Boy Scout Games to Engage Your Troops

Tim Ahern | August 6, 2019

Leading a group of Boy Scouts is always a challenge, whether you’re overseeing a troop meeting or planning your next outing. Luckily, Boy Scouts are fairly resourceful on their own, but one of the best things you can do is ignite the spirit of competition. 

A good game or two can create a memorable get together, along with helping scouts learn and grow. They can also be great bonding experiences for those first few meetings, helping new scouts get to know the other members of the troop.

But what games are best for Boy Scout troops? Here are a few fun and unique games to add to your itinerary.

Tent-Pitching Contest

Tent camping is an important part of being a Boy Scout. Divide your troop into teams and equip each with a packed tent. Each team races to finish setting up the tent, with judges designated to come in and evaluate the setup once both teams are finished. For more experienced campers, you can up the challenge by requiring them to do the task blindfolded.

All Aboard

The All Aboard game requires participants to compete by standing on a 2 X 2 plywood board. Participants must stand on the board without letting any body parts touch the ground. You can set a minimum timeframe for your entire troop to squeeze onto the board and hold their position or have teams compete for which can stand the longest.

Log-Rolling Relay

This game requires a large area and a few props. You’ll need a log that’s three feet in length and eight stakes set up in a zigzag pattern. Working in teams of two, scouts roll the log around the stakes, then roll it back so that the next two team members can take over. A timekeeper will monitor times, and the team that successfully finishes fastest wins.

Bandage Relay

There are several games your troops can play that will help hone their First Aid skills. One is a bandage relay, which has participants using their scout neckerchief to practice their bandaging skills. A leader shouts out “ankle,” “head,” or “sling,” with the scout applying the bandage to the chosen area. The quality of the bandage application will be checked, with the winner being the team that earns the most points.


Classic Games

Although there are many games that have become popular with Boy Scout troops, there are plenty of classics you can call on if you’re looking for a way to keep troops engaged. Here are some favorites you’ll likely recognize:

  • Tug of War
  • Red Rover
  • Simon Says
  • Duck, duck, goose
  • Musical chairs
  • Tag
  • Hopscotch
  • Kick the can
  • Hide-and-go-seek
  • Jumping rope
  • Rock-paper-scissors
  • Thumb wars
  • Keep away
  • Hot potato

You can also encourage your troop members to create their own games, making a competition out of it. Even if they modify an existing game, it could become a new tradition for your troop, making it something special you all share together. Over time, you’ll develop troop favorites that you can play whenever you’re looking for a way to end a meeting on a fun note or pass the time during a rainy afternoon at camp.