Strategy, Memory and Team Building 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.

Memory Games

From the Scouts-L Archive

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.

Team Building Games

Caber Toss

2 sizes of caber will be used. (Small for Scouts under 14 and large for those 14 and over)

Over The Log

A log is lashed, 6 ft. high, between two trees. The entire Patrol must get over it. Assistance can only be given by those that have not crossed over yet. Scoring is by the percent of the Patrol that get over.


A #10 can, with wire bale, is placed on an "island" 10 ft. into the Amazon. The Patrol has to get the can without anyone stepping into the river, or spilling the contents of the can. Equipment: 6 ft. of 1/4" rope, pole or tree limb long enough to reach the "island", a stick 2 ft. long, 2x6x12 board. Scoring is by cooperation, spirit, and success or failure.

The Electric Fence

A "Yard" is enclosed by an "Electric Fence" (twine) 36" high. Inside the "Yard" is a 2x4 with steps or log to assist. The Patrol must get as many members over the fence as possible. Anyone touched by the "fence" is zapped and eliminated. Scoring is by cooperation, spirit, and success.

Kim's Game Campsite

Setup a Kim's Game with 20-30 normal campsite items and 20-30 special items (total of 50). Each Patrol is allowed 30 seconds to observe and then must write down all that they can remember. Scoring is by the number that they get correct.

Shoe Hunt

This game takes place on a clear grassy area. A 50 ft. circle is marked on the grass with a 10 ft. circle in the center. All Scouts remove their shoes, place them in the center, and move out of the 50 ft. circle. The judge mixes the shoes and then gives the go signal. Patrol members must find their own shoes, put them on, tie them, and get back to the outer circle standing in a line. Scoring is by time (the number of seconds it takes subtracted from 180) a 10 point penalty is charged for any shoes not properly tied or buckled.

How Many Bears Can Live In The Woods

Scouts become "bears" and must collect food -- colored paper squares. When all food is collected the judge checks to see how many have collected a balanced menu. "Bears" without balanced menus do not survive. Scoring is by the percentage of the bears that survive.

Nature Hunt

Patrols are given a list of items to "collect" during the day. By the end of the competition they must go to the station and show their collection. Scoring is by the number of correct items.

Order Out Of Chaos

Each Scout is assigned a number -- 1, 2, 3, etc. The Patrol is then blindfolded and is instructed to get themselves in numerical order, without speaking. Scoring is by subtracting the number of seconds used from 120. Time allowed: 2 minutes maximum.

Name It

A collection of 15 "nature" items is displayed. Each boy is given 5 minutes to list the items he can identify without speaking or helping each other. Scoring: Sheets are graded and the total points divided by the number in the patrol times 10, determines the score.

Bowline-Sheet Bend Draw

Each participant needs a 6 ft. rope. Patrols form into pairs facing each other. On "go" each Scout ties a bowline around his own waist, the first one done then ties his rope to his partner's with a sheet bend. The two partners then lean back and raise their hands. Scoring: the number of seconds used subtracted from 120. Add a bonus of 5 points for each correct knot.

All Aboard

The entire group must stand on a 2' x 2' platform at the same time, for 10 seconds. Scoring: 10 points for each Scout on the platform.

Giant Clove Hitch

With a 50 ft. rope, the Patrol ties a clove hitch around a tree. No one is allowed to go closer than 15 feet to the tree. Scoring is by the number of seconds used, subtracted from 240. 4 minutes maximum allowed.

Traffic Jam

The patrol divides into two groups. They line up as shown, facing each other with one empty space in the center.


The two groups must now switch positions on the line. The A's move to the B's space and vice versa. They must follow this procedure:

1. Step only into an adjacent empty square.

2. Step around a person facing the opposite direction.

Players cannot move backwards. Players may not step around someone facing the same direction. Only one player can move at a time. Scoring is by the number seconds used subtracted from 300.

Bowline Stroll

Everyone in the Patrol needs a 6 ft. rope. Each person ties a bowline around their waist. They then tie the other end of their rope to a central loop (about 1 ft. in diameter, supplied by the judge.) They then must travel a set course as fast as possible.

1. No one may be dragged.

2. Proceed safely.

Scoring is by the number of seconds used subtracted from 240.

The Monster

The Patrol must form a monster that moves 50 ft. and makes a sound.

1. The Monster must have only one more leg than the number of Scouts in the Patrol;

2. The Monster must have one less arm than the number of Scouts in the patrol;

3. The Monster must make a single sound, not just a group shout.

Scoring: Judges prerogative. 0-50 for the Monster 0-50 for the sound.



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