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Patrol Competition Events

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Hey guys, it's been a while since I've posted here, but I have a cool topic and I'd like to hear people's opinions regarding this. I want to make a very challenging and involved competition event to be held at a camporee. I'm looking for both creative and practical ideas, something that will really test a patrol's skills and teamwork.


For example, the patrol must build a fire with wet wood and cook something. They'd be provided a small hatchet with which they could cut open a wet log and use the dry wood inside of the log. They can make what I think is called a "fuzzy stick" where the stick is carved with a sharp knife so that its wood is sort of peeling off of the stick, allowing it to burn more easily. Extra points would be awarded for using a green branch to weave somewhat of a tennis racket shaped griddle to cook on (I've seen this in the scout handbook).


This would test their knowledge of firebuilding, their knife/axe skills, and their ability to cook on a fire.


If anyone has any detailed suggestions, feel free to post em!

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One of the popular NSP challenges is the build a fire to burn strings (3 different heights) suspended over the fire competition.


Another one is build a fire, and boil water in a paper cup. Can be done with patience.


Tomahawk throw is popular one with our Troop. We use a playing card in the center of a target for sodas during the competition. The card gets cut in half on the last round.


The "2-man saw competition" is a good one, but you need two big saws, which you can make using band saw blades and saplings.

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Tomahawk is always popular. Last fall at the Annual Moosehorn International Camporee, there was both a youth and adult competition. I received special recognition at the adult competition for my "unique" throw. You see, the target butt was a little more punky than the range master had planned. I am the only person he's ever seen sink a hawk into a target butt handle-first. :)


Back on topic: For a more challenging experience, hold a "night hawk"--camporee during the night. Do a lot of the same events, but with the added challenge of no daylight. One we've done very successfully and is very popular with the youth is a low-level cope course element called "the web" (or the spider web). Use your favorite search engine to find info on this challenge.


At night, you deny them flashlights/light sticks at the "web-site" and provide them three candle lanterns: two fixed (one on either side of the web) and one they can move around. If they accidentally cause one to go out, it stays out and can't be relit.


Three candles doesn't sound like a lot of light, but after a couple of minutes, they are amazed at how well they can see by that little light.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

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I was just at a district camporee a couple of weekends ago. The theme was "food" and one of the highlights was a series of cooking competitions: dutch oven, foil, and hobo stoves. That could even be broadened out a bit, for example, dutch oven desserts, one-pot dinners, etc. Maybe even add a box oven category.


The other parts of the theme included a troop-wise emphasis on T21 rank cooking requirements. And I was brought in as a Cooking MB counselor. I worked with 4 scouts who had prepped menus ahead of time, and demonstrated their cooking prowess while we were there (they weren't able to complete the MB, only finish selected parts). It all went fabulously well.


During afternoon dead-time, there was a couple of camp-wide games played. I wasn't involved in that part, so I don't know what they did.



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You could do a Patrol relay - different skills at each station.


Possible competition events, in any format:



Timed Tripod lashing - tripod must support weight of a Scout (or water bucket, whatever)

Timed Flagpole lashing - time ends when flagpole is raised with Patrol flag attached

Roman Chariot race - I haven't seen this one in a looong time!

Basic knot relay


Terrain feature ID on a topo map

Orienteering course - this can be as simple or complex as you have time/desire for

Geocaching - will require GPSr for Patrols

First Aid:

Timed bandage/splints

Carrys relay

Patrol Spirit:

Give Patrol Cheer at each station - judge best throughout day

Teamwork - Assessed at end of competition

Camp-site inspection

Sing a camp song

Best Patrol flag


Provide a box of mystery ingredients and judge their creation

Start a fire with two matches - you can include building proper fire ring, collecting wood, etc

Cook without pots - announce before camp so they can arrive ready

One pot meal

Meal under a pound (or two or ...)



Hope this helps and would love to see more ideas posted!




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One of the more unique one's I've seen is a cooking competition. THe organizers bought sets of ingredients for three separate recipes, put one of each into several boxes and gave a box to each troop at a camporee. THey did not give them any recipes or any idea what they were supposed to make. It was up to the boys to decide what to make. One of the items was a can of chicken. Our troop used the 1/4 cup of cooking oil and some bread to make fried chicken, along with the rest of the meal. They won.

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There's always pitch a tent with all but one blindfolded. The one not blindfolded can't help, only speak and the others cant speak only touch. Great teamwork/leadership skills.


Any variation where you take away a sense for most of the group and make them rely on one person is going to be a great team building experience.

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