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
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.
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.
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
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.
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: 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...)
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.
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)
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)
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.
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.
A group needs to complete a boat course around buoys or other
objects without the aid of paddles or oars.
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.)
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.
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
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.
Are you more like summer or winter? a station wagon or a sports
Divide into smaller groups. Each group discusses their similarities
and acts out for other group to guess.
Group coordinates efforts to walk while standing on wooden trolleys
(long boards with ropes to hang on to every few feet).
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)
Each person grabs hands with two different people across a circle.
Group works to untangle itself. (leadership, everyone important)
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.
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.
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
monkeys 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. Dont 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
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.
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN !!!!!!
Big John, firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.
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)