Scout Library, No. 4
Sir Robert S. S. Baden-Powell
Author of "Scouting for Boys," "Yarns for Boy Scouts,"
"Boy Scouts Beyond the Seas," etc.
Table of Contents
The Scoutmaster acts as a
deer, not hiding but standing, and moving occasionally now and then. The
Scouts go out to find the deer, and each tries in his own way to get up
to it unseen. Directly the Scoutmaster sees a Scout he directs him to
stand up as having failed. After a certain time the Scoutmaster calls
"Time," and all stand up at the spot which they have reached, and the
nearest wins. The same game may be played to test the Scouts in stepping
lightly. The umpire being blindfolded. The practice should preferably
be carried out where there are dry twigs, stones, gravel and so on lying
about. The Scout may start to stalk the blind enemy at one hundred yards
distance, and he must do it fairly fast-say in one minute and a half to
touch the blind man before he hears him.
II -- STALKING GAMES.
III -- TRACKING GAMES.
IV -- INDOOR GAMES.
KIM'S GAME. HOW TO PLAY IT, 2. DEBATES
AND TRIALS, 3. SCOUT'S CHESS, 4.
FARMYARD, 5. THIMBLE FINDING, 6.
SCOUT'S NOSE, 7. SPOTTING THE SPOT,
8. HOW LONG?, 9.
OLD SPOTTY-FACE, 10. QUICK SIGHT,
11. NOBODY'S AIRSHIP, 12.
BLOW BALL, 13. ARTISTS, 14.
A MEMORY GAME, 15. QUESTIONS, 16.
WHO SAID THAT?, 17. CELEBRITIES,
18. PATTERNS, 19.
ROUND THE RING, 20. BADGER PULLING.
The umpire places himself
out in the open and sends each Scout or pair of Scouts away in different
directions about half a mile off. When he waves a flag, which is the signal
to begin, they all hide, and then proceed to stalk him, creeping up and
watching all he does. When he waves the flag again, they rise, come in,
and report each in turn all that he did, either in writing or verbally,
as may be ordered. The umpire meantime has kept a look-out in each direction,
and every time he sees a Scout, he takes two points off that Scout's score.
He, on his part, performs small actions, such as sitting down, kneeling
up, and looking through glasses, using handkerchief, taking hat off for
a bit, walking round in a circle a few times, to give Scouts something
to note and report about him. Scouts are given three points for each act
reported correctly. It saves time if the umpire makes out a scoring card
beforehand, giving the name of each Scout, and a number of columns showing
each act of his, and what mark that Scout wins, also a column of deducted
marks for exposing themselves.
One Scout is given time to
go out and hide himself. The remainder then start to find him. The object
of the hidden Scout is to got back to the starting-place as soon as he
can without being caught. The seekers advance from the starting-place
in a circle, gradually expanding outward so the further the Scout goes
from home to hide himself, the further apart the seekers will be when
they reach his hiding-place, but he will then have a longer distance to
go to reach home again.
A Patrol is told off to shadow
a party of the enemy, who are advancing through the country (consisting
of another patrol or the rest of the troop). The patrol told off to shadow
the rest must follow on as closely as possible, but it is best to send
on one or two Scouts ahead, to signal when it is safe to advance. As soon
as the enemy see a Scout shadowing them they can give chase, and if they
overtake him he is a prisoner, and has to march with the main body. They
can also split up into two parties and join again further on, or leave
some behind in ambush. It is only necessary to touch the shadowers to
make them prisoners. If they cannot throw them off their tracks within
a certain distance (two miles or so), or else capture more than half of
them, they must own themselves defeated; and then another patrol takes
the place of the shadowers. (This can be practiced along a route march-it
has the advantage of always covering fresh ground in the advance.)
The main body advances along
a road, with Scouts thrown out on either side to prevent any danger of
surprise. Two patrols (the enemy) are following them behind, and attempt
to ambush them by one patrol getting in front and the other attacking
in the rear. They shadow the main body as it advances until a suitable
part of the country is reached, when one patrol attempts to get ahead
by going round in a semi-circle and joining the road again further on.
If they can do it, they hide in an ambush and attack the main body when
it comes up; the other patrol which has been following behind should then
immediately attack in the rear. For it to be a successful ambush the patrol
in the rear should be able to attack immediately the ambush is reached,
and so should follow closely behind. If the patrol making the semi-circle
are seen, they should be followed and the ambush discovered; both they
and the other patrol behind can be captured, just as in 11 Shadowing,"
by merely being touched.
For this game two sides are
needed, the numbers being settled among the players.
The ammunition is a quantity
of paper bars. Every Scout has a plate, and the parties take up positions
within throwing distance of each other. If the ground isn't flat, toss
up for the advantage of the slope. Each Scout lies flat on his stomach,
and just in front of him props up his plate by sticking the rim into
the ground. At the word "go " each warrior aims a ball at an opponent's
plate. When a plate is knocked down, the Scout to whom it belongs is
" put out of action." The side which succeeds in " killing " most opponents
in a given time wins.
The Patrol-leaders of a troop
are each handed a sealed envelope, and being told that the envelopes are
important, are put upon their honor not to open them before a certain
time. This waiting makes the game more exciting. When the moment for opening
the envelopes arrives, they find inside a rough outline map of some particular
district, and instructions stating that :-All are to meet at a certain
point, the patrols will form themselves, and each patrol, proceeding by
its special route, will make for the place depicted in the map where the
Scoutmaster will be hiding,. Naturally, the boundaries of the place must
not be too confined, or the Scoutmaster's discovery will quickly take
place. A reward is offered to the patrol which first finds their Scoutmaster,
so each patrol should work together, searching the ground carefully in
extended order. If the Scoutmaster is still concealed at the expiration
of half an hour, or some agreed upon time-after the troops' arrival at
the spot, he blows a whistle and the game is at an end. Then the troop
could go on with other Scouting work. The spot selected should contain
undergrowth in plenty and should be physically suited for concealment.
In the envelope of each Patrol-leader would be placed a paper showing
the route his men must follow to reach the spot, and these routes should
be equal in length, otherwise one patrol will have an advantage over another.
This is done so that the patrols shall feel they are working on their
own. The sealed orders would teach the Scouts to restrain their curiosity.
This game can be played after dark if necessary,
The treasure hunt needs observation
and skill in tracking, and practically any number can take part in it,
Several ways of playing the game are given below :
1) The treasure is hidden
and the Scouts know what the treasure is; they are given the first clue,
and from this all the others can be traced. Such clues might be -
a) Written on a gatepost:
" Go west and examine third gate on north side of stream ";
b) on that gate Scout's
signs pointing to a notice-board on which is written: " Strike south
by south-east to telegraph post No. 22,"
and so on. The clues
should be so worded as to need some skill to understand, and the various
points should be difficult of access from one another. This method might
be used as a patrol-competition, starting off patrols at ten minutes
intervals, and at one particular clue there might be different orders
for each patrol, to prevent the patrols behind following the first.
2) The clues may be bit,
of Colored wool tied to gates, hedges, etc., at about three yards interval,
leading in a certain direction, and when these clues come to the end
it should be known that the treasure is hidden within so many feet.
To prevent this degenerating into a mere game of follow-my-leader, several
tracks might be laid working up to the same point, and false tracks
could be laid, which only lead back again to the original track.
3) Each competitor or
party might be given a description of the way-each perhaps going a slightly
different way, the description should make it necessary to go to each
spot in turn, and prevent any "cutting" in the following way: " Go to
the tallest tree in a certain field, from there go 100 yards north,
then walk straight towards a church tower which will be on your left,"
etc. All the descriptions should lead by an equal journey to a certain
spot where the treasure is hidden. The first to arrive at that spot
should not let the others know it is the spot, but should search for
the treasure in as casual a manner as possible.
A secret hiding, place is
known to exist somewhere in the neighborhood, but the only clue to it
is a torn piece of paper upon which the key to it was once written. (A
description of the way to the spot could be written on a piece of paper,
and then the paper torn down the middle roughly, and half given to each
of two competing patrols.) The key was torn in two purposely for safety,
just as in a bank the two chief clerks each have a key, but it needs both
keys together to open the safe. Two parties have got hold of this; key,
and each with their half are trying to find the spot, because some old
smugglers' treasure is thought to be hidden there.
A lion is represented by
one Scout, who goes out with tracking irons on his feet, and a pocketful
of corn or peas, and six lawn-tennis bars or rag balls. He is allowed
half an hour's start, and then the patrol go after him, following his
spoor, each armed with one tennis-ball with which to shoot him when they
find him. The lion may hide or creep about or run, just as he feels inclined,
but whenever the ground is hard or very greasy he must drop a few grains
of corn every few yards to show the trail. If the hunters fail to come
up to him neither wins the game. When they come near to the lair the lion
fires at them with his tennis-balls, and the moment a hunter is hit he
must fall out dead and cannot throw his tennis- ball. If the lion gets
hit by a hunter's tennis-bah he is wounded, and if he gets wounded three
times he is killed. Tennis-balls may only be fired once; they cannot be
picked up and fired again in the same fight. Each Scout must collect and
hand in his tennis-balls after the game. In winter, if there is snow,
this game can be played without tracking irons, and using snowball instead
Cut up some skeins of wool
into pieces about a foot long - the cheapest kind will do, but do not
select very bright colors. With this lay the trail across country. It
goes without saying that the permission of the farmers over whose land
you travel is first obtained, and patrols are given strict orders to shut
all gates after them, and not to break through fences. Do not put all
the wool on the ground, but tie some of the pieces to gates and hedges,
on low branches of trees, and so on, leaving about twenty yards between
each piece. Then two or more patrols are started on the trail, the idea
being to follow the trail as expeditiously as possible, and at the same
time to collect all the pieces of wool. When a Scout sees a piece he gives
his patrol-call loudly in order that the rest of the boys of both patrols
may know where the trail was last sighted, and he at once hands over the
wool he has found to his Patrol- leader. While the scouting is in progress
no boy may give his patrol-car except when he has hit off the trail. The
patrol wins whose leader has at the end of the run collected most pieces
of wool. Marks will also be given for ingenuity displayed by the Scouts
in spreading out and making the best use of their numbers. This game gives
a good opportunity for the Scoutmaster to notice who are the best individual
trackers. If the trail is ingeniously laid the resourcefulness of the
Scouts will be put to a severe test. This form of scouting has one great
advantage over the use of tracking irons. The signs to be found are not
all on the ground, so Scouts learn to look upward for signs and not keep
their noses always on the ground.
One Scout goes off with half
a raw onion. 'He lays a "scent " by rubbing, the onion on gateposts, stones,
tree trunks, telegraph poles, etc. The troop follow this trail blindfolded
- the Scoutmaster, however, is not blindfolded, so that he may warn his
boys of any danger (as when crossing roads). The Scout or patrol which
arrives at the end of the trail first wins the game. The boy who lays
the " scent " stays at the end of the trail till the first " scenter "
No fellow can justly call
himself a Scout until he can both swim and climb. Climbing is as good
an activity as any in this book. It supplies a field of adventure and
sport that cannot be beaten whether you take to rock climbing, tree climbing,
mountain climbing, or even the most dangerous of the lot - house climbing.
Moreover, it is by being able to climb that many Scouts have been able
to save life or prevent accidents. But climbing of any kind is not a thing
that every fellow can do right off without practice, so my advice to every
Cub and Scout is to teach it to yourself. One of the first things to learn
is to be able to keep your balance, and for this the practice of "Walking
the Plank" and "Stepping Stones" has been devised and is most valuable.
Walking the Plank is practiced on an ordinary plank set up on edge, and
you walk along it from end to end. Every day you raise it a few more inches
above the ground until you can use it as a bridge. Stepping Stones are
imaginary stones across a river, marked out on the floor by chalk circles,
pieces of card- board or flat stones, tiles, etc. in a zigzag course at
The difficulty and sport
of this game is added by carrying a flat board with a ball upon it,
and he who crosses the " river " without missing his footing and without
dropping the ball wins the competition.
Some fellows get jolly
good at these games with practice, and once they have gained a good
balance in this way they generally make good climbers. Many troops have
now set up for themselves a climbing apparatus on which you can practice
exercises that will make you good for almost every kind of work, whether
it is climbing trees or masts or rocks or mountains or chimney stacks.
This apparatus is made of a few timbers or scaffolding poles, securely
lashed together with climbing ropes suspended from the top bar, and
on such an apparatus you can invent all manner of stunts and competitions,
such as will make you an adept climber.
THE Scoutmaster should collect
on a tray a number of articles-knives, spoons, pencil, pen, stones, book
and so on-not more than about fifteen for the first few games, and cover
the whole over with a cloth. He then makes the others sit round, where
they can see the tray, and uncovers it for one minute. Then each of them
must make a list on a piece of paper of all the articles lie can remember-or
the Scoutmaster can make a list of the things, with a column of names
opposite the list, and lot the boys come in turn and whisper to him, and
he must mark off each of the things they remember. The one who remembers
most wins the game.
A good way of spending an
evening in the camp or clubroom is to hold a debate on any subject of
interest, the Scoutmaster or a Patrol-leader acting as chairman. He must
see that there is a. speaker on one side prepared beforehand to introduce
and support one view of the subject, and that there is another speaker
prepared to expound another view. After their speeches he will call on
the others present in turn to express their views. And in the end he takes
the votes for and against the motion, by show of hands, first of those
in favor of the motion, secondly of those against. The best way to choose
a popular subject for debate is to put up a paper some time before on
which Scouts can suggest the subjects they like. The proper procedure
for public meetings should be used, such as seconding the motion, moving
amendments, obeying chairman's ruling, voting, according votes of thanks
to chair and so on.
In place of a debate
a mock trial makes an interesting change. The Scoutmaster or Patrol-leader,
as before, appoints himself to act as judge, and details Scouts to take
the parts of prisoner, police-constable, witnesses, counsel for prisoner,
counsel for prosecution, foreman and jury (if there are enough Scouts).
The procedure of a court of law must be followed as nearly as possible.
Each makes up his own evidence, speeches, or cross-examination according
to his own ideas. The prisoner, of course, is not found guilty unless
the prosecution prove their case to the jury. The story in Scouting
for Boys (" Winter's Stab") makes a good subject for a trial, or one
of the stories in The Scout.
The first thing needed is
a rough map or plan of the surrounding country, on a very large scale.
It can be chalked on the floor or a table in the clubroom, or on the wall,
and be kept permanently. On the map should be marked all paths and roads,
and if in the country, the fields, with the gaps in the hedges and places
to get through carefully marked. Then something is needed to represent
Scouts'; ordinary chessmen will do, or if the map is on the wall, small
flags to stick in the wall. With these, various kinds of Scouting games
can be played. Each " Scout " can move one inch (or other distance according
to the scale of the map) each turn. The best game is for one dispatch
runner to try and get from one place to another on the map without being
overtaken by the enemy, one patrol, who should only be allowed to walk
(i.e. go half the distance which the runners allowed to go each turn).
To capture him two Scouts should get within two turns of him, by driving
him into a comer. They can, of course, only go along the recognized paths
This Is not a new game, but
it is both amusing and instructive, and teaches Scouts to make the correct
cries of different domestic animals. It can be played round the camp fire
when the day is done. The Scoutmaster relates a story of a visit to a
farmyard, having first divided the Scouts into groups of different farmyard
animals. (If sufficient animals can be thought of, each Scout can represent
one animal.) A good story can be made from these few suggestions : Small,
spoilt boy, not a Scout, just recovering from an illness, is sent by doting,
foolish parents to stay with an uncle and aunt at a farmhouse. Makes his
departure by train, and directions from over-careful parents rather absurd,
and not the kind of thing a Scout would allow. First day of visit most
successful, Tommy still feeling too weak to be mischievous. On the second
morning, however, Tommy wakes early and goes out before his aunt is about.
He visits in turn all the animals in the yard and causes disaster wherever
he goes. Pigs, he considers, should be allowed to run in the garden, hens
and ducks wherever they please, and small chicks should be able to swim
as well as small ducks, and he drives a brood into the pond, all being,
drowned; horses are let out of the stable, sheep driven out of the orchard,
cows turned into the road, doves freed from cages, turkeys and geese sent
in all directions, and the whole farmyard turned upside down.
As the narrator mentions
each animal, the Scouts representing them make the correct "cry," and
this should be done seriously and as well as possible; at the word "farmyard,"
whenever it occurs, all the Scouts make these cries together, and if
done well, this should be quite realistic. The part of donkey and goose
should be reserved as a punishment for any who fail to make their "
cry " at the proper time, or who make the wrong "cry."
The patrol goes out of the
room, leaving one behind who takes a thimble, ring, coin, bit of paper,
or any small article, and places it where it is perfectly visible, but
in a spot where it is not likely to be noticed. Then the patrol comes
in and looks for it. When one of them sees it he should go and quietly
sit down without indicating to the others where it is, and the others,
if they see it, do the same. After a fair time any one of those sitting
down is told to point out the article to those who have not yet found
it. The first one to see it is the winner, and he sends the others out
again while he hides the thimble.
Prepare a number of paper-bags,
all alike, and put in each a different smelling article, such as chopped
onion in one, coffee in another, rose-leaves, leather, aniseed, violet
powder, orange peel and so on. Put these packets in a row a couple of
feet apart, and let each competitor walk down the line and have five seconds'
sniff at each. At the end he has one minute in which to write down or
to state to the umpire the names of the different objects smelled, from
memory, in their correct order.
Show a series of photos or
sketches of objects in the neighborhood such as would be known to all
the Scouts if they kept their eyes open-for instance, cross-roads, curious
window, gargoyle or weathercock, tree, reflection in the water (guess
the building causing it), and so on, and see who can recognize the greatest
number; or else let each Scout contribute a picture or sketch of something
remarkable passed during the last outing.
A good camp practice is to
see that all Scouts have a piece of paper and pencil, and to make them
write down answers to various questions regarding lengths and heights.
For instance: " What is my height when I'm wearing my hat ? " " How long
is the camp table ? " Of course that boy wins who most nearly gives the
correct number of inches.
[This is an adaptation of
the game in Mr. E. Thompson Seton's Birch Bark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians,(Published
at 1s. net by A. Constable & Co.) and is recommended for regular practice
as an eye strengthener and for developing the sight.]
Prepare squares of cardboard
divided into about a dozen small squares. Each Scout should take one,
and should have a pencil and go off a few hundred yards, or, if indoors,
as far as space will allow. The umpire then takes a large sheet of cardboard,
with twelve squares ruled on it of about three-inch sides if in the
open, or one and a half to two inches if indoors. The umpire has a number
of black paper discs, half an Inch in diameter, and pin.3 ready, and
sticks about half a dozen on to his card, dotted about where he likes.
He holds up his card so that it can be seen by the Scouts. They then
gradually approach, and as they get within sight they mark their cards
with the same pattern of spots. The one who does so at the farthest
distance from the umpire wins. Give five points for every spot correctly
shown, deduct one point for every two inches nearer than the furthest
man. This teaches long sight.
"Quick Sight" can be taught
with the same apparatus as used in Spotty-Face, by allowing the Scouts
to come fairly close, and then merely showing your card for five seconds,
and allowing them to mark their cards from memory. The one who is most
The players divide into two
sides (four or five a side is best); between them a string or tape is
fastened across the room about the height of their faces; then a small
air-balloon is thrown in, and each side tries to make it touch the ground
on the other side of the tape. It must be hit over the tape, and in hitting
it, hands must not go over the tape.
The players divide into two
sides and take their positions at each end of a wooden table about 6 feet
long. A ping-pong ball (or any light celluloid ball) is placed in the
center, and each side tries to blow it off the table at the other end-if
it goes off the sides it does not count, but is put back in the center
again. The game soon develops strong lungs, but needs composure just as
much-because the best player is the one who can blow without laughing
at the faces of those opposite him as they blow. It is best to play kneeling
or sitting round the table. A more complicated way for five players a
side is to have a goal at each end marked on the table ; then each side
has a goalkeeper, two forwards, stationed at the other end to blow into
the enemy's goal, and two backs to pass the ball to their forwards.
Players sit round a table,
each with paper and pencil. The right-hand one draws a picture, in separate
firm strokes, of an ordinary figure or head-putting in his strokes in
unusual sequence so that for a long time it is difficult to see what he
is drawing. Each player looks over to see what the man on his right is
drawing and copies it stroke by stroke. When the right-hand artist has
finished his picture, compare all the rest with it.
In order to play this game
successfully, it is necessary that the list of words and sentences given
below be memorized by one of the players, who acts as leader. This leader,
turning to his next neighbor, remarks: "One old owl." The latter turns
to his neighbor, and gives the same formula. So it passes around the circle
till it comes to the leader again, who repeats it, and adds the formula:
"Two tantalizing, tame toads." again it goes around, and again, and each
time the leader adds a new formula, until the whole is repeated, up to
ten. It is safe to say, however, that no society will ever get that far.
Those who forget part of the formula are dropped from the circle. Here
is the whole:
One old owl.
Two tantalizing, tame toads.
Three tremulous, tremendous, terrible tadpoles.
Four fat, fussy, frivolous, fantastic fellows.
Five flaming, flapping, flamingoes fishing for frogs.
Six silver-tongued, saturnine senators standing strenuously shouting:
Seven serene seraphs soaring swiftly sunward, singing: " Say, sisters."
Eight elderly, energetic, effusive, erudite, enterprising editors eagerly
Nine nice, neat, notable, neighborly, nautical, nodding nabobs nearing
Ten tall, tattered, tearful, turbulent tramps, talking tumultuously
through tin trumpets.
The Scouts all sit down,
either on the floor or on forms, and the Scoutmaster or Patrol-leader
asks each boy in turn various questions on subjects of general knowledge.
A mark is given for each correct answer, and the boy who gains the most
marks naturally win the game. The questions would vary, of course, according
to locality, but here are some which one troop were asked. What does K.C.B.
mean? On what railway is Peterborough Station ? How would you get from
London to Torquay ? What is the test for the Fireman's Badge ? When is
the Chief Scout's birthday ? When is Trafalgar Day ? Why does a Scout
wear the fleur-de-lis ? Where are the Headquarters of the Boy Scouts'
Association ? What was last week's cover of THE SCOUT ? Next time you
want something to do at your clubroom, try this game. Not only will it
test your knowledge, it will also increase your stock of useful and interesting
This is a memory test, and
is well worth trying in your clubroom. Throughout the evening, and unknown
to the others, one Scout should, in a handy notebook, jot down some twenty
of the most striking remarks made in the general conversation. Towards
the end of the evening he then slips away, and on each of twenty sheets
of paper, put a-side for the purpose, he writes one of the " sayings "
in a bold hand. Blue or black crayon should be used for this, so that
each sentence may be clearly seen when the sheets &e fastened up.
The sheets are numbered, pinned up together, and turned over one by one-a
sufficient time being allowed for competitors to write on slips of paper
"Who Said That ?"
A good game can be devised
by cutting, from the papers a selection of portraits of celebrities, pasting
each portrait on a numbered card and inviting the company to name them;
soldiers, monarchs, statesmen, preachers, and athletes will be the most
For this game get two draught
boards and tan white and ten black draughtsmen. You have one board and
your friend the other. Divide the draughtsmen equally, each having five
white and five black. Then while you look another way, your friend arranges
his men on his board in any formation he likes. When he has done this
he allows you to look at his board for a few seconds; then he covers it
over and you have to arrange your men in the same way on your board, within
two minutes. You take it in turn to place the men in position, and whoever
replaces them correctly the most times wins.
This is a good game for the
fun it gives and for developing the wrists and arms. About one dozen players
sit down in a ring with their feet pointing inward. The feet make a circle
just big enough for another player to stand in. The player inside the
circle stands perfectly rigid, and as soon as the other players are ready
lets himself fall, either backwards or forwards, on to the outstretched
hands of the players forming, the ring. The members of the ring push the
center player from hand to hand, and when one of the former lets him fall
he changes places with the center player, and in his turn is passed round
Here is a good game, called
Badger Pulling, which you can play either in your clubroom or outdoors.
Two boys take part, and two or more scarves are knotted together and hung
over the players' heads. A line should be drawn between the two players,
and the idea of the game is for each to try to pull the other over this
line, using heads, hands and knees alone. There should be no catching
hold of the handkerchiefs or the -arms and hands, otherwise the fun will