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30 Boy Scout and Girl Scout Game Ideas
A group of kids, young or old, can always be re-energized with a fun activity or game. Try one of these unique games, perfect for scouts of ANY age!
Daisies and Tiger Cubs (Ages 5-7):
- Introduction penny bingo. Print out bingo boards on a piece of paper. Have participants walk around the room and get signatures on each bingo square. Put their names in a hat and play bingo, as you would with numbers. Use pennies to cover the bingo boards.
- Laser beam streamers. Find a small room and tape streamers from one end to the other. Position them high, low, and crisscrossed. Pretend the steamers are laser beams. To win a prize, participants must get to other side without touching or ripping streamers.
- Garbage guy. Split into pairs and give everyone a garbage bag, a pair of tongs and a particular zone. Clean up a yard, church or school. Talk about being good stewards of the earth. Give an award for most garbage collected.
- Nature hunt. Give participants a list of items to collect in a bag from an outdoor area. Show examples of items beforehand. Maple leaf, elm leaf, pine needle, holly leaf, berry, pinecone, gumball, wild onion, clover flower. The first person who completes the list wins.
- Freeze dance. Turn up the music and dance. Stop the music and freeze in place. Hold that position for a couple seconds and then turn the music back on. Repeat. This is a great activity to get energy out in the beginning, or kill time at the end! The silliest position wins.
- Cake walk. Tape as many numbers to the floor as you have kids in the group. Write those numbers on strips of paper and put them in a bag. Turn on the music and walk in a circle. After a few seconds, stop the music and have participants stop on the number closest to his/her foot. Pick a number from the bag, and the person standing on that number is out. Repeat until you have one person left, the winner! The prize can be anything: cake, doughnut, piece of candy, trinket.
- Scrapbook. Print out 3-4 pictures for each participant highlighting the past year’s scouting activities. Provide art supplies and construction paper or cardstock. Decorate each page, punch holes in the corners, and tie some yarn through the holes to bind it together. Design stickers to award for silliest, most creative, or beautiful page.
Use SignUpGenius to create snack schedule sign ups! SAMPLE
- Limbo. Download a beach music playlist and use a swimming noodle as the limbo stick. Line up and take turns going under the noodle to music. Get creative and call out crab walk, crawl, dance under, forward bend, and limbo. As stick gets lower, do the limbo only. A winner is determined by who can limbo under the pole at its lowest point, without touching the ground.
- Drawing puzzle. Go outside and draw something in nature on a large piece of paper. Participants color and decorate, then cut paper into 12 puzzle pieces. Swap puzzles and assemble. The first person done wins. Provide a sample to demonstrate.
- Floor memory game. Cut out or draw 12 matching pictures or words (for a total of 24 pages): tree, flower, earth, cloud, leaf, bird, fire, recycling symbol, bear, deer, rabbit, hiking sign. Spread the pages on the floor, blank side up. Older children can turn over two at a time and then flip back to the blank side, repeating until all pages are matched. Use a stopwatch to see who does this in the least amount of time. Young children may leave pages turned over as they play, taking turns collecting matches as a group. Time the activity and see if you can improve each round.
Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, Cubs, Boy Scouts (Ages 8 & up):
- Photo booth. Provide silly props and an old sheet as a backdrop. Participants draw scenery on the sheet. Use your phone and take pictures of the kids. Email them to mom and dad.
- Sentence scramble. Select a motto, like the Girl Scout Promise. Write a sentence on paper and cut words into separate pieces. Place in a bag and each participant selects a word. Group the participants by how many words are in the sentence. The first group who lines up left to right in correct order of the sentence wins. It’s a great way to hammer in a concept like: “Cub Scouts are Good Stewards of the Earth.”
- Minute to Win It games. Minute to Win It Games are popular and many versions are available. “Junk in the Trunk” is a fun one. Thread a belt or long piece of fabric through the bottom of an empty tissue box. Reinforce those holes with duct tape. Put eight ping pong balls in the tissue box. Participants strap on the box and try to get the ping pong balls out of the tissue slot in less than a minute, without doing flips or lying down. Use a stopwatch. Make two boxes and race.
- Tic Tac Toe trivia. Write a list of trivia questions about previous lessons. Split into two groups. Group members collaborate on each question, with a designated spokesperson announcing the answer. A wrong answer means the question goes to the other group. A right answer means the group gets to put an “X” or “O” on the Tic Tac Toe board. The group who wins Tic Tac Toe wins the game.
- Fashion Show. Ask participants to bring their favorite American Girl doll, Barbie doll, or stuffed animal. Provide boxes of Aluminum Foil and have each participant make an outfit for her doll. (Trust us! Aluminum Foil TOTALLY works). Show them a sample beforehand. Host a fashion show at the end and give every “doll” an award: Most creative, sporty, pretty, fancy, casual, and unique.
Invite parents to help with your meetings! Schedule volunteers with a sign up. SAMPLE
- Remote Control Car Race. Ask participants to bring remote control cars. Draw a road on your driveway with sidewalk chalk. Set up plastic cups or cones along the course. The fastest or cleanest “run” wins.
- Capture the flag. Best played at night with older teens. Divide into two teams and pick geographical zones for each team divided by a path, stream or long piece of rope. Each team places its flag within their zone. Participants sneak into the other zone, trying to capture the other team’s flag and return it to their own zone. Players tag intruders and send them to “jail.” You may choose Nerf or squirt guns to tag. There are many variations of this game.
- Kick the can. Fun to play at dusk. Place a can in middle of the play area. The person who is “it” counts while people hide. When “it” finds and tags a player, that player goes to “jail,” a designated area near the can. Anyone who is not “it,” or anyone who has not been tagged, may sneak up and kick the can, thus releasing prisoners from the jail. If “it” can get everyone in jail, a new person is designated as “it,” usually the person who has been in jail the longest. Variations of this game exist.
- Night Sky. Print out a constellation map for your geographic location and time of year. Participants lie on their backs and draw the nighttime sky on a piece of paper/clipboard, highlighting and labeling the constellations. A strong effort on this activity gets double the normal amount of S’mores at the campfire!
Having a big campout? Use SignUpGenius to organize all of your troop needs for the campout. SAMPLE
- Birding. Spice up an ordinary hike! Ask participants to bring a pair of binoculars. Review pictures of birds native to the area. Identify as many birds as possible along the way. The player who identifies the most birds wins. Bring a “birder,” aka “birding expert,” along for the hike!
- Nighttime hike. For older teens only. Take a hike after-dark. Have hikers turn off the flashlights for awhile to experience the darkness. Give a surprise award at the end to the person who showed a quality like: bravery, sacrifice, or citizenship. (Note: It is best to talk about rules before leaving camp and post a chaperone at the beginning, middle, and end of the line.)
- Flashlight tag. Armed with a flashlight, the person who is “it” stands by the “jail” and waits for everyone to hide. The “it” flashlight remains on at all times. When “it” shines the flashlight on someone and calls out his/her name, that person goes to jail. That person can then become “it,” or they can wait in jail until everyone is caught. Play this game in reflective clothing/orange or camouflage. Discuss safe hiking/hunting practices or guerilla warfare, depending on your group, LOL. Variations of this game exist.
- Catch and release fireflies. Hand out plastic containers with lids. Kids run around and gently see how many they can catch. Clear plastic containers light up better, but make do with what you have on hand. This one is just for fun. No prize needed!
- Head bands. This game is sold in stores, but you can make your own. Write out words on pieces of paper and tape one to each participant’s head: maple tree, snake, hydrate, canteen, and backpack. Participants mingle around room and ask yes/no questions to figure out the word. First person to figure out his/her word wins.
- Squirt gun war. Hot summer day required! Supply squirt guns and large “re-loading” bins full of water in the yard. In winter, squirt guns could be replaced with silly string or Nerf guns. No prize needed, just have fun!
- Teach a craft, game, or survival skill. Ask two scouts to teach a favorite craft, game, or survival skill at the next meeting.
Plan a service project or fundraiser easily. SAMPLE
- Photo scavenger hike. Go on a hike and have each participant bring a phone, camera, or tablet. Provide a list of items to find: mushroom, centipede, cardinal, worm, lichen, buttercup. If safe and possible, take a selfie photo next to each item! All participants with a completed album get a prize.
- Make a public service announcement (PSA). Using a cell phone or tablet, divide into groups and produce a PSA about a topic of concern and write out a plan on how you would use or distribute it. Give awards for silliest, creative, persuasive. (Note: Get parental permission first before sharing these publicly!)
- Make a commercial. Need to sell Girl Scout Cookies or Christmas trees? Using a cell phone or tablet, produce a video with a “sales pitch.” Email it to family and friends if the group agrees! Get parental permission first. Give awards for silliest, creative, persuasive.
- Pin the National Park on the State. Show a video or movie about the national parks. Put a map on the wall. Give each person slips of paper with a different national park on each one. Take turns placing each park on the right state. The winner is the person who gets the most right!
With these great ideas, you’ll never have a scout meeting without a healthy does of FUN! Enjoy!
Emily Mathias is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC