Scout Games

Few games are specifically ‘Scouting’ games in origin or in use. Those that are now particularly associated with scouting might include British Bulldog, Capture the flag and wide games in general. Kims game, was of course, described by Kipling before Scouting existed.

This is not intended to be a repository of all games played or recorded. Many, if mentioned at all, are a title without a description. Those that are placed here reflect either a moment in time or past attitudes. A number of games or types of game will gain a separate page.

Skittles The pins were the legs of the Scouts, the balls cricket balls. Many sore legs and knees resulted. 1944 13th Cambridge (one report).

Alphabet lists ‘There is a ship coming from America laden with …’ The Scoutmaster names a letter and each Scout in turn names an item beginning with that letter.  This is not an unusual form but the phrase to ‘a ship from America’ is, consciously or subconsciously, a reference to the military and civil supplies that enabled Britain to continue the Second World War (Lend Lease).  America had entered the war at this point and American servicemen were also arriving. August 1944 13th Cambridge.

Pirate Dagger The game is one of stealth, creeping up on a Scout in the dark to retreive an object without being highlighted by the torch. It was probably very well suited to a hut with blackout curtains and no streetlights outside. This form is not unusual; it is the item to be retrieved that makes it of note – a sheath knife stuck point down into the floorboards to the certain detriment of the floor and the possible detriment of the Scout. It clearly taught extreme caution. 1944/45 13th Cambridge.

Foot and Mouth Depicted below is the 7th Cambridge in 1938, the photograph labelled merely ‘Foot and Mouth’. The details of the games are not clear.

Cambridgeshire Collection

WW2 The 7th Cambridge patrol log records a number of games clearly influenced, in title at least, by the war; ‘Blitz’, a wide game of ‘Parachutists’, and one of ‘5th Columnists’. It is not clear if these were training exercises for anticipate events or just games; probably the latter.

JWR Archivist Jan 2020