This is another historical observation game. The girls stand in a circle with their hands behind their back, they are the cobblers. One girl is selected to go in the middle, she is the customer. She takes off one shoe and hands it to a cobbler and says “Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoe, Get it done by half past two.” The customer then closes her eyes. The cobblers pass the shoe around the circle until someone hides it behind her back. The then cobbler who started with the shoe says “The shoe is lost!” Then the customer opens her eyes and tries to figure out who has the shoe. If the cobblers think she is getting close they can try to pass the shoe behind their backs.
A more modern take on this would be Bob the Weasel
This game is a variation of one that appears in Scouting for Boys. BP’s original instructions are:
Send the Patrol out of the room.
Take a thimble, ring, coin, bit of paper or any small article, and place it where it is perfectly visible, but in a spot where it is not likely to be noticed. Let the Patrol come in and look for it. When one of the Scouts sees it, he should go and quietly sit down without indicating to the others where it is.
After a fair time he should be told to point it out to those who have not succeeded in finding it.
We used buttons and instead of hiding just one, we hide 15. The girls spread out looking for the buttons. None of the buttons were hidden in such a way that anything had to be moved to see them but some were more hidden they others. When a girls thought she knew where all 15 were, she sat down. Once half the unit was sitting we called the game to a halt and had the girls who sat first go one by one to bring a button back.
I learned this game from the 2018 Thinking Day challenge from WAGGGS. Our girls had a great time playing. We ended up splitting the group into four teams and had them play at opposite ends of the room. Then after a few rounds we swapped which teams were playing against each other so they could try their strategies on different opponents.
This game requires concentration, communication, strategy and powers of observation. Split your group into two teams. Have the teams sit in two parallel lines facing each other about a metre apart.
Each line receives a coin which is passed or appears to be passed down the line. Each person can pass the coin or just appear to pass it on. Hands must be kept in front of the body.
Both lines pass at the same time. The participants should be watching the other team, not their own, to see if they can figure out where the coin stops.
When the passing reaches the ends of the lines, each group huddles to choose who on the other team has the coin. Then ask the teams to come back and sit in their original lines. The head of the line gets up and goes to the end of the line and this repeats until everyone has a chance to lead the line.
Before the hike along a short section of the trail place 10-20 items that don’t belong in nature. As you approach that part of the trail, tell the girls what you’ve done and tell them that they should count how many they can see without saying anything. After you pass though that part of the trail ask the girls to name as many as they can remember.
To hold a penny hike you need a small disk for each girl. A penny would be a fine choice but they are getting harder to find so instead you could use a tiddlywink or something similar. Each girl is challenged to find as many things as she can to fit on her disk while she hikes. She should not pick living things. Each thing on her disk must be different and they must all fit on at the same time. At the end of the hike, have the girls get together and show off their finds. This is a great time to get out some magnifying glasses or small microscopes if you have access to them. See if the girls can identify what they found. Or have them classify things (rocks, shells, organics, living creatures etc.)
This is an activity that challenges girls to look around them when they are out hiking. Ask them to try and find a natural item that starts with each letter of the alphabet. They can use different names for the things they see to try an fill in all the letters. A girl that already has a “d” might not think they can use a duck but and will be happy to fill in an “m” with Mallard. Be prepared for the girl who reports seeing a unicorn. Or to point out zooplankton for the girl who is just missing a “z”
We used the template from the Alien Invaders Challenge but you could use it associated with any hike.