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4. RESOURCES ~ PATROL ACTIVITIES

Balloon Game (Played by a group of German Scouts at the World Scout Jamboree in the Netherlands with anyone passing who wanted to join it !) Each person has an inflated balloon and writes their name on the balloon. Music is played and the balloons are thrown in the air and kept moving. When the music stops each person catches a balloon. The person with that name stands to their left and holds their hands, thus a line forms. 

Cup of Water Transfer Two teams, a race. Give each scout a plastic cup to hold between their teeth. Standing in a line pour water into the first Scout's cup. Scouts now have to transfer the water to the next in line without touching the cup. Prepare to get WET! - team with most water at the end in the last cup wins.

Card Game Players sit in a circle on chairs. Each player is shown a different card from a deck of cards and must remember their suit. The leader then turns up a card and calls out the suit. All players who had that suit must move one chair to the left. If there is still someone there they sit on their lap. Leader turns up the next card and the next move is made but only by a person sitting on a chair or on top of a pile of people. Instead of cards other rules can be used such as anyone having one brother; supporting Forest Green Rovers etc.

Here are some ideas from European Cub Scout Capers from 1993 :  Germany was the first country to use a simple Post Code system. Learn about our Post Code system. Make up sentences for Post Codes e.g. SN2 14TR "Say no to one for the road".  Or for another activity why not make Pretzels?

  • Make hot air balloons using tissue paper and burning cotton wool soaked in spirit to provide heat source.

  • Get Patrols to practice the high – speed stretcher technique. (One Scout grips the ends of two Scout Stave or light spars and his shirt/sweater is stripped off him directly onto the spars. The process is then repeated at the other end of the stretcher.

  • Give each patrol a postcard and ask them to cut it in such a way that it can be opened out to create an unbroken loop, which can pass over their bodies.

  • For a laugh hold a smell-making contest. Each Patrol is given a stove and a collection of food scraps- bacon – rind, onion, apple, mint, coffee, black treacle, anything that smells when heated. The object of the exercise is to fill the room with as many appetising smells as possible.

  • Allow five minutes for the solution of this problem- the retreating army has sabotaged the pontoon bridge by removing all the manhole covers from the pontoons. At the moment the manholes are above water level, but as soon as vehicles come onto the bridge, the pontoons will be depressed and will flood. A long line of vehicles is waiting to cross the river in pursuit of the enemy. You are in charge. You have no way of replacing the manhole covers. What would you do?

  • Let each Patrol construct a ‘Chain – Reactor System’ which from the initial impulse will trigger – off a series of movements of the greatest possible variety e.g. a string is burnt through by a candle flame and releases a weight which raises a miniature portcullis which allows a stream of pebbles etc…and so on. The ‘Reactor System’ which has the greatest variety of movement and lasts the longest is the winner.

  • Hold a ten minute Patrol competition to see how many items can be crammed in a matchbox

  • Go carol singing at Christmas

  • Each Patrol should be encouraged to have regular Patrol hikes and at least once a year hold a Patrol camp.

  • Each Patrol should be encouraged to establish its own identity – Patrol corners, Patrol flags, Patrol signs on Patrol corners, Patrol logs etc.

  • Invite your Patrols to set up and manage a Patrol Internet site.

  • In the past every Scout had a scout stave which was brought to the meeting each week and could be used for a variety of activities. Collect together a number of light spars, which can be placed in Patrol corners for use at meetings.

  • If a Patrol meets in the home of one of its members try to do a good turn for the hosts.

  • Provide your Patrols with a number of light spars and some sisal and challenge your Patrols to create a single archway that will stand unsupported from one wall of the den to the other.

  • The purpose of this exercise is to test the ability of your Patrols to organise and give precise verbal instructions to their Patrols. You should allow time for Patrol Leaders to brief their patrols before the exercises begin.

  • In exactly one minute from now the room will be plunged into darkness for the space of 60 seconds. You have one minute to organise your Patrol so that when the lights go out you can build a human pyramid three Scouts high which will still be intact when the lights go back on.

  • Without using knots, join six knotting ropes together to make the longest possible line which will hold together when held by its extremities clear of the ground.

  • Organise your Patrol so that when a signal is given – in about 3 minutes- all the following tasks can be carried out simultaneously in one minute or less:

    # Set a map

    # Put a bandage round an injured knee

    #Make a tripod

    # With a handkerchief only demonstrate how you would drag an insensible person from a smoke filled room

    #Without the use of a compass, draw a chalk arrow on the floor or ground pointing north-north east.

    # You have exactly three minutes to organise a relay race in which every Scout in the Patrol carries every other Scout from one end of the room to the other. Be ready to go when the signal is given.

  • Patrols compete to make the longest ‘lifeline’ with article of their own clothing. No great strain need be put on the line but it must hold together when held by its extremities without touching the ground.

  • Mark out an area about 6 meters in diameter and place in the centre, about one metre apart, two jam jars, one containing a lighted candle. Provide Patrols with sisal. Instructions: Working from outside the area, reverse the position of the jars in relation to each other. If the light go out, your failure will be complete.

  • Mark out a ‘River’ about three metres across. In the middle, place two billies, without handles, one containing water, one without. Supply Patrols with light spars and sisal. The problem - working from the sides of the ‘river’, pour water from one billy to the other and back without spilling a drop.

  • Mark out a ‘river’ about four metres wide. On the bank, opposite each Patrol place three washing up bottles, filled with water and loosely tied together at the necks. Each Patrol is given a selection of light spars, sisal and some soft wire. The problem – Without crossing the river, improvise a devise that will enable your Patrol to recover the bottles without spilling any of their contents.

  • Give the Patrols bamboo garden canes and elastic bands and challenge then to construct the highest standing tower in the shortest time.

  • Give the Patrols bamboo garden canes and elastic bands and challenge then to construct the highest standing tower that will hold a brick on top of it.

  • Give Patrols plain postcards and pencils for each of its members. Ask each Patrol to draw a sketch map that will enable a highly intelligent foreign Scout who can’t speak a word of English to find his own way from the nearest railway station or nearest bus stop to your Scout Hall or den. Put finished maps on display and invite comment and criticism.

  • A campfire stunt – Each Scout needs an empty drink bottle of a different colour and a powerful torch. The contents of the bottles are reduced by drinking sip by sip, until blowing across the top of the bottle can produce notes of the scale. A good deal of rehearsal is required to prefect this. The ‘orchestra lines up, each holding his torch below the bottle, pointing upwards. As each Scout blows a note in a tune he lights up his torch, red, blue, yellow as the tune progresses.

  • Fish for a Ball - You need a 2 to 2 1/2 foot / 2 inch diameter plastic pipe. Drill about 10 holes along the side 1/8" diameter at varying heights and sides. Fix the pipe firmly in the ground, and put a ping pong ball down into it. Provide Scouts with gallons of water and a jug, to be kept 5 paces away from the pipe. (Important)
    The Object: To fish the ball out of the pipe without moving the pipe.
    The Solution: Constantly fill the pipe with water till the ball rises to the top. Everyone gets very wet!

  • The hornets of Santa Cortez – An explorer has fallen from a tree knocking himself out and breaking his arm in the process. First aid must be given where he lies and he can only be moved by the use of a stretcher. In falling he has disturbed a nest of vicious hornets, whose sting is know to be fatal. The swarm is hovering above the injured man and is descending at a rate of 12 inches every minute. The rate of descent can only be slowed down by dense clouds of smoke.

  • Flood warning – Within ten minutes the whole area will be inundated to a depth of four feet. Darkness is approaching rapidly. A beacon fire must be lit to warn the villagers across the valley. The only gear available consists of six spars, four lashings, one old billy and a box of matches.

  • You are to conceal your patrol and this (some awkward looking item) in a tree at least 3 metres from the ground. Storms are expected so make a tree shelter.

  • Your Patrol has come upon a swamp containing deadly snakes that can reach up to 1 metre above the surface of the swamp. Cross the swamp. Patrols are given the necessary equipment to make a set of stilts.

  • Arrange eight used motor tyres so that they hang, at varying height, from a strong rope or spar. The object is to get your whole Patrol through them in the shortest possible time.

  • An incident trail - if you really want to be ambitious, you try putting together an incident trail over a two day period with patrols travelling over a course about 15 – 20 miles around a circular course. Incidents you might consider could include:-

    # A series of tyres suspended from strong branches – Scouts have to get through them, pick up an object (wooden spar) and return.

    # Scouts complete two brain teasers and identify a number of sound effects played to them on a tape recorder.

    # Each team is given the equipment to make a ‘transporter’ using Scout staves or light spars and then have to carry a ‘dangerous ‘ substance through a maze without the ‘transporter’

    touching the sides of the maze.

    # Each Patrol has to assemble a bicycle after which one Scout has to ride it over short course.

    # The Patrols are blindfolded except the Patrol Leader's who must direct their Patrol to pitch a tent

    # A scene is set up with a bicycle lying in the road beside a car with ‘driver’, ’victim’, and passer-by’ reacting appropriately. The Patrol has to deal with the situation.

    # The Patrol has to cross a deep ‘canyon’ using only the rope and pulleys provided.

    # The Patrol have to cross a mine field using three tyres; the idea was to have two people on each tyre while a third was moved forward for one of the pairs to get on to and so on across the ‘minefield’

    # Each team is given a number of light stars, which they must use to retrieve a number of batteries, which are out of direct reach. The batteries are then used to power a tape recorder on which they receive their next instruction.

    # The Patrol must get over an ‘Electric fence’ (garden net) without touching it

    # Retrieve a box (of explosives) from the middle of a stream using ropes and transporting it to a ‘safe’ area.

    # Letters for an anagram are transmitted over a distance of 50 meters using semaphore. This leads to a tape recorder that is locked in a box; on the box is a photograph showing the location of the key; the tape indicated the location of the next clue that is hidden in a test tube at the bottom of a pipe that can no be reached by your arm. Water is in containers nearby, so Patrols have to think of floating the clue to the top by pouring water into pipe.

    All the bases could be linked using map reading and references. All bases should have a time limit of no more than 15 minutes.

  • A problem for your Patrols - Bank employees have been trapped in a safe. A deadly poison will be released if the alarm is tripped. The problem for the Patrol is to negotiate the security system, open the safe, and rescue the bank employees from gas fumes. Each member of the patrol has to wear a gas mask, which restrict vision and voice communication (swimming goggles and cotton wool). ‘Infra red beams’ made by connecting fishing line to mouse traps are connected across the corridor leading to the safe

  • A time bomb has been found. A wiring diagram is available. The problem for the patrol is to de-arm the bomb. One person who is communicating with the Patrol using a walkie-talkie however can only see the drawing.

  • A selection of ideas using old newspapers:-

    # Make sculptures from rolled, folded and crushed newspaper, held together using sticky tape.

    # Using identical newspapers for each Patrol call for the first Patrol to find a photograph of a particular person, article, advertisement, answer to a crossword clue etc.

    # Each Patrol is to create clothing for a member of their patrol using newspaper provided. Best-dressed Scout wins.

    # Using newspapers only construct the tallest tower possible – provide patrols with elastic bands and sticky tape.

    #Using newspapers only construct a rope that will hold together when stretched from its ends free of the ground.

  • Provide each Patrol with a few old newspaper and see who can produce a paper rope which can be secured to an overhead branch, beam or what ever you have available and will support the weight of a Scout.

  • Set up ‘islands’ 10 meters in diameter and maroon each Patrol on the ‘islands’ for an hour. While on the ‘island’ they must do a number of activities – make a cup of tea, set up a signalling system, make a flagpole and raise a flag. Provide necessary equipment.

  • A patch of ground is radioactive and your Patrol must cross this area using 4 logs or boxes a rope and a light spar. Logs or boxes must be placed on the ground and not thrown into position.

  • You have 20 minutes to demonstrate square and diagonal lashings by lashing two Scouts together.


WALK ON SKIT - THE COURT

High Court Walk-ons (This is a unique skit that involves a series of walk-ons that must be closely arranged with the Campfire Leader. )

PROPS: Briefcase, a small ladder, and a banana peel.

WALK-ON #1: LAWYER: [enters carrying briefcase] LEADER: Hey, you with the case! Where do you think you're going? LAWYER: [strides in, holding up case] I'm taking my case to court! [strides through and out]

WALK-ON #2: (Later) LAWYER: [enters with case and step ladder] LEADER: Alright, where are you going now? LAWYER: [setting up step ladder] I'm taking my case to a higher court! [strides through and out]

WALK-ON #3. (Later) LAWYER: [enters with case and opens and shuts it] LEADER: It's you again! Where are you going with that case? LAWYER: To court - mine is an open and shut case! [strides out]

WALK-ON #4 (Later) LAWYER: [enters with case and banana peel] LEADER: [angrily] I've had it with you walking through here. Now, this is it! Where are you going with that banana peel? LAWYER: I'm going to the court of  aPEEL! [strides out]

WALKON #5 (Last time) LAWYER: [wanders in with no props, looking all around] LEADER: What's up nowl What are you looking for ! LAWYER: I lost my case. [trudges out]

 

Copyright since 1998 Paul Calleja-Gera - All rights reserved.

 

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