Flashlight games are fun. An ordinary treasure hunt becomes an exciting adventure if held at night with only a flashlight to aid a player search for the required articles.
Many boys begin to feel cooped up as spring approaches and this may be the best time to introduce these games to your group. During March, dusk still arrives early and most of your meeting will take place during darkness.
Flashlight games offer versatility and variety. If your meeting hall is small, take the games outdoors. If your indoor facilities are adequate, just turn out the lights. When the weather is poor, indoor flashlight games will make the boys forget whatever weather prevails outdoors. And, of course, these games are perfect while at camp, around the campgrounds.
But whatever the situation, remember safety first. Take no chances; clear the area as well as possible and warn your group of boundaries set up beforehand.
Another watchword is 'plan ahead'. Advise the boys ahead of time, so they can bring their own flashlight equipment with a new battery and bulb, to be on the safe side. It might be a good idea for the leaders to bring a few spares, just in case.
Once a Flashlight Games Night is planned, even ominous weather can't postpone it-just carry on indoors-lights out of course!
This game helps the players learn each other's names and at the same time have some fun. It's a good 'ice-breaker' for the first night at camp.
One player is designated to be IT. He takes his place in the centre of the players, sitting in a circle in the dark. IT suddenly flashes his flashlight on one of the players and asks "Who are your next door neighbours?" And then he flashes the light on the nearby neighbours. If the player who was asked the question, can't name both neighbours correctly, he becomes IT. If he does name them correctly, IT asks him "How is So and So?", naming either of the players. If the reply is "OK", the players remain seated, but if the answer is "Not so good", all players must change seats. While everyone is shifting IT tries to get a seat. If he succeeds the one without a spot then becomes IT.
Note: Until everyone is sure of the names, IT must give them time to learn the names of their neighbours before they shift.
Players sit around in a circle so that objects may be easily passed in the dark from player to player.
When explaining the game, the leader should try and create an air of mystery, a ritual-like atmosphere, to add to the fun of the game. Get all the players to whisper each sense in the order you want, See, Touch, Taste, Smell, Hear. After they whisper this, the leader says, "Now we'll chant the senses softly until we're sure of their order."
Fifteen mysterious objects are to be passed around the circle in three series each containing five objects, the first of each series is to be identified by Sight, the second Touch, the third Taste, the fourth Smell and the fifth Hearing. The players must maintain absolute silence throughout the game, concentrate and try to remember the names of all 15 objects.
With the lights out, the leader passes the flash light first, next an object to be identified by touch followed by something to be tasted, next by something to be smelled and then something to be heard (an old cow bell?). The leader continues to pass the objects in the established order. After the first series of five objects, start a second series beginning again with a flashlight. The third series is also started with another flashlight.
When all 15 objects have been passed, assign each player a partner and together they must write a list of the 15 objects passed in their exact order. The pair that prepares the best list is declared winner.
Note: Objects for touch: matchbox, button, wool, candle, thimble etc. This also makes a great Halloween game using the old stand-by's; wet, stuffed rubber glove, cold spaghetti, peeled grape, etc. Objects to smell: sachet powder, herbs and spices such as mint leaves or chili powder. A small piece of cloth could be soaked in a liquid with a distinctive smell, such as the newer scented shampoos, strawberry, lemon, cucumber etc.
This game can be played indoors or out.
Show the players the article to be hidden. Explain the game and then ask them to leave the room or standby in a designated spot, if outdoors.
Hide the object 'in plain view', that is, place it in an out-of-the-way spot where it may be easily seen when a player flashes his flashlight upon it if standing in just the right spot.
When the object is 'hidden' call the players back to start the hunt. As soon as a player sees the object, he sits down. The hunt continues until everyone spots the object and is sitting down.
Note: A flashlight is needed for each player or team them in pairs with one flashlight a pair.
Variation: One player with a flashlight hunts for the object while the group watches, yelling out HOT, COLD or WARM as the player gets closer or farther from the hidden object.
This is a good outdoor campfire game. Select one player to be IT and provide him with a flashlight. Send him some distance from the campfire. Select another player to be Monkey No. 1, and then recall IT to the centre of the circle. Monkey No. 1, unseen by IT, starts some silly motions, such as making faces, ape-like scratching, crossing and uncrossing his legs, moving his arms, legs or head in a funny fashion, etc. The other 'monkeys' must copy Monkey No. 1 while IT tries to see who is starting it all. When Monkey No. 1 is discovered, they trade places, and a new Monkey No. 1 is picked while IT is sent away from the campfire.
Note: Select lively players to be Monkey No. 1 as much of the success of the game depends on him.
Line up patrols or sixes in relay formation, providing the player at the head of each line with a flashlight. At the word GO, the one at the head of each team flashes his light and passes it to the second player who flashes it and passes it to the third and so on until the light reaches the last player. The player at the end of the line leaves the flashlight on and runs to the head of the line. At the head, he turns the flashlight off, hands it to the first player who passes it back as before, meanwhile remaining in his place. This way the race continues until the person who was originally at the head of the line returns there a second time.
Note: To make it a 'steam-off' game too, you can provide extra running. Have each player run forward, with the flashlight on, touch a designated object a certain distance away, before returning to the head of the line, to hand the flashlight to the next player.
This game can be tied in with nature lore taught earlier in the day or Black Star Requirement No. 6.
Preparation: One of the leaders must sneak into a wooded area and tack ten numbered cards to ten trees, noting the name of each tree and its corresponding number. In the meantime another leader arranges the players in pairs, with one flashlight per pair. Each pair also needs a piece of paper and pencil.
The hunt begins! The teams scatter and try to locate numbered trees without letting the other teams see. If players find a tree but don't know its name they write down its number and bring in one leaf. If they think they know the correct name, they write both number and name.
Scoring: Each team receives a point for each tree found and an additional point for each tree named correctly.
Note: Tell the players the boundaries of the area in which the numbered trees are located. You can also set a reasonable time limit on this game depending on terrain and distance.