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Scout skills: games in Scouting

Types of Games

Playing games is an ideal way to give young people experience of working in different sized groups. Some games focus on the individual, others require pairs to work together, others are organised with the section divided in half. Some games promote team work while others are enjoyed as a whole section. Some promote competition between individuals or teams; others rely on the young people co-operating together to succeed. A good section will offer over the three to four month planning period, a wide range of games, run in a variety of ways and balancing competitive and non-competitive games. Here are a few examples of different types of games.

Energetic games

This type of game can help the section release energy; something all young people, especially the younger ones, have in great abundance.

Relay games can be adapted to suit any theme, (assault courses, dressing up, carrying objects, hopping), and are easy to organise.

Snowball fight the section forms up on the banks of the river, defined by two ropes or chalked lines. Both groups are equipped with a supply of balls made out of old clean tights or newspaper balls and at the appropriate signal, throw the 'snowballs' at each other. Any snowballs that fall in the river are deemed to have melted and cannot be used.

Quiet games

This type of game can calm the section and be an opportunity for the less agile to do well.

Let’s pretend young people sit in a circle, an object is passed round (a stick, cloth or piece of rope). When the whistle is blown or the music stops, the young person with the object has to mime an action using the object. The rest of the section has to guess the action e.g. a paper plate as steering wheel, flying saucer, clock, mirror, etc.

Games of skill

This category can be split into two: physical skills and sense training skills.

Team games involving throwing balls into buckets or boxes from a distance.

Crab football this is the same as ordinary football, except the young people move around with their bottoms and their hands on the floor.

What's that? The young people listen to household sounds that have been recorded. How many can they identify?

What's in the bag? Each member of the team takes it in turns to feel an object in the bag. As soon as they recognise an object by feel, they run up and tell the Leader who marks it off a list. The first group to guess all the objects is the winner. This game could have a seasonal touch by using objects the young people would possibly find on festive occasions.

Outdoor games

Most indoor active games can be played outside, taking advantage of a larger playing area. It also gives the opportunity for collection games, e.g. collect six objects that are coloured red, different leaves, grasses, stones; the large scale ball games or chase games; and for treasure hunts and trails.


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