Scout Games – Isotope

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This ranks pretty high on my list of Scout games. On a recent trip we retreated to a cabin for a few hours when it started raining. The Scouts played this game too many time to count!

The scenario presented to them is that A highly radioactive isotope has been discovered and it must be contained before it contaminates the area(!)

Each participant has a square of cardboard from a cereal box. The isotope is a marble. The team must move the isotope into a ‘containment structure’ (a tin can) located some distance from the isotope.


  • The isotope will only remain stable if it is on a square of cardboard, if it hits the ground it is returned to the starting point.
  • The isotope must not be touched! It will kill anyone who touches it instantly and that person will no longer be able to help contain it.

There are all kinds of ways to introduce strategic obstacles and this tends to make the game all that much more fun. Start simply and add some variations as the teams get more adept at the game.


  • Give the group a specific time limit.
  • Limit the number of steps each player can take – after that the radioactivity of the isotope saps all of their strength.
  • Set up obstacles for the group to overcome in moving the isotope into the containment structure.
  • Hide the isotope and/or the containment structure so the group has to find them before they begin. – Several groups can compete at the same time using different colored marbles and containment structures.

isotope scout games infographic

Click the infographic to see full-sized.
Isotope game infographic as a PDF File