There are plenty of other jolly games you can play, indoors or outdoors, in which blindfolding can produce the effect of Night Scouting without the eeriness of it, and so helps to get young and new scouts used to scouting in the dark. These are also good games for sharpening your ears and making your sense of hearing more acute and more useful to you when you do go out scouting at night.
All the players sit down in a circle, except one who is blindfolded. He stands in the center, points in any direction, and utters a bird or animal call ; or instead, he may laugh, moan or squeak. The boy who is pointed at must imitate the noise as well as he can, and the blind man must try to guess his name.
He may require the boy he points at to repeat his imitation of the noise twice more, to help him to recognize the voice. If the blind man is correct, he changes places with the seated player ; if not, he tries again. When there is a new blind man in the middle, players should of course change places.
Blind Man's Circle
All the players except the blind man sit down in a circle, and are numbered. Then the blind man calls out two numbers, and those two players must then change places, the blind man trying to catch one while they are moving. If he succeeds in firmly clasping one of them, he is unblinded and takes the captured one's place.
The new blind man is twirled round before the game is recommenced. This is good fun if silence is imposed, and the moving players go slowly and quietly, not just making a wild rush.
The circle should be large; experience, and the numbers present, will show you how large it can be with fairness to the blind man. If it is made very large, you may have two or three blind men in the middle at a time, though only one of them should call numbers. If it is too large, you can make each player whose number is called clap his hands once as soon as he hears his number ; this will give the blind man or men a chance to locate them.
Blind Hide and Seek
One player is blindfolded, and then all the others hide in the room, or round the edges of the clearing in the wood, and keep perfectly quiet. When the word to start is given, the blind man sets forth to grope for the hidden fellows.
When he clutches one he must identify him, by feeling his face, clothes, and so on. The captured one must not resist, of course. The blind man may tickle him if he likes! If he can identify his prisoner, they change places.
An umpire is needed, to ward the blind man off dangerous places, and to check the process of identification. The blind man must be allowed one guess at his prisoner's name; and must release him if he guesses wrong, and go on with his hunt. There may be two blind men, if the space for the game is large, or if the hiding places are numerous.
Players form a ring, facing inwards, standing. Two blind men are placed inside the ring, one being " cat " and the other " mouse." Neither of them may wander about the middle of the ring; they must keep round its inside edge, by touching the boys who form the ring.
Complete silence is necessary. To see those two blind men creeping round the ring, first one way and then the other, listening for each other, perhaps only a yard apart, is good fun for the onlookers !
It can be made harder for the " mouse " if every third boy in the circle is an "enemy" to him and a "friend" to the "cat." Whenever the "mouse" touches an "enemy" the "enemy" calls out "Here, Pussy!" which is a useful clue to the "cat." Both "cat" and "mouse" must keep in touch with the circle, by moving round in either direction, but touching every boy in the circle, as he moves along.
Blind Kim's Game
Those of you who think you are really hot stuff at Kim's Game may like to try this variation of it. You are all blindfolded, and then a number of articles are passed round to you as you sit in a circle. Your job is to discover by feeling or smelling it what each article is, and then to remember all the articles you have handled.
The umpire will fix a time limit for each boy to handle each article ; when he gives the word, the article you hold must at once be passed on to the next fellow on your left, while you take a new one from the player on your right.
When all the articles have been handled by all of you, they are put out of sight, and you take off your bandage from your eyes. You then have three minutes in which to write down the names of all the articles. Extra points will be given if you put them down in the order in which they came to you. It is not too easy!
Here are a few more jolly games that you can play, indoors or outdoors, by way of practice for night scouting. In the game called " Fog Walk " one Scout is blindfolded, the others are not. They stand close round him in a ring, facing outwards, and at a signal from the umpire (Scouter or PL) they all walk straight ahead. Everyone must walk straight, and must count how many paces he walks, counting silently of course.
Each one may walk as many Paces as he chooses, but must keep count. The blindfolded fellow stays still. When all are again standing still, the umpire points at any player, who then holds up his hand or hands, and shows with his fingers how many paces he has walked. Then the umpire calls out his name and the number of paces, such as " Jim Smith, six."
The blindfolded Scout then has to guess in which direction Jim is standing, and take six paces in that direction, though he need not walk in a straight line. If he can then touch Jim, they change places and start the game again. If, however, he has failed, the umpire leads him back to his original place in the middle, and points to another fellow, who likewise signals the number of paces he has stepped, and the blindfolded bloke has another try. After three failures, all return to the middle and start again.
To make the game a little easier, if this is thought necessary, the player pointed at by the umpire may call out the number of paces himself, his voice guiding the hunter. Paces should always be of normal length.
The players all sit down in a circle, with one blindfolded fellow in the middle. He holds a wooden spoon in each hand. After he has been blindfolded and the word to begin has been given, he stands up, turns round three times, and then walks in any direction, feeling his way with his feet, until he meets with the feet of one of the seated players.
Then he feels the face and form of the seated player, but " feels " with the spoons only, and tries to guess who the player is. He must not touch him with his hands or fingers, or with anything except the backs of the wooden spoons. He is allowed three attempts to discover the fellow's name, and if he fails he must turn round and walk across the circle, and try again to identify another of the seated players.
When he guesses correctly, he changes jobs with the one that he has identified.
All the patrol or troop stand in a fairly big circle, just holding hands at full arms' length. One in the middle is blindfolded, and holds a Scout Staff, or other long stick, in his hand. The circle of players move round a bit to confuse him, and then he points the staff in any direction.
The boy at whom it points must take hold of the end nearest him, and then the blindfolded one orders him to make some animal's or bird's particular noise, cow or pig or owl or cuckoo, or his own patrol call. When he has heard the sound, the blindfolded boy must say the name of the player who has made it. If he guesses right they change places ; if not, he tries again.
Listening Kim's Game
The S.M. or PL who is running this game should prepare beforehand a number of match-boxes, each of which contains some article or articles ; the boxes should be sealed up, and numbered. Such contents might include a halfpenny, a couple of matches, a few dried peas (not boiled! ), a lead bullet, a spoonful of flour, a spoonful of tea or sugar, two lumps of sugar, a button, a stump of lead pencil, a bit of chalk, a piece of bread, and so on. The boxes are passed round the circle of players, or set out on a table. Everyone may
shake them, try to guess the contents, and memorize them and the box number. When told, they go off and write down as many as possible. If this is too difficult to begin with, they may write them down at the time, instead of memorizing the numbers and articles; but it should be possible to add the memorizing after a bit of practice.
Prepare a number of parcels of various sizes, containing such things as a brick, a pound of butter, a pair of shoes, a lump of lead pipe, a packet of pins in a large cardboard box, and so on. Competitors are blindfolded, and the parcels are then handed to them, one by one; each player tells the umpire, who notes it down, his estimate of the weight of each numbered parcel.
Finally, if you want just a bit of fun at a party, seat two blindfolded people opposite each other, with their knees touching, and give each a bowl containing crumbled biscuits, and a wooden spoon. They have to feed each other!
water balloons for outside
styrofoam cups for inside.
Set up a "mine field" by randomly placing the water balloons (or cups) in a marked section of ground. A concrete slab or basketball court works well for this. Grass also works, but you will need to set boundaries.
Divide students into teams of 4 or 5. Give each team a blindfold. Put the blindfolds on one member of each team. The point of the game is for the team to get across the mine field with the fewest casualties the fastest.
If a person touches a mine he/she is out (if it bursts water on them, it just makes it more fun). A quick twist can be that if a person is out, then the ref makes it known by pouring a glass of water on their head. The team members must be their eyes and tell them which way to go. The blindfolded people crossing the field must stay within the set boundaries, and only one person per team may be on the mine field at a time (so they can't lead them by touch). Team members help each other by shouting directions. Works best if mines are close together and if teams are close together. Sponsors may yell out random directions to try to throw them off.
The trick is (don't tell the kids this until after it's over) for the person in the mine field to pick out a certain voice and listen to that one voice.