A Nature Game is not a substitute for Nature-study but is a part of it. Nature play is instinctive and has the power of developing the play habit. Childhood is the time for fixing this play habit in the out of doors. If neglected the individual will usually be deficient in that particular training. Man is the only animal that ever neglects or train s away from the games of nature.
Many of these games have been adapted from old games that have been handed down from generation to generation. It will take but a little ingenuity to modify them for new games. All the rainy day games may be played out of doors. They are classified this way as a matter of convenience in using them.
Most of these games have already been published in various magazines such as the Nature-study Review, The Trailmaker, The School News and Practical Educator. A few were used in C. F. Smith's Recreational Methods. This is the first time that they have been assembled in one booklet.
Test Of a Game.--Is it used spontaneously afterwards? What does
it teach! What physical, mental, or moral traits does it develop?
What social traits does it involve?
Suggestions.--Know your game. Play with spirit. Everyone take part-no porch or lounge lizards. When possible play outdoors. Old games by request. Always teach a new game. Change to fit conditions.
Give each one a stuffed specimen or bird skin, a card or ticket, and a good bird key as Waiter's or Wilcox's. When the student gets the right name from the key the ticket is punched, and a new bird is presented for identification. The one who identifies the greatest number of birds in a given time wins. The cards are gathered at the end of the time limit and a curve is plotted on the board to show the number identifying 1 2, 3, etc., birds. Each one then knows how he ranks with the average in ability to identify birds.
Have cards on which is written the description of birds. Read slowly. The one guessing the name first is given the card. Anyone making a wrong guess has to give back a card.
Swat the Blindman.
Have Audubon Charts hung on the wall. Have a player stand back to the chart and describe a given bird. This always furnishes a great deal of amusement to the audience.
Cover up a bird quickly and ask questions. What color is the robin's breast? His head? His bill? How many white spots are there? Were is there black?: What color is his throat? How many noticed white around the eye: This is fine training for observation.
The group thinks of some bird. They are given several books in order to be
come well informed about the bird. "It" then comes in and asks questions which
may be answered by "yes" or "no."
Either the outline of the bird is cut out of black paper or the form of the bird is thrown on a cloth by a light. The one identifying the greatest number wins.
Bird Picture Contest.
The colored pictures of birds are cut into four parts,--head, body, tail, and legs. The pictures of the legs, and in the case of the seed eating birds the beaks, are scattered on the following tables: ducks, other swimming birds, wading birds, tree trunk climbers, insect feeders of the air, birds of prey, and seed eaters. When the whistle blows the players select a picture of some bird's leg and from the characteristics of the legs tries to find the other parts of that bird. . As soon as one picture is completed another leg is taken and so the game progresses until the supply is exhausted.
Use cardboard letters printed on one side. Place face down on the table. Players take turns' drawing letters and placing face up on the table. When a player can make a bird name from these letters he talks the letters and spells the word in front of him. The person getting ten words first wins.
Slips of papers are passed out to players and they are given two minutes to draw a picture of a bird for the Rogues' Gallery. The exhibit is then set up and the judges walk by the exhibit. Recognizable birds are given honorable mention (1 point). Birds represented in action may be given red ribbons or red pencil marks (2 points). The best sketches may be given blue ribbons or blue marks (3 points). The judging may be made very funny. The team getting the greatest score wins.------
Obtain several kinds of twigs 8 to 12 inches long. Cut into two parts. Mount the lower half on a board. Scatter the other halves on a table. At a given signal the players observe closely one of the twigs and then run to the unmounted group to get the other half. If the wrong half is brought back he tries again. This game requires close observation. Leaves may be used in the same way, or flowers with short stems may be fitted to longer stems, or leaves to leaf scars.
Jack in the Box.
A branch or flower is held up quickly from the back of a box. The players write down the names. See which team gets the highest average.
Getting a Clew.
Have a sheet of paper or cloth with a hole in the middle. Show the edge of a leaf, a little more at a time. Whoever gives the name correctly first is given the leaf. The one who gets the largest collection wins. Pictures of birds may be shown in the same way, the beak being the first to appear.
Indoor Twig Relay.
Have a group of winter twigs scattered at one end of the room. Have as many of each kind as there are players. Show a twig, as the white ash. The players may look as long as they wish. Samples are then passed back and they are given 30 seconds to get a white ash twig. Everyone back in his seat with a white ash twig at the end of 30 seconds gets one point.
Spot the Tree.
Give each player a sample twig of a tree that may be seen from the window. The players go to the window and mark on a map, if it be an elm for example, the elm trees spotted from the window. Maple twigs, horsechestnut, pine, spruce, etc., are well adapted. This is a very interesting game to train in the sense of long distance observation.
Cut from black paper the silhouettes of trees. The trees particularly well adapted to this game are spruce, pine, elm, red cedar, weeping willow, palm, sugar maple, lombardy poplar, and white oak. Hold up the silhouettes for naming.
The leader names a letter of the alphabet. Each player in order names a bird, flower, or tree (decided upon before starting) which-begins with that letter. Anyone who cannot do so in less than five seconds is out. No one is to name an object which has already been named. The patrol having the greatest number at the end of a certain time is the winner or the last group to name an object commencing with that letter wins a point for his team.
A home made set of bird or tree authors may be made which is similar to the well known game of authors. In authors there are 20 books of 5 cards each. The cards are dealt evenly to the players. Each in turn asks for cards until a player does not have the card asked for. When a book is obtained the cards are put down as a book. The greatest number of books wins.
Game of Touch.
The players are blindfolded and a natural object is placed in their hands. They have 30 seconds to feel of it. The name is then written down. Some objects particularly suited to this game are: various seeds, leaves, fruits, evergreens, flowers, barks of trees, nuts, feathers, shells, vegetables and soils.
Game of Smell.
As a variation a team may elect its "best smeller." The players are blindfolded and allowed to smell of common objects. The name is then written down. Objects with a distinct odor are: mints, black birds, wintergreen or checkerberry, balsam, pennyroyal, skunk cabbage, onion, parsnip, tomato, tansy, rose, sassafras, sarsaparilla, spice bush, turnip, cedar, kelp, apple, orange, mold, strawberry, and cucumber. Strong odors such as onion or skunk cabbage should not be given first.
Game of Taste.
Many of the objects suitable for smell are adapted to the game of taste. Others are rhubarb, sorrel, licorice, sugar, salt, clove, cinnamon, radish, catnip, peach, cabbage.
Color in Flower Outlines.
This contest may extend over a long period of time, as a week. Divide into teams and no outline to be colored in unless the flower is found and brought in by someone in the team. All coloring to be done from specimens.
A game for four or less. Each player names his kind of acorn and gathers fifty. The ground or a piece of paper Is marked off into 200 or more squares. The object of the game is to get five acorns of one kind in a row (In five successive squares). One player puts an acorn in any square. Each player takes a turn placing one at a time in an empty square. Opponents may be blocked by placing anacorn at the end of his row. The first one to get five in a row wins. A good game for learning the differences between oak acorns. May be played with twigs or leaves.
If in the beginning it is desirable to get partners it may be done as follows: (1). Cut leaves in two, crosswise and lengthwise. (2). Give leaves to boys and fruit of same kind of trees to girls. (3)· Give tree questions to boys and answers to girls. (4). Use bird characters, Mr. and Mrs. Robin, Mr. and Mrs. Downy Woodpecker, etc. (5) Give duplicate slips to boys and girls, having names of birds. Each boy imitates the bird by voice, walk, or flight. If the girl recognizes it as the one named on her slip, she claims him as her partner.
Flower Favor Game.
Use reeds for stems: colored plastocine for receptacles; pine cone scales, feathers, shaving, or shells for petals; Insert petals into plastocine. Sealing wax, dyes, paint, and enamel will be useful. Have a real flower as a guide and give a definite time limit. Judges choose the best.
Questions which give fun and knowledge. Good social mixers. Audience shows approval by saving "How, How" or disapproval by grunting. Each person given a question In turn. Why can't a hen smile? What bird has eyes in front of its head as you do? What animal has a nose most like your own? What animal does your right hand neighbor's face most resemble? What animal has been your most favorite companion? What bird does your left hand neighbor walk like? What animal do you drink like? Who drinks like a chicken? Who has a figure like a wasp? What animal does A's dancing remind you of? Who has a backbone like a jelly fish? Who has a complexion like a baldwin apple? What animal does your teacher call you! Who walks like a duck! Like a pigeon? What sound in nature does A's eating soup remind you of? What kind of an animal does B's ears remind you of? What animal do you prefer to converse with? What sounds in the hen language do you understand? By what animal name would you prefer to be called? Who eats like a pig? Who laughs like a hyena? Who is a scare crow? Who has the complexion of a lobster? This list may be elaborated.
Attach a white sheet as a curtain with a bright light behind it. Pass several objects behind the sheet so that a shadow is cast. Use such objects as a pine tree, horseshoe crab, cabbage, dog, turnip, rhubarb leaf, pear, hen, goat, stuffed birds, pine cone, wooly bear, cattail, lily, lemon. Audience have a sheet of paper and write names.
(1) Leaf throw. Throw a leaf as far as possible without folding or breaking. (2) Imitate the call of a cow or duck. Nearest wins. May decide by pointing to competitors and the one that the audience claps loudest for wins. (3) Who can make the best poem using the words rabbit, habit, white, fight. (4) Hop like grasshopper. (5) Make a speech on fishing.
Birds' Nest Jackstraw.
The catbird's nest may be taken to illustrate this game. It should only be played with an abandoned nest. Before dissecting it, each player lays claim to the kind of material he thinks most abundant in the nest. It may be a hemlock twig; He has first claim on hemlock twigs but on no other. Take out a stick for example. The same is true for all the sticks, leaves, weeds, grasses, fine roots and strips of bark. Remove the parts one by one. In case someone recognizes a part as grass and no one else knows the kind, he is entitled to the specimens of that kind. Ten seconds or a count to ten is allowed for each to claim their kind of twig. In case it is not claimed by the one entitled to it the object is given to the next one recognizing it. Have the players count the number of each kind of material. Add five points for the naming of any one kind. The second part of this game consists of finding the source of material. The director of the game holds up a strip of bark which probably is that of the grape vine. After eveyone has examined it carefully the leader blows a whistle and the first one discovering the grape vine gets a point. This is repeated for each kind of material.
Birds' Nest TagDay.
This contest lasts all day and the best results are obtained when a good library is available. The camp is divided into teams. X tree having a nest may be tagged with a conspicuous card which must not be so placed as to frighten the bird. The tag must have the name of the bird proprietor of the nest observed.
If the member of any other team discovers that the nest is wrongly named it may be re-tagged and the first tag cannot be counted in the final score. Otherwise the nest is only to have one tag. A team discovering a nest and not knowing what kind it is may watch for the builder or investigate in the library. Other ingenious methods will develop.
This game is great fun when resting on a hike or when loitering along the way. The leader says: "I can see 5 white oaks." The group are given one or two minutes to spot the white oaks. All those who see them may indicate it by sitting down, taking off their hat, or by some other agreed signal. All those who see the object get a point.
This game is similar to pantomimes. A player does the whole thing by the sign language. He may come out and point to himself. This means "I." He then flutters his hands like a bird. This means "I will fly like a bird." He may then imitate the flight of a swallow. It may be a hawk. He shows that it is not a swallow by measuring. He holds his hands apart the length of a swallow and shakes his head. He then holds his hands apart the length of a hawk and points into the air and with a sweeping motion of the hand indicates the spiral soaring of the hawk. Perhaps he now imitates a frog. He again comes back to the hawk and by signals shows that the hawk is looking for the frog and when he sees the victim pounces upon it and eats it. The hand held over the eyes means "Look." Pat the abdomen and smile means, "That tasted good." Or the food might have given a stomach ache. This game gives an unusual opportunity for ingenuity. The one guessing the name of the bird gives the next pantomime.
This is an old game with fifty-three variations. It is usually carried on at night. The "victim" usually holds the bag with a lantern to attract the snipe. The skirmishers make a large circle each having a tin can full of pebbles to frighten the snipe into the center of the circle where the bag is held. Sometimes everything is quiet, at a given signal, and the hunters creep off leaving the innocent one with the bag. At other times a hen is smuggled into the bag and the "Struggling snipe" is taken home in triumph.
Tree Tag Day.
Give each player 10 tags with the names of ten trees common to the tag area. Give them 20 minutes to pin the tags five feet from the ground on the north side of the trees named. No tree is to have more than one tag. A great number of tags may be given for an all day tagging. The one tagging the greatest number correctly wins. A second game of "Calling in the Tags" may then be played. A player may bring in any tag except his own. If he finds a tree incorrectly tagged he leaves it and on a later tour of inspection obtains two points if he can correct the mistake.
Stop at a tree, such as the wild black cherry. Each one identifying the tree by use of the leaf chart within three minutes is given a point. For each mistake a paint is subtracted. At the end of the trip add the scores and announce the winners.
Appoint leaders to choose teams. Tell them to study the oak leaves on the chart and then at a given signal give two minutes to obtain a while oak leaf. The tree given should be known to be nearby. At the end of two minutes blow a whistle. Those back in their places with a white oak leaf (no more, no less) score a point. Next send them scouting for a red oak acorn, a balm-of-Gilead bud, and so on. The team scoring the greatest average represents the group of best tree scouts.
Forest Good Turn.
The Scout law, "Do a good turn daily" is well illustrated by this game. Give each group a few minutes to discuss the subject "Forest Good Turn." When the
whistle is blown they are given 5'minutes to do a good turn. Each good turn is
worth one point. If no one else did that particular good turn it is worth two points. This encourages originality. The team performing the greatest score wins. The reports are not the least important in this game. Some good turns are: Labeling poison ivy, destroying a tent caterpillar's nest, neatly cutting a broken branch, removing a tree fungus, hiding a rare flower, cleaning away fire bait, picking up rubbish, burying broken glass, hanging out a piece of suet for birds, and planting the seed of a desirable plant. If each scout troop played this game once a year the amount of good accumulated would be inestimable.
A Forest Census.
This game is well adapted to a permanent or temporary camping site. Mark off a forest area as the "Out door museum." Have a large number of sale tags such as used in a department store. Divide into groups called foresters, miners, florists, birders, etc. If there are a large variety of trees and a small display of minerals give each tree the value of one and each mineral the value of three. The naturalists are then given fifteen minutes to label and list the natural history objects under their department. In the case of birds it would be the evidence of the bird rather than the bird itself. The reports around the council ring are instructive and often amusing.
Hide messages "en route" and send out companies 30 minutes apart. The messages may read as follows: Take the valley trail to the east until you see a large yellow willow. In an abandoned flicker's home there is a note. Read it carefully. This note may read: Within sight of this spot is a silver poplar. As far from that tree as it is high in the direction of the noonday shadow is buried a message on birch bark. Please leave this scroll as you find it. Before sending out the trailers it should be announced that skill and not speed is the essential thing. The group following the farthest wins. The trail, therefore, should become more difficult as it goes on. Such a trail may be made more interesting and exciting if it follows a story. Possibly some pirates landed and hid some booty the night before.
Hare and Hound.
Instead of paper use leaves such as the chestnut leaf. This does not litter the country and is much more instructive.
This may be played for a time when on a hike. One group may take one side of the road and the other the opposite or the points may go to the side recognizing the tree first. It should be limited to trees on the road side of the fences. Counting the number of legs on the right and left is fun and usually ends up when coming to a poultry yard or cemetery. Sometimes it is stated beforehand, as a joker, that a rabbit or a white horse, seen first will count as five points.
Epoch I. Have a person with smoked glasses, cotton batten in eat, gloves on hands, adhesive over lips, and clothes pin on nose. Nothing in the environment makes any impression.
Epoch 2. Meets a scout or woodsman. The woodsman teaches the greenhorn. He gets his eyes open, the cotton batten out of his ears, etc. He is now able to recognize trees by feeling, taste and smell. Being in the woods becomes a delight.
Pitch Pine Tag.
Something like Puss in the corner except player cannot be tagged while touching a pitch pine, or some other tree agreed upon.
Choose a broad leaf. Players stand in rows. At a given signal the one in front passes the leaf overhead to the one behind who passes it between his legs to the next and so on, alternating over and under. The one at the back of the line runs to the front and the leaf is passed back again. This is repeated until the one who started in front is back again. If the leaf is torn or injured in any way the game is lost.
Players sit in a circle. The one starting the game says, --"From where I am I can see a gray birch." The next one says, --"From where I stand I can see a gray birch and a black cherry." The next player repeats all that the previous players have said, in exactly the same order, and adds another tree or bird. It may be limited to what is seen on one gray birch tree. If anyone doubts the statement he may challenge the speaker. Anyone caught drops out of the game.
Opposite and Alternate.
The players are divided into two lines, one called "opposites" (refers to buds and leaves) and the other "alternates." They face each other. When the leader calls "opposite" all the players in that line run and tag a tree that has opposite buds or leaves, and the "alternates" try to tag them. Anyone tagged before he finds a tree of his own becomes an "alternate." The side having the greatest number of players at the end of a given time wins. The same may be played with annuals and perennials.
Suited to late fall. A tree is named, as tulip. The players must run and get a tulip twig that grew in the preceding summer. He counts the number of leaf scars and searches for that number of leaves that grew on the tulip tree.
On a hike through the forest holler the name of a tree and give 30 seconds to claim a black bitch. All those getting a tree in an allotted time get a grain of corn. The one getting the greatest number wins. Can add beaver by way of interest. Anyone seeing a man with whiskers hollering "Beaver" first gets 5 grains of corn or "double beaver" (whiskers plus moustache) gets 8 grains.
Line up in groups. Give each one at the head of the line a list of trees. At a starting signal the first player hands the list to the second player and runs and gets a leaf of the first tree on the list. When he returns with the correct leaf the second player passes the list to the third in line and runs for the leaf of the tree second on the list. The group getting-the greatest number of leaves in a given time or which finishes the list first wins.
Players are divided into four groups, as black oaks, red oaks, chestnuts and elms. Players stand by their tree--no two at any one tree. "It" stands in the centre and calls elms. All elms must change trees while the centre player tries to get a vacant tree. If the centre player calls forest, everyone is required to change, but must keep to their particular tree.
Curious Shaped Animals.
This game is well liked by children on Nature Guide Trips. Give them five minutes to get a curious shaped animal. The scaling bark of the yellow pine is particularly well adapted to this use of the imagination. Drift wood and washed roots are suggestive. Pine cones as the bodies of filli-loo birds, knots as curious heads, and berries as eyes add to the fun. In camp it may be announced that there will be an exhibition that evening. It frunishes a good time for the day
Blind as a Bat.
It is well known that a bat is not blind. Some people who are blind can see more than some people who are supposedly not blind. Blind the player with a neckerchief. Each player has a keeper who may have a string attached to the player to guide him. Be is not allowed to carry on conversation. The keeper writes a list as given by the "blinded player." The one naming the most things correctly in ten minutes is the winner. The keepers may then take their turn.
Let a person walk through an untraveled region. Walk rather recklessly without taking care about footprints, snapping twigs, or breaking branches. At the end of ten minutes sit down in an inconspicuous place.
One 0ld Cat.
Have a home base, umpire, and any number of fielders. The game is played with a volley ball or an indoor baseball. The batter hits the ball with his hand. He is out if a fly is caught or when hit with: the ball. When the ball is hit the umpire hollers the name of a plant, such as primrose. The runner has to get on one of these plants to be safe. A fielder getting on one of these plants first makes it unsafe. The same plant cannot be named in succession. A runner on a plant must change plants when the batter hits a fair ball. Fielders cannot hold the ball but must keep passing it. The umpire acts as pitcher and tosses up the ball for the batter to hit.
The group hide their eyes while one person or a stuffed animal is hidden in some conspicuous place, but not entirely out of sight. A confederate may assist in the camouflage by using green boughs, grasses, Etc. He may make misleading sounds as breaking of limbs to suggest climbing a tree, etc. When all have seen through the camouflage the first discoverer is entitled to be camouflaged.
This game is similar to the one given above but is more exciting. Post a lookout. Players render themselves indistinguishable and try to creep up on the Lookout. If the Lookout names and points to a person, that person is out of the game. The one who gets nearest to the Lookout in a given time is the winner.
This is a continuation of the Indoor Smelling Game. To count, the object must be scented before being seen. It may be new plowed ground, a pine wood, new mown hay, a salt marsh, a dinner cooking, a forest fire, a stove coal fire, an underground fire, peat burning, a tar barrel, etc.
The group are given five minutes to see who can make the longest list of things heard in the woods during that time. It may be a raindrop, crow, cow, rooster in distance, rustling leaves of oak or the swish of the pine, tapping of the woodpecker, or song of the brook.
Dark Night Anatomy.
Players sit in a line or circle. Pass out the parts of a cat. Use oyster for the liver, grape without skin for the eye, wet rubber tube for intestines, etc.
The player who can keep a certain kind of seed in the air longest, without using the hands, wins. Milkweed seed is good for this amusement.
Parties are sent out to discover good blueberry picking, clay for pottery, frog's eggs for the aquarium, a good region for nutting, sphagnum moss, etc.
Make puzzles on the beach, such as: Someone has a piggy back ride, someone falls down and is helped up, someone crawls on hands and knees to view a bird, etc.
This is a game commonly given in scouting. It is allowed to take place in a store window. It is better to use common objects of the out-of-doors or even rare birds that should be known about. Allow to observe the coloring of the woodchuck for example. After it has been written, read a description and have the players check off each point mentioned.
All Round Scouting.
This game is a real test of scouting. Group is divided into patrols. Tell them that this game is to see which patrol is best adapted to go into the woods and-shift for themselves. First of all if they do not have matches they need something to make a fire. Show them a piece of flint or quartz that is in the neighborhood. When all have had a good look at it give them one minute to get apiece. Everyone having a piece and back in place at the end of a minute is given one point. Next say that they need good tinder. If they bring back good, tinder, such as grey birch bark, shreds of red cedar, nest of a mouse, give them one point. Next
they must have kindling wood. It should be fine, dry, and preferably pine. Then they are sent for edible plants, such as have been found in the neighborhood. The specimen must be shown each time. Milkweed for greens, pine knot for a candle, sumach berries for lemonade, maple sugar leaf to identify the sugar tree, poke weed leaf for locating starch food, nuts for fat, etc. They are given a minute for each. The patrol having the best average is best suited to roughing it.
This again is a game for real scouts. A meter is given which may read something like this:
LEFT HAND CHECKS / COMPASS AND PACES / RIGHT HAND CHECKS
White Pine Open field / NE 2 16-30 N2OW / Granite Boulder White Oaks
Brook / 7 N15E 10 Fence / Alders
Fox den / 13 / White Ash
Poison Sumach / 25 / Ledge
The Plant Geography Game.
There should be a library of good botany books, which tell whether certain plants were introduced from Europe, or Asia and their geographical range. The players are taught how to find this information. A native plant counts one point, a plant from Europe one point, and a plant from Asia two points. The contestants are given a day or two to make their collection. All assemble for the final reckoning. The plants that come from Asia by the way of Europe will count two points if the side presenting the plant discovers that its original home was in Asia and only one point if they say Europe. They will discover that the majority of plants introduced from Europe are weeds. Some interesting "whys" result from this game.
This is a game of life which is played by all animals. Civilization has made it impossible for most people to play the game, successfully. Have edible plants count one point, medicinal plants one point, and plants useful in the crafts one point.
Divide players into groups. Play the game with fall flowers, insects, or trees. Hold up a fall Flower. The first in line must name it and give an interesting fact about it. If he fails he drops out of line. The side having the greatest number remaining wins. It is better to commence with the most common and well known plants.
This is one of the few trail games where time as well as intelligence may be the important factor. For example: Trail starts at a granite boulder. If this granite has
mostly pink feldspar........go SSW 16 paces to a grey birch
considerable hornblende.....go NN 10 paces to a grey birch
no black mica............. .go N 20 paces to a red maple
50% fine grained quartz go S 15 paces to a sassafras
The next station is the red maple. If this tree has
bark resembling beech.......go E 12 paces to an elm
alternate leaves........... .go E 24 paces to an elm leaves with same shade of
green above and below.....go W 18 paces to a red maple twigs with strong odor when
crushed ................. go W 30 paces to a smooth sumach
The next station is an elm. If this tree is
over 125 feet tall..........go NNE 20 paces to a woodchuck hole
less than 50 feet in crown
spread.. .................. go SSW 30 paces to an ant hill
4-5 feet in diameter.........go SE 38 paces to a coral mushroom
has leaves averaging over 6
inches in length.........go NW 17 paces to a limestone boulder
(To get the height of a tree sight it with a pencil held vertically, at arm's length. Turn the pencil to a horizontal position and locate a corresponding distance from the trunk and on the ground. Pace off this horizontal distance.)
Best Curie Collector.
Played with a group walking through the forest. Name the curie and crowd scatters to find it. The one discovering it first gives a war-whoop and others gather around him. If he is successful that is the starting place for the next. Send for such things as the following: A hump back tree, a tree struck by lightning, a tree with last year's catkin, a tree with scale insects on-it, a tree infected with galls, a tree with branches on one side, last year's fruit stem, a tree with moss on the north side only, a tree with lichens on the south side, a tree that has a stone in the centre of the fruit, a deciduous tree that has cones, an evergreen tree that does not have cones, a red maple that has had fruit, a red maple that has not had fruit, a twig that took 10 years to grow an inch, a twig that grew ten inches in a year, a twig that grew 36 inches or more in a year, see who can find the oldest twig five inches long, a sumach bush five years old, a rock with a quartz vein, a tree with a rock callous, where a wood pecker has been feeding, a woodpecker's home, the work of the sap-sucker, a feldspar crystal, pine pitch enough to fill a thimble, fruit of-the ash tree, a mud dauber's nest, a leaf miner's home, nuts gnawed by a squirrel, an owl's pellet, evidence of a rabbit, a robin's nest, an animal foot print.
Sentinel and Marauders.
A game adapted to rest hour on hike. Seat one patrol in a circle with individuals at least ten feet apart. Cut shrubs three feet high and stick in ground five feet in front of each member of patrol. Blindfold with neckerchiefs. A judge stands in the middle of the circle. The second patrol is given 10 minutes to steal into the circle and get a shrub and-walk away with it without being detected. The seated patrol, or sentinels, when hearing a footstep, twig snap, or unnatural rustling of leaves, points in that direction. Any marauder pointed at in this way is eliminated. The judge indicates this by a wave of the hand. The eliminated individual must go to the auditorium, some 60 feet away, decided upon before the game starts. The score equals the number of shrubs taken out of the circle for at feast a distance of thirty feet in the ten minutes. The Sentinels and Marauders exchange positions. The team securing the greatest number of shrubs in 10 minutes wins. Dead twigs and dried leaves may be placed around the circle or it may be played amongst a thick growth of shrubs. This game develops great skill in stealthiness.
A good woodsman can locate a sound quickly both as to direction and distance. As a preliminary training have "it" stand back to 10 or 12 people. No person to be nearer another than ten feet. A leader points to some one who whistles. "It" turns around quickly and names the one who whistled. If correct the whistler takes his place or the best average for 10 trials. Out-of-doors this may be tried by rustling autumn leaves on the ground, by wading in water, by jumping in sand, by dropping a stone, or by throwing a stone a few feet away and having the person identify the stone, by snapping a twig, by taking three steps, etc.
Fire Fly Tag.
Played when it is dark. A fast runner is provided with a flash light. He must give occasional flashes. Pursuers must tag the runner. Whoever catches him becomes the firefly.
The diver scores the number he brings up at one dive or different values may be given to different kinds.
Pine Cone Baseball.
Use pine cones instead of baseball. The pitcher throws a cone at the batter. If the cone hits the batter a "strike" is made. If not, it is a "ball." Count strikes and balls as in baseball. The batter may hit the ball. If it is a fair hit he becomes a base runner. Runners may be put out between bases by being, hit with the cone in play. Players cannot run with cones. The batter may catch the cone and throw it into the field.
The players try to collect the greatest number of galls in a given time. One point for each kind obtained and one additional point for each one identified. Use Professor E. Laurence Palmer's booklet published by the Comstock Co.
A good scout can retrace a trail because he remembers certain objects along the trail. Walk for a certain distance over a trail and then ask ten questions or each one may write ten questions and then exchange. Arguments will follow and it will usually be necessary to go over the trail again. Various objects may be placed along a backyard walk. They then return to the house and are given a pencil and paper to make a list of what they saw.
The Balance of Nature.
The hunter traps the skunk, the skunk eats mice, the mice eat bumble bees, the bumble bees assist the clover, they may sting the cow, the cows eat clover, the hunter drinks milk. The skunk is safe in a hole in the ground. In the game it may range from an ant hole to a hole of the ground hog. The mouse is safe in a hollow tree or in an abandoned bird's nest. The bumble bee is safe under a stone (standing on stone). The cow is safe under a tree. The clover may receive a friendly visit from the bee or be nipped by the cow. The hunter is safe at home. At a given signal the struggle for existence begins. Anyone tagged by his particular enemy--when away from his safety, becomes that animal. The game may be ended by saying that after a given signal any one tagged becomes Hers de Combat and is out of the game.
Sense of Direction.
Greenhorns get lost going into the woods and bragnuts when they try to get out. Zigzag a group through a forest and then have them try to go straight back to camp. This is not a running race. Everyone is expected to walk. The one getting back first may have gone on the most direct route. If a fire tower is at hand the leader may check up or all scouts may point toward camp and one climb a tree and determine the winner.
Breaking through the Line.
Outline the region in which the contest is to take place. May be between the lake and a certain road. Half of party guards the line and other half tries to break through. May use pine cones for ammunition. To be killed the scout must feel the bullet. Anyone killed is out of the game and must lie down until scalp (neckerchief) is taken or until rescued by own army. Cannot take active part in game after killed. May score on point basis. 5 points for a patrol leader, 2 for a scout, and 10 for the scoutmaster. Everyone getting through the line gets two points for his side.
Have one group quarter of a mile away do something. The other groups are on a hill top and take notes on what they are doing. Each group on the lookout may have binoculars. The group having the most accurate description, according to the judgment of the party in action wins.
Compass Training and Testing Trail.
A testing trail becomes a training trail after once having used it. Anyone failing should take the test on a new trail. One may name the points of the compass and yet be unable to use it. A woodsman should be able to follow the trail in either direction. This trail is made out for Mausoleum Hill, Syracuse, New York, but can be adapted to any region. The notes in paranthesis are hints to leaders laying out trails and were omitted in the original directions. The one being examined
should fill in blank spaces. Commencing at the N. W. corner or' the area fenced in on Mausoleum Hill, follow the fence east. (This gives the scout a chance to test his compass with the compass used in laying the trail) for --paces (A pace is not a stride); thence --for ----paces; thence----for paces--: thence along fence line (By fence line is usually meant an abandoned fence, or where it used to be) due----for paces----to a corner tree. The trunk growth of a tree is upward outward (Cross out one of these words). Proof Set course S 5 degrees west and proceed 30 paces (this gives an opportunity to check up on the average pace of the one who laid the trail) to a woodpecker hotel. The woodpecker got room and board for his services. This structure is also a squirrel storehouse and feeding station. From here continue in same course so as to pass a shagbark hickory in paces, a hop hornbeam in 3 paces, a red oak in 5 paces, a large-toothed aspen in 6 paces, and an American elm in 21 paces. Observe the American elm closely and continue pacing in the same direction until coming to an elm that is somewhat different from the American elm. This is the slippery elm which is --paces from the American elm. If you have the correct tree you will find that the inner bark is fragrant and mucilaginous. Cut off a twig and test it. Set your compass at this tree and travel W 15 degrees N I60 paces to a rock. Is this rock a resident or a transient! How know'----- What artificial fragments do you find at the western end of this rock,-----(Bits of broken glass. This is a means of checking up that they find the right rock). Shift your course 20 degrees more to the north and go 31 paces to an apple tree. It differs from the surrounding hawthornes in not having---- --and in having------. Near this tree is a stake.: Sight from the apple tree past stake to some natural object. Take bearing and walk in a bee line until reaching a cairn (Rocks piled up. Not rocks arranged for a fire place). Keep on in the same direction to a second cairn. Check up directions now and then with the compass.
Now proceed to summit of 'the hill. Orient your topographic map and locate by
compass the following hills (Number refers to elevation given on map). Fill in compass readings to right of numbers.) 681-----· 686--; 670-------- ;761
--; 845---; 617 Onondaga Count; Home--; University Farm---; Crouse College-----; Water Tower--. A diagram of a compass might be made on a board and varnished to prevent wearing by the weather. This could be fixed in a permanent position on a hill or at camp and then the various points of interest, visible from the site, might be printed on the compass lines. The compass is then known as a scenic locator.
Set a board compass in a forest. Make out a tree table for 10 trees as follows:
Name of Tree; Compass Direction; Number of paces from compass or make a bird's
nest table as follows: Name of nest; Compass Direction; Kind of tree; Heighth from ground. Another form of nature locator is to have a foot of one inch pipe on a swivel joint so that it can be rotated and raised or lowered. Have a list of nature objects and direction, such as: NNE elevated 32 degrees is-an oriole's nest. A person looking through the pipe when in this position will see the oriole's nest.