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Teamwork and Leadership Exercises

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Hello, I am an Eagle Scout in Austin, Texas, and I have retired from the ASPL/SPL positions, and I am now trying to shape the future of the troop by being our troop's first really intense and dedicated troop guide.


I would like suggestions on how to get the new eleven year-olds that are just joining our troop involved in a specialized teamwork and leadership type experience. I invision taking the group out for the weekend (with several adults) to my ranch, where I want to put them through exercises that will strengthen their patrol bonds.


Any suggestions on good exercises or ideas for the weekend? I want this to be an amazing experience for the kids, and I want this to become troop tradition.




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I ran acrossed these in a YMCA camp that we went to on a Jr. High field trip.

Test #1 The patrol is lead to a area that has a rope swing haning from a tree. In the case that I was involved in the rope hung in the middle of a large ditch. The patrol is given the following tools. A long staff, A small rope (6 foot 1/4 inch dia. A long wire, or metal coat hanger. The boundries on the ditch are marked on either side of the ditch. The patrol must get the entire group across the ditch without anyone falling in to the out of bouds area of the ditch. If anyone falls in, the must start over. Since they cannot reach the rope, they can bend the wire and attach it to the pole so they can reach the swing and get acrossed.


#2 There is 2 wooden pallets set up about 24 feet apart. The patrol is given 3 8 ft. 2x4 boards,2 4x4 boards,1foot long. The entire patrol must stand on one pallet. Throw one 4x4 out on the ground,lay down one of the 2x4's down on the pallet, and rest it on the 4x4. This goes on till they have formed a bridge.


You can set up more of these types of chalanges. You could even work out a sereis where you can use each type of tool once. You can even take turnes on who wants to lead and give the instructions on how to complete the task. You could say no talking, and make the act out the instructions. I hope this gives you some idea's


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There are 4 types of COPE activities.


1) initiative games such as Blind Height Alignment, Toss-a-Name, and Circle Hoops;


2) trust activities such as Cookie Factory, Trust Circle, and Trust Fall;


3)low course activities such as Spider Web, the Beam, and The Wall; and


4) high elements such as Caving Ladder, Confidence Pole, and Zip Line.


While the high elements are generally not age appropriate for younger scouts, all of the initiative games and most of the trust activities and low course elements will work fine for 11-12 year olds. For example, the Trust Fall may not be recommended, but the Trust Circle would be great. Similarly, the Wall is too intense for younger guys but the Beam is just fine.

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Ive got a few team building games/excersizes


Quiz: Nine questions ( listening skill)


1: Some months have 31 days, some months have 30 days, how many months have 28 days?


2: If you had one match, and entered a dark room where there was an oil lamp, an oil

heater, and some kindling wood which would you light first?


3: If a doctor gave you three pills and told you to take one every half hour, how

long would the pills last?


4: If a farmer had 17 sheep, and all but 9 die, how many sheep has the farmer got



5: A man built a house with 4 sides, it is rectangular with all sides facing south,

along walks a bear, what colour is it?


6: If you take two apples away from three apples, how many apples do you have?


7: According to the bible, how many of each species did Moses take onto the ark?


8: If you were to dig a hole , 1 metre long, by 1 metre wide, and one metre deep,

how much soil would there be in the hole in metres cubed?


9: If you drove a bus with 42 people from Nottingham, stopped off at Leicester to pick up 7 more, and drop off 5 passengers, then drove to Derby to pick up 3 more and drop off 7, then arrived at Loughborough to drop off 16. The whole journey took 6 hours and 54 minutes, what was the name of the driver?



Team Game: Human knot

equipment none required.


The team stands in a circle and each member of the group reaches in to hold hands with a different person, the group then has to unravel the 'human' knot without letting go of each others hands.



Team game : Rubber fettish

Equipment large rubber inner tube, stopwatch, pen and


Each member of the team has to get their whole body through the tube in the fastest time, each persons whole body must pass through the tube.

The challenge is to practice first for five minutes then write down the fastest time that the challenge can be completed in.

The tube can not be cut or damaged.


Team game all across

equipment, three crates ( ie bottle/beer crates) two planks ( wide enough to stand on) two long pieces of rope to form the 'edges' of the area they have to cross.


The group has to get form one side to the other without touching the ground beteen each side, using only the beer crates and the planks ( place the rope on the floor/ground to mark the sides)


Team game blindfold square

equipment blinfolds, and a long length of rope


The team stands in a circle, facing inwards with their blindfolds on, and the rope layed out on the floor in front of them. (Check that the blindfolds are on correctly)

the team then has to make a perfect square using the rope with a diagonal line from one corner to the other, the whole length of rope is to be used.

The rope must not be doubled up at any point.

The team decides when to remove the blindfolds, when they are in agreement that the chalenge has been completed.


Team game: chaos ball

Equipment Balls, coiled rope, and any other object that can be used to play 'catch' with as well as a semi precious item that cant be dropped ( ie a mug ) and a precious item, such as a raw egg


Throw the 'ball' to everyone in the group returning it to the instructor, within the rules as quickly as possible, calling out that persons first name to which you are throwing it to, adding other objects as the activity progresses, finishing with objects that cant be dropped (ie the egg)



if the ball is dropped then you have to start again

no hand signals

no shouting out Its Him/her or Ive/Hes/Shes not had it yet

the last person that thinks everyones had the ball or item passes it back to the instructor


Theres some more team building/leadership excersizes, games etc at http://www.scouts.org.uk/takingthelead/index.html


Quiz answers


1: 12 ( all months have 28 days, some have more)

2: The match ( you need to light the match before anything else can be lit)

3: one hour ( example: you take the first pill at 19:00, the second at 19:30 and the last at 20:00)

4: 17 sheep left ( there still sheep even though some are dead)

5: White ( a house with all four sides facing south would be at the north pole therefore it would be a polar bear)

6: Two apples

7: None ( it was Noah and the ark)

8: 0 metres cubed ( you have dug a hole and therefore there is no soil on the hole)

9: the drivers name is the name pf the person fillling in the answers, the question is if YOU drove a bus.........what is the drivers name


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Big News Everyone! I just received an email from Tom Heck's TeachMeTeamwork Site, and apparently, his incredible website for teamwork and teamwork excersizes has opened up and is now FREE to register as a member. You used to have to pay a fee for access, but I'm happy to see that he has now made membership free so that groups like the boyscouts have a good place to go. I highly recommend checking out the site at www.teachmeteamwork.com, as mentioned earlier in the thread. Tom Heck diserves a big thanks from the scouting community on this one!



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