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Thinking of trying Sock Wars for the first time during our indoor "camp" next month. Can anyone give me some ideas about rules and methods of playing. I'm going to bring cardboard and let the boys make "forts" while the adults roll up the socks and place rubber bands on them. Do you have them "sit out" when they are hit, or do you just let them whack each other until they get tired of it? Do you keep score, award prizes, mark off areas or "safe" areas? Any info would be appreciated.

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The area between the forts is the DMZ. They start tossing on the whistle. When socks run low you blow the whistle and they run out to the DMZ to reload. Repeat. No prizes needed. Our boys bring a pack of new white socks to the meeting. Socks are donated to the community closet afterward.(This message has been edited by 83eagle)

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I was thinking about this more and I would not recommend using a rubber band to hold the rolled up socks together. Your goal here is not to end up with small and tight projectiles, but soft sock balls, particularly having Tigers and younger siblings there.


(I'm waiting for someone out there to post how this violates G2SS somehow...;))


I dug out my official Sock Wars sheet for a few more tips:


Bring a supply of large cardboard sheets (large boxes or tag board work) to the pack meeting along with several rolls of tape and markers. With the help of the den leader, each den builds and decorates a cardboard "castle" or "fort" for the first part of the meeting. Limit the time to about 15 minutes. These forts do not need to be very large or sturdy. Just something for the kids to duck behind.


Each scout brings a new six pack of adult white tube socks. While the kids are building the fort the parents roll and tuck each pair tube socks into "snow balls". A pair of socks make a good sized ball and save having to match socks later. Bring a laundry basket to hold them. The kids can drop the package in the basket as they arrive.


Line half the forts on one side of a large open space and half on the other, leaving a DMZ in the middle (maybe 12 feet). When the forts are ready and in place, each kid gets six socks. A whistle is blown and the kids try to hit kids on the other side. Let the play continue until most of the socks are in the DMZ - remember the ammo is replenished as the other side lobs socks over the wall so play last longer than the throwing of the original six socks.


Blow the whistle to stop play. Kids rush out to DMZ, collect as many socks as they can, and run back to their forts. Blow the whistle to start the combat. Rinse and repeat until exhaustion sets in.


At then end of the event, socks are collected and donated to a local shelter or charity and this becomes a Christmas time service project.





- cutting cardboard should be avoided, but if any cutting is needed it should be done by the den leader only


- could bring straws and colored paper to add pennants


- this is a good game to include siblings of near Cub Scout age



Optional fun start:


Leader-1 stands in the DMZ to explain the rules. The kids don't actually need a lot of explanation - they get this game instinctively. While explaining the game to the kids he/she carefully emphasizes that no throwing should take place until the whistle (held by leader-2) is blown twice - the start signal. He/she explains that no one should come out from behind the walls until the "all stop whistle" (one long toot) is blown because they would become a target. Of course leader-2 give the start signal before leader-1 exits the DMZ.


This can be repeated a second time between round one and two. After round two leader-1 makes a show of taking the whistle from leader-2 before entering the DMZ a third time to again emphasize the whistle rules. Leader-2 (or if so inclined - all the other leader) then produces another whistle and blows the start signal while leader-1 is in the DMZ.


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I'm waiting for someone out there to post how this violates G2SS somehow


If, at any point, a Scout says, or even thinks to himself, "my arm is a pretend cannon, and this sock is a pretend cannon ball", then the arm becomes a simulated firearm pointed at a human participant, and everyone needs to go home immediately.


(Yes, that was a joke.)


I noticed that in our Council, one of the prizes for selling enough tons of popcorn (which our Pack thankfully doesn't do) is a marshmallow gun. As the late Billy Martin would say, you could put an eye out with that.(This message has been edited by clemlaw)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a follow up. Did this at the Pack meeting last night and it came off without a hitch.


Scouts spent 10 minutes making forts out of old cardboard appliance boxes. I stressed we were out to have fun, not bean anybody (though at 10 yards or so apart, you barely noticed getting plunked by a sock ball no matter how hard it was originally thrown). I had scouts of similar ages tossing against each other (Tigers and 1st grade siblings vs. Wolf scouts and 2nd grade sibs; Bears vs. 4th and 5th Webelos). And we kept parents behind the fort walls to monitor for any problems, of which there none. (The parents all got in on the act too.) I even ended up in the DMZ extra-long after a laundry-basket reload and you can imagine what happened after the ACM "accidentally" blew the whistle...


We used small safety pins to pin each pair together, along with a tag stating the size, for sorting afterward. It took about 30 minutes to roll 260 pairs, using 3 volunteers, so plan on that. We just rolled them inside-out and did not use rubber bands. You could skip the pinning part and it would go much faster but we wanted to keep pairs together since we were going to donate these to the community closet afterward.


'Tis a season of giving, and having fun doing it. Can't beat that.(This message has been edited by 83eagle)

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The original Boy Scouts played a game called Gauntlet which could be adapted to this process especially in area of keeping score. Put a cup of flour in each sock. Those dark blue socks would make the job of counting hits a lot easier.


No guarantee that you will get the boys to end the game until all the flour is gone.


Your mileage may vary,



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  • 1 year later...

Ok, I am bumping this old thread because we did this tonight at our December pack meeting. First, let me just say that the whole thing was a BLAST!! The boys loved it and had an awesome time! So if you are thinking about doing it, stop thinking and just do it. It's great fun.


The way we set it up is we had each boy bring a package of new white socks, preferably already rolled up (to look like snowballs) and also a box (any size, could be as small as a show box, could be as big as a moving box).


So we set up a big rectangle using six chairs and caution tape. This was the neutral zone. On each side we set up an equal number of dens. Before we started, the dens built "forts" using the boxes they brought.


Rules were: under NO circumstance are you to enter the neutral zone. Under NO circumstances are you to throw socks sideways, only across the neutral zone to the opposing team. When I blow the whistle, you may start. When I blow it again, you must stop. Any violation of these rules, and you end up in the penalty box (penalty box was four chairs surrounded by caution tape off to the side).


And then we let them go at it. We had rounds and in between rounds the leaders would patrol the neutral zone and return the "ammunition" to the sides. And the another round would be begin. We had a round where the leaders stayed in the neutral zone and we also had another round where all the adults were on one side and and all the scouts on the other.


At the end of the war, we had all the boys stomp on the boxes and throw them in the recycling bin outside the school cafeteria.


They LOVED it!!! Thank you all for this idea.


EDITED: we also had the boys collect the socks into one of the big boxes and I am going to donate them to some community helping organization.(This message has been edited by momof2cubs)

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We also did this recently -- at our November pack meeting. Our version was far less structured. We split the boys up into two sides, dumped the pile of balled-up socks (almost 200 pr. for about 30 boys) in a line down the center area between the teams, blew the whistle, and let them go to town. After about 10 minutes, we blew the whistle again, had the boys collect up the ammo and place it back in the center, and did the whole thing over again. They had a blast! The socks were donated to the local rescue mission to be handed out at their Christmas dinner. Win-Win.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We do an unstructured version every year too. More like a snowball fight than ancient castle wars. The kids just love to throw things at each other! ;-)


We do different rounds: Wolves/Bears vs Tigers/Webelos; all scouts versus adults; Jan-Jun birthdays vs Jul-Dec birthdays; etc...


Just a fun 10-15 minutes of silliness.

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  • 1 month later...

Wanted to let you know since I got both of these ideas from the site:


Did sock wars at our Blue and Gold -- 34 cubs and their siblings and 3 leaders, while the adults were in another room hearing the FOS presentation.


Kids were not bored by hearing an adult message, and for some reason, donations were very high.


A double success!

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