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The Toilet Paper Game May 10, 2010

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

Games are a vital part of your Scouting program, and some of the best games are the ones that take very little setup or supplies to do. If you have enough Scouts, and a couple of rolls of new toilet paper, you have what you need for a fun game!

We played the toilet paper game a few years ago when my den were Webelos. Due to the skill level required, I would keep this game to Webelos and above.

The rules are simple. Select teams of 3 or 4 Scouts. Have the Scouts stand back-to-back-to-back (basically so their shoulders are touching). One Scout gets the roll of toilet paper, and he has to press the beginning of the roll against his stomach and pass the roll to the Scout on one side. Then that Scout takes the roll of toilet paper, and wraps it around his stomach, and hands it to the next Scout. The toilet paper is then passed from Scout to Scout, unraveling the paper and wrapping it around the team. If the toilet paper breaks, they have to hold the broken ends against themselves and wrap the paper around the team so that it covers this break and holds the wrapping in place, and then continue to wrap. The winning team is the first to hold up the empty roll with the paper wrapped around themselves.

The main challenges are keeping the toilet paper from breaking while passing it and not dropping the roll. If the team drops their roll, then they have to figure out a way to pick up the roll without breaking the wrap around themselves.

Not only does this make for a fun game, but imagine when you hold up the bag and announce “and the main equipment for this game is…” then bring out the package of toilet paper! When I did this in my den, the boys were laughing out loud when they saw this (and so were the parents). I had 8 boys show up to that meeting, so I had two teams of 4 boys. But best of all, I had 4 parents stay for that meeting. Guess who was team 3? Right! I talked the parents into playing too! They had a lot of fun, and finished their roll first, but since they had more girth than the boys, I disallowed their score and only took the winning boy team. But all had a blast!

So if you are looking for a fun game for your older Scouts, consider the toilet paper game. It’s a fun game that they will talk about for quite a while!

In Scouting,

- Scouter Jeff <><

Lemon and Chopstick Relay Game May 3, 2010

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

It’s so important to have a game anytime you have a den meeting. When I was a Cub Scout den leader, I loved relay games. You can make almost anything a relay game. A balloon that doesn’t touch the ground, an oversized shirt pulled from one Scout to the other (with both Scouts locking hands), balancing any item that will fit on a spoon, taking a bucket of water and a spoon and filling up a cup at the other end, the sweep potato game, etc. You get the idea – as long as you have enough Scouts, a level surface, and you match the relay game to their skill level, you can have a fun time.

One of my favorite relay games was the chopstick and lemon game. The equipment consisted of one lemon for each team (all lemons should be similar in size), one chopstick for each team (plus some extra chopsticks as back ups), and something to mark off your start and finish lines and something to separate the “lanes” of the relay (blue painter’s tape works well, or you could use orange sports cones). It’s always good to have a couple of parents volunteer to be line judges. The game play is easy – the boys divide into teams, get in a line, and try to roll the lemon from start to finish while staying in their lane. And they are not allowed to touch the lemon with anything except the chopstick. Since the lemon is oval, it doesn’t roll well, so that adds a lot of the fun to the game (so make sure you get really oval lemons!).

As far as the relay goes, you can split the team up and have some boys at each end of the lane, and hand off the chopstick (which works well if you have a decent number of boys in a team). Or if you don’t have a lot of boys on each team, you can have the boy run from one end of the lane back to the beginning, then hand off the chopstick to the next in line to repeat.

There are a lot of leaders that don’t like competition games, but I always liked to have games that had a winner. The boys seemed to enjoy the games more when there was something to win (I never gave prizes, though. It was all about bragging rights). To keep things somewhat fair, I usually chose the teams, and if there was one Scout who had a particularly difficult time with the skill level of the relay, I’d rotate the teams after a round so that everyone had a chance of being on a winning team. But this is how it worked for my dens. Each den has a unique make up, and what will work for one den might not work well in another.

Cub Scouting should be fun, and a great way to have fun is playing games. Relay games are a great way to have fun and burn energy off at a meeting. Plus, they can be thrown together with very little planning. You can even keep some relay supplies in your game backpack.

If you need a game for a meeting this week, raid your kitchen and see if you have a lemon and a chopstick. Then you’re all set for a fun game!

If you have a favorite relay game, please leave them in the comments so others can try the game at their den meeting.

In Scouting,

 - Scouter Jeff <><

Game Backpack December 1, 2008

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Here’s a tip I learned at our council’s 2005 Pow Wow, that I wanted to pass along. One of the areas backpackI’ve struggled with is games, so I took the Pow Wow class on games to help me with this area. Before this, I would spend all my time working on the den meeting plan, and I’d often forget to plan a game for the meeting. The results of that class were not life-changing, but they were den-changing. The class helped me rethink my approach to games. Games help liven up a den meeting and get the boys excited to come to the den meeting. I learned to plan my den meeting around a game, instead of planning a game for a den meeting.

One of the teacher’s suggestion was to keep a game backpack. It’s a backpack filled with games3various items for quick game ideas. As you can see from the picture, which has some of the contents of my backpack, there’s a lot of things that can be turned into games. Among the contents are balls, balloons, note cards, spoons, sticks, ropes, game tokens, dice, and a really old cell phone (which I love – and it always gets a laugh). So now even if I don’t have time to research a game, I have one at hand. We can do a spoon and ping pong ball relay. We can do a game where you pass the balloon along without using your hands. We have bean bags that we can use for a bean bag toss. We have a great giant cell phone to play Guess Who’s Calling. And of course a notepad and pencil to keep score, or use for a quick game of hang-man. I don’t even have a game in mind for some of the items. But in a pinch, you can make a game out of almost anything.

Not only does this help at den meetings, it’s great for outings as well. Now if we are out and we have to wait in line for something, I can pull out something from the backpack and pass the time, without the boys getting rowdy! I carry this everywhere we go, because you never know when you are going to have some downtime and need a diversion.

In Scouting,

-Scouter Jeff <><

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