Chuckwagon Contest

One wagon (cardboard box with rope for pulling it) is provided for each team.  Two Cubs wearing paper bag horse masks pull the wagon for each team.  Have an equal number of pots and pans (tin cans) on the ground behind each wagon.  At the signal, the Cubs (drivers) load the cans into the wagon.  When done, they yell "Wagons, ho!" and wave their arms madly as the horses take off pulling the wagon twice around a pre-determined track.


Frontier Bowling Dodge Ball

You'll need 8 or more players, bowling pins and kickballs.  You can make your own bowling pins from plastic bottles half filled with water.  Split up into two teams of settlers and play this on a lawn or in a gym.  Designate each end of the open area as that teams' wagon circle and a center line that cannot be crossed.  In front of each wagon circle, line up several bowling pins.  The two teams of settlers throw as many balls as they can at the other team's bowling pins.  The object of the game is for one team to knock down all the pins of the other team.  Once knocked down, a pin cannot be righted.  If a settler is tagged by a ball thrown from the opposing team, or their thrown ball is caught in mid air by an opposing settler, they must sit down in their wagon circle.  The only way someone can be released from their wagon circle is if they catch a fly ball thrown by an opposing settler.

The first team to knock over all the other team’s pins wins!


Pioneer Went to Sleep

Everyone stands in a circle.  The first player begins by saying "Pioneer went to sleep."  The rest of the group answers "How did Pioneer go to sleep?"  The leader then says "Pioneer went to sleep like this, like this," repeating a small gesture such as nodding the head or twisting the wrist.  The rest of the group mimics the gesture and answers "like this, like this."  The entire group continues to repeat the gesture as the next boy in line says "Pioneer went to sleep," and others respond as before.  The second boy adds another gesture to the first, so that now there are two movements to keep going.  The game continues around the circle, each player adding a gesture.  By the end of the game, the entire group should be a foot-wiggling, eye-blinking, head-shaking, nose-twitching mess.  Try to add as many gestures as possible before the game totally falls apart.  Since it is difficult to do more than ten gestures at once, you may not get everyone in the group, but the challenge is to see how far you do get.  Start off slowly with small things, such as toes and fingers, and work up to the bigger things, such as arms and legs.


Bean and Straw Relay

Team members must hold a straw upright with a bean balanced on top and cross the playing field.  Beans are then dropped into a can.  Team members must get all 20-30 beans across the field without losing any.  If a bean is dropped, the Cub goes back to the starting line and begins again.


Bucket Relay

Fill one of the buckets half-full with water, and leave the other empty. On 'Go', the first player runs to the other end of the playing area where the buckets have been placed, pours the water into the other bucket, leaves the empty bucket there, and carries the full bucket to the next player in line.  The second player takes the bucket with water down to the other end of the playing area and empties it into the empty bucket. He then picks up the full bucket and carries it back.  The relay is finished when all have had a turn. The winner is the team with their water intact.


Bull Riding

Make bulls out of cardboard boxes.  Boxes should have a hole cut in the top and the bottom flaps folded in so the Cub can stand in the box.  Cardboard cutouts can make horns and bull faces.  The Cub picks the box up with one hand while standing in the hole.  He must buck himself for eight seconds.  Done for fun.  Boys sometimes buck themselves off!


Cow Tipping

Scouts join hands and form a ring round some object (like an empty one-liter soda bottle), which will fall over if touched. The players all swing round the “cow” and each one has to do his best to make one of the others tip the cow over, at the same time avoiding knocking it down himself. When a boy tips over the cow he is out, and the game goes on until only one player remains.  Players who let go of the other player’s hand are both out.

Potato Jump Race

Establish a start and a finish line. Line the boys up on the starting line.  Give each boy a potato (Ping-Pong ball, balloon, etc.) to put between his knees. On 'GO' see who can jump to the finish line first without dropping the potato.


Potato Race

Each team member tosses the potato into the air and catches it on the fork, takes it off, and hands them to the next player.

Pony Express Trail Relay

The pony express is an exciting relay race for daring young men and fast horses.  The course is laid out (in the backyard or park) between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California.  Along the way are many of the hazards encountered on cross-country travel in the year 1860. Divide the group into two teams and each team into two pairs of riders.  (One to start and the other to relieve at South Pass, Wyoming, the half way station)

Each station should be marked with a sign indicating its location and name.  Since the team riding west will wear red bandanas their direction cards should be marked with a distinguishing red signal dot.  Mark the west to east team’s cards with green signal dots to mat match their green bandanas.  West to east the course is run in reverse with the directions changed accordingly .

Equip the Stations

St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California:  Have a supply of paper bags for the starting ceremonies .  Half way between the first two and the last two stations:  Hang a coat hanger on a bush, clothesline or whatever is handy.  Rock Creek, Nebraska: Arrange several pans of water in two parallel rows with a good supply of paper towels and a wastebasket at both ends.

Between Julesburg, Colorado, and Ft. Laramie, Wyoming: Lay a rope on the ground in a straight line from one station to the other.

Ft. Laramie, Wyoming: Suspend a tire from a tree or post.

Ft. Bridger, Wyoming: Place a plate of crackers at the station.

Gait Lake City, Utah: Have a supply of pillows at the station.  To give everybody a chance to carry the mail, riders may be changed more often or run the race as many times as it is necessary to use up all the players.  Like any obstacle race or treasure hunt, (and this is a little of both), the route must be laid out in advance of the race.  Lay the course over as large an area as possible.

Rules of the game: Measure all ponies’ tails before the start of the race.  Since the tails shouldn’t be allowed to touch the ground, it is important that all tails be exactly the same length.  If they are not, a little barbering is in order. All instruction cards should be followed exactly.  Of course the rules and obstacles can be varied.  The important thing is to see that the mail goes through!

Directions for riders:

Start at St. Joseph Post Office at the sound of the cannon: On the signal, blow up a paper bag, break it.  Mount horse and proceed at a trot to the ferry. Dismount. Remove vest carefully and hang it up.  Hop to the next station.

Rock Creek: Dismount. Remove shoes and socks and hold them in your hand.  Carry horse over your shoulder while you “ford the creek” by walking through the pans of water.  Once across the creek, dry your feet on a paper towel.  Throw towel in wastebasket.  Put on socks and shoes.  Mount horse and take giant steps to next station.

Fort Kearney: You are attacked by Indians and must circle around to avoid them.  Turn around and around all the way to the next station.

Julesburg: You must follow a narrow mountain pass.  Walk on the rope without falling off, all the way to the next station.

Fort Laramie: Go through narrow gorge by wriggling through the tire while on your horse.  Walk to the next station.

South Pass: Change horses and riders. Proceed to next station at top speed.

Fort Bridger:  Dismount. Sit down and eat a cracker.  While the cracker is still in your mouth, whistle for your horse.  Mount and continue at a gallop to next station.

Salt Lake City: Pick up a new saddle (pillow) and put it on horse.  Continue on to the next station, skipping all the way.

Ruby:  Dismount.  Remove saddle (Leave pillow at station) and walk horse to next station.

Cold Springs: Remount.  Horse sees rattlesnake.  Rear up and buck to the next station.

Carson City:  Dismount and put on vest left by other rider.  Very rough terrain between this station and the next.  Take two steps forward and one step back all the way.

Sacramento: You made it.  Dismount. Blow up your paper bag and break it to signal your safe arrival.  When the riders meet on the trail, the one who reaches the station between them first has the right of way.  The other rider must wait for him to pass through the obstacles to the next station before continuing.


Straight Shooters

Equipment: Soda straw, toothpicks, Small pan and table.

Each player is given a soda straw and five toothpicks. Place a small pan on a table about five feet from the shooting line.  In turn, players put one toothpick at a time into their straw and try to blow the toothpick into the pan.


Lasso the Steer

Equipment: Cut a steer’s head, complete with horns, from cardboard or plywood.  Place on a stake to stick in the ground, or lash to the back of a chair so that it sticks up over the back.  Have the boys form a loop in a piece of rope about 25 feet long.  Mark a line about 15 feet from the steer’s head to stand behind.  Each boy in turn tries to throw the loop over the steer’s head.  Allow each Cub three turns and score as follows:


Loop thrown over either horn 5

Loop thrown over head only 10

Loop thrown over head and one horn 15

Loop thrown over head and both horns 20

The boy with the highest total points is the winner.

Heave, Ho, Throw! Relay

Divide the group into two teams. Take one boy from each team about 20 feet from the rest of the group and have him sit in a designated spot.  During the game, he may lean forward slightly and reach, but he cannot move from the spot.

Give the first Scout in each line coil a rope about 25 feet in length.  Each boy makes one throw, holding onto the end.  The sitting Cub Scout tries to reach the rope being thrown without moving from his spot.  Each boy in the relay line will throw the rope once, and then go to the end of the line.

Teams score whenever the sitting boy can reach the rope thrown to him.  One point is given for each throw that the sitting boy catches.  The team with the most points is the winner.

Capture The Fort

Divide the players into two sides: Attackers and Defenders. Defenders form a circle, holding hands and facing outward, with their captain in the center. Attackers surround the fort from a distance of 20-30 feet. They try to kick a soccer ball into the fort; it may go through the legs of the defenders or over their heads. If it goes over the defenders heads, the captain may catch it and throw it out. But if the ball touches the ground inside the circle, the fort is captured and the players change sides.


Davy Crockett

Have all the players except "Davy Crockett" form pairs and stand in a circle (or a designated play area). When Davy Crockett says, "face to face" the partners face each other. When he says "back to back" or "side to side" his directions must be followed. If he says "Davy Crockett" everyone including himself, tries to find a new partner. The one left without a partner becomes the next Davy Crockett and the game continues.

Who Am I?

Make signs with the names of the legends that you have been discussing. When the boys enter the room, pin a name on every boy, making sure that the boy does not see whose name is on his back. Each then has to go around the room asking questions of the other boys which can be answered with "Yes or No." The first one to correctly figure out who he is wins.

Paul Bunyan

Divide the den into two teams. Give each team a man's shirt, two boxes to serve as boots, a frying pan and a beanbag pancake. The teams line up relay fashion at the starting line. On a signal, the first boy in each team dons the shirt, boots and runs to a turning line, where the frying pan and pancake are waiting. There he uses the pan to flip the pancake, runs back to the starting line, takes off the shirt and boots and passes them on to the next runner. This game continues until all of the boys have had a turn. The winner is the team that finishes first.

Erie Canal Barges

You will need: for each team, five 1" x 2" x 4: blocks and a three-foot stick.

How to play: On signal, the first player from each team lines up the blocks (barges) end-to-end and, using the stick, pushes them to a designated line. He then pushes them back to the next player who continues the relay. If barges break loose, the player must rearrange them with the stick and continue the race.


Tracking Bigfoot

Cut two large pair of feet from heavy paper or cardboard. Divide group into teams. Have each team set their cutout feet in front of the. On signal, the first player on each team steps onto his cutout feet. He lifts his back foot up and picks up the cutout foot and places it in front of his front foot. They continue walking this way until they get to the finish line. Then they turn around and start back to the starting line. Then the next "Tracker" on the team continues in the same manner.