Making A Start




Search  Inquiry Net

Home ] Up ] Next ]

Making A Start
Night Eyes
Night Ears
Night Nose!
Night Hiking
Night Stalking
Night Signalling
Night Hike Vision
Lights & Rockets
Training Games
Nature By Night
Telling Time by Stars
Night Photography
From Writer to Reader

Scout Books

Site Contents

By K. Graham Thomson

Are you afraid of the dark? Most of us are at some time or other, though really, in England nowadays, there is hardly ever any reason to be scared. If you were in some country strange to you, with a tiger, or a human enemy, looking for you--as the Chief Scout [Baden-Powell] has been often enough you might have some excuse for "getting the wind up," as we used to say during the Great War [World War I].

However, I don't suppose the Chief ever felt frightened, either of the enemy or of the dark, and there is no reason why you should be, if you set to work to train yourself the right way. Night Scouting is jolly good fun [sweet], and there are bags of ripping [phatt] games to play and things to do which will prepare you for facing real danger or difficulty in the dark at some time or other.

The practice of Night Scouting can be carried out first in the daytime, by blindfolding yourself or, indoors, just by covering the windows and putting out the light. Then it can be practiced, too, after about four o'clock on a winter evening; and later on by older Scouts, in the middle of the night with other Scouts, or alone.

You will be wise to take to Night Scouting in that order; first, blindfolded, or indoors with the lights out; next, early in the evening in autumn and winter; and, finally, later at night alone; and that is the order in which I intend to deal with the subject.

Patrol Leaders

And here I must say a few words to you Patrol Leaders and older fellows, who are never afraid of the dark, and perhaps already know the joys of lying up in a wood alone in the night, listening to the stirrings of birds and animals all round you. Remember always that little chaps [guys] and youngsters are often more than a bit scared of being by themselves in a dark room, let alone in a dark wood.

Any " funny stuff " with white sheets--or even the telling of ghost stories--may give them frightful scares or nightmares, which may be seriously harmful. Never play the fool with a youngster's nerves, but graduate your training so that he grows accustomed to darkness and the exaggerated noises of the night, and learns by experience that there is really nothing to be scared of in mere darkness.

Take the whole Patrol on your night games and practices at first, and never leave one of the kids alone in the dark until he has learned the rudiments of Night Scouting, and has faced and conquered his perfectly natural fear of the dark.

Now it is best to begin your Night Scouting in daytime, using your Troop scarves to blindfold yourselves. Or you can make some small black masks out of cloth wide enough just to cover the eyes, with tapes sewn on to tie round the head. See that the cloth is completely opaque, and that everyone is quite " blind " before you begin.

Blindfold Passing Relay

You can have a lot of fun with a Blindfold Passing Relay. Two Patrols or more may take part, if there are equal numbers of players in each Patrol. All are blindfolded, and stand in line, extended to two arms' length between each Scout in the Patrol. Beside the player at one end of each Patrol, is placed a chair on which sundry articles are put, identical for each team: a Scout hat, scarf, penny, clock or watch, matchbox, shoe; but nothing edged or sharp-pointed.

When the whistle blows, number one of each team starts passing the things, one at a time along the line, until all are collected by the player at the other end. The first team to have the whole lot at the other end, wins.

Any article dropped must be found by the player who last held it in his hand, by groping round; and no player may hold more than one article at a time. That means that if there is a hold-up in the line because of a dropped article, players must pass the remaining articles back again up their line, until word comes that the dropped article has been found and is on its way, when the passing of the others will be resumed.

Night Alarm Race

Here is another clubroom stunt which is worth practicing, and is also jolly good fun.

Each Patrol goes to its own corner of the room, and every Scout takes off his hat, scarf, belt, knife or whistle, lanyards, garters, stockings, and shoes. He lays them, with his staff, on the floor; and then he lies down flat alongside his own pile.

When everyone is ready, all lights are put out and the umpire blows his whistle. Immediately each Scout must get up, put on all his uniform and gear correctly, and fall in with his hat on and staff in hand, in his proper place in his Patrol, in line in its own corner. All this must be done without noise or talk. As soon as the PL knows his Patrol is complete and in line, he may call out " Curlews, alert! " and the umpire (with a small pocket lamp to guide him) notes which Patrol is first, and how many minutes it has taken.

Points are allotted as follows: a maximum of 20 points for each Patrol while in the dark, and the umpire deducts one point for each sound he hears from any Patrol Comer; and a maximum of 10 points for inspection after lights have been turned up, with one point deducted for each item wrongly or crookedly worn ; and a bonus Of 5 points for the first Patrol to be in line alert, 4 for the second Patrol, and so on.


Night Scouting






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
[ Making A Start ] Night Eyes ] Night Ears ] Night Nose! ] Night Hiking ] Night Stalking ] Night Signalling ] Night Hike Vision ] Lights & Rockets ] Training Games ] Nature By Night ] Star-Gazing ] Telling Time by Stars ] Night Photography ] Forward ] Acknowledgments ] From Writer to Reader ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Scuba ] Skills ] Games ] Shelter ] Fire ] Night ] B-P's Camping ] Hikes ] Indian ] Spring ] Summer ] Autumn ] Winter ]

The Inquiry Net Main Topic Links:
 [Outdoor Skills]  [Patrol Method [Old-School]  [Adults [Advancement]  [Ideals]  [Leadership]  [Uniforms]

Search This Site:

Search Amazon.Com:

When you place an order with Amazon.Com using the search box below, a small referral fee is returned to The Inquiry Net to help defer the expense of keeping us online.  Thank you for your consideration!



Amazon Logo



Scout Books Trading Post

Dead Bugs, Blow Guns, Sharp Knives, & Snakes:
What More Could A Boy Want?

Old School Scouting:
What to Do, and How to Do It!

To Email me, replace "(at)" below with "@"

If you have questions about one of my 2,000 pages here, you must send me the "URL" of the page!
This "URL" is sometimes called the "Address" and it is usually found in a little box near the top of your screen.  Most URLs start with the letters "http://"

The Kudu Net is a backup "mirror" of The Inquiry Net.  

2003, 2011 The Inquiry Net,  In addition to any Copyright still held by the original authors, the Scans, Optical Character Recognition, extensive Editing,  and HTML Coding on this Website are the property of the Webmaster.   My work may be used by individuals for non-commercial, non-web-based activities, such as Scouting, research, teaching, and personal use so long as this copyright statement and a URL to my material is included in the text
The purpose of this Website is to provide access  to hard to find, out-of-print documents.  Much of the content has been edited to be of practical use in today's world and is not intended as historical preservation.   I will be happy to provide scans of specific short passages in the original documents for people involved in academic research.  


Last modified: October 15, 2016.