scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Night Scouting at the Kudu Net
Rick Seymour (Rick@KUDU.NET
Mon Apr 10 2000 - 16:58:02 CDT
I've added some new resources to The Kudu Net for anyone planning a
nighttime Campout or Camporee.
K. Graham Thomson's handbook, "Night Scouting," can now be found at:
Thomson's work starts with the simple question, "Are you afraid of the
This is a subject that I don't see discussed as often as other topics like
"safe havens" or "homesickness," even though it seems to effect almost
every new Scout (some hide it better than others).
Thomson's aim is to replace this natural fear with a love of the many
textures of a night in the forest. He has chapters on telling time and
direction by the stars, night hiking, night stalking, plus Night Eyes,
Night Ears, and even Night Nose!
AND there is also a great chapter on using FIREWORKS for Night Scouting
Games! But NOTHING about skydiving at night, I promise. I have left these
games in the collection with the hope that someone may be inspired by their
infectious spirit to think of some sort of safe props to use for this
excellent collection of games based on firecrackers, flares, and rockets.
It is very obvious that the Scouts in Graham Thomson's camps had a LOT of
FUN, and this chapter is worth reading for the inspiration alone.
Hey, did you know that you can find the North Star from the constellation
"If you hold your staff up against the sky to make a line with the sword
and the middle of the head, and carry that line on with your eye through
two big stars to a third, this third one is the Pole Star."
Thomson also has an easily understood explanation of telling time by the
stars, something I don't remember seeing in any Scout Handbook:
"On the circle of sky overhead imagine the hours to be written round the
edge, as they are in the diagram; it is a 24-hours clock, with 12 midnight
at the North point, 12 noon due South, 6 A.M. to the West, and 6 P.M. to
the East. All the A.M. hours are on the West or left side, all the P.M.
hours on the East or right...."
Each of the chapters features games (nearly 50 in all) with which to
practice the Night Skills that he has just introduced.
Also at The Kudu Net is another work concerned with fear of the dark:
"After Dark," by J Harold Williams, found at:
Bill Wallace has a terrible secret that forces him let his Patrol down. He
confides in his Scoutmaster:
"[blurting out the words in a torrent] Oh, Skipper, I AM a quitter. I
wouldn't go because I was afraid--awfully afraid. I've always been afraid
after dark. AFTER DARK. [Shivers] I hate it at night. Everything is so
black, and there are shadows and I see things. Like now, it's getting
darker off there in the woods. [Points]. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.
[Breaks down and sobs. Skipper leads him to center stump and stands
beside him with his hand on shoulder as Bill sits, face buried in hands.
If possible, darken stage lights gradually through rest of act.]"
"After Dark" is a "Boy Scout Play". At one time it was common for Scout
Troops to produce these plays as fund-raisers, or to be performed for
parents and the public at Courts of Honor.
I've never heard of a Troop putting on a play these days, although recently
1/4 of my own Scouts were hard to find for a month while they worked on
their school play.
The slapstick humor in "After Dark" is genuinely funny and will appeal to
boys, but the play's treatment of darker issues earns it a place in the
Personal Growth area of The Kudu Net.
If there is any interest, I have eight additional "Approved Scout Plays"
that I can someday scan and place on The Kudu Net for use by Troops that
want to try their hand at a play.
Also (speaking of acting), for Scouts that want something more challenging
than most collections of Skits, be sure to check out "Campfire Helps" and
"Troop Stunts" at:
While many "Skits" are merely based on puns, "Stunts" have their root in
Not all Stunts have to be funny, however. There are a number of
inspirational Campfire Ceremonies that can be found classified under
"Stunts". These later two resources are not yet fully scanned so, if you
like what you see, be sure to bookmark them and return again at a later
But I digress...
Yours in Scouting,