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Give me your best Team Building Game

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I am running a leadership program this weekend for First Class scouts and above. The focus will be the Patrol Leaders Handbook. I need two 30-45 minutes games. Ideally one should be a team building game and the other a leadership game. What have you seen work well and Why?





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I have a good team buiding game that worked great at our last PLC annual planning meeting. It's a simple game that will challege the boys to think about working as a team, using strategy, planning and communication.


Take a deck of cards and collect all the non-face cards (A-10) of one suit and the same from another suit. Shuffle each suit of 10 cards and then place them face down in random order in two separate rows on opposite sides of a table.


Divide the scouts into two teams. The object of the game is to flip over each card in order A to 10. If a card is flipped out of order, it is flipped back - face down. So, until the ace is flipped, all other cards get flipped back - then the two can stay unflipped and so on.


Only one team member at a time can flip a card. Position the other team members far enough away and face them away from the table so they cannot see what card was flipped. Team members can talk to each other between flips of the cards.


During the game, its good to have someone announcing the status of each team, like, "the hearts are at 5 and the diamonds are still at 2!" This gets them motivated and adds a sense of competition.


My boys would not stop playing this game. One team kept on winning and the other wanted to beat them. I gave them time between each round to strategize. After it was over, we talked about how each team did and what they did that made them win or lose. This lead to discussions about how teams work toghther.

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Have the scouts get into a circle. Everyone places their hands inside the circle and grap the hands from two different people. They can not grap the hand of anyone standing next to them. The object is to get untangled and end up in one big circle, still holding hands.

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One "Leader" Scout and two or more blindfolded Scouts.

Troop tent or one that all are familiar with. (Variation: one that only the leader has ever seen and/or set up.)(Variation: the unknown tent)


I like to do these in between the "academic" sessions.


Only the leader can see and only the leader can speak - The leader cannot touch the tent - set up the tent.

Q&A time - what worked how would it have been easier? Feedback from the Scouts comes up every time, Next most popular is listening skills by the Scouts.


Try it with the leader blindfolded and the scouts able to speak.

Q&A - Works better when the leader can visualize the problem


Try it again with a previously unseen tent.

Q&A - Leadership sometimes is completely reliant on the led for the info to solve the problem.


Try it where all can see and all can work together.

Q&A - Teamwork and Leader occasionally stepping back to assess progress. But almost always smoother than any method above.


The applications seem obvious to me and transfer to any task the Leaders may run into - not just setting up tents.(This message has been edited by Gunny2862)

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Its Me asked, "I am running a leadership program this weekend for First Class scouts and above. The focus will be the Patrol Leaders Handbook. I need two 30-45 minutes games. Ideally one should be a team building game and the other a leadership game. What have you seen work well and Why?"


Not what I've seen, just a couple ideas... You could check out the Troop Program Resources CD but have you thought about doing your leadership training on a low ropes course? Assuming your council has one, mix in your training with some of the team building obstacles on the course. Get whatever trained leadership your council requires for the course and make a day of it.(This message has been edited by MarkS)

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Here is my program based off a PL's training pamphlet from the 1970's. I am using this old resource because I did not find the current troop training manuals sufficient in detail.


Opening game / assemble game (from old book)

A stake is planted in the ground. A scout about 75 from stake, takes a compass baring on the stake and then a paper bag goes over his head. He is spun three time and told to look down on his compass and find his way to the stake.


Second game (from Link above)

All boys are blindfolded and told to grab each others arm / hand. Now they must form a circle, triangle and square. After each shape rview their success. Now I pull out the SPL and he is is the only one not blindfolded. The process is repeated. Did they perform better with a leader or without.


Review PL's Handbook. I had to re-write all the contents of an old quiz as they did not match the current PL's handbook.




Pioneer tower project. Real team work project.


Optional (low Rope course) two rope bridge, Cross once, one at a time without falling off. Cross again only this time the SPL, and a few of the better crossing scouts are blindfolded. Maybe seeing scout can't talk. OK, what happened. How did the team react?


Did you use the full resources of the group? Was everyone heard? Did the group stay in control? Who stepped up when the SPL was blindfolded, Why?






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One more suggestion that just came to mind. In the summer, the best team-building exercise I have EVER seen is to put them in rafts and go down a whitewater river. If they don't learn to work as a team, they'll have a long hard day. But usually they DO learn and we all have a really great day. Hot weather, cool river, great surroundings, and everyone working together. Great.

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I have one that's both a team building and a leadership building game.

If you have enough youth, divide them equally into two teams of about 8 to 10. You will need to purchase water pipe insulating pieces that measure about 5 foot each. Cut them in half with a knife or blade and give each team 8 half pieces. Each team will receive a box of toothpicks, a roll of blue tape and a marble. The idea is for each team to make a track for their marble to roll down. The slower the time the higher the score. They also have to make a jump, a loop and a spiral that the marble travels through. They can make their track on the wall (that's where the blue tape comes in to play), or on a table or the floor, but the marble has to travel down the whole track and get to the end to score a time. You can also give additional points for additional spirals, loops and jumps. The winner will have the most points. ie: 50 points for the slowest time, 30 for the next slowest. 20 points for each additional spiral, 15 for each additional loop, and 10 for each additional jump. Give them 40 to 50 minutes to build and test it and them use a different marble to run down the track. Use the same marble for each tracks run. This will teach them team work and also leadership as someone different will become the leader as new ideas come out.

David Harrison

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"Spider Web Carry"


Create the following: A ring of cord or other material, maybe 6 inches in diameter, diameter depends on the size ball you will use. On this ring tie 5 or 6 (or more) lengths of cord about 5 or 6 feet or so long, spread out in a wheel spoke array.

Now, Place the ring on the floor and spread the cords out radially and evenly around it. Place a ball (basket ball, dodge ball, tennis ball, depends on size of the ring and vice versa) on the ring. Participants grasp rope ends and ((working together!!)) carefuly lift the ball up off the floor and carry it to another location and place it carefully down again.

Variations: Dump the ball into a container. Pick the ball up again without touching it. Do it SILENTLY. Everybody RIGHT HAND ONLY. LEFT HAND ONLY. Make two and have a race.



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Tarp Fold:


Use a large tarp that goes under a larger troop tent. Put 6-8 boys on top of the tarp. They must turn the tarp over without anyone falling off the tarp.


After they turn it over, then they have to fold it as small as possible without anyone falling off. After about 4 folds the group can step one guy off per fold.


Works well as a race with two groups.

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