Here’s a game to help Scouts with requirements that have a number of things to remember or identify
For example First Class rank requirement 6: Identify or show evidence of at least ten kinds of native plants found in your community.
For this particular requirement you’ll need to know how to identify ten native plants. Not a very daunting task with the internet at your disposal. Try Googling ‘native plants’ and your state and county.Take notes, print out pictures and spend some time acquainting yourself with the plants you’ve chosen. I’d aim for ten trees, ten wildflowers and ten other plants (in my area that’s common forest under-story plants, it may be different where you live). If you know thirty plants you’ll be able to find at least ten anytime you are out camping.
Armed with this knowledge and your reference material take your Scouts for a walk and point out at least ten plants. A group of at least six but not too many more than ten works best.
When you come to the end of the walk ask the Scouts to retrace their steps and have each bring back a sample of one of the plants you identified (if collecting samples isn’t appropriate to your location use pictures). Tell them to be sure everyone has a different sample. It’s okay if they don’t remember exactly what the plant is called.
Once they all have their samples form a circle and ask each Scout to say the name of the plant in turn. If he doesn’t know he can ask the other Scouts to help him. Go once around the circle and be sure everyone knows the name of the plant they are holding.
Next ask each Scout to name every plant in the circle in turn. If he doesn’t remember a particular plant he has to ask the Scout holding it for the name and his turn stops. If he names all the plants correctly he is ‘out’ and he hands the plant he is holding to the Scout on his left and steps out of the circle. The first Scout out takes over running the game until the next Scout is out. All of the Scouts participating eventually become coaches until the game is over.
A Scout left holding two plants (or more) now needs to know the names of both. The last Scout will be holding all ten plants and will need to be able to name them all before he is out.
Encourage the Scouts to coach and support each other through the game. Scouts who have the most difficulty get the most practice and Scouts who catch on quickly get promoted to a coaching role.
This game can easily be adapted to many other requirements or skills;
- Ten Animals – Use pictures of animals or their tracks
- Seven leave no trace principles, Twelve points of the Scout law or any other similar list of things to remember- print the list item on one side of a 3×5 card and put a number on the the other side. In the circle the Scouts see only the number side of the card.
- Knots – start by naming knots, then move on to tying each one in turn (tying each knot is pretty advanced stuff for most Scouts – it will take a lot of practice!)
Remember to include each step in the game;
- Review the knowledge first.
- Scouts select or are given one of the items, form a circle and tell what their item is in turn.
- Scouts individually go around the circle and name each item.
- If they cannot name a particular item the Scout holding it tells them what it is and their turn is over.
- If they can correctly name each item they hand their item to the Scout on their left and leave the circle – they are now the a judge and coach to help the rest of the Scouts complete the game.
The spirit of the game is to get Scouts to work together rather than compete against each other. It may sharpen the game a bit if they compete against the clock; “the last patrol was done with this game in ten minutes, can you do better?”