: beaver scouts : cub scouts : scouts : venture scouts : leadership :

Member group of Scouting Ireland 91st Dublin Scout Group, Bluebell & Inchicore





Programme Idea
>>> Activity Ideas >>> Air Activities >>> Art >>> Astronomy >>> Axemanship >>> Camping >>> Climbing >>> Codes >>> Community >>> Cooking >>> Crafts / Skills >>> Culture >>> Cycling >>> DIY >>> Duty to God >>> Electrics >>> Emergencies & Rescue >>> Engineering >>> Enterprise >>> Estimation >>> Fire lighting >>> First Aid >>> General proficiency >>> Hiking >>> History >>> Hygiene >>> International >>> Keep Fit >>> Map Reading >>> Nature >>> Observation >>> Orienteering >>> Patrol Activities >>> Pioneering >>> Ropework >>> Safety >>> Scoutcraft >>> Service >>> Signalling >>> Sport >>> Survival >>> Thinking >>> Tracking >>> Visits >>> Water Activities >>> Weatherlore >>> Wide Games

>>> Air ActivitiesOn the obstacle course
Name the starting place of an aircraft and state the direction and speed of flight, and give the time spent in the air. So who is the first to plot the landing place on the map.

Make a kite

Make model planes - Airfix or balsa models

Visit a nearby airfield or harbour and work out the compass course of aircraft and shipping.

Obtain a book on making paper planes and get Patrols to make different designs. Have a landing contest, longest flight contest. Best flyer etc.

Make plastic parachutes and use them to experiment as to the best size to float different weights to the ground

Ask a pilot to visit the Troop and demonstrate how a plane is navigated from airport to airport

Borrow a computer and bring down to den. Arrange to have a flight simulator programme available for Patrols to try.

Visit an airport

Arrange an air symbol and aircraft shape quiz.

Learn about air traffic control signalling and radio procedure. Visit an air traffic control centre.

Have a Frisbee throwing competition.

Construct a model rocket and launch it in open ground after permissions have been obtained.

Give each Patrol a number of sheets of thick aeroboard and ask them to sculpt a piece of art.

Make boomerangs and learn how to throw them.

Make hovercrafts using aeroboard and card and an elastic band powered propeller. How an Inter - Patrol races once trails have been completed by Patrols.

Lay a model aircraft or small boat on a map. Each Scout in turn works out the compass bearing of the model from a given direction.

Darken the room. The light of a moving torch flashing on the ceiling represents an aircraft. Each Scout in turn calls out its compass direction.

Patrols are given the where with all to make a kite. First Patrol to make and fly their kite is the winner

>>> Art
Arrange the members of the Patrols so that by using a strong light a profile shadow can be cast onto a piece of paper placed on a wall. Create shadow profiles of each member of the Troop.

Get each Patrol to explore the art of batik - designs are created on cloth using wax, which are then dyed in coloured dyes. When ironed the wax is removed from the cloth.

Get the Patrol to explore tie-dyeing. Make a unique design for Patrol T-shirts etc.

Arrange an Inter-Patrol photography Competition with a ‘Patrol camera’ as a prize.

Borrow a number of video cameras and challenge Patrols to make a horror film.

Try blow painting with a straw and some paint.

Put on a Scouting display. Patrols are requested to build display stands and decorate them. Invite parents, teachers and young people to display

Prepare and perform a one act play

Give each Patrol 5 minutes to select a place not too far from your den that they know how to get to. The Patrol must then present a mime of their ‘mystery tour’. This might include getting on buses, crossing at traffic lights, cycling etc. Other patrols have to guess where they are going.

Provide Patrols with a number of dyes and allow Patrols to experiment with tie dying.

Each patrol are given photocopies of a number of magic tricks and are given a set time say 15 minutes to perfect the trick or tricks. Hold a magic contest later.

Provide each Patrol with a desk lamp, some large sheets of paper and a pencil or felt - tipped pen. Each Scout is shadowed on a sheet of paper and the outline of his head drawn out while he remains still. Cut out each outline and challenge the other Patrols to identify each other

Make a small screen printing press and have Patrols print their own neckerchiefs or T-shirts for camp.

Create a real mess! Patrols are given large pieces of paper and poster paints and invited to create finger paintings.

Create mobiles from driftwood or other items found while hiking or camping.

Invite a photographer to your meeting and learn how to take and develop your own photographs

Using an old toothbrush and some paint create splatter prints of leaves and other objects which can be used later for Kim’s Games

Patrols create a collage on a selected subject using pictures etc. from old magazines and newspapers.

Create a Patrol or Troop newsletter. Set it up using a desktop publishing package and print it on Unit duplicator or with assistance of local printer, who may also let up do the work under direction.

Make potato prints by carving a design on sliced potatoes. Use poster paints or fabric paints to print designs on paper or fabric.

Obtain samples of calligraphy writing and have Patrols create an opening page for their Patrol logs.

Using the technique of paper mashie create masks for the members of each Patrol. Paper strips are placed on mould and using Polybond layers are built up to create mask or other objects.

With the assistance of a drama teacher or mime artist Patrols should create a short mime act.

Patrols are given short plays and have 30 mins. to learn their lines and perform the play for the Troop.

Obtain a book about face painting and give each Patrol a small face painting kit. The Patrol must face paint each other. Perhaps as the animal the Patrol is named after. Good activity for Halloween Party.

Make a horror video. Patrols must create all effects and make the ‘monster’ as well as direct the filming. Video camera can be borrowed from parents.

Patrols make a number of puppets and put on a play for the rest of the Troop.

Using only your hands and body parts create shadowgraphs - shadow puppets and put on a short play for the Troop.

Using paper and charcoal sticks or crayons create a number of ‘brass rubbings ‘ in your local graveyard or old church. Or as an alternative you could ‘brassrub’ tree barks or manhole covers.

Create a number of pottery pieces using the coil or slab method and fire using a camp kiln or as potter to show you how to made pottery on a wheel.

Macnas, the Galway Art Group, create weird and wonderful costumes for their parades. Set the Patrols the task of creating costumes for a space age parade or other weird event.

Visit an art gallery. Create a wide game/treasure hunt relating to the detail in each of the paintings.

Make a viewfinder for use when drawing panoramas. Obtain a piece of strong card and make a viewing slot 200mm x 100mm. Divide this opening into a grid with thin string or wire. Look through the viewing slit when using it.

>>> Astronomy
Scouts on a recent camping expedition
Borrow a telescope, and try stargazing on a clear night. Carry out a night hike, finding the way by the stars.

Try making a star chart to hang up in the den. It could also show the various constellations, comets and moon phases.

Sky Gazing - all lie on your backs. How many different things can you see without moving your head (e.g. clouds, birds, planes, trees, etc.)

One of the most vivid memories you can create in the minds of Scouts is to spend a night out under the stars. A groundsheet on the ground and a warm sleeping bag, plus the talk of stars and planets not to mention spaceships and ET life on other planets. You will nearly always end up talking about the wonder of the Universe and the place of God in its creation

Make Star charts to enable your Scouts to quickly identify the constellations while out and about watching the skies.

Make a moon compass, which can be used to determine direction when travelling at night.

Visit an observatory or planetarium

Challenge your Patrols with the NASA exercise that requires the patrol to choose from twenty items, which are available on their crashed space ship. The items must be chosen and their choice must be justified.

There are many space-related video games available at the moment. Seek out the games that require thinking rather than shooting and blowing up and have a space game evening on computers

If there is a leisure complex near your area, bring your Patrol Leaders out for a treat on the virtual reality machines.

Make home made telescopes to aid in viewing the skies. If you feel really ambitious you could contact astronomers whom often build their own large telescopes and will be able to advise you on designs etc.

Create training aids by punching holes in the bottom of tin cans to represent the different constellations. These can be used by pointing the tin can at the light so that light shines through the holes.

Space - the final frontier. Explore the possibilities of space travel with your Scouts. You could devise a programme theme around this subject matter.

ET Phone Home - could your Scouts set up a mechanism that would allow them to contact home from space? Can your Scouts contact people on Earth -  by phone, E-mail, Fax, etc.

>>> Axemanship
Visit a sawmill or place where tree felling is taking place.

Cut fire wood for the aged and sick

Find a farmer or landowner that would allow the patrol to help him with logging up and sawing, or felling light timber and trimming hedges. (This is an ideal way of obtaining staves for pioneering).

Using only a hand-axe build a lean - to or natural shelter.

Make sheaths for axes

Try craving and whittling

Scouts should be able to repair a broken axe shaft. Put on a new shaft and fix the head using wedges.

Make a ’stone-age’ axe as used by primitive man

Rig up a chopping block, saw-bench and grindstone in the den, and practice chopping and sawing and sharpening axes and knifes

Hold a quiz on the safety first rules of axemanship
Using sharp penknives crave a decorative walking stick, woggle or trophy.

Make sure all of your Scouts know the rule of knife and axe and are able to handle a knife properly and sharpen it when required.

Strike the match - Place a match in a piece of board. One board for each Patrol and an axe. Patrols approach the boards in relay fashion and try to split the match using the axe.

Divide the Patrol in half. See which half can pitch a tent in the shortest time.

Try tent pitching in the dark

Build a sleeping shelter in a tree

Make hike shelters from plastic slung from trees

Finish off a campfire or meeting by making popcorn.

Scouts should know how to make a bed with two blankets and some blanket pins.

Experiment with different kinds of beds, using leaves in bags, ferns and spruce tree branches

Make a camp loom

Devise a lighting system for your tents on camp. Practice wiring methods so that this system can be set up quickly on camp

Make sure everyone is informed on camp. Set up a camp notice board to act as a focal point for information.

Go on a night hike using only the stars to find direction

Waste disposal is a serious consideration on camp. Make sure your Scouts know the rules of hygiene and waste disposal and how to make above ground water waste filter and disposal units.

Who needs tents - camp out under the stars, make a bivvy using your bike as the shelter support, sleep in a barn.

Patrols are given the necessary materials so that they can create a number of prefabricated gadgets for use on camp. Ideas might include: - tabletops that can be rolled up, camp seats, wash up stands, patrol boxes.

Hike tent fun:
(1) Blind fold tent pitching. All the Patrol blindfolded except the patrol Leader who is chair-bound five metres away.
(2) Chain gang pitching. Tie the patrol together in a chain, left wrist of number one to right wrist of number two, and so on. Variation - try it again this time with their ankles tied.
(3) Island Tent pitching. Peg out the groundsheet. Place ‘aboard’ the Patrol, tent, poles and pegs. Patrols have to erect the tent without leaving the area of the groundsheet.

Patrols are challenged to construct camp deck chairs

Experiment with a hammock slung between two trees and covered with a shelter sheet.

Run a camp - gadget - making competition between members of the Patrols

Obtain permission when hiking to use a farmer’s barn instead of a tent. (Try and do him a Good Turn before leaving).

Try the following types of camp: boating, cycling, hiking and trekking.

Organise explorer camps. Make maps as you go and bring back full reports of the area explored

Make bivvy sheets and lightweight tents

On Camp Patrols should be encouraged to create weird and wonderful campsite gates.

Construct a Patrol trek cart, capable of going anywhere.

Make model Patrol and Troop camps for handicraft exhibitions

Overhaul camp gear.

Hold a camp with a Viking theme. Patrols dress up as Vikings, make Viking gates, jewellery and artefacts (visit museum for ideas) and hold a Viking feast.

Build a double-decker tent tower and sleep in the tents overnight.

>>> Climbing
Try climbing trees with commando ropes

Practice walking and climbing when roped together.

Practice the procedure for crossing rivers so that your Patrols are prepared for this occurrence should the need arise.

Exposure can be a real killer for those who venture into wild countryside. Make sure all your Patrol Leaders are aware of the symptoms and know what to do

Learn how to make a prussic knot and climb up a rope.

Patrols should know and practice the methods of belaying a climber for use while climbing or for rescue work

Under supervision of a trained and experienced climber abseil down a cliff or building.

Visit an indoor climbing wall and learn to climb

Practice climbing techniques by climbing at low level on large boulders, stone walls and small outcrops of rock.

Invite a mountaineer to your meeting to talk about climbing and mountaineering and show you some slides of his/her adventurers

Take part in a Regional or National Mountain Pursuit Challenge

Make a small climbing wall in your den

>>> Codes
Make a secret code ’gadget’. This could consist of two revolving discs pinned together at the centre. The ordinary alphabet is on one disc and the Morse and semaphore alphabets on the other. To use, read from one disc to the other, after setting it.

Patrols devise a simple code and encode a message that is passed to another Patrol to decipher. See which Patrol deciphers the message first.

Establish a secret code for use among your troop members, which can be used in wide games etc.

A well-corked bottle has been found washed up on the beach, and contains a map relating to hidden treasure, with directions in code. Leader pins map on bulletin board, for each team, on signal, to copy out, decode, follow instructions, and try to be first to locate hidden treasure

A week before the next Troop meeting each Scout receives - by mail to his home address - a message in the Troop code. The message when deciphered tells of a surprise activity on the coming Scout meeting night and gives instructions.

Organise special Good Turns for people in your community

Take your patrol Leaders to the local courthouse so that they can see how the court system works.

Organise some fictional court case and have your Patrols act for the defence and prosecution. Venture Scouts could be asked to role-play the various witnesses.

Give Patrols a map of a fictional area that consists of a river a main road, a bog, a pond and an historical site. Patrols are asked to design a town, which consists of housing of all types, schools, shopping centre, factories and leisure facilities.

Contact your local tidy towns committee. There is always something that Scouts can do to enhance their local area. Take on a project rather than ‘slave labour’ jobs such as picking up litter.

Make and erect a community notice board

If you live in an interesting area of the country or if there is potential to establish an historical trail in your town or area, set up your Patrols as tour guides during the summer months.

>>> Cooking
Each Patrol makes an altar fire and cooks something on it.

Make conservation stove and boil a billy of water on it.

Plank a fish. Build a reflector fire. Obtain a clean plank or flat face of a log and pin a gutted fish, flesh side facing out, to the plank using hardwood pegs or metal pins. Place plank near the fire, rub butter onto flesh of fish and cook fish by reflected heat.

Use tin foil to make a reflector oven. Cook scones or buns in it.

Make a Patrol cookery book.

Cook at Patrol meetings, if necessary on a stove. See also what can be done on a candle.

Entertain another Patrol to a patrol feast.

It is possible to make a simple oven using bamboo canes, a tin foil tray and a turkey oven bag. The bamboos are placed in the ground and the tinfoil tray is fixed to the bamboos so that it can contain charcoal. A further tray is placed above the charcoal tray. You should now have a small tower structure. The turkey bag is placed over the bamboos and you have your oven. As the turkey bag is clear you can see your food cooking. Have your Patrols experiment with this idea.

An oven can be created using two terracotta flowerpots. The pots are placed one on top of the other, opening to opening. When food is placed inside the pots are then sealed with mud and the pots are placed in the fire. Have your Patrols experiment with this idea by making some brown bread or scones.

Each Patrol is challenged to produce a meal for £2

Invite the cook from the local Chinese restaurant to your meeting to show you how to cook the Chinese way.

Every Patrol should be able to plan a detailed menu for a weekend camp, which obey the suggested food groupings and diet, list quantities required and cook all of the dishes.

Scouts should be able to prepare and cook all of their meals whether at home or on camp.

Patrols should experiment with cooking a meal on a stove with only one pot. Careful planning is required to have everything ready to eat at the same time.

It is a good idea to encourage Patrols to keep a record or cookery book with details of favourite recipes and meals.

Every Scout should know how to set a table properly.

When your Patrols and scouts are cooking always insist on the highest standards of food hygiene, particularly when cooking on camp.

Patrols make and experiment with conservation stoves make with 5 lt. Oil cans. These stoves are more proficient at burning fuel than conventional open fireplaces.

Patrols are asked to construct a sawdust cooker using a bean tin and some sawdust. Patrol test efficiency of stove by boiling a pint of water in a billy.

Make a camp oven using an oil drum covered in clay. The chimney can be constructed from tin cans. Use it to cook a chicken or bake bread on camp.

Ask a Scout parent renowned for his or her cooking to spend some time with the Scouts to teach them new techniques and recipes. The Scouts can then be challenged to produce a top - class three course meal for important guests, such as your Troop’s helpful parents or maybe for the youngest members of the Patrol.

Hold a pancake party - Patrols make batter and make pancakes on stoves. Novel items might include: - pancake tossing contest, making multi - coloured pancakes with food dyes, making the biggest pancake.

Make a solar cooker and cook a hot dog in it.

Hold an international cooking night. Give each Patrol a country from which they must produce a dish or tradition meal at the next meeting. When meal is cooked Patrols taste the food of other Patrols.

Experiment with hay box cookers made using cardboard boxes and insulation material - fibreglass or the more traditional - crumbled newspaper or straw.

Using self - raising flour and water make dough, which can be used to make twists by twisting the dough around green sticks and baked over a fire.

Ash breads - Sweep the coals and ash of your fire to one side, and cover the fire - bed with leaves. Lay several 25mm thick cakes of dough on the leaves cover them with more leaves and replace the hot coals on top. Test in 10 minutes by pushing a wooden splinter into the dough cake. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. If dough sticks, give it a bit longer.

>>> Crafts / Skills
Make plaited belts and sennits

Make woggles and Patrol flags

Make knife and whistle lanyards.

Each Patrol should learn how to plait a tradition leather woggle. Take a standard woggle and de-plait and ask Patrol to re-plait. Provide Patrols with instruction sheet to follow. Once plaiting is mastered Patrols could make their own woggles with coloured leather.

Leather craft - Provide Patrols with strips of leather some cutting tools and instructions for making axe cases, belt purses, woggles and moccasins

Make a campfire blanket

Hold a board game night - snakes and ladders, Ludo, Chess, Draughts, 4 in a row etc.

Learn how to make a Turks head woggle and then teach your Patrol Leaders who can teach their Scouts

Learn to darn and sew

Make a pair of Moccasins or sandals

Make a small pouch for you belt in which a survival kit can be placed.

Make a portable screen for Patrol corners.

Patrols are requested to bring the necessary materials down to the next meeting to make bows and arrows. When made have an archery contest

Provide Patrols with sisal and request them to produce a string bag which will hold 6 tennis balls.

Provide Patrols with sisal and rope and ask them to make a hammock capable of holding a person.

Make a totem pole

Ask all of your Scouts to bring a bar of soap down to the next meeting. Provide Patrols with sketches of objects they can carve and set them free to sculpt.

You have heard of ships in bottles - why not challenge your Patrols and Scouts to put a campsite inside a bottle.

Make a Patrol table, and candle sticks, log chairs etc.

Many Scouts have a wide variety of hobbies. Try and discover some of the more unusual ones in your troop and ask them to do a short presentation to the Troop.

Hobbies exhibition - Each Scout brings a number of objects connected to their hobby and puts them on display in their Patrol Corners.

Provide the Patrols with the material to make a pin hole camera - tin, tinfoil, photographic paper, chemicals for processing and an instruction sheet and send them out to get the best picture possible.

Making things - Go cart, Climbing net, Film, Hammock, Yacht, Raft, Furniture, Hot air balloons, Bike, Stilts, Candles, Fishpond, Pannier Bags, Toys, Model cars, Gliders, radio controlled models, Tree house, Float for parade, Axe masks, skateboards, surfboards, Magazine, Adventure trail

Learn new skills - Painting, bowling, poster making, trail biking, Scout show, plays, magic acts, fishing, roller skating, ice skating, water skiing, kite making, boomerang making, electronic experiments, woodwork, carving, copperwork, enamelling, sailing, pottery, snooker, swimming, first aid, photography.

Keep a Patrol logbook and songbook.

Make a Patrol box for storing gear. These can also be used as seats.

Explore photography with the help of a local photographer.

Try making a basket using raffia.

Using soft metal challenge Patrols to make toasting forks, branding irons, pot stands and fireplaces for camp.

Try burning mottoes and pictures in wood.

Run a weekend camp especially for cooking experiments, and the making and using of camp ovens, etc.

Make useful utensils out of old tin cans

Carve wooden spoons and cups

Crave the classic ball and chain from a piece of wood.

Create a camp band by making musical instruments from odds and ends such as ‘wavin’ pipe, tin cans, cardboard boxes etc.

Issue the Patrols with instruction for a number of rope tricks and request Patrols to perfect one of the tricks and display it to the troop later in the meeting.

Provide Patrols with a number of tins and a pair of tin snips and a rivet gun and ask Patrols to recycle the tins and create a useful item such as a stove or a cup.

Scouts are challenged to make a miniature campsite in a matchbox for judging at next weeks meeting

Make a pipe for blowing up a fire. Elder wood, with a pithy centre taken out is good for this.

To decorate the walls of the den, paint Native American Indian and Scout signs on bright colours on sheets of old tent fabric.

Practice feeling the way through bushes and trees, using a Scout stave or bamboo cane, blindfolded or in the dark.

Practice climbing and pole jumping with Scout staves

Try using Scout staves as fishing rods

Carve and decorate a Scout stave

Make friendship bracelets, using Patrol colours in the design.

Using leather design a book cover for the Patrol log.

Make tripod camp seat using leather for the seat and three poles arranged in a tripod for the support.

Lay a small object or ’treasure’ on the den floor. Try finding it blindfold, by feeling the way with Scout staves or bamboo canes.

If you can borrow the necessary bodyguards, try quarterstaff fighting with Scout staves.

>>> Culture
Encourage your Scouts to learn an Irish ballad or play a piece of Irish Music on a musical instrument.

How many of your scouts know how to do some Irish dancing - Riverdance style or the simpler Ceilí dances

Storytelling is a much-treasured skill. Have you a storyteller of note in your Troop? Hold a contest to discover the best storytellers in your Troop.

Use programme themes based on Irish legends and stories.

In olden times the Taintean Games took place each year at Tara. Devise a Taintean Games for your next camp.

Make whistles and learn to play an Irish gig on it.

Patrols are challenged to explore the old customs and old wives tales of their district. Try out some of the customs and remedies suggested

Make Bridget’s Crosses from rushes.

Discover and play old street games - parents can help

Visit the museum and run a treasure/scavenger hunt in the museum.

Visit an art galleries compare old art with modern art by visiting the National Art Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art. In particular explore the art of Irish artists

Discover old herbal remedies and make and try them out ( under supervision)

Invite a local poet to your Troop meeting to read some of their poems to the Troop. Create your own poems with the help of the poet.

Patrols are challenged to discover a traditional craft and make pieces for display for the next meeting

Patrols are asked to bring down to the next meeting old phonographs so that the Patrols can compile a mental picture of life in days past.

>>> CyclingFootball practice for the Leaders
Scouts bring bicycles to next meeting and demonstrate care of bicycles and how to repair puncture.

Organise a quiz on the rules of the road.

Organise a cyclo - cross event - Cyclo - cross is a competitive cross-country race on bicycles, including some stretches where the riders need to dismount and carry their bikes over or through obstacles.

Patrol Leaders choose a topic from the following list for the Patrol to investigate during a cycle hike. Many areas of the country have special features peculiar to the locality and these may provide subjects for investigation. Bridges, country crafts, county industries, crops, gates, historical sites, place names, rocks, signposts, tombstones

Organise a bike rodeo - this is a suitable activity to run in a local park or supermarket car park or school playground when not in use.

Can drop - set up large empty tins in rows. Give each contestant a number of small stones, which must be dropped into each tin as the race around the course.

Spiral course race - draw a big spiral on the ground. Each contestant tries to wind around the spiral and reach the centre without touching the lines of the spiral at any time.

Obstacle course - set up a mini obstacle course, up planks, through barrels, over a bridge, over a see - saw, through a slalom course etc.

Slow and steady - The object of this race is to see who can ride the slowest over a given course.

Straight line riding - see how long Scouts can travel along a painted line without wobbling off; or paint a figure of eight for the same purpose.

>>> DIY
Invite a number of people to your meeting who can do unusual things - put cement on a brick, roll pastry, draw a cartoon face, shave cream of a balloon without it bursting, juggling. Patrols are given a short demonstration and then have to do their best attempt. Points awarded for best effort.

There are always odd jobs to be done around the Scout hall/den. Hold an odd jobs night, and award contracts to Patrols to complete the jobs. Patrols are paid with ‘Monopoly’ money, which can be redeemed, later for sweets, tea and bickies or bags of chips.

Arrange a practical session with a local mechanic. Patrols learn how to change a wheel, change spark plug, etc.

Get patrols to construct Patrol trek Carts that can be used on camp or for carrying equipment to local campsite. Take part in trek cart races and enter National Trek Cart Race.

Run a series of home maintenance bases. Patrols changing every 10-15 minutes. Bases might include: - Unblocking a drain, Fitting a tap washer, Replacing a broken window, hand a door, replace a lock, put up wall paper, painting a wall, laying a brick.

Bring along to the next meeting all the equipment required to allow each Scout to wire up a 13-amp plug. Screwdrivers, wire, plugs, pliers and instruction charts (available from ESB shops)

Patrols are assisted in the construction of Patrol Boxes - one for den use, the other for camp use.

Patrols should be encouraged to undertake a service project for old folk such as gardening and light repairs.

>>> Duty to God
Make Christmas cribs, crosses or Scout Law wall chart

Signal the number of one of the Scout Law. See who writes down the Law first. Act plays based on the Scout Law.

Have Patrols discuss the differences between the Ten Commandants and the Scout Law.

Visit other places of worship and study the differences in architecture, stained glass windows and other features.

Some of our best opportunities to talk about God come when we would appear to be least prepared. It is during the troop hike, sitting around the campfire or while bivouacking on top of a mountain.

Each member of the Troop or the Patrol is asked to design a Christmas Card or a number of Christmas Cards to send to their friends in Scouting.

Looking at the twelve items of the Scout Law, pick out five that are most needed to improve Patrol spirit in your Patrol and put them in order of importance. Patrols to share their answers with the Troop.

Each Patrol discovers the art of candle making and make a number of candles. These candles could be used as Advent candles or as an Easter candle with the symbols Alfa and Omega, a cross, and the year placed on the candle. The candle could then be lit during Easter time for the opening and closing of the meeting.

Pair off members of the Patrol. Each pair in turn acts out one of the Scout Laws without speaking. The rest have to say which Law was acted out.

>>> Electrics
Patrols make a nerve tester with wire, battery and buzzer and hold a ‘steady hand’ contest later

Know how to wire up a simple lighting circuit and use this knowledge to create a tent lighting system.

Make training aids by creating a true /false board - a buzzer is placed across two points and if answer is correct buzzer will sound.

Patrols make a generator. This can be used in conjunction with a small windmill to generate electricity.

On camp rig up an old bicycle dynamo to a windmill and generate electricity to power the lighting system in your tents.

Using basic electronic and electrical circuits to create a minefield for use on your next incident course or wide game.

Make an imitation campfire using a red light and fan for use at indoor campfires in the den.

Hold a price survey to discover the best deals on equipment items from camping and outdoor stores.

Test out the efficiency of different stoves to boil water and discover the differences of design.

Compile the perfect gear list, so that nothing is forgotten the next time you go on camp.

Have Patrols put together a rucksack for a lightweight camp, cutting weight to the bare minimum.

Equipment can be expensive to buy. Explore the possibilities of making your own.

Each Scout should be encouraged to make a personal bivvy sheet.

Every Scout should have their own personal survival kit and first aid kit contained in small tines or waterproof container.

Find out about the latest developments in equipment such as GPS compasses and pass on this knowledge to your Patrol Leaders.

Hold a 'sew-in' evening. Ask some parents with sewing machines to come down to the meeting and instruct your Scouts in their use. Make some simple items of equipment.

Check out the stores. Have Patrols take an inventory of equipment, checking the state of repair, and store away equipment carefully. A useful exercise after the camping season.

>>> Emergencies & Rescue
Visit a fire station or lifeboat station.

Make a lifeline about 20 meters in length. It should have a padded weight on one end and a loop on the other. The weight should be able to float.

Tackle one kind of emergency at a time and dramatise them; e.g. an injured person is found near a time bomb (alarm Clock). Render first aid before the ‘bomb’ explodes.

Patrols are given an ice accident to deal with. Plastic sheeting can be used to simulate ice.

Patrols deal with a person who is on fire.

Patrols are challenged to send SOS by a number of signalling methods

Patrols should know and be able to do land to aircraft signals.

The Patrol must rescue a person who is contact with a live ‘electric’ cable

Know what to do if:
A person falls through ice
A child is caught up a tree
A person is having a heart attack
A house is on fire
You come across or are involved in a car crash
A boat capsizes
You have to call of the emergency services
How to make a May Day call and use a radio
How to send an SOS message
If you have to use ground to air signals
You get lost
If you have an accident on the hills
If someone is trapped on a cliff
If someone is drowning
A person has to be carried to safety
A chip pan went on fire
You have to survive till help arrives
You have to administer first aid
If you have to throw a lifeline

>>> Engineering
Using one sheet of thin card, sticky tape and a 250 gram weight make a beam, with a span as wide as possible that will support the weight at its mid point.

Support a drinking glass on a bridge made from a €5 note (you require a crisp new €5 note)

Use one tabloid newspaper to build a bridge that will span one metre and hold the largest load possible. You have 25 minutes. Supply patrols with newspaper, paperclips, staples, glue, objects of varying weights.

In 20 minutes, build the highest possible tower using all the cards in a pack of playing cards.

Patrols are given the following equipment; 2 sheets of card, 100 paper clips, 10 drinking straws, 40 pins, one marble. Patrols have to construct a structure or mechanism that will carry a marble over the greatest horizontal distance before it comes to rest.

Build a free-standing structure that will support an OXO cube as far away from the edge of a table without touching the floor. Equipment 50 drinking straws, 40 pins and 1 OXO cube.

Build a device within an area 25cms X 25cms that will allow your entire team to stand 60cms off the ground at the same time. Equipment 6 spars and a rope.

Build a raft able to hold the largest mass without sinking. Patrols may use as many sheets of paper as you like, but may not cut them to make them smaller. After 10 minutes construction time, Patrols must put their rafts to the test by floating them. Patrols are not allowed to test their rafts before the final float test. Equipment available - a stack of A4 paper, pennies and marbles for testing.

In 20 minutes build a free-standing tower that will hold a four marbles one metre above the floor. Equipment - tape, drinking straws, elastic bands, paper clips and marbles.

Design and construct a vertical ‘Adventure playground for a marble. The aim of the exercise is to produce a system of interesting devices and events that will delay the marble’s descent from one metre without the application of external power (shoving the marble). The winning devise will be the one that delays the marbles descent for the longest time and includes the greatest number of devices. Equipment - various odds and ends and a marble.

Use a warming candle to provide the power source to a mechanical device that will move an object a distance of one metre.

Figure out how to drop a 10p coin and a slip of paper from the same height, at the same time, so that they reach the floor at the same time.

Make a paper helicopter that will take the longest time to fall to the ground from a height of 3 metres.

Put a piece of paper underwater without getting it wet.

Construct a devise that will propel itself along the floor. Power the devise with an elastic band.

With the fewest drinking straws possible, build a framework that will support a cup full of water at least 50 cms off the ground. You have 25 minutes to complete your task. You may test your frame as you build but only with half a cup of water. Equipment; drinking straws, pins, elastic bands, tape, paper clips, plastic cup with drinking straw through the top (just below the rim, punch a hole on opposite sides of the cup and slip in a drinking straw.

Each Patrol has to design a vehicle made from a milk carton that will transport an egg from a free fall position 10 metres above the ground to safety (the egg intact after impact of vehicle). Equipment for each Patrol should include:- Elastic bands, cling film, newspaper, tape, pipe cleaners, milk carton which is the vehicle, paperclips and odds and ends. It is a good idea to cover the floor of the den with plastic sheeting. Each patrol is responsible for clearing up the mess they create.

>>> Estimation
Work out the food menus for hikes and camps. Estimate weights and quantities. Also work out menus which are easy and quick to cook, and methods of cooking without utensils.

Patrols are divided into pairs and sent out to estimate the dimensions of suitable objects around the den or in a nearby park.

Blindfold each Scout in turn and ask them to walk a given distance, or tell him to walk for a certain length of time.

Combine nature study with estimation. Choose a well-wooded place where there are several kinds of trees. The Scouts are told to estimate for example the height of the beech which stands thirty meters due North of an elm tree, or width of a pool forty meters South - east of a twenty meter fir tree.

Make a Scout stave and mark on it centimetres and meters

Collect a number of objects of different but known weights for training purposes.

Each Scout should make a note of his/her personal measurements.

Guess the dimensions and weights of small objects blindfolded.

Estimate the weight of articles carried on a hike, and the weight of a packed rucksack.

Estimate distances on map and check results.

Estimate the number of words on a page and pages in a book.

Scouts should be able to create maps by using field notes made on hikes

Scouts should be able to make a map of a campsite using the plane table method

>>> Enterprise
Set up a small company project in your Troop so that your Patrols can explore the world of business

Run the ‘World Trading game ‘ with your Troop so they can understand the complexities of world trade and how it effects those countries that are poor.

Have Patrols explore the world of stocks and shares and arrange a visit to the stock market. A wide game could be devised on the subject.

During Bob-a - Job week set up each of your Patrols as a working unit that will work like a small service business for the week. Car washing, bag packing, gardening company etc.

Play the ‘Paper Bag game’ with your Patrols so that they can understand the difficulties of working in a third world country.

Encourage you Patrols through games and challenges to invent something that can be used to create a new enterprise.

>>> Fire lighting
See which Patrol can lay and light the most fires in a given time. The fires must be kept going. See also who leaves the tidiest patch of ground after clearing up.

Practice starting fires with as many different substances as possible i.e. birch bark, orange peel, hemp and so on.

Make clothes drying fire and frame. Use it for drying something.

Light fires in the rain, or wet the ground and wood.

Practice lighting fires in windy weather or snow.

Hold a water boiling race

Build a campfire and have a singsong. If possible invite another patrol.

Lay and light a fire on a raft, floating on water

Try making fires without matches (i.e. flint, friction, glass)

Light fires and cook in the dark

Scouts should know how to cut a sod, light a fire, replace the sod and leave the area without a trace.

When using a fire scouts should be encouraged to make pothooks and holders to enable the safe use of the fire as a cooking place.

Find and log for future reference the fuel value of different kinds of wood.

The next time you are organising a campfire why not start the fire by the use of a blazing arrow. The arrow is directed towards the fire by way of a wire that is stretched from the top of a tree to the base of your campfire.

Place a number of bamboo poles in the ground and stretch a piece of sisal about 60 cms above the ground. Patrols are invited to light fires and burn through the sisal as quickly as possible.

>>> First Aid
Make a box for first aid gear. Paste instructions inside the lid.

Make up a small first aid kit for use on hikes.

Hide an ‘injured’ Scout. Signal his whereabouts, or give a map reference, and what is the matter with him. When found render First Aid and bring to safety.

Make a Red Cross flag for use in camp

Try putting on bandages blindfold.

Most injuries on activities involve simple cuts and scratches, which unless treated properly can lead to infection. Ensure all Scouts know the importance of treating these simple injures immediately.

Dirt and grit in the eye is another common occurrence, yet without proper treatment can cause serious damage to your eye. Ensure your Scouts know how to treat it.

Set up a number of first aid incidents and run them as bases, Patrols changing every 10-15 minutes. Incidents might include:- Road accident, Fall from a truck, Accident to a mechanic, burns of various kinds, axe injuries, boy caught up a tree, child who has fallen from a tree and is caught in branches

Practice making stretchers with coats and poles or scout staves

If it is not possible to get your hands on an artificial dummy to practice artificial respiration on then try constructing your own using wash bottle, tubing and plastic bag weighted with a heavy book.

Scouts should be aware of the many uses for the triangular badge, perhaps the most versatile of all the bandages.

Patrols should be able to demonstrate and use the various methods of lifting a casualty to safety.

Using wound replicas (such as grease paint, flesh coloured modelling clay etc.) make up a member of each Patrol so that they can be treated for cuts, burns etc.

Patrols improvise a number of different stretchers - rope, spar, ladder, base board etc. when stretchers are made hold an inter - Patrol stretcher race.

What would you do! This exercise was discovered in a St. John’s ambulance magazine reporting on a competition that was held. This is the instructions the teams where given. How would your Patrols handle this situation?
Time: allowed 6 minutes. Place: a typical semi - detached three-bedroom house.
Situation: you are returning home from duty in uniform and a neighbour calls you over to help as she has heard noises coming from the house.
Living room: A middle aged man has been painting a picture of the beach at St. Tropez on the ceiling, when a lion, which has escaped from a nearby circus rushes into the room, knocking over the step ladder the man was using. The man is lying on the floor, with a 2 Lt tin of flesh coloured paint over his head. The 2-inch brush he was using cannot be found, and may have entered his lower back region. The lion, which has previously ravaged the greenhouse, has multiple lacerations and a Cactus in a 3-inch pot jammed fast in its left ear. It may recover consciousness at any time during the test.
Main bedroom: A middle aged woman is in bed, weak from a hunger fast in protest at the closing of the local bingo hall three weeks ago.
Middle bedroom: The daughter of the house is in bed in an advanced stage of labour. She is totally deaf. With her is her boyfriend who is a psychopath on weekend leave from a nearby hospital. He is not normally dangerous, but when excited can inflict grotesque injuries on uniformed persons. He is also foreign and speaks no English.
Small bedroom: The son of the house has been doing his chemistry homework, but has miss-read the instructions and produced dense clouds of highly toxic yellow gas. The window of the room is defective and cannot be opened.
General: The telephone has been disconnected and the local ambulance crew is on strike!
What would you do?

>>> Hiking
Plan hikes and treks on the map. Work out times and distance, gear to be taken, menus, etc. Check weights of various items

Explore the old Pilgrim ways. Combine a hike with a pilgrimage

Go on a hike and sketch interesting objects along the trail for inclusion in logbook or for exhibition in the den.

Try a bee line hike

Scout pace is a method of covering a long distance in a fast time without becoming over tired. You take 20 paces running they 20 paces walking. Have patrols practice this method of travel over a set distance.

In some countries the threat of an emergency such as floods or earthquakes gives the Scouts an opportunity to show they are prepared for anything. We many not have quite the same problems, but we do have emergencies of our own. Why not call an emergency and see how fast your Patrols can mobilise. Each patrol should work out the exact details for a range of possible situations; how each Scout would be contacted, what each would bring, where they would meet, and so on. Then they put the plan into action.

Have the Patrols dropped into an unfamiliar area (they could travel from home to drop zone blindfolded). On arrival supply Patrols with a map and compass and get them to find out their exact position on the map and the best route to take back to base (hiking back)

Patrols set off without map and compass but armed with a set of directions provided by the Leader. For example: ‘Follow the lane NE for 3 km. Turn NW along footpath by an old red barn. When the church spire is due west of you, head for the small clump of trees on the hill to the north…’ and so on.

Produce a set of photographs of interesting items on a hike route to be followed by the Patrols. The Patrols are given the route and have to identify what and were the items are.

Give each Patrol a properly equipped rucksack (containing emergency rations, survival bag and so on) and suggest that one member of the Patrol is suffering from hypothermia. Get the patrols to deal with the emergency, taking action as appropriate. This should ideally take place in the open.

>>> History
Visit the National Scout Museum.

Baden-Powell wrote many books about Scouting. Every Scout Leader should read one of the best ‘Aids to Scoutmastership’.

Hold a ‘Brownsea Island’ camp. Camp on an island and run a similar programme to that run on the Brownsea island camp in 1907.

Run some of your meetings on a ‘Time Machine’ theme and use the opportunity to revisit such events as the ‘First ever Patrol Meeting’, The first camp in Larch Hill in 1938, Travelling to camp by trek cart, Scout games from the early years, dressing up in old Scout uniforms.

Encourage your patrols to have a copy of ‘Scouting for Boys ‘ in their Patrol Library

Do you know the history of your own Troop? Patrols should be challenged to discover the stories of past times by visiting old Scouts and past members. Valuable information may be available from the National Scout Museum.

There are many possibilities for the development of programme themes from our history; themes based on the Fianna, 1798 rising, The Tain, The Vikings, The Celts etc.

Scouts are required to know how Scouting started and some of its history and milestones. Do some research so that this material is available to your Scouts? You could develop a Scout history board in your den with items from general Scouting history and your Unit history.

An interesting project for Patrols to undertake is to research and discover the local history of your area. A simple project could be to collect photographs from different time periods and compare how your area has changed over the years.

>>> Hygiene
On camp a wash handstand should be basic equipment on all Patrol sites. Patrols should practice making simple stands so that they can be easily reproduced under camp conditions.

On camp make a camp shower.

Patrols should be familiar with the need to store food properly on camp. Scouts should be told about the dangers of food contamination by flies and insects.

The greatest care needs to be taken in preparing food under camp conditions. Patrols need to be given opportunities to learn how best to prepare food in a hygienic way. Professional cooks and chefs and parents could be invited to do a demonstration or practical cooking night in the den.

If chemical toilets are being used on camp the duty Patrol with the assistance of a Scouter should be charged with the cleaning and maintenance of the toilets each day. A rota should be set up so that each Patrol has a turn and learns to understand the importance of clean and hygienic toilet facilities. On a campsite where toilets are available, the duty Patrol should again be responsible for the cleanliness of the toilets - washing them down, toilet rolls etc.

As part of your meeting there should be an inspection where personal cleanliness should be as important as whether the uniform is worn. On camp there should be a personal hygiene inspection each morning, ensuring that face and hand have been cleaned, clothes changed, teeth washed etc.

While hiking check to see that all Scouts have comfortable footwear and that no blisters and foot problems are developing. The placing of a rolled plastic bag between the boot and the sock (not covering the sock) will transfer friction within the boot to the plastic rather than the skin of the hiker and will help to prevent blisters.

>>> International
Set up a pen pal exchange linking your Troop with another in a different country

JOTA / JOTI takes place on the Internet as well as on radio; however, it is possible to communicate with Scouts worldwide using the Internet. Many associations, troops and individuals are contactable on the Internet.

Those members of your Troop who collect stamps might be encouraged to collect the wide array of Scout stamps that exist.

Hold an international cooking night. Each patrol chooses a country and has to produce a traditional meal of that country.

Bring your troop to an international camp or jamboree and experience international Scouting first hand.

All your Scouts should be able to say ‘Hello’ and ‘thanks’ in as many languages as possible.

Try using a large flag for a flagpole, and hoist flags up to it.

Collect duplicates of as many national flags as possible. Each patrol makes a flag pole and hoist up the national flag signalled as quickly as possible.

See who can recognise a given flag from the greatest distance.

Obtain a number of small cards, and paint, sketches, use stickers of different flags on each.

Give each Patrol a map of the world and a number of flag cards. The Patrol has to match flags to countries in a s quick a time as possible.

Discover and play the traditional games and sports of another country.

Devise an international wide game. Base the game on some exciting well - known international event in another Scouting country.

Encourage the members of your section to earn the merit badges with an international dimension.

Take part in JOTA (Jamboree on the air) this event usually takes place in the October. Originally this event took place on the airways using ham radios. Now, as well as the tradition ham radio method it is also possible to take part using the Internet.

Set up a notice board in your Scout hall/den and place items of international news on it. International Scouting News can be had through Scout magazines or from the International department in H.Q.

Collect badges and postcards from other countries. This could be done using a pen-pal method.

Stage an international campfire.

Organise an evening of international cuisine. Each Patrol should be given a country, which they must research and discover a meal that they can cook.

Have a rich world - poor world meal. Rich world meal might be a ‘Big Mac meal’; poor country meal might be a bowl of rice.

>>> Keep Fit
How fit are your Troop - ask a gym instructor to come along to the next meeting and put your Patrols through their paces.

How a mini - marathon with all the patrols taking part in a sixteen legged race (if you eight in a Patrol) around an agreed course.

Devise a keep fit programme for your troop with the help of a gym instructor

Invite patrols to make a gym for the troop using odds and ends - ropes, pulleys, logs and tin cans.

Organise a regular swimming session for the Troop to attend in the local swimming pool. 

>>> Map Reading
Make sketch maps of local bridle paths, streams, and walkways

When out on a hike let each Scout in turn pinpoint the exact location on the map and orient (set) the map correctly.

Go hiking without a map but with a home made compass

Glue old maps onto toy wooden blocks so as to make a puzzle with 6 maps on it. Challenge the Patrols to make one of the maps working without a reference.

Encourage patrols and Scouts to act as a navigator while out driving with parents or travelling to camp or hikes.

Go on a hike with each Patrol starting from a different location and arranging to meet at a set location, pin pointed on the map. Try also at night.

Make jig-saw puzzles out of maps

Make a map of a local lake or a local campsite.

Each Scout makes a sketch map which could be given to a stranger to help him find his way from the local bus stop or station to your den.

Cut a number of small cards. Draws one conventional sign on each, use these in Kim games.

Make sets of model houses, church, trees etc. Use these to plan town layouts

Make relief maps using aeroboard and plaster of Paris matting

Make a ruler suitable for measuring distance on a map.

Take the Patrols to a place with a big wide view of surrounding countryside. Bring maps, compass and binoculars and practice spotting map features and tracing them back to the map

When a thick fog occurs on a dark night, plan a short trip on a map. Then go out and try to follow the course so planned.

Signal the names of conventional signs. As these are signalled the Scouts have to draw them

Make a mapping board. Fix a compass on it, and draw scale down the sides.

Mark an area on an ordnance Survey map and see which Patrol makes the best-enlarged map of the same area.

One Patrol describes the country travelled over while hiking, giving distances travelled etc. The rest of the Patrols must draw sketch maps of the hike as described. The route is described from studying a map and the sketch must be checked against this map when they are completed.

Give each Patrol a copy of the same map and run a competition to see which can find in a given time, the most bridges, churches, etc. or the steepest or highest hill.

Using tracing paper, make a tracing from a map but omit names. See who is first to find the location.

Show a simple sketch map to Patrols. The whereabouts of a hidden treasure is marked on the map. After a good look at the map the patrol must draw similar maps from memory.

>>> Nature
Construct bird boxes and tables and bat boxes.

Find out how many cloud formations are known, and what kind of weather they foreshadow.

Go bird watching. Track deer in a park. Try taking photographs of your discoveries.

Go out at dusk and run a competition in camouflage. Each Scout in turn stands in front of a bush or tree. Each Scout must depend on the way their camouflage blends into the background rather than hide behind an object.

Hold a competition to see who can move through undergrowth as silently as possible.

Make a collection of pressed wild flowers and leaf impressions to be used for training purposes

Make a collection of pressed edible and medicinal herbs and flowers to be used for training purposes.

Make and collect casts of animal and bird tracks and footprints.

Run a small allotment garden and grow organic vegetables on your plot.

Create a tape recording of common sounds, with about 30 different sounds on the tape. Play the tape to your Patrols and see how many sounds they can identify. You could also have a tape of natural sounds and bird-songs.

Go hunting - use tracking and stalking skills to get close to animals then shoot them with your camera. Best shots win the competition.

Get a copy of the Nature and Woodcraft skills handbook and discover the many exercises that can be used to introduce nature and the out of doors to your troop.

Undertake a survey of your community to see how man has impacted on the natural environment in which your town/village/community exists.

Make nature hides or visit public hides which are available at nature reserves so that you can view nature at close quarters.

On waste ground create the elements that will attract wildlife to this area.

Make a water scope and explore the life under the surface of the water.

Make a periscope to enable you to view wildlife undetected.

Plant a tree or trees in some wasteland and as part of National Tree Week.

In the autumn collect acorns. The acorns can then be sent to ‘Crainne’ who will plant them and raise seedlings for regeneration of our national oak forests.

Patrols should be set projects to explore the recycling of waste materials. Recycle materials for use in games and on camp recycle tin can to make stoves and utensils.

Set up a wide game where the Patrols act as ‘Environmental Warriors’ ready to tackle environmental problems. The problems will be normal Patrol challenges with an environmental twist. - Lifting logs into position in a puzzle could be radiation rods in a power station. Mapping exercises could be tracking the movement of illegal whaling ships etc.

Create a smell trail using distinct smells (perfume, onion, orange peel, and lemon peel). Each smell is rubbed onto a piece of card and the cards are placed on trees in a forest. Each card has a letter on it. Patrols must follow a selected trail listing the letter from each card discovered.

Create a smell box. In the box you should have a number of small boxes containing different smells. Patrols are blindfolded and requested to name the smells in the box.

Using natural pigments - juices of leaves, buds, flower, fruit, squashed caterpillar, etc. paint a picture on a sheet of card provided.

Collect a number of flowers and leaves with strong scents. Each Scout in turn had to identify them by smelling them when blindfolded.

Prepare and maintain a sanctuary for native plants, animals and birds.

Clean and maintain - roadside areas, beaches, an island, riverbanks, and graveyards.

>>> Observation
Send Patrols out and about to look at advertising hoarding. See how much detail they can remember on their return.

Take the Troop to a harbour area and sent out Patrols to explore. The Patrols must recall from memory the names and details of the craft seen.

An old idea, but still one of the best, place 40 objects on a table and give patrols 30 seconds to look at them. Cover the items and invite Patrols to list them.

Put together a tray of photographic slides. Show the slides one after the other. Each slide to be on the screen for 5 seconds only. Patrols must list slides or state slides in sequence.

A quick filler for a spare moment in your meeting is to give patrols spot the difference puzzles - great at developing observation skills.

Pictures are available showing common mistakes, in particular with regard to safety. Use these with Patrols to improve their skills.

Cut out a number of small well - known advertisements and stick them on sheets. See if Patrols can recognise them without their titles.

Cut out news story headlines from the newspapers of a week ago and ask Patrols to tell you the details of the story.

Make a squared board like a draughtboard that can be used to place objects on for observation games.

Sit in a circle and pass around a number of items. See who can list the objects in sequence from memory.

One Patrol is left in the den while the others play a game. The Patrol in the den acts out a crime, leaving clues. The others have to deduce by these clues what has occurred.

The story goes that the local greengrocer has been robbed but as the culprit escaped he fell into the onions! Before the meeting rub plenty of onion into trees in a local forest or park, remember it must be at Scout nose height. Patrols have to find the culprit den in the woods.

>>> Orienteering
Make a compass. Cut a circle on light card, marking it with the 16 points of the compass.

One of the Patrol is told to point to a given compass point e.g. East. He is then blindfolded and turned round several times. See if he can point out the same compass point while still blindfolded.

Signal a compass point e.g. NE. See which Scout is first to call or signal back its opposite i.e. SW

Each Scout should draw a sketch map from imagination. A 16-point compass should be added, and all conventional signs worked in. Compete for the best map of a given area.

Compass practice - Place a coin on the ground between your feet and set your compass for 40 degrees. Walk this bearing for 20 paces. Add 120 degrees to the compass bearing, making it 160 degrees and follow this bearing for 20 paces. Again add 120 degrees to your bearing, making it 280 degrees and walk this bearing for 20 paces. When you stop the coin should be at your feet.

Set up a clock-face orienteering course in a football pitch to enable your Patrols to improve their compass skills

Invite patrols to design an orienteering course. Provide Patrols with orienteering maps of a given location. Patrols design a course of 10 points. The course designs are then passed over to other Patrols who must complete them.

In order to allow Patrols to practice in safety set up a small-scale representation of a known map. Put flagged cocktail sticks in the ground to mark position of mountaintops and stream junctions. Patrols then plan a hike in the normal manner and follow it in the miniature landscape so that bearing can be checked.

Plant a number of flagged sticks, out of sight of each other and not in a straight line. Mark on each the compass bearing and distance to the next. (Polar explorers leave depots of food at long distances apart marked by cairns and flags.

Magnetise a needle and stick needle on card and float in saucer. Check accuracy with real compass

Take bearings of prominent objects around the den or camp. Log the results.

>>> Patrol Activities
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:

(1) Set a map
(2) Put a bandage round an injured knee
(3) Make a tripod
(4) With a handkerchief only demonstrate how you would drag an insensible person from a smoke filled room
(5) Without the use of a compass, draw a chalk arrow on the floor or ground pointing north-north east.
(6) 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 billie 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.

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 billie 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.

Have a bash - a series of activities perhaps run in base fashion, Patrols spending a short time at each base before moving to the next.

Physical dexterity

Stand on one leg blindfolded for one minute without moving from a given spot marked out with chalk on the ground.

Hold a Scout stave or other light spar horizontally with both hands in front of you. Swing it back and forward six times and jump over it without leaving hold.

Balance a Scout stave or light spar on the tip of one finger for one minute.

Skip 30 forward and 30 backwards without stopping.

Do 15 press-ups, clapping your hands on the rise.

>>> Scoutcraft
Demonstrate the fireman’s lift and the four-hand lift.

Put a knee bandage on your own knee using your neckerchief.

Estimate the height of a given feature in the locality (tower, spire, tree, flagstaff, and telegraph pole)

Set a map using a Silva compass

Be able to secure a rope to a pole using the Highwayman’s hitch

>>> General proficiency
Change the wheel on a car

The lights have fused. How would you deal with this situation?

Demonstrate how to sharpen a knife using an oilstone.

Be able to direct a stranger from one point of your town to another not less than 1 kilometre away.

Demonstrate the proper use of three garden tools

Make a whistle from a piece of sycamore twig

From memory draw the outline of the tallest building in your locality

Make two decorative knots

With your fingernail, tap out the rhythm of any two well - known songs on a table.

Patrols make a rope ladder and use it to climb a tree or a pioneering tower.

>>> Activity Ideas
Each Patrol is given three tin cans, which they can only use to cross an area of poisoned ground. The first Scout crosses the ground and then rolls the cans back to the next member. quickest Patrol across to safety wins.

Puzzling paragraph - Give a copy of the following paragraph to the members of your Patrols and see how long it takes them to solve the puzzle :

‘How quickly can you find out what is unusual about this paragraph? It looks so ordinary that you would think nothing is wrong with it at all and, in fact, nothing is. It is still distinctly odd, though. If you study it for a bit you may find out what is missing. Who Knows? Go to work and try your skill.’

The answer is simply that, although the letter ‘e’ is the most commonly used letter in the English alphabet, it does not appear at all in the given paragraph.

Have your Patrols ever -

Slept in a home - made hammock,
Built a tree house with your Patrol,
Made twists over a campfire,
Assist in the running of a Cub meeting with other Patrol Leaders,
Built a Morse code generator,
Cured the skin of a rabbit you have skinned yourself.
Spent a weekend with your Patrol tidying up a garden of an elderly neighbour,
Spent a weekend practising survival techniques,
Gone on a cycling or canoeing expedition with your Patrol

Run a ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition. Some suggestions might include:

Shower bath. One player on roller-skates in centre standing on a small board. Outside a circular area another player throws water filled balloons to his partner from piles placed around the circular outer rim.

Stilts. Player using tin can stilts race down course - over bench, round poles, over steps etc. bursts balloon at end of course. Quickest time wins.

Sack football. Players, 8 per side wearing a sack each as would be the case in a sack race. Game played as per soccer. First Patrol to score wins.

Wheelbarrow netball - one player picks up a ball and is carried in a wheelbarrow by his partner towards the basketball net. The Scout in the barrow then tries to place ball in net. Team whom scores the most nets in the time allowed.

Froggy waiters - Three players per team, all wearing swimming flippers, carry a tray bearing one cup of water down a course. The course should include a number of items. One players carries tray to a point and other player carries it to next point and so on. Water is collected in container at end of course. Team with most water in time allowed is winner.

Bumpy - ride - One player pushes a wheelbarrow in which sits a team mate holding a bucket of water over a course of poles. The empty the water remaining in a container. Team with water in time allowed is winner.

Stepping stones. Using a number of stepping-stones made with cardboard, teams cross a course in quickest time.

Cycle-o-rama. A circular course is created and two bikes provided. Two players start at different points and cycle around set markers to arrive at box of ball. Each player gets a ball and tries to throw it into a bin placed in the middle of the course. Most balls collected in time allowed wins.

In an emergency how fast could you mobilise your troop or Patrols? Work out a method that will enable you to mobilise your Troop within an hour or two. Then try it out perhaps as part of a wide game

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.

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.

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.

A well know 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Don’t just sit there - the following is a list of activities during the summer by a group of 750 Scouts and Guides who took part in a special summer programme. This is what they did over 6 weeks - repaired an engine- looked at wind machines - went boating 3 times - developed and printed photographs - swam 10 times - saw sleeping bags been made in a flurry of feathers - climbed to the top of a power station - went 5 miles underground through a coal seam - abseiled - played football, snooker, table tennis, operated a discotheque - build backwoods shelters - slept in bivvys - learnt to handle boats and gliders - did the athlete, canoeist, swimmer, camp cook and camper merit badges, visited the Theatre, a fire station, - went bowling, ice skating, played squash, and tennis, did casualty first aid make up, visited a nature reserve, camped and climbed mountains over 2,000 ft, travelled over 22,000 miles on trains and bus between us - canoed over 20 miles to complete Scout tests - built a raft, slept in a tree house we made, painted a number of pictures and made masks, cycled over 200 miles and camped along the way.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

>>> Pioneering
Signal a number of single letters by semaphore and Patrols have to write down the letters and form into a message

Make an aerial runway

The only way to learn pioneering is by building projects big and small. Consult the Ropework Skills handbook for ideas for projects.

Make bridges from staves

Each Patrol is given a different mini - pioneering project to do. The list might include - An automatic fire extinguisher, raft building, a chair for the Scout Leader, a free-standing camp gateway.

Each Patrol create a ‘Chariot’ in the form of a trestle frame using light spars, When ‘chariot’ is complete ‘reins’ are attached and a Scout climbs on board. Two Scouts pull the ‘chariot’ around a set course. Run a race among the Patrols.

>>> Ropework
Make and use a rope ladder for rescuing purposes

Go hiking and look for medicinal herbs and plants

Hold a life line throwing competition

Learn how to whip ropes

Patrols learn how to do a back splice and an eyesplice and then make standard rope lengths for each member of their patrol with an eyesplice on one end and a back splice on the other. The ropes can be used for a variety of activities.

Learn how to splice ropes

Make rope rings for deck tennis and quoits

Make knot boards, and knot frames.

Make a rope ladder

Practice lowering from a sandpit, tree, wall or window

Make a commando rope. A commando rope is 3 meters long, one rope per Scout, and has an eye splice at one end and a strong wooden toggle at the other 200mm long. Rope and toggle when joined together must be strong enough for climbing, and for heaviest Scout.

Organise a blindfold-knotting race.

Mountaineers have to tie knots sometimes with frozen fingers. Run a game where Scouts have to tie knots with heavy industrial gloves on their hands.

Give each Patrol the same length of sisal and a number of staves and see which Patrol makes the most useful gadget.

All Patrols are blindfolded and a number of knots are passed around which they should feel. The Patrol must then tie the knots from memory.

>>> Safety
Organise a fire drill so that you can quickly evacuate your den or hall if the need arises

Road safety is no something that you learn when you are a small child. Patrols should be requested to set up an awareness campaign within their Patrols. Particular attention should be paid to cycle safety and safety precautions when hiking on roads.

Invite a fireperson down to your meeting to talk about the work of the fire brigade but also to show your Scouts how to use fire extinguishers.

Patrols could take on a service project related to the promotion of smoke alarms. Local service agencies provide smoke alarms for free to old folks living in your area. Contact these agencies and see how your Patrols can be involved.

Practice reading building plans. Then send your Patrols into a building with plans and let them discover the location of a casualty that is hidden in the building. Using building plans is a useful basic step towards map reading.

Practice using escape ladders and ropes to escape buildings

Practice escape from a smoke filled room by crawling on the floor. Increase the difficulty by making the members of the Patrol blindfolded or use swimming goggles smeared with Vaseline to obstruct vision.

Patrols should be aware of the necessary precautions to be taken while walking on the hill and in open countryside.

All Scouts should be aware of the dangers of substance abuse and in particular peer pressure in this regard. Organise a number of role-play games to highlight this growing problem in our community.

All Patrol Leaders and Scouts should be aware of bullying. Patrol Leaders in particular should seek and stamp out any incidents of bullying that exists within the Troop. All incidents should be dealt with through the Court of Honour.

As a Leader safety should be always at the back of your mind. Scouting is a flexible activity and many programme possibilities are possible but don’t lose sight of the dangers of some activities. Correct training of your Scouts will minimise the danger but you should always keep a watchful eye. Be careful but do not kill the fun.

>>> Service
Undertake a regular service project in your community. Some ideas to think about :-

People who live alone and who because of their age or infirmity cannot get about so much might like help of the following kinds - collecting shopping, doing odd jobs and repairs, doing the garden, general housework, call and have a chat, change library books, send birthday greetings.

Conservation means keeping the natural assets we have in our country in the best possible condition. Some ideas you might consider: - Nature trails, bird tables, clear graveyards and historical sites, help farmer with harvest, clean rivers and streams, plant trees.

Parish service- your own parish and the Church in general often need help. Some ideas might include: - assisting in controlling parking at church, stewarding at special events, Provide road crossing patrol. Make Christmas crib.

There are many useful things that can be done to help make our communities better. Here are a few: - Clean - up an area, road safety campaigns, fire protection campaigns, assist community surveys, help tidy towns committee, do nature survey of community, act as tourist guides.  

>>> Signalling
Try long distance signalling, from one hill or tower to another or across a lake.

Construct a number of Morse buzzers and send a message to another Patrol

Use drums for Morse signalling. Or use whistles.

Send a message using Morse code flashed by torch at night.

Your Patrol have two minutes to master the first circle of the semaphore code and be prepared to send a message using the semaphore grid method. A grid is drawn 1 - 6 on top and 1-6 on the side and letters of the alphabet are placed in each square of the grip. Letter are transmitted by first signing the bottom letter then the side letter the Letter B would be 2, 1.)

Use Scout whistle to send a signal over a long distance - best done in an open area or park. Try using Morse code long blow for a dash, short blow for a dot.

Try smoke signalling

Seafarers use a signalling method using flags. Challenge patrols to learn this signal method and give them a flag message for them to decode.

Try signalling using a long piece of sisal stretched over a distance. Message is sent by a series of pulls.

Make a set of signal cards in semaphore and /or Morse. There must only be one letter on each card. These cards can be used as part of a number of activities.

Practice signalling by blinking the eyes, tapping on a wall from one room to another, also tapping on a table with fingers. One finger represents a dot, and fingers on the other hand a dash.

Obtain two telephone books or atlases. Signal the name of a telephone subscriber or place. The Patrols must discover the number or place first gets the points.

Signal a simple sum. Each Patrol takes it down. The first patrol to give the correct answer is the winner.

Signal the number of a Scout Law. See who is the first to repeat it correctly.

Write out directions in sign language showing how to find a hidden treasure. Patrols are set off to discover its location.

>>> Sport
Find your nearest stables and have a horse - riding session.

Visit your nearest go - kart track or build a ‘Scout car’ and have your own races.

Visit a local pitch and putt course and hold an Inter - Patrol competition.

Hold a Superstars competition. Some suggested items might include:-

(1) Egg and spoon crawl. Hard-boiled eggs on spoons placed in mouths. Patrols operate in relay fashion crawling around a track on hands and knees
(2) Water shoot - Use water pistols to extinguish flame of candles standing in tins of sand or clay.
(3) Candle race - carry a candle around a course without it going out.
(4) Archery - Shoot at balloons hanging from a branch or create field archery course.
(5) Swing ball - paint tins with bright colours and number them from 1 - 10. Cans are placed under a tree and a ball or log attached by a string to branch of the tree is swung so that it can knock down the cans. Top score wins.
(6) Freebee Throwing course. - Longest throw, landing near target, best catch etc
(7) Fly walking - walking up a vertical plank lashed to a tree.
(8) One legged soccer
(9) Javelin throwing using scout staves
(10) Long jump

>>> Survival
Experiment with Hay box cooking

Cook a meal without utensils, i.e. backwoods style.

Practice finding the North by means of watch and sun, and at night by the Pole star.

Be able to find your direction using nature compasses - moss on backs of trees, stars etc.

Catch a fish (or buy from a fish shop). Then cook it using the ‘planking’ method

Ask a local butcher to order a number of rabbits - un - skinned. Bring these down to the meeting and demonstrate how to skin a rabbit. The local butcher maybe able to help with the demonstration.

Skin a rabbit and cook it on a spit over a fire.

Make cooking utensils from natural materials - forks, ladles, pots etc.

Patrols are asked to construct solar water still using a sheet of plastic and a container. This exercise is best done on a sunny day on camp. Test results after a period of time

Patrols have to make a solar cooker using cardboard and tin foil from instruction sheet and cook a sausage on it.

Catch fish using fishing line and hooks only. Trout can be caught with your bare hands - try it.

Cook an egg inside a potato, orange skin or mud ball

Catch a fish (or buy from a fish shop). Then cook it using the ‘planking’ method.

Make kabobs (pieces of meat and vegetables on a stick).

Try cooking on a stone slab.

Scouts should be encouraged to make their own personal survival kits that can be carried easily in a small pouch on their belts.

Arrange a survival weekend in which the Patrols are given a small supply of food and precious little else. The must survive until they are rescued on Sunday afternoon.

One log, one axe, one match, one billy, one tea bag - first Patrol to brew the scout Leader a cup of tea is the winner.

Learn how to light a fire using flint and steel.

Learn how to light a fire by friction

In survival situations matches will be scarce, therefore skill in firelighting using at most 2 matches should be practised.

Know how to make fuzz-sticks essential to successful firelighting

Make ‘hobo’ stoves and cook something on them.

Send out Patrols to discover how many things they can find in a radius of 500metres from the Scout den that would help them to find north.

Hot eggs - Each member of the patrol to cook an egg by a different method. Spud egg; fry on hot metal plate or stone; cover with 25mm of clay or mud and place in embers; cook in a half of an orange skin; supported by wire or skewer; boil in the outer layers of a large onion; cook on a spit by cutting a small hole at each end of the egg and pushing a green stick skewer through and supporting it on two ‘Y’ shaped sticks.

Patrols are asked to make some nettle tea and pine needle tea. Marks are awarded for brew that is drinkable.

Light a fire using a magnifying glass.

Explore different types of fires and know how and why we use them.

Make plastic bivvy sheets and discover the different types of shelter that can be made from them

Brush up on your knots and lashings, which will be useful in shelter construction.

Learn how to make natural shelters using ferns etc.

Next time it snows; try to make a snow hole or an igloo.

Make a loom which could be used to weave a roof of straw etc. for a shelter

Collect water by soaking it up from grass heavy with dew.

Try digging for fresh water on a local beach above the high tide mark.

Collect water using condensation methods by placing plastic bags over plants and leaves.

Be able to find your way using natures compasses - stars, trees, mosses etc.

Have a Stone Age event - choose an area with plenty of undergrowth, so that it adds to the storyline. You may also wish to ask your scouts to dress up in Stone Age costumes. Give each Patrol a Stone Age pack, before they enter the land that time forgot. The pack might include the following sisal, fishhooks, leather tong, food, axe, saw. By far the majority of their time will be spent constructing a shelter and cooking their food however the event can be made more interesting by the inclusion of the following additional activities;

Make a water carrier
Make fire by friction
Make cooking utensils
Make bows and arrows for hunting
Make a dinosaur trap
Make pottery
Ground seed into flour and make twists
Paint a cave drawing using natural pigment from flowers and plants.
Eat edible plants and berries
Lift heavy objects using primitive methods (make mini dolmens or mini Stonehenge)  

Under the supervision of a reliable Patrol Leader armed with a good plant identification book, send the Patrols out to gather edible berries and fruits. When the patrols return to base they must create a meal from the 'food' ’hey have collected and, of course, name the delicacy

Desert Survival - Patrols are given some time (perhaps with the assistance of a Venture Scout) to put together a list of basic equipment, which they think, will be required to survive in the desert. In itself this is a good exercise - but much better if the Patrol can put the equipment together and have the opportunity to try it out, perhaps during the summer holidays

Use tin foil to cook a meal backwoods style. You can also use tinfoil to make utensils and ovens.

Each Patrol is to enter a forested area and using only natural materials make a shelter in which they could sleep protected from the elements. Lashings etc must be created using plant fibre or strips of bark. Patrols are allowed a saw and penknives.

Make a container using a sheet of A4 paper that can be used to boil water in. It is possible to boil water in a paper bag or container provided the heat source is applied to the area of the container that is in contact with the liquid.

>>> Thinking
Create slogans for any number of things using the rider ‘In no more than ten words’ examples might include:   Our Patrol are best because, we support football club because, Scouts are brilliant because.

Each Patrol devises a problem 9 which they know the solution to) for the other patrols to solve. Example might be to join two ropes together without using knots, or cut a postcard in such a way that the whole Patrol can step through it, or boil water in an eggshell.

Challenge the Patrols to do the following over the next 4 weeks at their Patrol meetings.

Invent and construct a devise that will measure five minutes of time that is neither a watch or a clock and does not need the sun or other planetary object for its success.

Construct a camp-weighing machine capable of weighing accurately from 500 grams to 10 kilos.

An automatic method of waking you up on camp.

A ‘rouser’, which works if it rains.

>>> Tracking
Lay a string trail. Blindfold the members of the Patrols and see how long it takes to get to the end of the trail.

Stalking - One Scout is chosen as the prey and takes up a position selected by the leader. All the other scouts take up positions at least 50 meters from the prey’s position. On a Given signal, the Scouts move towards the ‘prey’ using whatever cover is available and a quietly as possible. If a Scout is seen/spotted by the prey the prey shouts to him/her saying where he is and his/her name if known. The Scout must stand up and remain in that position. The Scout who comes closest to the prey is the winner

Make a smell trail by spraying different perfumes on numbered pieces of card pinned to trees. Patrols try to follow the scent of one of the perfumes and list the numbers on the cards.

Lay a ‘nature trail’ using knotted grass, stones, twigs etc. Use Scout signs for this.

Use bikes to make tracking trails in muddy ground. Follow the tracks made by different types of tyres.

Lay a trail in streets by making very small track marks in chalk. Use the Scout signs for this.

Invent and make a gadget, which when towed leaves a trail.

The older members of each Patrol must go out and lay a trail, which leads to a ‘Treasure’. Each Patrol must use a different method to mark their trail and try and keep it secret from the other Patrols.

Invent a trail layer, e.g. three tacks hammered into the end of a stave and pressed into the ground with each step. Each Patrol Leader takes their ‘prisoners’ for a walk, the prisoners laying the trail as they go. 15 minutes later the patrols follow their particular trail and rescue their Patrol member.

Each Patrol takes in turn to camouflage itself in some undergrowth; the rest of the Troop tries to spot all the members of the Patrol.

>>> Visits
Places you can visit:

A Fire Station
A Garda Station
A Casualty ward
A Newspaper Office
A Biscuit Factory
A Steel Foundry
A Glass Factory
A Fish Hatchery
A Museum - behind the scenes
A Panel Beaters Shop
An Electrical Generation plant
The Theatre - get someone to take you backstage
An Airport Control Tower
An Air Corps Base
The Docks
The Law Courts
A Greeting Card Factory
A Car Factory
A Flower Farm
A Computer Complex
A Television Station
A Radio Station
A Bakery
The Cats and Dogs home
An Orchestra rehearsal
The Stock Exchange
A Large Bank
A Forest or tree farm
A University
A Mine
A Timber Mill
A Mail Sorting Centre
The Weather Bureau
A Railway shunting yard
The Zoo - behind the scenes
A Circus - behind the scenes
A Printing Shop
An Old Folks home
An Archaeological Dig

>>> Water Activities
Make dry land yachts

Patrols make rafts and power them using an old bike

Water activities - build a coracle, construct a raft, have a Canadian log - rolling competition, cross a wide stream without getting wet, go swimming

When doing activities beside water practice rescue procedures

>>> Weatherlore
Make a sun dial

Log the wind direction. If possible let off toy helium balloons and follow their drift.

Make Patrol weather stations with barometer, rain-gauge, wind vane, and strength of wind indicator.

Make a wind vane.

On a windy night ask Patrols to say from what direction the wind is blowing. Give each Patrol a copy of the Beaufort wind scale and ask them to determine the strength of the wind.

Provide the Patrols with information on cloud formations and the weather associated with them. Hold a quiz to see if Patrols can draw the formation from memory

>>> Wide Games
Wide game suggestions;

Polar expedition - each Patrol is a group of Polar Explorers racing to the North Pole. On the North Pole they will find the flag which Admiral Byrd threw down from his plane when crossing the top of the world. This flag must be brought back to the office of the geographical society before the explorers claim can be acknowledged.

The Opium Smugglers - One team is smugglers, the other border police. The smugglers attempt to carry their ‘Opium’ to a certain spot, and at the same time take away from the police men much - needed weapons and ammunition. The policemen try to get the ‘opium’ and keep the smugglers from taking the weapons. ‘Opium’ and ‘weapons’ are carried in one or two rucksacks.

The fight at the stockade - one team are Indians, the others settlers. The Indians attack the stockade and defend the Indian village, the settlers the opposite. To make it more exciting, two settlers may have been left in the stockade. The Indians are there to prevent them from getting out and joining their friends, while the settlers are to bring them aid. Four poles in the ground indicate stockade and Indian village.

Whistles - The idea is to send one or two people with whistles, with instructions that every 30 seconds they must blow their whistle. Object for the other Scouts is to pursue the whistler (after allowing him about a minute to escape) and capture him. The person who captures him becomes the new whistler once the game is started again. Note: You should create boundaries to ensure a good game.

Light pursuit - Played as with whistles except that a torch is used. This version is best played in scrubby areas where good hiding places can be found.

Light pursuit with protection - Played as with Light Pursuit except that the person who catches the man with the light must then get the light holder to a particular point. All players are armed with flour or water bombs. The light carrier and protector is the target of the bombs.

Defend the light - An area is roped or marked out. A light is placed in the area and half of the Scouts are designated as defence, half as attackers. Both sides are armed with either flour bombs or water bombs (you might use small balloons to make water bombs). The attackers object is to get into the light and turn it off without being killed! You are killed if you are hit directly by either a flour or water bomb. The game can be run several times to ensure all Scouts have a fair go.

Stalking through occupied territory - Two sides are chosen (or three). One side has a vital message to get through the enemy lines and must work out a method to get it through without their messenger being caught or ‘killed’. The enemy must station themselves well hidden through the area. When an enemy is spotted either by the messenger team or by the defensive team, he may be ‘killed’ either by removing a string taped to his arm (or again by using a flour or water bomb). Once ‘killed ‘ the person is out of the game. If the person holding the actual message is caught or ‘killed’, the defenders win. If he gets his message through, the messenger team wins. Best played in the dark, or well bushed area.

Observation wide game - Variations on this theme are almost endless. The idea is to send one Patrol out with certain instructions to carry out. Another Patrol is sent out to ‘Shadow’ these and make a full report at the end. They must not be observed by the first Patrol. The first Patrol is advised that they will be shadowed. Points are scored by the first Patrol for carrying out tasks unobserved. Points are scored by the shadow patrol for observing particular tasks.

Make sure your Patrols know how to make water bombs by folding a sheet of paper. When they are expert and have built a collection of water bomb containers have a water bomb fight. Best done outside. Make sure Leaders are wearing waterproofs.

Use a tape recorder as part of a wide game to impart clues, e.g. your mission is to, the sound of a train or a waterfall to indicate the location of the next clue etc.

Organise a scavenger hunt. Give the Patrols a list of items which have to be collected in a given time say 1 hour. Items can be as diverse as the signature of the local Gardaí on an egg, or a photograph of the Patrol. A dustbin lid to a left handed screwdriver. Points are awarded depending on the difficulty of the items to be found

Have a diamond hunt, a very muddy event. A large tub or dustbin is filled with a suitable muddy mixture and some marbles are dropped into it. Patrols line up relay fashion and Scouts running out one at a time must dig around in the mud until they find a diamond return to their Patrol and allows the next Scout to seek a diamond.

Reference: Scouting Ireland

>>> Feedback
Click here to Sign our Guest Book or click here to View our Guest Book



Copyright © 2000 - 2006 91st Dublin Scout Group