scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Getting to know you games part 1
Mark Arend (mwarend@INTERNETWIS.COM
Thu Feb 17 2000 - 08:27:09 CST
A while back I asked for ideas for "get to know each other" games for when
my Troop & my brother's Michigan Troop meet for a weekend in Chicago. Here
are the suggestions I got.
It came out to 6 printed pages and too long to post in one piece--gonna try
two. Thanks for the ideas.
I'm giving the list to my SPL and asking John to do the same. If each SPL
leads one game it will be a good way for the kids to meet each other.
Something you could try (depends on how limited your space is) is the game
"Have you ever" In this game you are in a circle with a person in the
middle. THere a "placeholders" for each spot. The person in the middle
says something that they have done in the form of "Have you ever..." and
then everyone who has, scambles to find a new place (and it can't be the
space right next to them) the person who does not find a new space is now
in the middle and the cycle repeats.
some games from NuGames
hand out a questionare sheet asking them to find a person who has earned
the X badge, camped in the snow,etc (pick items that forces the boy to met
boys from the other troop).
One of my favorite get to know you games is a name/association round.
Everone sits in a circle, and starting at one point,(you or your brother)
start clockwise, saying
you first name, and a "thing to be known by"
So you can start off by saying Mark - Librarian, your brother, sitting to
your side, will say, (name)
Brother, then repeat Mark - Librarian. I, sitting to his side, say George -
Collector, ---Brother, Mark - Librarian....
And this goes on to the whole group, adding a new name and connection, and
repeating to all the others, and ends when you repeat all, completing the
It is fun, and years later, folks still know me as collector (it became my
vigil name, too.)
I have done this twice and it worked excellently both times. You need 1
to 3 soft balls and the two groups together. Start with one ball. The
person with the ball says his name and throws it to a person from other
Troop who catches it and names the person who through it and then does as
the first person did. When everyone has gone once, the rules change. Add
more balls. The person throwing has to call the name of a Scout from the
other Troop and throw the ball to him. When he catches it, he names who
threw it to him and the game continues. Works great.
1. Make 3x5 cards in pairs "Cake & Ice Cream" "Cup and Saucer" "Starsky
and Hutch" etc Pin the card with Cake to one boy and the one with Ice
Cream to a 2nd boy. each boy can ask questions of any other boy in hopes
of identifying his missing half -- only forbidden questions are "what am I"
and "who is my partner."
2. Create a list of things like "Find one person who can answer yes to one
"_______ likes tunafish", "_________ wasn't born in Wisconsin"
"____________'s dad is a policeman" ________ likes spice cake -- of course
the person making up the list has to KNOW in advance there is at least one
person in the group to fit each blank. Again, the participants circulate
with their lists asking questions.
3. There's a very noisy game that works best in very large groups where no
one has a unique given name. Such groups are tough to find these days, but
it's a no brainer. Someone yells a name, and the boy with that name is
supposed to jump up and yell his name back. Say I yell Mark; the one who
answers is automatically "wrong Mark" When the last Mark finally admits
he's Mark, he gets to yell the next name, until every boy has had a chance
to stand up and yell his name. Spelling doesn't count here. (g)
How about some non-competitive games? Our Scouts enjoyed the "mine" game a
lot. Tape two parallel lines on the floor about six feet apart. The lines
should about eight feet long. Put about 30 set mice traps between the two
lines. One boy stands at one side and is blindfolded. He is the mine
detector. The other boys stand at the other side and "guide" him through
the mine field. (The traps don't hurt a bit if they are sprung as long as
the walker is wearing even ordinary sneakers.) If you want to make it more
difficult, tell the first "guide" he may say only a single word. The "mine
detector" must then say a single word. Then the next "guide" may say a
word and so forth, on down the line of guides - one word each, separated by
one word from the walker. If the walker isn't across by the time you reach
the end of the guides, it reverts to the first guide. This works best with
a patrol group of kids, but you could sort the kids into groups of about 7,
mixing up the troops.
One way to sort the kids into groups is to print animal names on index
cards. Make 7 (or whatever number per group) cards for each animal. Pin
one index card to the back of each shirt, without the Scout seeing what is
written on the card. Without saying a word, the Scouts must find all the
others in their patrol, join together and hold up their hands. You could
do this with the promise, too, putting "On my honor" only on the backs of
Scouts from one troop, "I promise to do my best" on the backs of Scouts
from the other troop, etc. and have the Scouts find enough others to make
up the whole promise. Once they've found a group, those boys could become a
"patrol" for future activities.
If you want a fun game without sorting the Scouts into groups, print a
different animal name on each card. The Scouts have to find out what is on
their own back, again without saying a word. Don't forget the amoeba!
Depending on the size of the group, select three or four simple songs that
everyone knows -- nursery rhymes, folk tunes, Old McDonald. On slips of
paper -- equal number -- write the songs and give one to each person coming
in. They are to hum the song and try to find others humming the song.
Another on is to write different Scout-related words on stickers. Put one
sticker on the BACK of each person. They are then to go around the room
and ask others for clues about the word on their back until they can guess
what is is.
There are several of these kinds of games available in Scouting resource
Don't know if this fits into the "limited space" requirement, but I
remember a time, many, many years ago, when the church youth group I was a
member of hosted a youth group/choir from the inner city of Chicago -
Cabrini Green area. We had the use of a gymnasium, so we played
"non-competitive" basketball. The objective was to have the fewest points
at the end of the game. It was a lot of fun and was a riot to watch,
("Here, have the ball." "No, I insist, you take the ball.") When we
finished we played real basketball, but had the teams consist of half from
We do an activity in Wood Badge that might help you. Pair up a boy from
one troop with a boy from another troop. Have them find out key information
about one another and then have them introduce each other to the group.
Another good one so that they talk to one another is to put celebrities
names on a name badge and stick the name badge on each boy's back and then
they have to go around to the other boys and ask them questions to try to
identify what the name is on their back. You can make the rule that they
must ask the questions of the boys in the other troop.
Mark W. Arend, Scoutmaster Outside of a dog a book is
Troop 736 Man's best friend. Inside
Beaver Dam, Wisc. of a dog it's too dark