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.
(From the Military Cyclists'
Vade Mecum, by CAPT. A. H. TRAPMANN, 1s.)
A good many of the "Scouting
Games" (Chapter 1) can be used for cyclists, such as "Relay Race," "Flying
Columns," and "Surveying the Country."
FOUR patrols can take part
in this game, or the force must be divided into four equal parts. One patrol
acts as De Wet, one as garrison, and the rest as Kitchener's relief column.
An area on the map is marked off, containing about one square mile to every
two Scouts in the relief column-and this area should be plentifully supplied
with roads and tracks along which cycles can be ridden. Three spots, preferably
villages, should be chosen (or a larger number if more than four patrols
are taking part); these are to be guarded by the garrison patrol, two Scouts
at each spot. De Wet's object is to destroy as many villages as possible.
When he enters a village, the two Scouts acting as garrison must retreat
before his greater number-one should cycle as fast as he can to fetch the
relief column, while the other stays to watch De Wet's movements. Either
of them can be captured by any two of De Wet's men. If De Wet can remain
in occupation of the village for half an hour the village is destroyed,
but he must retreat if a relief column approaches stronger than his force.
The relief column should take up its position in the center of the area
and look out for signals from the garrisons. De Wet should prevent them
following him by dividing his party, giving them instructions to all meet
at the village to be attacked, but enter from different directions.
Divide your force into two
equal parts, 1 and 2. Give No. 1 a capable commander, and tell him that
they are operating in an enemy's country, and must look out for their own
safety ; also that a force of the enemy's cyclists are expected to move
along a certain road at a certain time in a certain direction. No. 1 will
then start off and conceal itself in a good ambush. Then divide No. 2 into
two parts A & B. Let A carry out the original program assigned to the
enemies' cyclists, and send B round in exactly the opposite direction. Tell
the Patrol-leader in charge of B that a body of the enemy were seen on the
road, and let him go and scout for them. Give him sufficient time to enable
him to location. I (if he is smart) before A is due at the ambush. , No.
1 will probably be so engrossed in waiting to ambush A that it will have
neglected to provide for its own safety against surprise. B may or may not
surprise No. 1, and may perhaps be ambushed itself. In any case some instructive
work can be carried out, work affording room for rapid action and thought
on the part of all concerned. Any man seen exposing himself obviously whilst
under fire should be put out of action, and made to act as umpire's orderly.
Otherwise men should not be put out of action, but either sent back or made
to join the enemy.
Mark off an area plentifully
supplied with roads and foot- paths about three miles by three miles in
extent. Tell off a patrol under your best Patrol-leader. His object will
be to remain within the area for say two hours, without being captured.
He should be allowed ten minutes' start. The remainder of the force will
then split up into small patrols and endeavor by careful co-operation to
effect his capture, care being taken not to be ambushed them- selves by
something for patrols to do
when cycling from one place to another. Divide the force equally into two
bodies. Choose a road. Any place more than 200 yards distant from the road
will be out of bounds. Send one body off to take up an ambuscade, and ten
minutes later let the other body move Off along the road, sending its Scouts
well ahead. If the ambush is detected the two bodies will then ex- change
roles. This will be found a very interesting exercise, and can with advantage
be practiced on return from a field-day, route march, etc., the homeward
road being used for the purpose.
Two spies have escaped from
headquarters on cycles, and were last seen riding at a point about half-a-mile
further along the road. (This should be shown on the map to the Scouts who
are to give chase on their cycles.) From that point the spies have to leave
a paper trail, not continuous, but occurring every hundred yards. The spies,
being handicapped by their paper, will probably be soon overtaken, so they
must choose a good spot by the road in which to conceal their cycles, and
when they leave the road they must leave signs to that effect (they had
better run some way along the road still leaving the trail, so as not to
show the hiding-place of their cycles to their pursuers). When they have
left the road, they need leave no further trail, but their object is to
remain at large for a quarter of an hour and then recover their cycles and
get back to headquarters without being caught by their pursuers. The pursuers
should search for the spies and capture their cycles if they can find them,
at the same time guarding their own cycles from being stolen by the spies.
To capture the spies the pursuers must actually touch them, or if they are
on cycles, ride past them on the road. (About ten Scouts make the beat number
for this game.)
Patrol-leader picks a scout
to be pursued; then the whole patrol meets in a fairly quiet street in a
town. The chosen Scout is allowed two minutes' grace, whilst the others
hide and do not watch him during that time, except two, who follow him closely.
After two minutes one of them then runs back and brings the rest of the
patrol along, hot on the track of the pursued one. Meanwhile the remaining
shadower holds on carefully and tenaciously, pursuer and pursued being at
least four or five minutes in advance of the rest. To show which way they
have gone, the pursuing Scout drops confetti or makes chalk-marks until
the others reach him. All must, of course, be well trained in running and
using their Scoutcraft, and the pursued Scout can make use of many dodges
to throw his pursuers off the track. It should be agreed beforehand that
if he keeps away for a certain time he wins the game.
Send out a " hare," either
walking or cycling, with a pocketful of corn, nutshells, or confetti, which
he must drop here and there to give a trail for the patrol to follow. Or,
with a piece of chalk, let him draw the patrol sign on walls, pavements,
lamp-posts, and trees, and let the patrol hunt him by these marks. Patrols
must wipe out all these marks as they pass them for the sake of tidiness.
and so as not to mislead them for another day's practice. The other road
signs should also be used, such as closing up certain roads, and hiding
a letter at some point, giving directions as to the next turn. The object
of the " hare " in this game is to explain to those behind the way he has
gone as well as he can, and not to throw them off his trail as in " shadowing."
One Scout, who is well known
to the rest, is chosen as the dodger. A spot is selected some two miles
away from the Scouts' headquarters as the starting-point, preference being
given to a place from which the most streets or ways lead to headquarters.
The main idea is that the dodger has to start from this spot at, say, 7
or 8 p.m., and make his way to headquarters without being caught. He will
be previously introduced to the others as their " Quarry," and may then
adopt any disguise in order to throw off suspicion. He may even carry a
large sackful of paper or some soft material upon his head, so as to partly
hide his face, but he should not adopt feminine attire. It will be the duty
of all Scouts to distribute themselves well over the area likely to be travelled,
all streets, alleys and byways being carefully watched, but for obvious
reasons a rule must be made that no Scout must approach within a given radius,
say, of 250 yards, of the starting or finishing point. The dodger must be
Instructed to start strictly at a given time, and may use the middle of
the street as well as the pavement, as this will be necessary to dodge a
Scout whom he may espy, and he must travel on foot during his journey, not
taking advantage of any tram car or other vehicle. Should he see a Scout
approaching, there would be no objection to his stepping aside into a shop
and asking the price of an article until the danger has passed, as this
is no more than an ordinary thief would do to evade capture. Should a Scout
recognize the dodger, he must get quite near. enough to him to say: " Good-night
" without any danger of not being heard-or, better, to touch him-and the
dodger then yields quietly and is taken to headquarters by his captor, no
other Scout being allowed to join them. One hour after the arranged starting
time all Scouts must return to headquarters, for by that time the dodger
will have either been caught or have reported himself there, as he must
do the two miles in one hour. Should a Scout notice the dodger being pursued
by another Scout he may assist in the capture-this where the dodger has
espied a Scout in the distance who appears to have recognized him-but though
the marks are divided, the greater portion will be awarded to the Scout
who commenced the actual pursuit. - This is a game full of excitement from
start to finish, especially as a Scout may secrete himself should he see
the dodger approaching at a distance, only showing him- self when his man
has come within capturing distance.
A convenient circuit of long,
well-crowded streets Is selected, and a base area-about fifty yards of the
street -formed in the middle of some of the streets. A Scout will be posted
at the center of the area, and will be called a " Base-Scout." The number
of bases will depend on the number of Scouts-as each base needs one Base-
Scout and two opposers. There should not be more than six bases. The signature
collector and all Base-Scouts will wear a piece of red ribbon attached to
their buttonhole badges or pinned to their coats. The opposing Scouts will
wear blue ribbons.
The collector must go round
the circuit of bases and try to obtain the signature of each Base-Scout.
The opposing Scouts are posted, two to each base, to prevent the collector
from reaching the Base-Scout by simply touching him. If touched while
attempting to reach a base the collector gives up his own signature to
his captor and forfeits his own chance at that base. But if he reaches
the base area without being touched he is safe to obtain the signature
and leave unmolested to make his attempt on the next base. It is understood
he can make an attempt on every base. The bases are posted in a circle,
so that when he finishes his journey he will be back at the starting-point,
where the umpire is.
The Base-Scouts, being
in league with the collector, can aid him by signalling when best to make
the attempt. It therefore resolves itself into a competition between the
" reds " and " blues." The party of Scouts obtaining the most signatures
1) Hiding in shops is barred.
2) Cover must be taken
in the street only.
3) Base boundaries must
be well understood by all players at that base. If necessary, they may
be chalked out.
4) When the collector has
got through a base and obtained the signature, the opposing Scouts who
were guarding that base must not watch round another base : they are beaten
and must make for the starting-point.
Scouts should be mustered at
a given point, then divided into two sections, one section proceeding along
either side of the street, crossing. each other at the end, and returning
on the opposite sides. They may be sent either in line or irregularly, the
latter for preference, each carrying pencil and notebook or paper, and noting,
during their journey, every article or thing which is out of the straight.
It may be a placard fixed to a shopkeeper's door or board, or a small swing
sign, which is out of the horizontal, window-blinds crooked, goods in shop
windows markedly crooked, and so on. Irregularities on vehicles in motion
are not to be noted, as no opportunity would be given for the judge to verify.
Upon approaching the judge each Scout signs his own paper or book and hands
it over; marks should then be given according to merit, and a prize awarded
to the most observant Scout of the patrol which gets most marks among all
its Scouts. The idea is, that not only shall Scouts observe details, but
also that they shall make their entries in such a guarded manner and at
such times that Scouts following them shall not notice the entry being made.
This may be worked with or without a time-limit.
The scoutmaster goes along
a given road or line of country with a patrol in patrol formation. He carries
a scoring card with the name of each Scout on it, first reading to the Scouts
a list of certain things he wants. Each Scout looks out for the details
required, and directly he notices one he runs to the umpire and informs
him or hands in the article, if it is an article he finds. The umpire enters
a mark against his name accordingly. The Scout who gains most marks in the
walk wins. Details like the following should be chosen, to develop the Scout's
observation and to encourage him to look far and near, up and down. The
details should be varied every time the game is played ; and about 8 or
10 items should be given at a time. Every match found Every button found
Bird's foot track Patch noticed on stranger's clothing or boots Grey horse
seen Pigeon flying Sparrow sitting Broken chimney-pot Broken window 1 mark.
1 mark. 2 marks. 2 marks. 2 marks. 2 marks. 1 mark. 2 marks 1 mark.
Scouts are ordered to run to
a certain hoarding where an umpire is already posted to time them. They
are each allowed to look at this for one minute-of course no notes may be
taken in writing-and must then run back to headquarters and report to the
instructor all that was on the hoarding in the way of advertisements.
The Scoutmaster or Patrol-leader
takes a patrol down a street past six shops. He lets them stay half a minute
at each shop, and then, after moving them off to some distance, he gives
each boy a pencil and card, and tells him to write from memory, or himself
takes down, what they noticed in, say, the third and fifth shops. The boy
who correctly sets down most articles wins. It is a useful practice to match
one boy against another in heats-the loser competing again, till you arrive
at the worst. gives the worst Scouts the most practice.
When next you go scouting in
the streets, here are some things for you to note : The number of every
motor-car that is going too fast or whose driver is acting strangely; the
number of signs used by the policeman in regulating the traffic ; the various
chalk marks made on pavement and door- steps by surveyors, tramps, or children.
Which men turn their toes in. And if you wish to make a game of it all,
take a brother Scout with you. Let each look in a few windows for one minute
then go away and write down all the articles remembered. The one who gets
the most correctly is the winner. And though it may be a small matter in
itself, you will rejoice when you realize how quickly you learn to note
and remember and thus get a power which may make your fortune, all through
practice at scouting in the streets.
A CONVICT has escaped from
prison, and, being an inveterate smoker, the first thing he does is to buy
a large supply of cigarettes and matches. On a dark night a message is brought
to the Scouts that he has been seen in a wood close by, still smoking. The
troop at once turn out, and, enclosing the wood, silently try to find their
man by using their eyes, ears, and noses, as well as they can. The man,
who is playing the part of the convict, is obliged to keep his cigarette
in full view all the time, and strike a match at least once every three
minutes. Unless the Scouts are very sharp, the chances are that he will
slip through, and they will, after a few minutes, see the match flickering
away behind them. The " convict " must not, of course, be a Scout, for,
if he were, he would not smoke or give himself away like that. An hour or
two spent in practicing some " extended order " drill will make the troop
far more efficient in work like this, for boys invariably tend to crowd
together on a dark night instead of keeping an equal distance apart. A good
variation of the game, if no smoker is at hand, is to supply the convict
with a box of matches and a whistle, and make him strike a match and blow
whistle alternately every minute or two minutes, so that two different tracking
senses are needed at the same time seeing and hearing.
To be played at night. A town
or camp is chosen and defended by all the Scouts present, except one patrol.
The outposts must be carefully placed all round. The one patrol is to be
led into the town by a guide chosen from the defenders - he is the traitor
and goes round and carefully examines the defenses ; then slips out of the
town to meet the patrol at a, certain spot. He tries to guide them into
the center of the town, perhaps taking them two or three at a time or all
together in Indian file. If touched by one of the defenders they are captured.
Tracking by smell at night
is a very important part of scouting. An enemy's patrol has encamped at
a certain spot, and thinking all safe light a fire and prepare a meal. But
the sentry reports suspicious signs and sounds, so they immediately damp
the fire, but cannot stop the smoke. This should be carried out on a calm
but dark night in a fairly open spot-the smoke can be caused by smoldering
brown paper or damp gunpowder in a tin. The others have-to reach the spot
by smell, while the encamped party lie absolutely still.
This game should take place
across country at night. Two Scouts set off in a given direction with a
lighted bull's-eye lantern. After two minutes have passed the patrol or
troop starts in pursuit. The lantern bearer must show his light at least
every minute, concealing it for the rest of the time. The two Scouts take
turns in carrying the light, and so may relieve each other in difficulties,
but either may be captured. The Scout without the light can often mingle
with the pursuers without being recognized and relieve his friend when he
is being bard pressed. They should arrange certain calls or signals between
This night-scouting game not
only affords recreation but is a good test for hearing and eyesight, and
furnishes a splendid practice in judging distances. A Scout makes his way
across fields, in the dark, and on hearing his leader's whistle, shows a
light from a lantern for five seconds. He remains there, but hides the light,
and the rest of the Scouts estimate how far away and whereabouts he is.
I Then they set out to where they think the light was shown and each one
tries to get there before the others. The lantern - bearer hands over the
lantern to the Scout who first reaches him, and then it is that boy's turn
to go away and show the light. The Scoutmaster should note the various estimates
propounded by the Scouts, and though he may be unable to discover the exact
distance he should know which Scout gave the nearest figure.
Two or more Scouts (according
to number taking part) go out in pairs with ordinary bicycle or similar
lamps, and take up positions not nearer than 1/4 mile (or other agreed distance)
from starting-point. They are called outposts, and must not move their ground,
but may show or conceal their light as they think best. One Scout goes out,
say, ten minutes later carrying a hurricane lamp to discover the outposts.
He is called the runner and must not hide his light. One or two minutes
later the remainder start out to chase and capture both the runner and outposts.
They are called Scouts. Outposts and runners must not call to one another.
Outposts show their light when they think the runner is near, but must be
careful not to betray their position to the Scouts. As soon as the runner
finds an outpost these extinguish their light and make for the starting-point.
When the runner has discovered all outposts he does the same. No Scout may
remain nearer the starting-point than agreed distance - 100 yards or so,
according to circumstances.
A man has escaped through the
snow and a patrol follow his tracks, but they advance with great caution
when they think they are nearing his hiding-place because one hit from a
snowball means death, but he has to be hit three times before he is killed.
If he has taken refuge up a tree or any such place it will be very difficult
to hit him without being hit first. The hunted man has to remain at large
for a certain time, two or three hours, and then get safely home without
Each patrol makes a bob sleigh
with harness to fit two Scouts who are to pull it (or for dogs if they have
them, and can train them to the work). Two Scouts go a mile or so ahead,
the remainder with the sleigh follow, finding the way by means of the spoor,
and by such signs as the leading Scouts may draw in the snow. All other
drawings seen on the way are to be examined, noted, and their meaning read.
The sleigh carries rations and cooking-pots, and so on. Build snow huts.
These must be made narrow, according to the length of sticks available for
forming the roof, which can be made with brushwood, and covered with snow.
The snow fort may be built
by one patrol according to their own ideas of fortification, with loop holes,
and so on, for looking out. When finished it will be attacked by hostile
patrols, using snowballs as ammunition. Every Scout struck by a snowball
is counted dead. The attackers should, as a rule, number at least twice
the strength of the defenders.
This game is to be played where
there is plenty of untrodden snow about. Two Scouts start from the middle
of a field or piece of open ground, and five minutes afterwards the rest
are put on their trail. The two foxes are not allowed to cross any human
tracks. If they approach a pathway where other people have been, they must
turn off in another direction ; but they can walk along the top of walls
and use any other ruse they like, such as treading in each other's tracks,
and then one vaulting aside with his staff. Both of them have to be caught
by the pursuers for it to count a win. The foxes have to avoid capture for
one hour and then get back to the starting-place.
Two rival parties of Arctic
explorers are nearing the Pole; each has sent out one Scout in advance,
but neither of them have returned-they know the direction each started in
because their tracks can be still seen in the snow. What has really happened
is that each has reached the Pole, and each is determined to maintain his
claim to it and so dare not leave the spot. They both purposely left good
tracks and signs, so that they could be easily followed up, if anything
happened. (These two, one from each patrol, should start from head- quarters
together, and then determine upon the spot to be the Pole - each to approach
it from a different direction.) The two parties of explorers start off together
(about fifteen minutes after the forerunners left) and follow up the tracks
of their own Scout. The first patrol to reach the spot where the two are
waiting for them -takes possession, the leader sets up his flag and the
rest prepare snowballs, after laying down their staves in a circle round
the flag at a distance of six paces. When the other party arrive they try
to capture the staves ; the defenders are not allowed to touch their staves,
but two hits with a snowball on either side put a man out of action. Each
defender killed and each staff taken counts one point, and if the rival
party gain more than half the possible points, they can claim the discovery
of the Pole. Before the defenders can claim undisputed rights they must
kill all their rivals, by pursuing them if only one or two are left. (The
two forerunners do not take part, but act as umpires.)
This game requires a light
rope, five to eight yards of Canvas or leather filled with sand and weighing
about 1 lb. The Scoutmaster stands in the centre of a ring of Scouts and
swings the bag round, gradually paying out the rope until it becomes necessary
for the players to jump to avoid it. The direction in which the bag is swung
should be varied. The rate of swinging as well as the height of the bag
from the ground should be gradually increased. The object of the players
is to avoid being caught by the rope or bag and brought to the ground.
The scouts stand in single
file. Each scout puts his right hand between his legs, which is grasped
by the one behind. Then the first scout walks backwards, straddling No.
2. No. 2 repeats the movement, straddling No. 3, and so on, until the scout
that was first is in the last position. It is a clever gymnastic stunt,
and done quickly represents a snake shedding its skin.
This is a relay game, where
the first scout of each side starts kicking the ball from his goal to a
turning-point several yards away, then kicks the ball back through the goal
that he started from. When he has kicked a goal the second scout repeats
the performance of the first, and each scout repeats the performance. The
side that finishes first wins the race