Strategy Games, Games Needing Little Or No Equipment, Memory Games, Pencil and Paper Games

From the Scouts-L Games FAQ

Table of Contents

Mouse Trap Attack

You will need:
4 spring loaded mouse traps per team
An endless supply of rolled up paper balls

We will suppose that there are four teams or patrols of six boys. They are spaced at equal distances down the length of the hall. Each team or patrol has it's mouse traps cocked at one side of the hall on the floor. At the other side of the hall opposite each group of mouse traps are three attacking boys from each of the other patrols. These attacking boys are armed with rolled up balls of paper. Each patrol is allowed up to three defenders for their mouse traps. These defenders must sit on the floor half way between their mouse traps and the defenders. The attackers must lob the paper balls over the heads of the defenders and set off the mouse traps. The winning patrol is the one that has the last loaded mouse trap.

Mouse Trap Fishing Game

You will need:
1 spring loaded mouse trap
3 bamboo canes
3 lengths of string

Some objects such as plastic bottles to be picked up, for each team.

You will have to bore a hole or fit a screw eye in one end of each mouse trap so that it can be attached to a length of string. Each team stands at one side of the hall and the objects they have to collect such as plastic bottles are on the other side of the river (hall). The only way that they can get the objects, is to lash the three bamboo poles together to form a fishing pole and attach the string with the mouse trap attached to the end. You will have to show the Scouts how to cock the mouse traps safely or you may have to do some first aid on bruised fingers.

Submarines And Minefields

You will need:
Blindfolds for each member of the minefield

You split into two teams, one forms a line across the playing field. They are blindfolded and standing close enough together to touch hands. Each hand is a mine that will 'destroy' a ship (a member of the other team.) that team quietly tries to sneak along the line weaving in and out of the mines, (i.e. between their feet, or between two Scouts). we once had someone go fetch a utility ladder and climb over the minefield. After a minefield team member uses one hand and hits a ship, that hand is out of play for the round. Thus later ships may go through an unprotected area. Smaller Scouts usually win this one. When the whole team has gone through or not as the case may be, change over. At the end of the game, the winning team is the one that managed to get the most ships through the minefield.


You will need:
4 counters for each boy, red, blue green and yellow one of each color.

When the game starts the boys are given a set time 5 to 10 minutes in which they are allowed to trade. They trade in the following manner. A boy approaches another boy with a counter in his left fist , he does not show the other boy what color he is holding. If they agree to trade then they give each other a counter taking care that they do not show the color they are swapping. Any boys who do not wish to trade simply cross their arms, this indicates that they are not open for trading. After the trading period is ended you show the lads the stock market chart shown below and get the lads to add up their scores.

Print out the following table and make copies.

4 Red counters 100 points
4 Green counters 60 points
3 of any color 40 points
Single Red 1 point
Single Green 4 points
4 Blue counters 80 points
4 Yellow counters 50 points
2 of any color 15
Single Blue 2 points
Single yellow 5 points

After they have added up their scores and you have found out which Scouts have the highest scores, collect the counters in and hand out one of each color again to the Scouts. Now play it again with the Scouts knowing the values and see the difference in tactics. From time to time you could introduce jokers these are White counters. You place some of these on the table and the boys are told they can take them if they wish. The value of these is unknown until they add up the scores. You then tell them that they either get 10 extra points for each White counter they have or minus 10 for each White counter they hold, much like Bulls and Bears in the stock market. You can decide if it is going to be a plus or a minus by either tossing a coin or rolling a dice.

The Trader Game - Altered Slightly

By Mike Stolz
4 chips for each boy, all of different colors (red, green, blue, yellow)

1 chip for each adult - white

(I made my chips by cutting 1 inch squares from colored cardboard)


The boys are given a chip of each color. the adults each have one white chip. The boys get 7 to 10 minutes to 'trade' chips with each other or an adult. To trade, each boy holds a chip HIDDEN in one hand. When they agree on the trade, the chips are exchanged. ALL TRADES ARE FINAL! Boys who do not wish to trade should fold their arms to signal that they don't wish to trade. All trades are 1 chip at a time. Boys can also trade with adults if they want to. After the trading is over, show the boys the stock market list below and have them add up their scores.

Now that they know the value of the chips, let the boys play the game again. Collect and redistribute the chips, and see how trading tactics change. After the second trading period is over, add up the scores again and see how the boys did this time.

Stock Market Chart - Trading Chip Values







Trading Post

You will need:
Two price lists, one of things that you are selling and one of things that you are prepared to buy back.

Various things for the teams to buy

You will also need some form of currency such as colored cards, paper or even beads.

At the start of the game, each team is given the same amount of currency. They then have to decide what they are going to buy from you in order to make something to sell back to you for a profit. Most things that you buy back should result in a profit, but you should put in some items that produce no profit or even a loss. As an example of the sort of things on your to buy list would be a cup of hot tea for the Scout leaders. To do this they will have to purchase from you matches, tea bags, milk and sugar, a cooking stove, fuel for the cooking stove, water pot and water.


From: Lynne Axel Fitzsimmons

This game comes from a Games book published by the Bharat Scouts and Guides (India). It is attributed to the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland.

You will need:
Enough blindfolds for half your group, and a reasonably large room.

The Leader is the lighthouse. Half the troop (pack, company) are ships, and put on the blindfolds at one end of the room. The other half are rocks, and distribute themselves on the floor between the ships and the lighthouse. Please ask the rocks to keep their hands and feet in to minimize tripping. The rocks also should not clump up.

The lighthouse goes "woo woo" to guide the ships. The rocks go "swish, swish" quietly to warn the ships of their presence. On go, the ships navigate between the rocks to the lighthouse. If they touch a rock, they are sunk and must sit on the floor (and go "swish, swish" also). When all the ships have made it to the lighthouse (or have been sunk), the rocks and ships switch places.

Games Needing Little Or No Equipment

From the Scouts-L Games FAQ

Speak And Do The Opposite

I couldn't think of a better title for this, but it is fun to play both for kids and adults. Each team sends a person to challenge a member of another team. The person challenging says something like "I AM PATTING MY HEAD" but in fact they are rubbing their tummy. The person being challenged has to say in reply "I AM RUBBING MY TUMMY" and at the same time be patting their head. If they fail to do it properly in a given time or get it the wrong way round, then the challenging team wins a point.

Keep Talking

This is a knockout competition, it is played in two's. Each person has to keep talking at the other person. It doesn't matter what they are talking about, but there must be no repetition or pauses. You will need a referee to decide the winner of each pair. We have played this several times and it has proved very popular. Each time we have played it we have been surprised at the eventual winner. Often the younger Scouts have walked all over the older Scouts in this game.

>From Mike Stolz: We played this with our Boy Scouts - they loved it. A likable 8th grade 'motor mouth' won easily, his only competition was our Jr. Asst. Scoutmaster, who was quoting plays, the Gettysburg address, etc, but eventually ran out of material. We needed to set down a few ground rules though. The pauses had to last at least 2 seconds, 'common strings', like letters, numbers, months, etc. could only be a maximum of 12 in a row, you could not touch your competitor, and ONLY the (adult) judge could call a boy out for repetition. This is a great 'I need it in a hurry' game!

Coloured Circles

You will need: 5 different colored pieces of chalk, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and Brown.

Split the troop or pack into equal teams and get them to number themselves off in their teams. Then draw a number of colored circles on the floor, several of each color.

The leader now calls out an object and a number e.g. "GRASS 2", the number two in each team now has to run and stand in a circle that matches the color of the object. The first person standing in the correct colored circle wins a point for his team.


RED = Blood, Cherries, Ruby

BLUE = Violet, Sapphire, Electric

GREEN = Grass, Emerald, Cucumber

YELLOW = Lemon, Primrose, Sulfur

BROWN = Earth, Potato, Leather

Please remember that some lads may have trouble with colors and so you may have to point out which circles are which.

Car Team Race

Sixes stand in teams and are numbered. Each number is given the name of a car. When the number OR the name of the car is called out, they have to race to the end of the hall and back to their place, using the method they have been told. e.g.

1. Mini-crawl

2. Volkswagen - hop

3. Jaguar-run

4. Jensen - pigeon steps

5. Skoda - walk sideways

6. Cavalier - skip

Crabs, Crows And Cranes

This is a running about game which is good if you are in a large hall or outside with a lot of boys. Split them into two teams, in two lines across the hall. There should be a gap of about ten feet between them. Near each end of the hall should be a home line for each team. Don't make it too close to the wall or they will run into it. One team are the crows, the other team are the cranes.

If you shout cranes, the cranes team must run to their home line without getting tagged by the crows team. Any member of the cranes that gets tagged has to join the crows team. If you shout crows, the crows team has to run to their home line without getting tagged by the cranes team. Any member of the crows that gets tagged has to join the cranes team.

If you shout crabs they must all stand still. Anyone that moves must join the opposing team. You start off each time with both teams lined up across the hall facing each other. The game ends when one team has all the players. You can have a lot of fun rolling your RRRRR'S with this. CRRRRRRRRABS, CRRRRRRROWS, CRRRRRRANES.

Snake Dodge

You will need: A ball

This is a continuous game with no winners or losers. Five or six players stand in a line, in the center of the circle formed by the rest of the troop or pack. Each player in the line puts his arms round the waist of the player in front. The object of the game is for the players around the circle to hit the player at the end of the line or snake, below the knees with the ball. The snake can move around inside the circle to make this more difficult. When the player at the back of the snake is struck by the ball, he leaves the snake and moves into the circle of throwers and the player who threw the ball, joins on as the front man of the snake. The game carries on for as long as you wish.

Turn Turtle

If your Scouts or cubs like rolling around on the floor then they will love this quickie. I would advise activity dress, so as not to dirty uniforms. Pair the Scouts off in size. One boy in each pair lies on his back on the ground. On the word go the other Scout has to try and turn him over onto his stomach. The Scout on the floor tries to prevent this by spreading out his arms and legs and moving around on the floor. No tickling or foul play is allowed.

Tail Grab

You will need: A rope or cloth tail for each patrol or six

Each patrol stands in a line behind their patrol leader. Each man holds the belt or waist of the man in front. The last man has a tail tucked into his trousers. On the word 'GO' the patrol leaders have to move around the room and try to get as many of the other patrols tails as possible. Any patrols that break their chain are disqualified. The winning patrol is the one with the most tails.

Human Boat Race

Each boat is made up of eight to ten players each in full knees-bent position. Each player has his hands on the shoulders of the man in front. Facing the line of players in each boat is a 'COX'. The cox holds the hands of the front player in the boat. When the race starts, the boats move forwards by all players in a boat springing together off both feet. The cox for each boat shouts encouragement for his team and calls out the rhythm for the spring. During the race, any boat that breaks up into two or more parts is deemed to have sunk and is disqualified from the race.


You will need: Various noise makers such as whistles, rattles and bells.

This game is similar to the game where you shout out Port and Starboard. The players are told what action they must perform when a certain sound is heard. Play this a few times with nobody being out, then start taking out people who do the wrong action or who are the last ones to do the action.

City Town Country

Players sit in two lines team A and Team B, each line numbered 1 to N. Player 1 in team A says to player number 1 in team B the name of a city, town or Country.

We will suppose for example that he says 'GERMANY". Player 1 in team B must now say a town city or country, beginning with the last letter of Germany. Let us suppose that he says "YORK". Player 2 in team A now has to say a city, town or country beginning with the letter K. This goes on all the way down the line. If a player fails to give a correct answer or duplicates a previous answer, then a point is awarded to the other team. When the end of the line is reached play begins at player number 1 again.

Compass Game

A game I used to play in Scouts was the compass game. Everyone stood spread out around the room and was told to orient themselves to "north". North could be real north or a convenient wall or corner in the room. Everyone except for the caller and the referees closed their eyes (blindfolded if you don't think the honor system will work). The caller then calls out a direction, like "east" and then everyone turns (eyes still closed) and points in the direction of east. The referee the goes around and taps the shoulder of anyone not pointing in the right direction. They are out. The game continues until one player is left. It gets interesting when you start calling headings and bearings.

This is a good game as it only discriminates by your sense of direction, which improves as you play.

-- Thanks to John Holeman


A troop 53 favorite. In a large, pitch black room, with light switches on each end, the troop is split in half. Each half gets on their hands and knees near the light switch that they are protecting. On the Scoutmaster's signal, the Scouts, staying on their hands and knees, attempt to turn on the light on the other end of the room while protecting their own. Like British Bulldog, this game can get a bit violent, what with kids fighting in the dark to get to the switch. This game would probably have to be modified for other meeting areas (especially those with hard floors!)

-- Thanks to Travis Lauricella

Sardines (Hide & Seek)

We turn all the lights off in the entire church (including those intended to be left on permanently). One Scout stays in the meeting room and counts to twenty, the rest of the Scouts hide anywhere (except for pre-set off limits areas) in the building. "It" begins looking for the Scouts. Once a Scout is found, he joins "it" in the hunt. The last Scout found is the winner. The Scouts especially enjoy jumping out of a dark corner and scaring their Scoutmaster.

-- Thanks to Travis Lauricella


Each Scout is assigned a number between one and x, x being the number of Scouts. In a circle outside (we circle around a flagpole) one person throws a ball (tennis, racquet, or similar) as high as he can, straight up, and calls out a number. The Scout whose number is called catches the ball as the rest of the Scouts fun away from him as fast as possible. Once the called Scout catches the ball, he yells "STOP!" at which time all retreating Scouts are supposed to stop dead in their tracks. (This is where the most argument comes in this game...) The Scout with the ball is allowed to take three really long steps (more like standing long jumps) so that he can get as close to the nearest Scout as possible. He then attempts to hit the Scout with the ball (not in the head or other vital organs). The Scout being shot at is allowed to twist and bend, but may not move his feet. If the Scout is hit, he gets to retrieve the ball while the rest of the Scouts get back in a circle. He is also given a "spud," or a point. If the Scout is missed, the throwing Scout chases after the ball and gets a spud. Once the ball is retrieved, the game begins again, with the number called and the ball thrown. The Scout with the least number of spuds at the end of the game wins.

-- Thanks to Travis Lauricella

Whomp 'em

Scouts get in a circle facing in, with both hands, palms up, behind their backs. Scouts must be looking into the circle. One Scout, with a rolled up newspaper, walks around the outside of the circle. When he chooses, he puts the newspaper into the hands of a Scout, who then proceeds to "whomp" the Scout to his right. The Scout being "whomped" runs as fast as he can (unless he enjoys being whomped) around the circle back to his starting position. The Scout now holding the newspaper walks around the outside of the circle, looking for a Scout to whomp the person to his right, as above. No winners, everyone wins.

Memory Games

From the Scouts-L Archives

Silhouette Kim's Game

You will need:
About twelve different shaped items, a sheet or back projection screen and a slide projector or strong light (Note: clear bulbs are better than pearl)

A number of objects are held, one after the other, behind the screen, e.g. scissors, bulldog clip, flower. After all the objects have been seen, a short time is given for the lads to write down or tell to the leader, the objects that they saw in the correct order of viewing.

Battleship Kim's Game

You will need: (for each six or patrol) A table, a piece of chalk and ten items

Each patrol gets a table set up on it's side in their corner as a barrier, so that the other patrols can't see behind it. On the floor they draw a 747 grid, and mark horizontal axis A to G and vertical axis 1 to 7. They then take ten items and place them at random on their grid. The patrols are now given five minutes to look at each others grids and try and memorize the locations of as many items as they can. After five minutes they each retire behind their barricades. Each patrol in turn fires three shots. For a shot they must say the name of the patrol they are firing at, the grid reference and what item is at that grid reference. If they are correct then they capture that item. Each patrol only gets 3 shots per round. After a set number of rounds, the patrol that has captured the most items are the winners. Please note that this is a memory game, no pencils and paper allowed.

Kims Game Variant

You will need: (for each six or patrol)

Two bowls or buckets on chairs

Ten mixed items

Teams or patrols stand in single file facing the front of the hall. At the front of the hall facing each team is a bucket or bowl on a chair. In each bowl there are ten items (the same items for each team). At the back of the hall opposite each team is an empty bucket or bowl. The Scout leader calls out an item and the first man in each team has to run to the front, get that item place it into the other bucket at the back of the hall and then run back to the back of his team. The first team with their man back get a point.

As you continue playing this the objects will be distributed between the front and the back buckets. If the Scouts have good memories they will remember what items are in what buckets. This will save them time. If an object is called by the leader and it is in the back bucket then it has to be placed in the front bucket and vice versa. The reason for the bucket being on a chair is so that the Scouts can't look in to see what is in the bucket.


You will need: (for each six or patrol) A suit of cards Ace to ten (one pack of cards will supply four teams)

The ten cards for each team are laid out at random, face down on a table in front of them. One at a time the boys run up and turn over a card. If it is not the Ace then they turn it face down again and run back to their team and the next player has a go. When the ace is turned up they can lay it face up at the front of the table. The next card needed is the two and so on. Play continues until one team has all its cards turned face up in the correct order.

Compass Skills Patience

You will need: Sets of cards having the compass points printed on them

This game is played the same way as the previous game, but this time the boys have to place the cards at the correct compass position for that card. Suggested order for laying down cards: North, South, East, West, North East, South East, South West, North West. NNE, SSW, NNW, SSE, ENE, WSW, ESE, WNW

It's Under A Cup

You will need: A number of plastic cups and objects to fit under them (e.g. a ball, a ring, a key etc.)

Two teams one each side of the hall. Each team is numbered 1 to N with boys with the same number on each team of similar size. The object are placed in the center of the hall in a row and the plastic cups placed over them. The leader now calls out an object and a number. The two boys with that number have to rush to the row of plastic cups, find the correct cup and take the object to the leader. The lad who gets the object to the leader wins a point for his team.

Ruba Dub Dub

You will need: Twenty four 35mm film canisters, these should be opaque and all look the same. Into twelve of these you place a marble, fishing bell or anything that will make a noise when the canister is shaken.

The boys sit in a circle and take it in turn to pick up two canisters at a time and give them a shake. If they both rattle then a prize or point is given to the boy who picked them. These canisters are then removed from the game and the next boy has his turn. If both canisters do not rattle then they are both replaced where they were picked up from and the game continues. The game gets more difficult as more are removed as there are then more empty ones left in the game than ones that rattle. You could make it more difficult by having a larger number of containers to begin with. You could also guild the Lilly by putting numbers on the canisters but I have not found this to be necessary. You can use this as a team game, the winning team being the one with most points or as individuals against all the rest.

Post Office

You will need: (for each six or patrol)

2 chairs

Coins adding up to 50 pence

The boys stand in their patrols or sixes, in straight lines across the middle of the hall. In front of each patrol is a chair, this chair is the post office. On this chair at the beginning of the game is an assortment of coins. We use coins that add up to 50 pence. Each teams post office, has the same number and value of coins. Behind each patrol is placed another chair, this chair is the 'BUREAU DE CHANGE'. The leader calls out a sum of money, say 20 pence. The front man in each team then runs to the post office and has to leave 20 pence on the post office chair. Any extra coins must be taken and placed on the BUREAU DE CHANGE chair. On finishing his move the player runs back and joins the back of his team. The first man back gets a point for his team. If a value is called which is higher than the value on the post office chair, the boys must run to the BUREAU DE CHANGE to collect the coins they need. Great fun can be had by calling out 49, a lot of them will start counting the coins out, but the smart ones soon realize that they only have to leave one coin at the BUREAU DE CHANGE to get 49 at the post office. Calling out the value that is already at the post office also causes a laugh.

Obstacle Course In The Dark

You will need:
Various items that will fall over easily such as skittles

Plastic bottles and short lengths of wood or plastic tube

Give each team the same type and number of objects. Allocate each team a lane down the length of the hall across which they must lay out the obstacles. You could mark these lanes with chairs if you wished. When the teams have completed their task, line them up at one end of the hall and then get them to swap lanes with one of the other teams. This way if they have made the obstacle too easy then they will give this advantage away to another team. After allowing them a minute or two to look at the lane they are in, turn out the light and get them to walk down the lane to the other end. The patrol leader or Sixer should be the leader for his team. At the finish end of the hall, one of the leaders could flash a torch on and off at random to give them a bearing. Points are deducted from each team for the number of obstacles they have knocked over.

Pencil and Paper Games

From the Scouts-L Games FAQ

Cub 2000

You will need: (for each Sixer or patrol): A sheet of paper fan folded into 6 sections, pen or pencil

The cubs or beavers sit in a circle in their six. The Sixer is given the fan folded sheet of paper and a pen. The rest of the six close their eyes, this makes the final result more fun. The Sixer then draws on the first section, a hat suitable to be worn by a Scout in the 21st century. Paper is passed onto the next cub who draws the head on the second section. This is continued with the shoulders body legs and feet. Open out the paper at the end to see the strange 21st century cub that the six have drawn.

Mime And/Or Kim's Game

You will need:
A sheet of paper and a pen or pencil for each cub, or for Sixers only if you do not have enough equipment.

The cubs sit in a circle with paper and pen in front of them on the floor or just in front of the Sixer. Akela sits in the circle with the lads and takes imaginary objects out of a sack in front of him and mimes the object. Cubs can either write the objects down as they are mimed, or wait until the end and then write them all down.

Suggested items to mime:

Hammer and nails, Necklace, Tea cup and saucer, Teapot, Telephone, Powder compact, Soap and flannel, Shoes, Watch, Hoola-hoop, Paper clip, Earrings, Hair spray and many more, limited only by your ingenuity.


You will need: (for each six or patrol), sheets of paper and a pen or pencil

This is a game which has been commercialized in England. One member from each patrol comes up to the Scout leader, who whispers a word or phrase to them. The patrol member then goes back to his patrol and attempts to draw on a sheet of paper, what the Scout leader said. They are not allowed to give clues by actions, speech or writing. The first patrol to guess correctly win the point.

Time Tables

You will need: (for each six or patrol): A set of time tables, paper and pens, a prepared set of destinations and arrival times

If you go to a couple of your local travel agents, you should be able to pick up some airline flight time tables. If you have four patrols then you will need five copies all the same, one for the leader and one for each of the patrols. You have to make up a list of destinations and times that you would like to arrive there. Put in some interesting ones that will need flight changes and different airports. You could also throw in things like certain flights only going on certain days. You could if you prefer, use railway or bus time tables, but airlines will give you more exotic destinations. This is a good training game for teaching the youngsters how to read and use time tables.


You will need: Cards with anagrams on pinned around the room pen and paper for each player or 1 per team

There are so many variations that you can try with this, for example books of the Bible, rivers, towns, famous people.

Circle Line

You will need: 6 cards with lists of railway stations on them in two columns, pen and paper for each player or 1 per team

In England there is a circular underground line called would you believe it 'The Circle Line' . The object of the game is for each player or team to make their way all the way round the circle line. You start each player or team off at a different station. They then have to look at all the cards until they find their station in the first column, they then have to move across horizontally on that list to the second column which is the destination station, this they write down on their paper. The new station is now the one they are looking for in all the lists in the first column. To prevent players from cheating you can put in a few red herrings i.e. stations that are not on that line and which will send them in the wrong direction if they do not play correctly.

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