Set up a jail area (3-4 square yards) and a separate hiding spot for each flag. Jails are set up at opposite ends of a 5-20 acre area.
The object of the game is to penetrate the other team's area and capture their flag. A flag is 'captured' after it has been returned to the captor's jail area.
Prisoners are taken by having their arm or headbands removed by an opponent. Prisoners are taken to the jail of their captor's; then they wait there quietly until they are released. Prisoners can only be released when a member of their team (with arm or headband intact) runs through the jail in which they are being held captive. After their release, prisoners are given free escort back to a central spot near their end of the area. Here, they are issued a new arm or headband.
The game continues until a flag is captured, or time is up.
Note: Supervision at the jails and 'new arm or headband area' is important. Encourage teams to plan elaborate strategies of defence and offence.
Variation: try playing the game with three or four teams, each with its own jail area and hiding spot for their flag.
Divide the group into two teams. Have each team put on its armbands. One team becomes the smugglers - the other the spies. After the rules of the game are given, each team retreats to separate ends of the playing area (3-20 acres with open woods is ideal for the game.)
The smugglers each receive the tiny pieces of paper, which they are going to try to carry into enemy (spy) headquarters. The spies set up their headquarters inside a 10' by 10' square area that has its definite boundaries. The scorekeeper sits inside spy headquarters.
After each team has been given the opportunity to devise a strategy, play begins. The spies fan out away from their headquarters and try to intercept smugglers as they attempt to take their goods inside.
When a smuggler gets caught (tagged), he must stand still and permit a one minute search of his person by the spy who caught him. If the spy cannot find the piece of paper within one minute (paper has to be hidden in external clothing layers), the smuggler is free to try to advance again into the headquarters. If the spy does find the 'loot', he takes the piece of paper into spy headquarters and gives it to the scorekeeper, while the smuggler returns to his headquarters to receive another piece of paper.
If a smuggler penetrates inside the spy headquarters, he gives his goods to the scorekeeper, and is escorted back to his own headquarters by a staff person or leader supervising the game.
The game continues for a set period of time. When it ends, goods (points) are totalled, and a winner is declared.
The group is divided into teams of 6-8 players. The leaders or staff members who are to be 'hunted' are given a two-minute head start into the playing area (5 acre wooded area is ideal).
Teams have to stay together during the entire game. Each team begins to 'hunt' the staff members, who are required to blow their whistles at one minute intervals (or variations which you may want to work out). Leaders may remain mobile, or seek a hiding place.
Teams try to touch as many staff members as possible within the time limit of the game. Captured staff are immediately freed to run and whistle again. The team who tags the most wins.
Variation: as a night game, using flashlights instead of whistles. Same rules apply.
The game is best in a large open wooded area.
Players line up at one end of the playing area, while one player, holding a flashlight, stands at the other end.
The object of the game is to move from one end of the playing area to the other, past the person holding the flashlight.
The player with the flashlight stands with his back to the other players. Every five seconds, he turns around, turns on the light and scans the area for three seconds. If a moving player gets caught by the flashlight beam, he has to return to the starting end. Stationary players may remain where they are.
The first person to successfully move past the 'flasher' becomes the light for the next round.
Variation: The player with the flashlight keeps the flashlight on, and continuously scans the playing area. Stalking players dress in dark clothes. If stalking players are caught, they must return to the starting end.
Have the group sit in a circle. Choose one person to sit in the centre of the circle.
The leader gives the bell to one of the players, who begins to pass it around the circle.
The object of the game is to pass the bell quietly so that the person in the middle cannot guess who is holding the bell. Players may not silence the bell by holding the clapper - they have to try to pass it carefully enough so that it does not ring.
Divide the players into three teams. On the playing field, set up three goals in the shape of a triangle.
The game begins with a jump ball in the centre of the field. All three balls are put into circulation at once and players try to move the ball through either of their opponents goals.
The balls may be rolled, kicked or thrown to teammates. No player may hold a ball longer than five seconds.
Teams devise strategies to protect their own goal, while trying to advance to score goals.
Spotting Your Foes
Going back to the subject of spotting enemies at night, here are a few hints which you will find useful. First, when looking out for an " enemy," try to face away from the moon. It is much easier to see anyone if you have the moon behind you.
Secondly, always remember the skyline. Anything may form a skyline : the brow of a hill, a wall, the line of tree-tops of a wood. Human or animal figures always show up against a skyline, unless the night is really dark; even then the moonlight or the stars make a skyline against which a figure may be discerned.
If it is absolutely necessary that you cross a skyline, lie down and crawl over very slowly. If you are watching a skyline in the hope or expectation of seeing an " enemy " cross it, select a place to watch where movements are most likely to show-against a distant light or row of lights (such as a railway station shows), or against a light patch in the sky, towards the moon, or the sky-glow of a town.
In strange country you may see the skyline of a dark mass of something or other, and want to know what it is. The skyline of a hill is generally smooth and regular; that of a wood is jagged, and also the shadows vary in intensity.
Hollows or bushes on a hillside will be darker than the rest of the surface of the hill. A level, straight skyline will be a railway embankment, probably with signal lights somewhere along it; or a canal embankment, with no signal lights.
Use your eyes to spot tell-tale things like railway signals, motor headlights on a road, a lighthouse on the coast, moonlight reflected from ripples in water caused by a silently passing boat, the blur of an "enemy" slipping over a skyline, the flash of moonlight reflected from a field-glass, the luminous dial of a wrist-watch, or the unnatural bulge of an enemy hiding up a tree, seen against the stars.
Use your ears for the sound of trains shunting in goods yards or thundering over a bridge, motor-cars slowing down to turn at a cross-roads, the clink of a boot heel on a loose stone, the alarm call of birds disturbed by a passer-by, the lowing of beasts in a farm building, the bleeting of sheep in a field, frightened by an intruder, or the barking of a dog when a stranger approaches.
In conclusion, here are a few more tips about using your ears when Scouting at night. Remember that sound travels upwards best, so that you will hear better at the top of a hill than at the bottom; or near the top of a wall than the bottom, if you are listening to what is going on on the other side of it.
Sound also travels well along water; if you lie on the bank of a stream or river with your ear as close as possible to the surface, you will be able to hear noises made quite a long way up-stream, the sounds being carried down to you by the flow of the water.
You can hear a human voice talking ordinarily, or the hoof-beats of a horse, about 150 yards away, on a fair night ; a group of people talking, or walking along a hard road, about 600 yards away. Sound travels at the rate of about 380 yards a second or about 250 yards for every beat of your pulse if normal.
You can check distances by sound if you can see anything that becomes visible at the same moment as the sound is made, such as (on a moonlight night) the puff of steam from a locomotive's whistle and the sound of the whistle, or the flash of a rocket bursting in the air and the sound of the bang
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.
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.
This game helps the players learn each other's names and at the same time have some fun. It's a good 'ice-breaker' for the first night at camp.
One player is designated to be IT. He takes her place in the centre of the players, sitting in a circle in the dark.
IT suddenly flashes her flashlight on one of the players and asks "Who are your next door neighbours?" And then he flashes the light on the nearby neighbours.
If the player who was asked the question, can't name both neighbours correctly, he becomes IT.
If he does name them correctly, IT asks him "How is So and So?", naming either of the players.
If the reply is "OK", the players remain seated, but if the answer is "Not so good", all players must change seats.
While everyone is shifting IT tries to get a seat. If he succeeds, then the scout without a spot becomes IT
Before it gets dark, have the children look through a pair of binoculars. Everything will seem a little brighter because the binoculars collect more light than human eyes can alone. Owl eyes are 100 times more sensitive to light than human eyes.
Beforehand, create two matching sets of index cards with coded signals of dots and dashes. Each card has an exact match in the other set but no two cards within any set will be the same. Hand out a card and a flashlight to each of the children. Have the children practice making short and long flashes with their flashlight. Explain that fireflies find a mate by being attracted to a particular flashing pattern.
Participants block their ears with their fingers or palms and proceed along a route for about 100 yards. After a brief discussion of participants’ reaction to walking without hearing, present fox ears, in which participants heighten their hearing by cupping their hands behind their ears. With ears cupped, the participants turn their heads toward different sounds as they walk back along the route.
Discuss that animals like whitetail deer, cottontail rabbits, and skunk have prominent displays of white fur because even on a moonless night the white will show up at a distance. Next, in the yard or in a field, the children pretend to be deer and spread out as they browse. At some point, the leader flashes a white cloth (deer tail) and the group must return to the leader as quickly as possible.
Next, give white fabric to two or three of the children. Indicate that another child is a coyote. The coyote’s job is to try to tag one of the deer. To catch the deer unaware, the coyote should count to fifty before sneaking up on the herd. The adult deer (the ones with the white cloth) must pretend to browse but they must also look for any danger. The first deer to see danger and raise their tail, should lead the group away from danger. Deer do not run off in every direction. They stay together.