Troop Games – Large Area

Steal the Bacon

These games require a large area. Many of Baden-Powell’s wide games were played in a vast outdoor arena, much more extensive than what we normally can provide at a troop meeting. But, like in Scouting’s early days, many of the games listed here have the same capacity to transport our Scouts to a land of adventure and challenge where troop teams can let off steam while having a lot of fun.

“wide” = large indoor or outdoor setting for those activities requiring a greater amount of space
“in” = indoor activity
“out” = outdoor activity

Download PDF File of Troop Games – Large Area

ANTELOPE RACE  (wide, in or out)
Method:  On signal, troop teams run in single file, each member with one hand on the belt of the Scout ahead, to a point 50 yards away. They make a left turn and run back to the starting point. Falling down or breaking apart disqualifies the team.
Scoring:  The fastest team wins.

Materials:  blindfolds for half the Scouts, two soccer balls
Method:  Each team tries to kick the ball past the the other team’s end zone as many times as possible. Divide the Scouts into two teams, or use patrols. Each team then divides into pairs. One member of each pair is blindfolded. The game starts when the referee throws or kicks two soccer balls into the middle of the soccer field or playing area.
1. Only the blindfolded Scout may kick the ball; the sighted Scout can only offer verbal directions to their partner.
2. Team members may not intentionally touch one another. Normal game contact is allowed as long as the touching is not used to direct a blindfolded participant.
3. There are no goalies.
4. If a ball is kicked out of bounds, the referee will throw the ball into the middle of the field and play resumes.
5. Any additional rules are at the discretion of the referee.
Scoring:  Each successful kick earns one point for the team. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

BLINDFOLDED STEAL THE BACON  (wide, in or out)    View Video
Materials:  three neckerchiefs or bandanas (two for blindfolds and one for the “bacon”)
Method:  Two equal-size teams line up facing each other about 20 feet apart. Each team counts off with the same set of numbers so that each Scout will share their number with a Scout on the other team. The “bacon” is placed midway between the teams. The leader calls out a number. The two Scouts who share that number are blindfolded, then head toward the bacon, with their respective teammates shouting directions. For an additional twist, after being blindfolded, they can be spun around three times.
Scoring:  The first Scout to bring home the bacon without being tagged by the Scout from the other team scores one point for their team. If a Scout is tagged by the Scout from the other team while touching the bacon or bringing it back, the other team scores one point.

CAPTURE THE FLAG  (wide, in or out)
Materials:  two flags (neckerchiefs, bandanas, pieces of cloth)
Method:  The game can be played in an open field, gymnasium, the woods, or any large non-hazardous area. A center line is designated, separating the playing area into two sides. The troop is divided into two teams each of whom place their “flag” at the far end on their side. The flag can be in plain site, or partially concealed, but should be positioned so that an opposing team member can easily pick it up. The object of the game is for one team to “capture” the other team’s flag by bringing it to their side without being tagged by a member of the opposing team. At any time during play, if an opposing team member is tagged on the other team’s side, they are sent to jail. A team’s jail is a well-defined space in a back corner of each team’s side. Once a Scout is in jail, they stay there for the duration of the game, unless freed by one of their team members who safely reaches the other team’s jail and tags anyone on their team held prisoner. In so doing, all those in the jail are freed and proceed safely back to their side before taking any other action for their team. When a flag is captured, the game ends, and depending on the time allotted, additional games can be played.

CATCH TEN  (wide, in or out)
Materials:  playground ball, neckerchiefs or bandanas for half the troop
Method:  The troop is divided into two equal teams. All the members of one team are identified by tying neckerchiefs or bandanas on their right arms. The ball starts in the hands of one team member, who tosses it to a teammate. The other team tries to intercept the ball. As the first Scout catches the ball, they shout “One!” and throws the ball to another teammate, who shouts “Two!” as they catch the ball. This continues until “Ten!” has been called. If a Scout from the opposing team intercepts the ball, they shout “One!” and their team then tries to reach ten. As teams intercept the ball, they must always start over with the number one.
Scoring:  The first team to make ten completions is the winner.

CRACK THE DEW LINE  (wide, in or out)
Materials:  enough neckerchiefs or blindfolds for blindfolding one team
Method:  The troop is divided into two teams—the “aggressors” and the “DEW line.” The DEW (Distant Early Warning) line Scouts are blindfolded and line up side by side with their feet spread wide apart and touching each other’s. All DEW line Scouts have two “depth charges”—their hands, which they hold at shoulder height. The aggressors try to penetrate the DEW line by crawling through. The DEW line Scouts must eliminate the aggressors by touching them with a depth charge. If a DEW line Scout makes a hit, the aggressor is out and the DEW line Scout’s depth charge is still good. If they miss, their depth charge is wasted and they must put that hand on their knee. Limit the playing time to five minutes and then change teams.
Scoring:  The team that gets the most members through the DEW line wins.

CROWDED CIRCLE  (wide, in)
Materials:  masking tape, a large room in which the lights can be turned off instantly causing complete darkness and easily turned on to quickly light the room back up
Method:  With the masking tape, mark out a nearly circle-shaped area on the floor about 6 feet in diameter. With the lights on, Scouts walk freely along the room’s periphery. Without signal, the lights are turned off for 10 seconds. In the darkness, the Scouts must try to get inside the circle. When the lights go back on, everyone must freeze on the spot. All Scouts found outside the circle are out of the game. The game resumes with shorter darkness periods, if necessary, until only one Scout remains in the circle.
Scoring:  The last Scout in the circle wins.
Variation:  Instead of one circle, form three circles on the floor and number them. When the lights go out, announce which circle should be used.

CROWS AND CRANES  (wide, in or out)
Method:  The troop is divided into two teams. The teams line up down a center line, back to back. Each team facing a home line about 30 feet away. One team are the crows, the other team are the cranes. If the SPL shouts “cranes!” the crows must turn around and try to tag a crane before they can reach their home line. Any member of the cranes that gets tagged has to join the crows team. If the SPL shouts “crows!” the crows team has to run to their home line without getting tagged by the cranes team. Any member of the crows that gets tagged has to join the cranes team. If the SPL shouts, “crabs!” everyone must stand still. Anyone that moves must join the opposing team. Play starts off each time with both teams lined up back to back across the center line. The game ends when one team has all the Scouts (or whenever). You can have a lot of fun elongating the RRRRR’s— “CRRRRRRRRABS!” “CRRRRRRROWS!” “CRRRRRRANES!”
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DEER STALKING  (wide, out)
Prerequisite:  densely wooded area
Method:  One Scout is selected as the “deer” and goes “grazing” in the woods. The rest try to get within six yards (or any suitable distance) without being seen. If the deer notices a tracker, they call their name and points in their direction. That Scout must move back 50 feet. If the deer hears a tracker near them, they may “stampede,” but not more than 30 feet (the tracker must remain in place). The first Scout to get within the agreed distance trades places with the deer.
Variation:  The deer is in a circle about 50 feet in diameter. The Scouts try to enter the circle unnoticed. If the deer sees a Scout and calls their name, that Scout is out of the game. The patrol with the most Scouts in the circle within a certain time wins.

Materials:  plastic flying disk, a field marked for soccer with a semicircular penalty area surrounding the goal
– Object: To send the disk across the the other team’s goal line (sliding on the ground or sailing through the air) as many times as possible
Method:  The troop is divided into two teams. The teams are positioned on each half of the soccer field. Each team chooses a goalie, who stands in their goalie box.
1. Play begins when the referee throws the disk high into the air.
2. After catching or picking up the disk, a Scout may run toward the opponent’s goal. If they are tagged above the waist with two hands, the tagged Scout must drop or throw the disk within three seconds.
3. A throw at the goal can be made from anywhere on the field except within the goalie box. The only person allowed in this area is the goalie. The goalie may leave or enter their goalie box at any time.
4. If two or more Scouts grab the disk simultaneously, a “jump” ball is called. A leader stops the action and throws the disk into the air at the point where play was stopped.
5. The only penalty is for excessive roughness. The first infraction results in a two-minute penalty: one Scout is removed from the field. The second infraction means removal from the game. Body contact is inevitable, but intentional roughness is unnecessary.
Scoring:  Each goal scores one point for the team. The team with the highest score wins.

JUMP THE SHOT  (wide, in or out)    View Video
Materials:  soft weight, such as a rolled-up cloth or sandbag, tied to the end of a rope at least 10 feet long
Method:  The Scouts form a wide circle. The leader in the center swings the rope around inside the circle to get it going in a steady, circular motion. Then the rope is swung wider, around the circle below the knees of Scouts, who must “jump the shot.”
Scoring:  Any Scout who is hit by the rope or weight drops out. The last Scout in the game is the winner.
Scoring variation:  To play as a patrol game, each patrol begins with 50 points. When a Scout fails to “jump the shot,” 5 points are deducted from the patrol score. All Scouts remain in the circle. The game is continued until one of the patrols is “in the red.”

PAPER-WAD TENNIS  (wide, in or out)
Materials:  masking tape, about 100 sheets of paper crumpled tightly into wads
Method:  The meeting room is divided in half with a line of masking tape on the floor. The paper wads are scattered around the room, equally distributed on both sides of the line. Each troop team takes one side of the “court,” and no one can cross over to the other side. The object is to throw as many paper wads onto the other team’s court as possible, throwing only one at a time. A timekeeper facing away from the action calls “Go!” and the game begins. When they yell “Stop!” the team with the most paper wads on their side wins that round.
Scoring:  The team with the most winning rounds is the winner.

RING BALL  (wide, in or out)
Materials:  playground ball
Method:  Scouts form a circle with one Scout who is “It” in the middle. Play is begun by passing the ball to a Scout other than It. The ball is passed around or across the circle from Scout to Scout, while the Scout who is “It” tries to intercept the ball and force it to touch the floor. If “It” can make the ball touch the floor, the Scout who last touched the ball before “It” did goes to the center and the game continues. It’s not enough to just touch the ball as it’s being passed around. “It” must actually make the ball hit the ground.

SHOOT THE GAP  (wide, in or out)
Materials:  large playing area marked with two goal lines
Method:  The troop is divided into two teams, each lining up behind one of the goals. One Scout is chosen to be “Guardian of the Gap,” and stands in the middle of the playing area. The guardian starts play by calling out the name of any Scout on one team. That Scout immediately shouts the name of a Scout on the other team. These two Scouts must then try to change goals without being tagged by the guardian. If the guardian tags one of them, they change places with the tagged Scout and joins the team toward which the tagged Scout was running. The tagged Scout is the new “Guardian of the Gap,” and starts the next round by calling out another name. The guardians may not call the name of a Scout who was already called until all have participated.

SKEDADDLE  (wide, in or out)
Materials:  ten different objects found in nature like pine cone, burr, maple leaf, oak leaf, granite rock, sand stone, birch bark, etc. or ten ropes tied with different knots and lashings
Method:  Troop divides into two equal teams, and each count off so that every Scout on both teams have a number. Each team faces each other, 15 feet from a center line, in order, with “Number 1’s” on each team’s left. The leader gives the name of each object. They then call out the name of one object and a number. The Scout with that number on each team runs to the center, tries to pick up the object named and race back to their line without being tagged by the other Scout. The object is then returned to the center and the leader calls another number.
Scoring:  Scouts score one point for their team by picking up the correct object, and two points if they can get back to their line without being tagged. If a Scout returns to their line with the wrong item, their team loses a point. If a Scout tags another Scout who has picked up the wrong item, their team loses a point.
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STAND BY SIXES  (wide, in or out)    View Video
Method:  Scouts scatter throughout the playing area. The leader blows a particular number of blasts on a whistle. Whatever number of blasts the leader blows, that’s the number of Scouts that need to combine into a group, hands joined and held high. If there are three blasts, the Scouts must get into groups of three, four blasts, groups go four, etc. If a Scout can’t find a group corresponding to the number of whistle blasts blown, they’re out.
Scoring:  None. Play continues until time runs out or all Scouts are eliminated.
Variation:  The leader yells out a number and Scouts are not allowed to move until they hear the whistle blow.

STEAL THE BACON  (wide, in or out)    View Video
Materials:  large playing area, neckerchief, whistle
Method:  Troop counts off by twos, and all “ones” line up on one side of the playing area, all “twos” on the other. From left to right, both teams then count off by ones so a number can be assigned to each Scout. The neckerchief is the “bacon” and is placed in the center of the playing area. The leader calls out a number and the Scout with that number on each team runs to the center when they hear the whistle. The object of the game is for a Scout to snatch the “bacon” and get back to their side without being tagged by the Scout with the same number from the other side.
Scoring:  Score two points if a Scout can “steal the bacon” without being tagged. Score one point for the opposing team if the snatcher is tagged.

STRATEGO  (wide, out)

TROOPOLO  (wide, out)
Materials:  playground ball, two flags on 5-foot poles
Method:  A playing field is marked out at least 40 square feet. On each side, there’s a 6-foot square goal box, and in the center of each, a flag is planted three inches deep. The troop is divided into two teams. The object of the game is to knock over the opposing team’s flag by hitting it with the ball.
1. The ball must be passed by hand, punched, or headed; no kicking and no running with the ball
2. Only the goalie may be in their team’s goal square.
3. Absolutely no tackling, shoving, and tripping.
4. When the ball goes out of bounds, it’s thrown back in, as in soccer.
Scoring: Score one point for knocking over the opposing team’s flag.

TRUE OR FALSE STEAL THE BACON  (wide, in or out)    View Video
Materials:  large playing area, two neckerchief or bandanas of different colors, whistle
Method:  Troop counts off by twos, and all “ones” line up on one side of the playing area, all “twos” on the other. From left to right, both teams then count off by ones so a number can be assigned to each Scout. A True/False question is read out and a number called. Scouts with that number have to make a choice – one “bacon” is True, the other is False.
Scoring:  If a Scout grabs the wrong color and takes it across their team’s line, their team loses two points. If they grab the wrong color and is tagged by the Scout from the other team, the other team loses two points. If a Scout grabs the correct “bacon” and successfully brings it over their team’s line, their team gets two points. If they’re tagged, the other team gets one point.

TUG OF WAR  (wide, in or out)    View Video
Materials:  one rope at least 1/2-inch in diameter and 25 to 50 feet long, playing area large enough to safely accommodate all participants
Method:  Two teams line up single file, facing each other. The Scouts take hold of the rope, and, on signal, start pulling. The rope may not be tied around the waist of any Scout, nor can any Scout hold onto posts, trees, or any stationary objects.
Scoring:  The first team to pull or drag its opponents across a designated line wins.

TUG OF WAR STEAL THE BACON  (wide, in or out)
Materials:  bicycle tire wrapped in tape
Method:  Troop counts off by twos, and all “ones” line up on one side of the playing area, all “twos” on the other. From left to right, both teams then count off by ones so a number can be assigned to each Scout. The bicycle tire is placed in the middle between both teams. The leader then calls a number and those two Scouts with that number meet in the middle, each grabbing a hold of the tire. On signal, both try to drag the other four feet. Scouts are instructed not to let go of the tire before the pulling stops.
Scoring:  A point is given to the team whose member successfully drags a Scout from the other team four feet.

WHERE’S THE WHISTLE?  (wide, in or out)
Materials:  large playing area, blindfold for each Scout, whistle
Method:  Scouts line up at arm’s length along one end of the playing field where they are blindfolded. The leader who will be the whistle blower goes to the other end, and every now and then blows their whistle. The blindfolded Scouts must reach the whistle blower and touch them by following the sound of the whistle. The leader may stoop down, but their feet must stay planted on the ground. As soon as a Scout touches the whistle blower, they slip off their blindfold and go to one side to watch. Other leaders should be stationed around the field to serve as safety officers, assuring Scouts don’t wonder off the field or into any obstruction.
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