Cub Scout Games

From the 1994 Indian Nations Council Powwow,
"The Greatest Show on Earth"


Everyone likes to have fun! The playing of games is an extremely easy and fulfilling way to have fun.

Cub Scouting is fun. It is one endless game where the Cub Scout learns new skills, enlarges on known skills, and can see more clearly his place in the world around him. Games can accomplish a large scale of activities and convey more than skill improvement. They can encourage thought, promote team spirit, build citizenship, develop one's own mind and body, and be an outlet for excess energy.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction to Organizing and Playing Games
  • Pack Games
  • Den Games
  • Types Of Games
  • Introduction to Organizing and Playing Games

    Games Are --

    • Lessons without teachers
    • Body builders
    • Mind stretchers
    • Friend makers
    • Building blocks
    • Most of all games are fun

    Through Games, A Cub Scout --

    • Learns new skills
    • Develops new interests
    • Learns to follow the rules
    • Learns fair play
    • Learns to wait his turn
    • Is taught respect for the rights of others

    Cubs like games in which there is a sizeable 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. Cubs 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 Cub Scout and channel the energy of the "showoff", making Den and Pack meetings fun for all.

    Choosing A Game

    • Know and understand the game.
    • Be prepared to teach the game.
    • Take into consideration: Physical arrangements
      Equipment needs
      Number involved
      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 Games

    • Know the game well and the area needed before teaching it. Have all the necessary equipment on hand.
    • 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 play.
    • 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.

    Pack Games

    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 Halloween stations.

    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 know before.

    Den Games

    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 boys.

    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 teams. can be used to teach fair play, promote good sportsmanship and build character..., but most of all, they should be fun.

    Types Of Games

    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.

    Here are several types of games with examples of each:

    Active Games

    Hand Baseball

    Materials: Basketball, volleyball or sport ball

    Something to mark bases

    You can have a den ball game even if the meeting place is a small backyard or a tiny area of a park. Hand baseball can be played in an area as small as 50' x 75'. Play it like baseball except that:

    Bases are about 35' apart

    Pitching distance is about 15'

    A basketball, volleyball or sport ball is used, and the batter hits it with fist or open hand

    The pitcher pitches underhand

    A base runner may be put out by hitting him with the ball

    Lame Chicken

    Divide the boys into two teams and give each team 10 sticks about 10 inches long. The sticks are placed about 10 inches apart like the rungs of a ladder. On signal the first boy in each team hops on one foot over all 10 sticks. He then reaches down and picks up the 10th stick and hops back over the other 9 to his team. The second boy then begins, hopping over the 9 sticks, picking up the 9th nd returning. Continue until all have raced. The last boy in line hops over all remaining sticks and then picks up all of them as he hops back to the finish line. If a player steps on any stick, he must start over from the starting line. First team through wins.

    Pioneer Went to Sleep

    Everyone stands in a circle. The first player begins by saying "Pioneer went to sleep." The rest of the group answers "How did Pioneer got to sleep?" The leader then says "Pioneer went to sleep like this, like this," repeating a small gesture such as nodding the head or twisting the wrist. The rest of the group mimics the gesture and answers "like this, like this." The entire group continues to repeat the gesture as the next boy in line says "Pioneer went to sleep," and others respond as before. The second boy adds another gesture to the first, so that now there are two movements to keep going. The game continues around the circle, each player adding a gesture. By the end of the game, the entire group should be a foot-wiggling, eye-blinking, head-shaking, nose-twitching mess. Try to add as many gestures as possible before the game totally falls apart. Since it is difficult to do more than ten gestures at once, you may not get everyone in the group, but the challenge is to see how far you do get. Start off slowly with small things, such as toes and fingers, and work up to the bigger things, such as arms and legs.

    Quiet Games


    Materials: Cardboard letters

    This game is played with cardboard letters printed on one side. Boxes containing such letters can be bought, but it is easy to print them, and cut them out. There should be cards for each letter of the alphabet, about six for the letters most commonly used, like A, B, C, D, E, M, P, R, S and T, and only one for such letters as J, X, Y and Z.

    These cards are placed, letters down, on the table. Each boy draws one. The one who draws the letter nearest to A plays first. Putting all the letters back, the first player draws a letter and lays it down, face up, on the table. The player to his left does the same. As soon as any player can make a word out of one of his own letters, and the letters laid down by the others, he picks up all these cards and places them on the table before him. For example, the first player lays down the letter O, and the second player draws the letter S, the second makes the word "so". Any word may be taken from any player by another player who draws a letter which will make a longer word out of it. If the third player draws the letter B, he can make "sob" out of "so",and should take these letters to make this word. The one who can make ten words first, wins.

    Sentry Post

    The prize goes to the quietest team in this game. Set up two chairs about seven feet apart. These are the sentry posts and two blindfolded players are seated in them, facing each other. The other players divide into two teams. At signal from the leader, the first player in each line sneaks forward on tiptoe and tries to pass between the two sentries without a sound. If either sentry hears anything, he calls out and points in the direction from which the sound came. If he's right, the player is "captured" and out of the game. If he points in the wrong direction, the player sneaks ahead. Each team goes through just once. The winner is the team that gets the most players past the sentries.


    Each player receives paper and pencil. One die is used. Players in turn throw the die. Each side of the die represents one part of the bug. Players draw parts of the body as they roll die.

    Directions for play:

    1 One makes the body. Player must throw a 1 before he can make other parts of his "bug."

    2 Two is the head.

    3 Feelers are 3's. Bug has 2.

    4 Legs are 4's. Bug has 6 legs.

    5 Eyes and mouth are 5's. Bug has 2 eyes, 1 mouth.

    6 Tail is 6.

    Winner is player who finishes bug first.

    Target Games

    Pan Toss

    Materials: 3 pans of different sizes

    6 ping pong balls

    Find three pans of different sizes which will fit one inside the other and still allow some space between the rims. Label each pan some value from 5 to 25.

    Bounce the ping pong balls so they will hop into the pans. Score according to points allotted to each pan.


    Drop three clothespins into a bottle from an erect kneeling position on a chair seat. Pin must be held at eye level. Score one point for each pin dropped in the bottle.

    Calendar Toss

    Toss bottle tops onto a large numbered calendar page, laid flat 5 feet from the player. Score by adding the dates on which the bottle tops come to rest.

    Goal Games

    Count to Ten

    All players stand on one line except one player who is it. "It" stands with his back to the other players on a goal line about 30 to 35 feet from the starting line. "It" counts to ten as fast and as clearly as he can. While he is counting, the other players advance as fast as they can by putting one foot directly in front of the other (heel, toe, heel, toe). At the count of ten, "It" turns around. Everyone freezes. If someone moves he starts all over again. The first player across the goal line wins and becomes the next "it".

    The Wolf

    The boys stand in a circle with the "Wolf" in the center. Boys call "Wolf, Wolf, are you ready?" Wolf answers "No, I'm putting on my shoe" and pantomimes putting on his shoes. The other imitate him. Again they ask "Wolf, Wolf, are you ready" and he replies that he is putting on his coat, tie, hat, etc. each time pantomiming putting on the item, while all follow suit. Whenever he wishes, the Wolf answers with "Yes, I'm ready, and here I come". The players rush to a goal line and the Wolf tries to tag them. If any player is tagged, he becomes the Wolf.

    Fish in the Sea

    All players but one stand behind a line. "IT" stands midway between the line and a goal line thirty feet away. He shouts "Fish in the ocean, fish in the sea; don't get the notion you'll get by me." The fish leave their line and try to cross the goal line without being tagged. Players who are tagged join "IT" and help catch others.

    Relay Games

    Fumble Fingers Relay

    Materials: 2 jars with screw lids

    10 toothpicks

    2 pair large mittens

    Each team has a pair of large mittens. At a goal line is a jar, one for each team, containing five toothpicks. On signal, the first person from each team races to the goal line, puts on the gloves, removes the lid, empties the jar, picks up the toothpicks and puts them back in the jar and screws on the lid. He takes off the mittens and races back to hand them to the next player, who repeats the action.

    Candle Carry

    The object of this game is to carry a lit candle through an obstacle course. Make sure the base of the candle has a holder so the hot wax won't drip on the boys' hands. The candle must be passed from boy to boy through the course. Each boy will have a section of the course to covsimilar ball. Play regular basketball


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