Do you remember family game night growing up? Some games made for a fun evening, like Candy Land and Life while others turned typically sweet family members into wild-eyed logophiles, like Scattergories. Was that just my childhood home? I hope so.
As an adult, I’ve come to love the game again. My son (the PL) and I were talking about games he could play over Zoom this week, and in the midst of a pretty desperate brainstorm, a lightbulb went off. What about Scattergories for Scouts… Scoutergories?
If, like me, you vowed never to play the game again after experiencing the adults in your life go ballistic once or twice, you’ve probably forgotten the gist of the game. Per howdoyouplayit.com, each player gets a series of lists (in our case, there are 4), which are to be played in order. A letter die is rolled to reveal the letter you will be playing for the list you are on and a timer is set. (So, you’ll roll one letter and complete list 1, roll another letter and complete list 2, etc.) Players attempt to create an answer for each item on their list using the letter that was rolled, within a certain amount of time (normally 2 minutes). When the time runs out for each list, everyone takes turns reading their answers. If another player had your answer, you both cross that answer out. Each unique answer left on your list is worth one point.
You can also earn bonus points for alliteration! Say you roll a “d” and a category is “breakfast foods,” your answer of “Dunkin Donuts” would earn you two points.
Where some folks will argue rules all day and night (and into the next day, and in some families for decades), Scouts should be encouraged to be creative and have fun. Think about what the most common answer would be for a category and avoid it at all costs. For instance, if “animal” is one of your categories and you’ve rolled a “d”, you can bet most of your Scouts will answer with “dog”. How many will instead answer with “dingo”? If an answer is challenged, the majority rules on acceptability.
Because Scouts can’t physically roll a letter die via Zoom, use an online letter generator like this one at Random.com. You can also use this Scattergories Letter Die (with timer).
I’ve created a series of four SCOUTERGORIES game lists (PDF) that you can download and send off to your Scouts during your meeting (did you know you can send documents via Zoom chat?). I have a second series of more program-specific lists coming soon!
So? What do you think?
Will SCOUTERGORIES end up on your meeting plan this week? Tell me all about how it went in the comments, and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to Look Wider Still!
Yours in Scouting,
Other Virtual Game Ideas
Scouting Activities: Scout-Themed Pictionary Zoom Game
As the weeks go on and virtual meetings continue, your PL might find themselves running out of good ideas to keep things exciting and interesting. You can only share screen so many Power Point presentations before Scouts start taking virtual naps during their weekly virtual Patrol meeting. If you find yourself in a slump or in need of a last-minute game, try my Scout-Themed Pictionary Zoom Game!
Scouts BSA Patrol Activities: Virtual Whisper Game
You can’t be all business all the time… all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, afterall. Starting off a patrol meeting with a little game is a mood-lifter and gets everyone in the right frame of mind for learning. Don’t forget to keep it simple, make it fun!
The Scouts Whisper Game is a great opportunity to encourage Scout Spirit and practice the trustworthy, friendly, courteous, kind, and cheerful points of our Scout Law. Much like the Whisper Challenge played on the Tonight Show, this game offers up funny phrases that Scouts try to guess by reading lips, all over Zoom, Skype, or any other virtual meeting program. Learn more at Scouts BSA Patrol Activities: Virtual Whisper Game.
Scouts BSA Patrol Activities: VirtScouts BSA Patrol Activities: Scout Rank Bingo Game
My son (PL) is wrapping up the 30 Day Rank Challenge posted by the Heart of America Council, with his brand new patrol of brand new Scouts, and as he mulled over how to test them on what they’ve learned. After careful consideration, we talked over his strategy and he decided he’d rather make it a game than outright quiz his patrol on Scouting details. Keep it simple, make it fun! Right? So we brainstormed games that could be played through his next Zoom meeting, and landed squarely on BINGO.
There are a LOT of great Scouting Bingo games out there that have been shared in the last several months, many of which help your Scouts continue on the advancement trail. We worked together to pull a series of six individual S.C.O.U.T. game boards that specifically review the Scout Rank materials. Learn more at Scouts BSA Patrol Activities: Scout Rank Bingo Game.
Using Zoom Breakout Rooms for Survival Situation Games
Before splitting Scouts into breakout rooms, my son read off a survival situation and provided a fun list of found items they would need to use to make it through their situation. He pasted the list in the Zoom chat and then used the broadcast feature to send it to them again once they were sent to their rooms. He gave them five minutes to discuss the situation, rank their items from most- to least-important, and brought them back together as a full group to discuss. He encouraged them to have fun together, and to choose a group representative to come back and share what they’d discussed. My son randomly chose who would go into each breakout room (literally just figured out how many would need to be in each room and started clicking with reckless abandon… a very teenaged boy thing to do) and sent them on their way. Learn more at Scouting Tech: Using Zoom Breakout Rooms for Survival Situation Games.