The MacScouter's Big Book of Games, Volume 1 -- Younger Scouts
Gary Hendra and Gary Yerkes
Big Book of Games is intended to be used by Scouters and
Guiders around the world to further your programs, and bring fun
into your Dens and Packs. This Volume 1: Games for Younger Scouts,
is intended for younger boys and girls, but it is impossible to
draw a line and say you cannot use these games for boys and girls
older than this. In fact, there is some overlap with Volume
2: Games for Older Scouts.
The material here
has been gathered from many sources, most of which are Cub Scout,
Beaver Scout or Boy Scout related, thus the language used within
the games. I believe that most games are suitable for Girl Guides,
Girl Scouts, Campfire Boys and Girls, and indeed any group of young
people. There are over 650 games in the Big Book, divided into many
The MacScouter's Big
Book of Games has been compiled from a wide variety of sources.
It started with the Scouts-L Games FAQ. Then, we combined the Indian
Nations 1994 Powwow Book games, with other Powwow Book games, games
from Australia, and individual games from many people. Our sincere
thanks to Jim Speirs, Merl Whitebook and a long cast of characters
for contributing to this volume.
Please note that
all of the material contained herein has been provided by others,
or has been compiled from material on World Wide Web sites. It is
not my intent to incorporate any copyrighted material in this document.
If it is brought to my attention that any material contained herein
is copyrighted, and that copyright states that the material is not
to be reproduced, I will immediately remove it from the electronic
document and from the WWW site.
If you have games
that you do not see here, please send them to the MacScouter.
Games Are --
- Lessons without teachers
- Body builders
- Mind stretchers
- Friend makers
- Building blocks
- Most of all games are
Through Games, A Scout
- Learns new skills
- Develops new interests
- Learns to follow the
- Learns fair play
- Learns to wait his or
- Is taught respect for
the rights of others
Scouts like games in which
there is a sizable element of luck. They do not require prizes, nor do
they seem to worry if the game is not finished. They like games which
restart almost automatically, so that everyone is given a new chance.
Scouts like games whereby they gain the reassurance that comes with repetition.
Remember, the success of
a game period depends greatly upon leadership. A leader can challenge
and persuade the shy Scout and channel the energy of the "showoff", making
meetings fun for all.
Choosing A Game:
- Know and understand
- Be prepared to teach
- Take into consideration:
Abilities of the participants
* KISMIF - Keep it simple make it fun. Give it full attention; practice
to make it work; then evaluate to make sure it is right.
Suggestions For Conducting
- Know the game well and
the area needed before teaching it. Have all the necessary equipment
- Remove all possible
hazards from the game area.
- Have the full attention
of the group before trying to explain the rules of the game.
- To introduce the game,
name it, demonstrate it, ask for questions, then start it.
- Always insist on fair
- If a game is going badly,
stop it, explain it again, then try the game once more.
- Play, but don't overplay
a game. A successful game will be more in demand if it is stopped while
it is still being enjoyed.
- Be alert to overexertion.
The games picked for a pack
meeting should be fun to play and fun to watch. They should promote good
sportsmanship, and hopefully tie into the monthly theme.
A multi-station relay can
easily accomplish all of these. For instance, if the theme were space,
the stations could be... spin around Saturn... drink Tang from a big dipper...
eat a cracker and whistle, "When You Wish Upon A Star"... shoot the moon,
etc. In between stations, the participants could walk as if weightless.
This type of relay can easily be adapted to any theme. Ride a broom horse
between cowboy and Indian stations, or walk like Frankenstein between
Games that are fun to play
and fun for the pack to watch can be designed with just a little bit of
innovation. Everyone should be able to participate. Don't just pick one
or two boys from each den. Be sure to get parents involved. The Cubs will
love watching their parents playing a game.
One of the most important
aspects of keeping a pack healthy is to make the new families feel welcome.
This is true in all packs, but it is especially true in large active packs.
Often it is intimidating for new people to come into a group where everyone
knows each other. There are many ways to make new families feel welcome
and playing an icebreaker game is an especially good way. Icebreaker games
are fun and a good way to get people to meet each other. Icebreakers can
be found in "Group Meeting Sparklers" and the " How To Book"
available at the Scout Shop; however, designing an icebreaker for a theme
is easy. For example, if the theme were patriotic, choose four patriotic
songs. Have a slip of paper with the name of one of the written on it
for each person attending the pack meeting. Hand these slips of paper
to each person as they walk in the door and have them find the others
that have their matching song. As an opening, each group could sing their
song. One person from each group could also introduce a person they didn't
Den games are designed with
a small group of boys in mind. Quiet games are helpful when weather prohibits
outdoor activities. Den games can be relays or can be played by individual
An active den game is a
helpful start at den meeting to "get the kinks out". This is especially
true for Den meetings that are held immediately after school. The boys
have been cooped up for several hours and starting with an active den
game can provide an outlet for letting off steam and may make the group
easier to handle for the quieter activities later in the meeting.
Choosing up sides among
the boys is not always easy. If there is a problem boy who is not well
liked by all members, drawing straws, going in alphabetical order, or
selecting two captains to chose alternately may be fair ways to select
Remember...games can be
used to teach fair play, promote good sportsmanship and build character...,
but most of all, they should be fun.
There are many types of games.
Games can be quiet or they can be active. They can depend on chance or they
can take skill, speed or strength. There are games for one or two persons,
and games for groups of any size. Some games provide for relaxation and
amusement and some stimulation through physical or mental exercise.
Play is unrestricted but
games have rules. In each game there is a contest.
From: Danny Schwendener
The "BSA Cub Scout Leader
How-To Book". It is built to help the cub Scout pack and den leaders running
programs that kids enjoy A section of 50 pages is dedicated to games ISBN
GSUSA publishes a book
called "Games for Girl Scouts" which has helped me out in a pinch. The
book is divided into sections such as "Travel Games", "Quiet Indoor Games",
"Relays", etc. I believe it only costs 11 US dollars, and is available
through the office of most Girl Scout councils. If anyone outside of the
US is interested in getting copies of it, I'd be willing to act as a 3rd
party. I don't know how easy it would be for someone in another country
to get a GS council office to ship them a book! I wish I could give you
more information on the book and some examples of games, but one of the
girls in my troop borrowed it (that should tell you something--they love
This book can be ordered
directly from the National Equipment Service. The Address is:
Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
National Equipment Service
830 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-940-7655 (customer
service only -- no orders)
The item number is: 20-902
Games for Girl Scouts. $6.00
Overseas delivery should
include estimated shipping charges with payment. Remittance in US funds
only, checks drawn on US banks only. Master Card or Visa. Prepayment required.
From the Scouts-L Games FAQ
It is often a problem in games
where the people who are out lose interest in the game and start to mess
about. The Sin Bin gets over this problem very nicely. Somewhere in the
hall you put six chairs in a line, this is the Sin Bin. As each person is
out they go and sit in the first vacant chair in the line. When the line
of chairs is filled up, the next person out changes places with the first
person who was out who then goes back into the game. This can be continued
for as long as the games last and keeps the boys interested in the games.
In many games where there are
two teams, it is a good idea if opponents are similar sizes. An easy way
of achieving this is given below:
You will now have two teams
of boys where each number on one team has an opponent on the other team
of a similar size. Another advantage of this system is that if lads have
to race to the center, they will have an equal distance to run.
- Get all the lads to
line up at one side of the hall, tallest at the left shortest to the
- Tell the lads to count
off in twos down the line.
- Get all the number two's
to take two steps forward.
- You now have two teams,
get each team to count off left to right 1 to N.
- Tell team 2 to walk
in a line anti-clockwise around the hall until they are lined up along
the opposite wall of the hall.
Please try not to get involved
with actually playing the games. Although we as leaders are probably a lot
bigger than the lads, we are also more fragile. By this I don't mean that
we are all a load of old codgers, but we don't heal as quickly and our bones
are more brittle. TAKE CARE!!!!!
You will find that prior to
starting a game, it will help if you get the lads to sit down when giving
the instructions on how the game is to be played. This ensures that they
are not walking about or looking somewhere else, so they are more likely
to be listening to what you are saying.
Over the years this has proved
to be a real blessing. My box is a small plastic toolbox. In this box I
have an assortment of bits and pieces with which I can make up games and
other activities at very short notice. Listed below is a list of items that
you could put together to make a similar emergency games box.
A large bag of elastic
bands (rubber bands).
Boxes of chalk, white and colored.
4 candles or night lights, 1 per patrol.
Boxes of safety matches.
A miniature cricket bat, wicket and small soft ball for indoor cricket.
Ball point pens.
Markers or felt tip pens.
Short lengths of soft white rope with the ends whipped for knotting
A reel of cotton for making trip lines for minefields.
Roll of sticky tape.
Blu-Tak or similar for sticking things to walls.
A couple of large dice.
Blank cards or small sheets of paper for writing instructions.
Box of thumb tacks or drawing pins.
A small torch (flashlight) with spare bulb and rechargeable batteries.
4 small pairs of scissors.
A pack of playing cards.
A packet of Alka-Seltzer tablets or similar.
Various whistles and noise makers.
4 triangular bandages
Some of Mike Stolz's items
It is often useful to know
when an object has been moved beyond a certain amount or with what severity
it has been moved. There are many ways of doing this some of these are listed
4 orange plastic 'Track
cones' (highway departments also use these)
An assortment of balls (soccer, basket, Nerf football, etc)
Cloth strips in 3 colors -- 25 strips (each) are 3 inches wide and 18
inches long (great for arm bands or blindfolds). 5 strips are 6 inches
wide, with an overhand knot in the middle (great for 'Bacon', or 'Capture'
1. An oblong tobacco tin
with a layer of paper punch chads sprinkled in the bottom. A thin layer
of something sticky such as syrup is smeared on the underside of the lid
and the lid placed on the tin. If the tin is tipped over or subjected
to violent movements, some of the bits of papers will stick to the lid.
Penalty points may then be deducted for the number of chads that are stuck
to the lid of the tin.
2. A mercury tilt switch
can be connected in series with a small electro-magnetic relay and a battery.
There should be a set of hold on contacts on the relay. These should be
connected across the mercury switch, so that when there is even a brief
connection of the mercury switch, the relay will hold itself on through
it's hold on contacts. When the relay actuates it could also be wired
to sound a buzzer or switch a light on. As an alternative to a mercury
switch you could have a simple hanging metal rod or pendulum within a
metal ring. Any severe movement would cause the pendulum to touch the
metal ring and complete the circuit. There are available on the surplus
market re-settable electro-magnetic counters, you could use one of these
in place of your relay and it would count the number of times that the
device had been moved.
3. A number of small ball
bearings on a dish inside a box. Any slight movement will cause the balls
to move. Severe movements will cause the balls to roll off the dish. Penalty
points are taken off for every ball off the dish.
4. When laying out obstacle
courses or minefields, it is nice to have trip lines that will operate
switches to set off lamps, buzzers etc. A simple but effective switch
for this can be made from a spring loaded wooden clothes peg. A metal
drawing pin or thumb tack is pushed into the inside of each jaw and a
wire is connected to each one. The heads of the drawing pins are the switch
contacts. A piece of card connected to your trip line is pushed between
the contacts to open the switch. When a player snags your trip line, the
card is pulled from the jaws of the clothes peg and the circuit is made.
How you fix the clothes pegs is left for you to decide.
What devious people we leaders
are, but isn't it fun. How about pressure pad switches to put on the floor
which will switch on a circuit when stepped on. You can make these very
easily and can throw them away when the game is finished. All you need is
two sheets of aluminum foil about the size of a standard sheet of paper
for each switch and some paper or plastic drinking straws. The aluminum
foil should be as flat as possible. Connect a wire to each sheet using a
small crocodile clip or paper clip. Lay one sheet on the ground where it
is likely to be stepped on. On top of this lay some drinking straws, these
are to keep the two sheets apart. Lay the second sheet on top of the straws.
Wires can be taped to the floor or covered with carpet. [Connect the wires
to a battery and small light bulb. when the sheets of aluminum foil touch
each other, the bulb should light up.]
REMEMBER IN ANY GAME
KEEP IT SIMPLE, MAKE IT FUN AND MAKE IT SAFE.