LETTER, 13. JOINING
FORCES, 14. SPIDER AND FLY, 15.
SCOUTING IN THE OPEN, 16. PLANT RACE,
17. WHERE'S THE WHISTLE ?, 18.
FUGITIVES, 19. TAILS, 20.
COMPASS POINTS, 21. SPOT YOUR STAVES,
22. ONE TREE AWAY, 23.
WHAT IS IT? 24. FINDING PLACES.
II -- STALKING GAMES.
III -- TRACKING GAMES.
IV -- INDOOR GAMES.
KIM'S GAME. HOW TO PLAY IT, 2.
DEBATES AND TRIALS, 3.
SCOUT'S CHESS, 4.
FARMYARD, 5. THIMBLE
FINDING, 6. SCOUT'S
NOSE, 7. SPOTTING
THE SPOT, 8. HOW
LONG?, 9. OLD SPOTTY-FACE,
10. QUICK SIGHT,
11. NOBODY'S AIRSHIP,
12. BLOW BALL, 13.
ARTISTS, 14. A MEMORY
GAME, 15. QUESTIONS,
16. WHO SAID THAT?,
17. CELEBRITIES, 18.
PATTERNS, 19. ROUND
THE RING, 20. BADGER
V -- GENERAL GAMES FOR CAMP OR PLAYGROUND.
CATCH THE THIEF, 2.
BANG THE BEAR, 3.
SHOOT OUT, 4. THE
BULL FIGHT, 5. BASKET
BALL, 6. KNIGHT ERRANTRY,
7. FIND THE NORTH,
9. CAMP BILLIARDS,
10. STOOL KICKING,
11. TAKE THE HAT
(FOR TWO PATROLS), 12.
THE STAFF RUN (FOR FOUR PATROLS), 13.
PASS IT ON, 14. TOILET
TAG, 15. BOMB-LAYING,
16. BAITING THE BADGER,
17. RING CATCHING,
18. SHOOTING, 19.
KICK IT AND RUN, 20.
BALANCING THE BOARD, 22.
AN OBSTACLE RACE, 24.
SNATCH THE HANDKERCHIEF, 25.
HIT THE BUCKET.
VI -- CYCLISTS' GAMES.
VII -- TOWN GAMES.
VIII -- NIGHT GAMES.
IX -- WINTER GAMES
X -- SEAMANSHIP GAMES.
XI -- FIRST-AID GAMES.
XII -- GAMES FOR STRENGTH.
XIII -- DISPLAYS
THE "MERCURY" DISPLAY. From The Scout, October 9, 1909, 2.
GOOD TURNS, 3.
THE TREASURE CAMP. By P. W. Everett, 4.
HOW LIVINGSTONE WAS FOUND, 5.
THE DIAMOND THIEF, 6.
PLAY THE GAME - A POEM By HENRY NEWBOLT, 7.
TABLEAU OF THE STORMING OF DELHI, 8.
THE S.A.C, 9. POCAHONTAS;
or, THE CAPTURE OF CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH, 10.
The game is played between
two rival patrols, which for convenience we will name the Wolves and Peewits.
From each patrol one Scout is selected as dispatch bearer. The Scoutmaster
takes up a position at a certain spot, preferably in the middle of a wood,
or if in a town at the junction of several streets, and the chosen Scouts
start from opposite points about two miles distant from the Scoutmaster
and attempt to reach him. It is the duty of the remainder of each patrol
to try to prevent the rival dispatch carrier reaching his goal. Thus the
Wolves will watch the stretch of country over which the chosen Peewit is
likely to come, and as the winning patrol is decided by the first dispatch
carrier to reach the Scoutmaster, the Wolves will do all they can to capture
the Peewit and secure the dispatch. The Peewits in their turn will naturally
try and effect the same result. When the carrier has his dispatch captured
he must not of course continue. The patrols must keep 200 yards away from
the starting and finishing point, thus giving the dispatch-bearer a better
chance of reaching the Scout- master. To be captured, the dispatch-bearer
must be actually held by one of the defenders, though no fighting is allowed.
A Scout is chosen to carry
a dispatch to a besieged place which may be a real village or house, or
somebody stationed at an appointed spot. The dispatch-runner must wear a,
colored rag, at least two feet long, pinned to his shoulder, and with this
in its proper place he must reach his goal. The enemy besieging the place
must prevent him reaching the headquarters, but cannot, of course, go within
the lines of the supposed defenders (i.e. within 300 yards of the headquarters-certain
boundaries should be decided upon beforehand). To catch him the enemy must
take the rag from his shoulder. They know he starts from a certain direction
at a certain time, the spot should be a mile or so from the besieged town-and
they may take any steps to capture him they like, except that they may not
actually witness his departure from the starting-place. The game may be
played in a town with two houses chosen as starting-place and besieged town
respectively, and the dispatch-runner can adopt any disguise (except that
of a woman), so long as he wears the rag pinned to his shoulder.
This is a test in map-reading
and remembering the map read. The Scoutmaster or Patrol-leader in command
takes his patrol into a strange town or an intricate part of the country
and through them he wishes to find out particulars about the neighborhood;
so he shows the Scouts a map of the district and appoints to each a place
to be visited, showing the route on the map, and pointing out churches,
inns, etc., to be noted on the way. Each Scout should have a fixed distance
to go and a certain number of points to be noted. Then they start off, and
as they return the Scoutmaster or Patrol-leader takes down their reports.
The winner is the Scout who brings in the best report in the shortest time.
One patrol is pitted against
another to see who can get a message sent a long distance in the shortest
time by means of relays of runners (or cyclists). The patrol is ordered
out to send in three successive notes to be obtained from a certain house,
or tokens such as sprigs of certain plants, from a place say two miles distant,
or further if the patrols are on cycles. The leader takes his patrol out
and drops Scouts at convenient distances, who will act as runners from one
post to the next, and then back again for the second note or token. The
runners should be started at certain intervals. By arranging with neighboring
Scoutmasters long distance relay practices can be carried out, for a hundred
miles or more. Each Scoutmaster or Patrol - leader should be responsible
for forwarding the message through his own district by relays of Scouts
on cycles. An example of this was given at the Jamboree, when despatches
were carried to Olympia by relays of Scouts from places more than 100 miles
away. An interesting series of records could be set up, and districts compete
with one another in carrying messages over fixed distances of road. The
times could be published In the Scout.
For any number of patrols to
compete. A force is in need of help, and a military motorist on his way
to the nearest garrison comes across a Scouts' camp. He gives to each Patrol-leader
a hasty idea of the situation and shows him a rough map explaining that
the distressed force is two miles along a certain road, and between the
Scouts' camp and that force are the enemy's out- posts. The Patrol-leaders
are to take their patrols in the shortest time to the force in distress
without being seen by the enemy. The distressed force should be represented
by any conspicuous spot, and the enemy's outposts by people with red flags
stationed on the road between the Scouts' camp and the other force. As soon
as they see any of the patrols they should blow a whistle, and those scouts
are to be considered captured (or else they may notice to which patrol the
Scouts they have seen belong and count it against them). The patrol which
gets to the distressed force in the shortest time, and without any of its
Scouts being seen wins.
This game is admirable for
training the eyesight and teaching the art of advancing under cover. Every
Scout has a three figure number, pinned on the front of his hat. The number
should be drawn in black and be quite decipherable at a distance of a hundred
yards (the figures at least 3 in. in height). The troop is then divided
up in the following manner: Two or three patrols are marched 300 yards from
the camp, and instructed to advance on the camp under cover. As the work
of defending is easier than attacking, only one patrol remains in camp to
defend it. When the attacking party advance, their movements are watched
eagerly by the defenders, who, having chosen good cover so that their hats
are not visible, are waiting for the enemy to get within range. So long
as the number is too indistinct to read, they are supposed to be out of
range. The nearer the attackers approach, the more careful are they not
to look over the top of a bush long enough for the defenders to read their
number. Of course a good ;Scout looks round the side, and not over the top
of a bush or rock ; and if he looks at all in this game he must be very
sharp, for no hats may be removed or turned round and no hands used to conceal
the number. If the defenders are able to read the numbers they call them
out and the umpire writes them down. The attackers also call out the numbers
of any defenders who expose themselves, and the umpire attached to the attacking
party makes a note of these numbers. When only 50 yards separate the two
parties the umpires call out the names of those who are shot, and those
boys ,must not take any part in the rest of the fight. When the commander
of the attackers considers that he has advanced as near as he can under
cover, he gives, the order "charge " and the attacking party sweep over
the open space in front of the camp the defenders call out the numbers as
fast as they can read them. If the attackers reach the camp with more men
than survive in the defending side, then they have won. But if the final
charge enables the defense to pick off nearly all their enemies the camp
As soon as a camp has been
pitched the first thing to be done is to find out about the country round;
and this makes an excellent subject for a patrol competition. Each Patrol-leader
is served out with a sheet of paper upon which to make a sketch map of the
country for perhaps two miles round; he then sends out his Scouts in all
directions to survey and bring back a report of every important feature-roads,
railways, streams, etc.-choosing the best Scouts for the more difficult
directions. The patrol whose leader brings to the commandant the best map
in the shortest time wins. The Patrol-leaders must make their maps entirely
from the reports of their own Scouts.
This game can be played with
equal success in either the country or town. Single Scouts, or complete
patrols or pairs of Scouts, to be taken out about two miles apart, and made
to work towards each other, either alongside a road, or by giving each side
a landmark to work to, such am a steep hill or big tree. The patrol which
first sees the other wins. This is signified by the Patrol-leader holding
up his patrol flag for the umpire to see, and sounding his whistle. A patrol
need not keep together, but that patrol wins which first holds out its flag,
so it is well for the Scouts to be in touch with their Patrol- leaders by
signal, voice or message. Scouts may employ any ruse they like, such as
climbing into trees, hiding in carts, and so on, but they must not dress
up in disguise. When a troop is meeting for any purpose it is a good practice
to arrange that on nearing the place of assembly each patrol should try
to be the first to see the others.
An invading army always tries
to destroy all communication in the invaded country, so the first thing
to be destroyed is the telegraph system-and the defenders send out men to
protect the wires. Choose a road with telegraph wires, and one which has
good cover on either side. The defenders should have two patrols to the
attacker's one, and only that amount of ground which will allow one defender
to each telegraph post should be protected. The defenders need not necessarily
keep to the road but may send out Scouts to discover where the enemy are
in force and likely to attack. The attackers have to tie three scarves round
a post (or double that number if there are two patrols attacking) before
the line is broken. The defenders can put them out of action by merely touching,
but if the defenders are less in number at any point they must retreat until
reinforcements arrive. So the point of the game is for the defenders to
keep in touch along the line, and be ready to bring up a relieving party
immediately the enemy threaten to attack any spot.
The troop must be divided up
into three parties or patrols, as follows: A. Patrol, B. Patrol and C. Patrol.
A. Patrol will be the smallest, but must all be good signallers, and c.
Patrol the largest. First, the A. Patrol goes out and takes a position on
high ground, or up in a church steeple, or the roof of a house, so as to
command a good view of a certain stretch of country. This patrol will take
Morse or Semaphore flags, or other signalling apparatus. The B. Patrol will
go out and keep under cover in this certain stretch of country overlooked
by the signallers or A. Patrol. On going out the B. Patrol will endeavor
to keep under cover and dodge or trick the signallers by appearing in different
places and disappearing and will finally take up a concealed position. After
B. Patrol has been out fifteen minutes, C. Patrol will advance; then the
signallers will signal down to the C. Patrol, or attackers, the position
of the hostile B. Patrol, and other details that will help the patrol to
advance unseen and surprise the enemy or B. Patrol. To win, the C. Patrol
must capture the Scouts of the B. Patrol by surrounding their hiding-places.
If the C. Patrol pass by more Scouts of the B. Patrol than they capture,
it counts a win for the hostile B. Patrol. A time-limit of, say, two hours
should be put upon the game.
The best situation for this
game is a wood or copse, but it can be played on other ground if necessary.
The idea is this: The troop is divided into halves; one half camps one side
of the wood and one half the other. These halves are called respectively
"French" and "Prussians." In the Prussian camp is a traitor who has made
an agreement with the French that he will place a letter containing important
information of Prussian plans in a tree which he will mark in a certain
way. This tree should be near the center of the wood. When the game commences,
the "traitor" places the letter in the tree and retires again to his own
camp. His perfidy is supposed to have been discovered during his absence,
and on his arrival he is arrested. He refuses to divulge the hiding-place
of the letter. He is sentenced to be shot, which sentence is supposed to
be carried out, and henceforth he takes the part of onlooker. At a given
signal from the umpire, the Prussians set out to recover their letter, and
try to prevent the French obtaining it, while the French simultaneously
leave their camp intent on obtaining the letter, and watching the Prussians.
Each Scout is armed with a tennis-ball or with fir-cones if they are to
be found. The "traitor" should be careful when hiding the letter to snap
a twig or two, and leave an impression of his boot here and there, in order
to give the Prussians a chance of finding the letter. The French, of course,
have to look for a tree marked in a particular way. When two opponents meet,
the one first hit by a ball or fir-cone will be "out of action," and the
Scout so hit is on his honor to take no further part in the game. One mark
counts against the French or Prussians for every man out of action. Four
marks count to the side who obtains possession of the letter. The side whose
marks total most are the winners.
The troop should be divided
into four equal sections (if it consists of four patrols, so much the better).
Patrol No. 1 proceeds to an agreed spot perhaps a mile distant, while Patrol
No. 2 is dispatched an equal distance in exactly the opposite direction,
the rest of the troop (Patrols 3 and 4) remain at the base as a united force.
The game now begins:- Patrols I and 2 represent allied armies each at warfare
with the force lying between them, namely, the united Patrols 3 and 4. The
supreme object of the allies is to effect a junction of their forces without
coming into contact with the enemy, who outnumber either force by two to
one. Accordingly they send out Scouts and dispatch-runners to ascertain
the position of the enemy, and also to get into touch with their friends.
If they are successful in evading their mutual enemy, and in joining up
their full forces, then they are considered winners. On the other hand,
the whole duty of the combined patrols is to prevent this junction from
taking place by hindering all attempts at communication, and, if possible,
by surrounding or ambushing one or other of the allies, and by capturing
them, making a union impossible. If they succeed in preventing a junction
until the time limit has expired they claim the victory.
A bit of country or section
of the town about a mile square is selected as the web, and its boundaries
described, and an hour is fixed at which operations are to cease. One patrol
(or half-patrol) is the " spider," which goes out and selects a place to
hide itself. The other patrol (or half-patrol) goes a quarter of an hour
later as the " fly " to look for the " spider." They can spread themselves
about as they like, but must tell their leader anything they discover. An
umpire goes with each party. If within the given time (say about two hours)
the fly has not discovered the spider, the spider wins. The spiders write
down the names of any of the fly patrol that they may see ; similarly the
flies write down the names of any spiders that they may see, and their exact
hiding-place. Marks will be awarded by the umpires for each such report.
The two sides should wear different colors, or be distinguishable from each
other in some manner.
A certain bit of country is
chosen, the side of a hill if possible, about five miles across each way
(it should be much less if you are only out for a few hours) ; the boundaries
of the ground have to be clearly under- stood by everybody before starting.
Then, in the early morning, four boys go out to act as hares. They can go
together or separately, wherever they please, and though they may hide whenever
they like, they should, as a rule, keep moving from one part of the ground
to another. Each hare wears a red sash across his shoulder. An hour after
the hares have started, the rest of the party, generally numbering sixteen,
go out as hunters to find them. The hunters can go all together, or singly,
or in pairs-any way they please ; but as a rule, the best fun is for the
hares to go singly and the hunters in pairs. It is well for the hunters
to wear a colored sash across their shoulders - Grey, yellow or blue-so
that they can be distinguished from ordinary country people moving about
the ground. Thus the game is for the hunters to go looking about till they
see a hare, and then they run after him and try to catch him. They only
catch him when they touch him. This all gives excellent practice to both
hunters and hares in hiding, stalking, tracking, and getting across country,
and is a most exciting game. Towards the evening the game ends, and all
make their way home.
Start off your Scouts, either
cycling or on foot, to go In any direction they like, to get a specimen
of any ordered plant, say a sprig of yew, a shoot of ilex, a horseshoe mark
from a chestnut tree, a briar rose, or something of that kind. Choose one
that will tax their knowledge of plants and will test their memory as to
where they noticed one of the kind required. Quickness should be encouraged
by making the first successful Scout who arrives home winner of the game.
Here is the description of
a capital game which can be played in an open field where there is no cover.
A number of Scouts are blindfolded and placed in a line at one end of the
field. Then a Scoutmaster or Patrol-leader goes to the other end, and blows
his whistle every now a-ad then. The business of the blindfolded Scouts
Is to reach the whistle-blower and touch him. The latter may stoop down,
but be must not move about As soon as a Scout touches the person with the
whistle, he slips off his scarf and is out of the game. The whistle-holder
should see that no boys run into hedges or ditches; if he notices any of
them straying, he must blow his whistle and so attract their attention in
the right direction. Points are awarded in accordance with the order in
which the Scouts reach the whistle-holder, the highest points, of course,
going to the one who first reaches his destination.
Here is a Scouting game which
Patrol-leaders will find useful when engaged in patrol work, apart from
the rest of the troop.
Each Scout in the patrol
has a round disc of white cardboard, with a number printed plainly upon-
it, pinned on to the back of his shirt or sweater. One member of the patrol
is then chosen as the " fugitive," while the rest act as hunters. The
" fugitive," who wears tracking-irons, or leaves some kind of trail behind
him, is given, say, 'ten minutes' start. The rest of the patrol then start
out and endeavor to track him down. As soon as a " hunter " can get near
enough to the fugitive," without being seen, to take down his number,
the latter is caught. But if the " fugitive " can, by any means, turn
the tables and get any of his pursuers' numbers, the latter are out of
action. As soon as a number is taken down, the Scout who takes it must
call it out, to let his captive know he is out of action. This game necessitates
some careful stalking, and there is no " horse-play " in the shape of
ankle-tapping. A sharp Scout in the patrol should be chosen for the fugitive,"
as he has not only to elude perhaps six or seven pursuers, but he must
also endeavor to " capture them, unless he wishes to get killed himself.
When engaged in scouting games,
many troops make use of " ankle-tapping " with staves to decide the issue
of the day. This is a very exciting mode of attack and defense, but at the
same time is rather dangerous, and does not need much actual scouting work.
A far better way of deciding which side is victorious is as follows. Scouts-
on both sides wear their scarves tucked lightly in their belts, and the
object of each ride is to capture as many of these 11 tails " as possible.
To creep up behind a hostile Scout and grab his " tail before he discovers
you, calls for far more caution and scouting than does ordinary ankle-tapping.
Again, a Scout may suddenly discover that his own tail is missing just as
he is going to capture an enemy's, which all adds to the fun of the game.
Of course, if desired, colored pieces of cloth or handkerchiefs can be used
instead of the Scout scarves.
This game will be found excellent
practice in learning the points of the compass.
Eight staves are arranged
in star fashion on the ground all radiating from the center. One staff
should point due North. One Scout now takes up his position at the outer
end of each staff, and represents one of the eight principal points of
the compass. The Scoutmaster now calls out any two points, such as SE
and N., and the two Scouts concerned must immediately change places. Any
one moving out of place without his point being named, or moving to a
wrong place or even hesitating, should lose a mark. When changing places,
Scouts must not cross the staves, but must go outside the circle of players.
when three marks have been lost the Scout should fall out. As the game
goes on blank spaces will occur. These will make it slightly more difficult
for the remaining boys. To make the game more difficult sixteen points
may be used instead of eight. When played indoors the lines of the compass
may be drawn in chalk on the floor.
This game is played in the
same way as an ordinary paper chase, except that the hares are provided
with a number of small circular gummed labels, such as are used by shopkeepers
for marking the price on goods. Every time trail is dropped not more than
two labels should be dropped with it. As soon as the trail is picked up
by a hound, he blows his whistle. The other hounds immediately proceed to
the spot and search for the two labels. When found they should be tuck on
to the finder's staff, and at the end of the chase the Scout with the most
labels wins. This tends to keep up the interest of the smaller Scouts who
otherwise would soon be inclined to lag behind.
For this game a base is marked
out, usually by a circle of trees with scarves attached, on fairly level
ground free from stumps and loose stones. The next ring of trees encircling
this base is the Defense Line, which is explained later. The party is divided
into two sides, stormers and defenders, in alternate games, which may last
from ten to twenty minutes each. The defenders remain in the base while
the stormers retire out of sight. As soon as they have taken up their positions,
the umpire blows his whistle three times and the attack commences; the defenders
leaving the base and sending Scouts well forward to obtain all possible
information of the enemy's movements. The object of the stormers is to get
as many men as possible into the base, untouched by the defenders before
the umpire's whistle finishes the game. Each man gaining the base untouched
scores a point in favor of the stormers; he should sit down well within
the base line in order not to obstruct his own side. No stormer may be touched
so long as he has one hand on the trunk of a tree, and should he be unduly
crowded by the defenders he may order them "One Tree Away." A tree affords
protection to only one stormer at a time and may not be held by a defender.
If a stormer is touched he must at once proceed to the Prisoners' Camp near
the base, where he can watch the game and be out of the way of the combatants.
When the game has started no defender may enter tho Defense Line mentioned
above except in actual pursuit of a stormer; on missing or touching him
he must at once go outside again before attempting to tackle another. Patrol
flags tied to small sticks (not poles) may be borne by some of the stormers,
and a stormer who carries his, flag into the base may demand the release
of a prisoner.
Two Scouts (preferably ones
with the Naturalist Badge) start out and make certain signs such as a number,
word, sketch of animal or bird, etc., with chalk on trees or the pavement.
Signs or sketches may also be made in the dust or mud, on the ground or
on banks. The two Scouts should also decide upon an uncommon sign to signify
"What is it ?" such as a circle with a line drawn through it Pieces of wood
bearing this sign may be taken out and stuck in plants and places where
it is impossible to chalk the sign. The remainder of the troop start out
say ten minutes after the first two, either as a body or separately, and
take notebooks and pencils with them. The game consists of entering in their
notebooks the signs which they observe. Where the "What is it ?" sign is
noticed they must mark in their books the nature of the article which bears
the sign, such as "An Oak," or "An Iron Fence," etc. There must be no co-operation
between one another. Marks should be given according to the number of signs,
etc., observed, and for the correct answers to the " What is it ? " sign.
Besides being very interesting this game develops observation powers, strengthens
the memory and is a good botany instruction. When the game is over all chalk
marks should be rubbed out, and care must be taken not to deface private
The Scoutmaster goes for a
walk in the country a day or two before this game is played, taking with
him a supply of plain postcards. On each card he writes a short description
of various places he passes, such as "Wooden bridge over stream with three
willows near," or "White five-barred gate near ruined cottage." On the day
the game is played these cards are distributed among the Scouts, who are
allowed a certain time, according to local conditions, to discover the places
described on their cards and report to the Scoutmaster, who remains at the
starting-point all the time. The Scout who returns first wins the game.