Confidence and Team Building Games

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Make sure that you adhere to your organization's safety procedures while organizing or conducting any games. Games are not categorized here according to age group. Some games listed here are not appropriate for younger scouts.


More Teambuilding Games

Birthday Line-up

Have the Scouts line up in order of their birthdays (month and day, year isn't necessary). The trick is, they CAN NOT TALK AT ALL. You'll find they resort to sign language, nudges, someone might try to start directing, etc.

Group Knot

Have the Scouts stand in a tight circle, with their hands in the center. Then the Scouts grab others' hands at random. The puzzle is then for the whole group to work together to get themselves untangled. Sometimes you'll find that the group has actually formed several smaller circles.

This may get frustrating if you've formed a troublesome knot, but let them keep trying.


Have the Scouts stand in a circle and hold hands. Start one hula hoop (or innertube, long loop of fabric, etc.) hanging over one pair of joined hands. Each person in the circle must pass the hoop/loop over him/herself and on to the next person - WITHOUT letting go of hands. I generally do this with 2 or 3 loop/hoops going at the same time in different directions.

Keep the Ball Up

Using a beachball, have Scouts start hitting it around and trying to keep it off the ground. Then challenge them to keep it in the air for 20 hits, or 30 hits, etc. Encourage them to develop some strategy (such as establishing "zones", or an order, etc.) to try to keep the ball up for as many hits as possible.

The previous games were contributed by: Rosemary Speers; Cadette Leader and Campus Scout; Huron Valley Girl Scout Council

Oath / Law Puzzle

I'm Den leader for 14 wolf cubs and used a jigsaw puzzle type game to help them learn the scout promise and the law of the pack. I wrote out the Promise and law on pieces of two foot by two foot 1/4 inch masonite.

I then used a jigsaw to cut out each word so when I was done each word was a separate piece of the puzzle. They took turns in groups of four putting the puzzles together. The groups were timed to see which group was the fastest to assemble the puzzles. Not only did this help them learn the promise and the law, It also forced them to work as a team if they wanted to be the winners. I was able to make two puzzles of each in about an hour for under $5.00. The puzzles are also good to use at the beginning of meetings, as boys arrive, to keep them busy until everyone is there.

Robert Getz

Lava Island

The game may be called "lava island." To set up the game make a circle on a flat or partially sloped area using rocks, sticks, or whatever is available; the circle should be large enough to comfortably fit the participants in and allow them working room. Everyone should have a small object (a water bottle works very well).

Instruct all participants to lie fully stretched out on their backs around the outside of the circle, with their feet touching the perimeter of the circle. Make sure participants are evenly spaced. Now everyone places their object (water bottle) on the ground at the top of their head. Then the participants get up and get inside of the circle.

Explain that they are now surrounded by a pool of lava and the only safe spot is the "island" they are now standing on, which is marked by the ring you created (rocks, sticks). The goal is to retrieve all the water bottles outside the circle without touching anything outside the circle (the lava) and without using anything other than themselves (no hats, gloves, bandannas, ect).

The solution involves hanging onto one person as he/she leans out and grabs the bottle; in doing so (because of the location of the bottle) the person's body will be nearly parallel to the ground. This is a great team building and trust/support game.

(Courtesy of Brandon)

The following games were contributed by: Maureen Harrison; G.S. Camp Director

Line Up

Line up: in order of size, birthday, address, shoe size, shirt color, etc. Variations include no talking, blindfolded, mute and deaf, etc. (communication)


Everyone in group touches stick at same time. Break stick in half and repeat. Continue until stick is very small. (it's easier to start with a simple goal and work up to a harder one...)

Tree Climbing

Have group climb a tree holding hands or have group cooperate to climb a tree without low branches.


Have group discuss things that are detrimental to functioning as a group. For each characteristic/action, throw an object into the playing space, the "minefield." Have group choose partners. One partner is blindfolded at one end of field. The non-blindfolded partners stand at the opposite end of the field and try to talk their partners through the minefield without running into any of the obstacles.

Three Balls

Have group pass 3 balls/objects through the group consecutively in the shortest possible time. Choose your words carefully and remember them exactly so that the instructions can be repeated when asked. (different ways to do things, cooperation)

Poison Peanut Butter

Draw two lines to represent the edges of the poison peanut butter. Hand group bandannas. Group needs to get everyone safely across using only the bandannas as safety zones. Variations include using too few bandannas for a continuous chain across or stating that once a bandanna has been placed on the ground, it cannot be moved. In the second case, be sure there are enough bandannas to make it across if placed strategically. (must plan ahead)

Group Juggle

Establish pattern of tosses including everyone in a circle. Add additional objects periodically.

(A variation contributed by: Nancy J Rimassa) This is a good way to help a group of strangers remember at least one person's name forever.

1. Have the group stand in a circle, fairly close together.

2. Toss a ball across the circle, calling out the player's name to whom you toss it to. That player tosses to a different player and so on until everyone has caught the ball and thrown it on once. It should be back in your hands at this point.

3. Repeat the sequence a couple of times. Add a second bell and then a third. Add as many balls as you want.

Variations? Make a wide circle out of doors.
Use toilet paper instead of balls.
Use various size balls.
The game ends when no one will play anymore.

Canyon Bridge

Two groups meet on a log/bench/etc. (the bridge) The groups need to pass each other to get to the other side of the canyon. Anyone who falls off goes to the end of their group.


Lay a board out to a boat a few feet from the end of a dock. Everyone needs to get into the boat.

Boat Paddling

A group needs to complete a boat course around buoys or other objects without the aid of paddles or oars.

Trust Falls

One partner falls backwards with other partner spotting. Variations include forward falls where partners extend arms and fall toward each other, connecting hands. This can be done from fairly far apart provided there are spotters ready to catch the fallers in the middle. (editor's note: Trust falls must be highly supervised, in case scouts decide to experiment. Also a variation where there are at least 2 spotters, legs spread, one in front of the other, works well. For older scouts.)

Wind in the Willows

A variation on trust falls involving the entire group. Group stands in a circle with one person in the middle. Person in middle falls in any direction, trusting spotters to catch him/her and stand him/her back up.

Blind Walk

Divide group into pairs with one member of each pair blindfolded. Seeing partner leads blind partner on a walk. The walk should be challenging, including such obstacles as climbing over tables, crawling under chairs, walking up or down stairs, climbing over railings, etc.

Blanket Volleyball

Divide group into two teams, each with a blanket held like a parachute. Toss in an object that is volleyed from team to team using the blanket for propulsion. Can add objects.

Similarities and Differences

Are you more like summer or winter? a station wagon or a sports car? etc.

Similarity Charades

Divide into smaller groups. Each group discusses their similarities and acts out for other group to guess.

Trolley Walk

Group coordinates efforts to walk while standing on wooden trolleys (long boards with ropes to hang on to every few feet).

Group Jump-Rope

Given long piece of rope, group tries to jump rope simultaneously (again, easier to start with simple task - one or two people - and work up to larger goal gradually)

Human Knot

Each person grabs hands with two different people across a circle. Group works to untangle itself. (leadership, everyone important)

Blind Shapes

Group is blindfolded or with eyes closed. Have group form themselves into a square or a triangle, etc. Can use a rope with everyone holding on. (communication, leadership)

The previous games were contributed by: Maureen Harrison; G.S. Camp Director

Orbiter and Fall


I have employed a scheme of learning and games to good success. Here are two examples.

It is like musical chairs. There is one fewer chairs than boys. The extra boy is the Sun. The other boys are each assigned a planet (Mars, Jupiter, etc.) The sun orbits around the chairs calling out the names of planets. The planet (boy) called gets up and walks (orbits) around the chairs with the sun. When all the planets are orbitting, the den leader yells Blast Off. All the boys scramble for a chair. The one left standing becomes the Sun.


Same as above except the boys are trees (each with their own name). It is the Wind. The leader yells fall.

You can see you can use this technique to reinforce the names of things (rocks, insects, parts of a knife, etc.)

The other technique is to have the standard relay races found in the cub books. Except the boy has to recite a rule for something you are studying before he can tag the next boy. For example use rules for knife safety, fire safety. swimming etc.

I usually find that the other boys help ones who can't think of an answer.

I also rarely run any games with an our team against your team structure. I
try to have all the boys compete against my expectations or their own desire
to do well.

Steve Poole; Den 1; Pack 445; Indianhead Council Eagan, Mn.

The Team Game

This game has three aims. One to teach a knot, Two to throw a Life Line and Three, which is the big one, is to teach Team Work within a Patrol.


Each Patrol to be issued with a Life Line, (which is a long rope with or without a monkey’s fist in the end), A old Car tyre and a Carpet Mat.

Where to play ?

You can play this in the river, but in your troop hall is a good place to start.

How to Play.

1. Each patrol is to line up at one end of the Hall. Patrol Leader in front of each Patrol with the Assistant Patrol Leader at the Back.

2. On the GO! command, the first Scout, PL, runs to the end of the Hall with the Car tyre and Carpet Mat. When he gets to the end of the hall, he is to place the Carpet Mat on the floor. He then must place the Car tyre on the Mat. When this has been done he must then sit on the tyre with his/her arms out to the sides to catch the life line.

3. The second Scout, who was behind his Patrol Leader must throw the Life Line at the Patrol Leader so that it lands over his stretched out arms. Don’t for get to hold on to the end of the Life Line when you throw it !

4. When the Patrol Leader has got the Life Line, he must then tie a knot, (Round Turn and Two Half Hitches, Bowline or what you want them to tie), around the tyre. When he/she has done this it must then be inspected by a Scout Leader.

5. When the Scout Leader gives the OK, the rest of the Patrol are to pull the Patrol Leader back.

6. Once the Patrol Leader is back with his Patrol, the knot is untied, the Patrol Leader goes to the back of the line, the second Scout then takes the tyre and mat to the top of the hall, the third Scout must get ready to throw the Line, and we repeat as above until each Scout has throw the Line and Sat and Pulled back on the tyre.

7. The game must be timed. The winning Patrol must stand at the alert with the Life Line coiled correctly on the tyre, with the tyre on the Mat in front of the Patrol.


The winning patrol will be the Patrol with the best team work.

When the Patrol is pulling back their member on the tyre, the back person should be coiling the rope so that it is ready to through again quickly.

A good Patrol will practise through a line and their knots, so that next time you play this game they will be ready.

If you have to run a Patrol Leaders training course then use this game at the Start, In the middle and at the End and see how each Patrol has improved.

A 1st Class time is about 10 to 15 Seconds per Person.


Big John,; Altrincham District Musketeers

Fingertip Hula Hoop

In groups of around four, have students all put the tips of two (fingers of each hand) under the hula hoop. The object is for the group to be able to lower the hoop to the ground without anyones fingertips coming off. Their fingertips MUST be in contact with the hoop at all times. To make this even more challenging, you can have the students try it WITHOUT ALLOWING ANY TALKING. This activity takes a lot of team work and cooperation. It is also a lot of fun for the kids.

Katie Mathews

Paper Fold

Paper Fold, split into teams of about 5 or 6 making sure equal distribution of size etc. If inside can remove shoes. Give each team a sheet of newspaper(broadsheet), flipchart paper or similar, tell them all to stand on it. Everyone off, fold in half on the long edge, and then everyone back standing on. Keep folding in half until one of the teams is the winner. Various techniques of standing on one leg etc, and other acrobatic tricks allowed & encouraged!

Steve Howard 7th Airedale(Shireoak) Scouts, Horsforth, (England)

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