Running Indian Scouts




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By Dan Beard

tbp357.gif (19597 bytes)
Figs. 357-358
Running the Indian Scouts on Ice.

All of the sports of our buckskin ancestors were of a nature to perfect these hardy men in skill with their weapons or to add to their agility, quickness of movement, and physical prowess. As has been previously re marked, the old pioneers were essentially men of physical strength and quickness of perception and action. The business of fighting Indians was one which constantly brought into action and use their powers as athletes. 

The price of being slow, of getting confused, in those days, or of hesitating, was the loss of life and one's scalp. Every Son of Daniel Boone should imitate their forebears, not in fighting the poor savages, but in acquiring as nearly as possible the same sterling qualities of mind and body which made such men as Boone great. For this purpose there is nothing better than the following game of

Running the Indian Scouts

To play this game or to run this sort of race, it is necessary for some of the boys to act as Indian scouts. Let Daniel Boone select the scouts and arrange them as the dots on the diagram (Fig. 357, J, B, C, D, etc.), are placed. When the scouts are at their posts and the two racers selected, line the latter up on the taw mark at K. 

At the word " Go " the racers skate or run., as the case may be, in and out among the Indians, to the line A B, then back again, and finish at K. If there is but one man in the race running against time, he starts in at K (Johnny Appleseed holding the time watch) and follows the direction of the arrow round the left side of G, into the center and around the outside of F, out again to the left side of D, then turns in to the right side of C, only to again turn out to the left side of J. From there he circles around to the right side of B, in again to the left side of C, then out to the right side of E, in to the left side of F, out to the right side of H, and finishes on the K line, to the left side of K, as indicated by the arrow. But the fun occurs when two white men start to run the scouts. In this case they line up on each side of K. 

tbp359.gif (7188 bytes)
Fig. 359.
Parts of the 'Coon Machine

If there are but two men, one turns to the right, circling out to the right side of H, while the other turns to the left, circling out to the left side of G. In this way they continue dodging each other and the Indians to A B and back again, finishing at K, as shown by the dotted line in Fig. 357. Fig. 358 shows a picture of the scouts in position and one racer in the foreground. All the side scouts are not shown in Fig. 358, as a perspective view showing them all would make the picture unnecessarily large. 

The racers are supposed to be escaping prisoners. It is a foul for one of the prisoners to come in contact with one of the Indians, and the prisoner who does so is considered as captured, but it is not foul if they accidentally bump into each other. There is danger of collision at every point of the race, and this danger is a part of the game, as it teaches the racer to dodge quickly when meeting an unexpected obstacle in his path. 

But when two escaping prisoners are racing for a prize or record, it is a foul for one or the other to purposely interfere with his competitor. On the ice this game is not only very exhilarating sport for the skaters, but a very pretty one to watch, and each member of the Fort can take his turn as a scout and as an escaping prisoner, Johnny Appleseed keeping a record of the time they make, and Daniel Boone awarding a nick to the winner or to the one who makes the best time among all the boys. Ten nicks make a notch, and the boy who wins ten of them in any of the field sports will be entitled to wear the insignia of the notch on the sleeve or cape of his wammus. 

tbp360.gif (29491 bytes)
Fig. 360. 
Jumping for the Raccoon

The illustration (Fig. 360) shows a Son of Daniel Boone leaping for the 'coon. This game can also be played upon the ice by boys with skates; but since many of my readers are located as far south as Texas, Florida, and Mexico, I have made this a picture of the boys on shore.

The Raccoon

Winter Games

Scout Games

The Boy Pioneers






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.