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504. Choose a letter from the alphabet, avoiding awkward ones like ‘X’ or ‘Z’. Each Patrol has a set time, 5 minutes, to find as many objects as possible beginning with the chosen letter.

505. Dark night activities –

# Test the rate of flow of a river by placing a lighted candle in a jam jar on a makeshift raft and timing it over a measured course.

# Divide the Patrol into two teams, equip each with a hurricane lamp and send them off in opposite directions round a circular course, the aim to arrive back dead on time without having been spotted by a rival Patrol.

# Each Patrol is given a stove and map references where they can pitch up the ingredients for a slap – up midnight feast, and set them on their way.

# Each Patrol is to make a hot – air balloon using large ‘light’ plastic bags and cotton wool balls soaked in meths as the fuel source. All balloons have to launch at a set time from a given location in a Local Park or open ground.

506. See if your Patrols can: -

# Make chocolate – covered raisins (nowhere near as easy as it sounds, the raisins must be completely covered)

# Build a realistic model of the Eiffel Tower using garden canes and elastic bands

# Have a meringue – making contest

# Build a devise that will open a can of coke and pour the contents into a cup by remote control. Nobody is allowed to touch the can or the cup at anytime.

507. A well known method of crossing a river is by means a sheer legs. The sheer legs are constructed on one
bank and placed in the middle of the stream. Then using another spar the sheer legs are pushed into an upright position with a Scout on board. Once across he sends the sheerlegs back for the next Scout.

  1. An ‘electric fence’ is set up (garden net) and the problem for the patrol is to get over it without touching it, anyone that does requires one minute of artificial respiration by another member of the Patrol.

  2. Make the smallest cup of tea in the world. Light a fire on a 1 coin and boil a thimble full of water on it. Add 1 tealeaf, 1 grain of powered milk and 2 or 3 grains of sugar.

  3. Patrols are challenged to either pitch their tents on a platform as high above ground as possible or at least 4 yards away from the bank of a river or lake.

  4. Top Secret Research – Arrange for an important looking person to arrive at the Scout hall and request the help of your Scouts with a research project. The project could involve some Scouting activity like designing a bridge that can be constructed using 3 poles or the best knots to use for tying up wild horses.

  5. Trading post. The Leader provides the where with all in the form of ropes, spars, compass and maps etc. to enable the Scouts to complete a number of basic skills which are listed on the trading post chart. Each Scout who complete an item is awarded a number of tokens or points. The Patrol with the largest number of tokens is the winner.

  6. Reactor transporter – Each Patrol is requested to make a tripod, which has its legs, lashed apart in such a way that it resembles a pyramid. From the top of the tripod a billy is suspended on light string. A rock is also suspended so that it dangles in the middle of the billy. Patrols have to carry the Transporter around a course without allowing the rock come in contact with the billy.

  7. 'I bet you can’t challenge' to Patrols: - make an umbrella, Make a positive plaster model of your Patrol Leader’s nose. Disguise one of your Patrol as Frankenstein, invent a code, Design a ‘Coat of Arms' for your Patrol.

  8. A river is created using sisal lines 4 metres apart. In the ‘river’ are placed a number of mousetraps. Patrols have to make fishing rods and catch as many ‘snappers’ as possible in a given time.

  9. Take a photography of your entire Patrol in a passport photo machine

  10. Above ground – Starting at a point say 2 metres above the ground, how far can you get without dropping below that height. Allow a period of time for Patrols to prepare.

  11. Cooking on water - Challenge your Patrols to make a cup of tea in the middle of a lake or river.

  12. Patrol Challenge – You have one month from now for your Patrol to attend the meeting of another Uniformed Youth Organisation’s meeting and give a report to the Troop at the end of this period.

  13. Don’t just sit there – the following is a list of activities you can undertake – repair an engine - look at wind machines – go boating – develop and print photographs – swim – abseil – play football, snooker, table tennis, operated a discotheque – build backwoods shelters – sleep in bivvies – learn to handle boats and gliders – do the athlete, canoeist, swimmer, camp cook and camper merit badges, visit the Theatre, a fire station, - go bowling, ice skating, play squash, and tennis, do casualty first aid make up, visit a nature reserve, camp and climb, travel on trains and buses – canoe to complete Scout tests – built a raft, sleep in a tree house you made, paint a number of pictures and make masks, cycle and camp along the way.

  14. Make a compact stove by rolling up corrugated cardboard inside a small tin. Pour candle wax into the tin so that all the holes in the corrugated cardboard are filled with wax. Char the cardboard by lighting to create a wick. Place lid on tin it is now ready to use.

  15. Hold a needle-threading relay wearing boxing gloves or any sort of gloves.

  16. A circle is created with sisal with a radius of 2 metres. In the centre is placed a wooden stake. Patrols have to cut the wooden stake in half without entering the circle. A saw and some sisal are provided to each Patrol.

  17. Indoor Olympics – standing broad grin – measure the widest grin in the Troop. Shot Putt – Try to throw peanuts into the basket at the bottom of the hall. Vocal High Jump – record the highest and lowest notes sung by members of each Patrol. Long Glum – Player who keeps the straightest face, while the other players laugh and joke, wins the game. Whistling contest – Upon signal each contestant eat two cream crackers. First to whistle wins.

  18. Try anything once! – Issue your Patrols with a list of unusual activities and ask then to at least try any of them once. Items might include – darning a sock, peel an apple keeping the skin intact, swim underwater for the length of a swimming pool, go ice skating, carve a woggle, help a local charity, etc.

  19. When on camp provide Patrols with some pottery clay and get them to make some camp pottery. When pottery clay has dried out fire the pots in a red – hot campfire.

  20. On camp make a ‘bucking bronco’ by lashing a barrel between four trees. Player climbs onto the barrel and the ropes attached to the barrel are shaken by the rest of the Patrol. Longest time ‘on board’ the bronco wins. Place some soft material under the barrel to soften landing.

  21. A popular stunt to try on camp or in the local park is where two buckets are joined by rope, which is passed over a pulley mounted at the top of a tree. The lower bucket is full of water, the top one is empty, and the challenge is to transfer water by relay through your patrol from the bottom to the top of the tree and eventually to get the buckets to balance. A variation is to use three buckets. The buckets are partially filled with unequal quantities of water and placed over a number of branches. The object is to balance the buckets by pouring water from one to another using mugs until all the buckets are hanging at an equal height above the ground.

  22. Record breaking challenges to your Patrols – Stand on one brick simultaneously, pitch a hike tent in under 1 minute, Make a matchbox knotting board 12 knots minimum, Transmit a message over 1 kilometre in less that 2 minutes without transport or telephone. Pick up 20 peas with chopsticks in less than 1 minute.

  23. Have Patrols make giant catapults or ballistas capable of firing wet sponges some distance. When completed have an inter – Patrol water fight.

  24. Patrol Leader swap – Arrange for the leaders to swap with the patrol Leaders and let the patrol Leaders run the meeting or better still a day at camp.

  25. Tape recorder ideas

# Interview techniques. Study some interviews on radio news broadcasts and see how much is packed into a very short time. Try recording some simple interviews.

# Music poll. Record short extracts from many different types of music – film music, popular classics, rock and roll, folk etc. Carry out a survey of your Troop to see what are the most popular pieces of music from the recorded pieces.

# Children’s hour. Take a children’s short story book and translate it into sound for a ten-minute broadcast, complete with introductory music, sound effects etc.

# Newscast. Produce a five-minute item, with different newsreaders, interviewers and reporters, based on last week’s edition of the local newspaper.

# Sound picture. Assume you are sending a sound picture of your local community to someone in America who has never seen the country.

# Using tape recorders, the patrols are given ten minutes to record a radio jingle for an imaginary radio station named after their Patrol name.

# Sound commentary. Record a commentary of a slide show for a parent’s night, including music.

# Act one. Record a short play, reading the parts obtained from a school or library and add sound effects.

# Each Patrol writes scrip for a brief documentary on Scouting. Then using tape recorders a report is created using vox-pop comments, interviews, and comment

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

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