Outdoor Games

Table of Contents

  • Run Around the Town
  • On the Journey
  • Nature Alphabet
  • Airlift
  • Kick, Hide, and Seek
  • 1-Foot Square
  • Bicycle Polo
  • Farmyard Frolics
  • Smile Tag
  • Lighthouse
  • La Palma (Bolivian Indian)
  • Pony Express
  • Indian Lance Throwing
  • Indian Hoop Roll
  • British Bull dog
  • Unbraid Race
  • The Frog Hop
  • Camp Golf
  • Run Around the Town

    Equipment: Bat; soccer or volleyball.
    Formation: Teams

    Divide the group into two teams. Line up the outfield team as you would for a game of baseball. Line the infield in a straight line about 15' behind home plate.

    The pitcher pitches the ball to the first player, who hits it with the bat. As the ball rolls to the outfield, the batter runs around his team as many times as possible. Meanwhile, the players in the field line up behind the player who catches the ball. They all stand one behind the other with their legs apart. The player who caught the ball rolls it between his legs and between the legs of his teammates. When the last player in line gets the ball, he yells 'STOP'.

    At his cry the batter stops running.

    The infield scores one point for every three times the batter circled his team.

    After three batters, teams switch positions. Play continues for as many innings as time permits.

    On the Journey

    Equipment: Pencil and paper for each Six
    Formation: Sixes

    The Cubs try to spot something beginning with each letter of the alphabet. These must be written down in alphabetical order and nothing beginning with B may be spotted until A has been noted.

    This can be played for general interest in one group, or competitively by a number of groups.

    Note: One adult in each Six could do the job of writing.

    Nature Alphabet

    Equipment: 1 large paper bag per Six
    Formation: Sixes

    Each Six has to find a nature specimen for each letter of the alphabet. The leader should set a time limit.


    Equipment: A supply of apples
    Formation: Teams

    Divide the group into two equal teams. In a yard or park, mark out a large rectangular area. One end of the area is home base, the other end is the outpost, and in between is enemy territory. The job of the airlift team is to carry supplies (apples) from home base to the outpost without getting 'shot down' (tagged three times) by the enemy team. The airlift team may carry one apple each or may let one or two boys carry several while the other protect them as they race from home base to the outpost. Boys who are tagged three times while carrying apples are out, and the enemy gets their apples. Those of the airlift team who are not carrying apples may run freely without fear of being tagged. The team that has the most apples at end of game wins.

    You can then have an apple feast, with the enemy and the airlift team joining forces (as in peacetime).

    Kick, Hide, and Seek

    Equipment: Soccer ball
    Formation: Scatter

    Mark a goal 3' in circumference and place a soccer ball in it. Have one of the players kick the ball as far as possible. While the others run and hide, 'it' runs to recover it and replaces the ball in the circle before going in search of the players. When he sees one he calls, 'I spy......' and both run for the ball. The one who reaches it first kicks it and runs for a hiding place. The other player is 'it' and must return the ball and search.

    1-Foot Square

    Equipment: Per Six: 1 magnifying glass; pencil; paper; rope
    Formation: Sixes

    Put the group into their Sixes. Place a box or object over a piece of ground approximately 1 foot square. Give each group five minutes to write down as may living things as they see in that square.

    Bicycle Polo

    Use croquet mallets and balls. If on paved area, use chair legs as hoops; set up larger than usual croquet course. Divide boys into groups of four to six for this game so there is not too much waiting for a turn.

    Farmyard Frolics

    Each boy is handed a slip of paper bearing the name of a domestic animal or bird. On the signal to start, each begins to act the creature in dumb show, at the same time looking out for others of the same species. When three or more have been collected, they may begin to give voice. The first herd, covey or flock in full chorus is declared the winner.

    Smile Tag

    A quickie, for a break; allow about five minutes. Players form two equal lines facing each other and about 3' apart. One is "Heads " the other "Tails." The leader tosses a coin and calls out the side turned up. If it is Heads, the Heads laugh and smile while the Tails must remain solemn. The Heads try to make the Tails laugh. Those who laugh have to join the Heads' side. The coin is tossed again and, if it comes up Tails, the Tails have to try to make the Heads smile. In five to seven minutes the line with the greatest number of players is the winner.


    One of the players is the lighthouse, parked at one end of the hall. Half the group are rocks and they are spaced around the floor, with a gap between each of them. The rest of the group are ships who have to make their way, blindfolded, through the rock to the lighthouse.

    On "Go," the lighthouse goes "Woo-Woo" to guide the ships. The rocks go "Swish-Swish," very gently, to warn the approaching ships of danger, and the ships are supposed to sail between the rocks to the lighthouse beyond. If a ship hits a rock it sinks and stays where it is. When all the ships arrive at the lighthouse, the two halves of the group swap sides: the rocks become ships and the ships become rocks and they have a replay.

    La Palma (Bolivian Indian)

    The Indians of Bolivia used the tail bones of a donkey or llama (you can use a stick) for this game. Set the stick up on end in a hole in the ground. Now draw a straight line away from the stick. Measure out a distance of 3' from the stick. Drive in a peg. Do this so that the pegs are all 3' apart and in line. You will need about six pegs, also a supply of tennis balls. The boys then take turns in trying to hit the stick from the first peg. Those who do, move on to the next peg. Those who don't, stay at one peg until they hit the stick. Boys must throw in their correct order throughout the game. The first boy to complete the six throws from the pegs wins. This can also be done on a best time basis.

    Pony Express

    One of the players tells the story of the Pony Express, and how the messenger-riders had so little time that they never touched the ground when changing horses but jumped from on horse to the other. "Horses" are spaced out over the course the smallest player in each group is the messenger. Any messenger touching the ground on the change-over from one player; to another must start over. First player finished is the winner.

    Variation--Change Horses

    Pair off the horse and rider teams. On command, all riders change horses without touching the ground.

    Indian Lance Throwing

    Turn slender saplings, about 4' long, into lances with feathers for steering. Boys line up, throw lances for distance.

    Indian Hoop Roll

    Make hoop out of a slender branch, about 1' diameter, by tying ends together. Weave string-work in the hoop leaving a 6" bull's eye in the center. Boys line up, hoop is rolled down before the line. Object is to send lance through bull's eye in center of string-work.

    British Bull dog

    One or two of the bigger players take position in center of room, facing group. At "Go," the entire group charges and tries to reach the other side of the room or a given area, without being caught. To catch someone, the "bull dogs" in the center must lift player off the floor long enough to yell "1-2-3 British Bull Dog." When a player is caught, he becomes a "bull dog" for the next charge. Not more than three "bull dogs" can tackle a single player. If a struggling player is not lifted completely off the floor, while the group slowly counts to ten, he is declared free for another charge. Game is run until everyone has been caught. Play safe and have players take off watches, glasses and other breakables. Last man charging the line without being caught is the winner.

    Unbraid Race

    Attach two or more 3' lengths of stout cord or lightweight rope to a wall or chair. At a given signal the boys start to unbraid the rope. Fastest boy or team wins.

    The Frog Hop

    Draw a finish line about 25' from the start and line the players up about 3' apart. At "Go" they race by jumping first to the right, then to the left, then straight ahead. This procedure is followed until someone crosses the finish line.

    Camp Golf

    Groundsheets folded to about 3' square represent holes and tin plates represent balls. Lay out the golf course as desired to include hedges and streams as obstacles. If a plate falls in one of these hazards it must be retrieved and carried behind the obstacle and one throw added to the player's score. Arrange the holes some distance apart so that players do not come in contact with a skimming plate.

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