Scout Skills Jeopardy


Back in September of 2003 I assembled this game for a Troop meeting. I was happy with the work I had done but I wasn't sure how much the Scouts would enjoy it. Much to my surprise, it was huge. They loved it! (In fact they want to make every activity into a Jeopardy game--Winter Camping Jeopardy is their current wish.)

Jump right to the download if you don't want to read about how we played.

This game mimics Jeopardy quite a bit, so how we played is very similar. The big difference is that the host asks the questions and the patrols provide answers. All of these questions are straight from the Scout Handbook. Most are requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class ranks, plus there are a handful of harder "Miscellaneous" questions that can be found in the Scout Handbook but are not specific requirements of any rank. There's a total of 68 questions, divided into nine categories: Life or Death, First Aid Skills, Ouch (all three of which are actually first aid-related questions), Knots, Sharp & Hot, Outdoor Skills, Outdoor Activities, Maps, and Scouting Basics.

The prize was a ribbon that Sherree helped me make. It's a blue ribbon, about 3″ × 12″, with the text "Troop 16 Scout Skills Jeopardy Champion, September 21, 2003." A string was attached so they could tie it to their patrol flag.

Each of the Scout Skills Jeopardy cards contain the rank the question pertains to, the question's point value, the category, and the question (and, for the most part, the answer). The answers are--in my opinion--very clear, which should alleviate debate between the scouts and the host (the question-asker).

How We Played

Looking at the cards, it's easy enough to figure out that 100 points is for a Tenderfoot rank question, 200 for Second Class, 300 for First Class, and 400 points for one of the harder "Miscellaneous" questions. Having somebody (not the host) around to help with the math was a good thing.

I wrote the question's point value (provided in parenthesis) on the back of each card. Categories were written on a chalkboard and the cards were taped on the board so that Scouts could see the category and point value (but not the question and answer).

This game should be played by patrol. Each patrol gets a flashlight to "buzz in" when they are ready to answer a question. When I conceived this game I envisioned the patrol briefly talking about a question to decide whether or not to try and answer it. Of course, it didn't work quite like that; the patrol usually "buzzed in" as soon as possible.

Through trial and error we came to decide that after asking the question, the patrols have thirty seconds to buzz in before the question is thrown away. After buzzing in the patrol has one minute, thirty seconds to answer the question. If they can't answer it correctly, the other patrol has an opportunity to answer it.

Points are added for a correct answer and taken away for a wrong answer.

In the end, the Dragon patrol had −300 points and the Frog patrol had 100 points. This result showed off two things:

  1. The patrols are lacking in their general Scout Skills knowledge. (A problem we're trying to rectify!)
  2. They usually wanted to "buzz in" as soons as possible--regularly before the question was even completely asked. So, when they didn't know the answer they lost points. Had they not attempted the question, they wouldn't have lost points for it. A better way to play may be to not take points away for wrong answers and only give points for correct ones.

Scouts were thoroughly entertained with this game for about 1-1/2 hours--our entire meeting time--and they didn't get through all 68 questions. They got through about 50 of them, and having several stil "on the board" still gave them some choices, though, which I think made it a little more fun. You could certainly trim this game down to an hour or a half-hour simply by using less questions or eliminating certain categories.


Want to play with your Troop? Download it is as an Adobe PDF file, which necessitates the free Adobe Reader. Or, if you'd prefer, here is a Microsoft Word file. The Word file has the advantage of being editable so it's easy to make additions and changes, should you want to do that.

Print the pages out, cut the cards apart, and away you go!

If you do make changes to the game, I'd be interested to hear about them; please leave a comment. As well, I'd be interested to know what kind of scores your patrols got!

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Older Comments (9)

Dan & Sherree & Patrick currently uses Facebook for comments. Older comments are still here for readers, though. Read old comments »

Thanks for posting your game. We are going to play it at our next meeting. Looks like fun and learning at the same time.

Thanks much. I've been trying to do this for about three years now, since it was discussed in a Roundtable. When I get it together, I'll forward a set withanything new that I've added.

-Craig Corson, ASM, T1811
Walnut Creek, CA

We have done simmilar in our troop with the same resluts. I am also our Roundtable Commishioner and in Sept '04 I am having the same at our meeting.

Thanks for posting this game. I am a patrol leader for my Troop and I've been assigned to teach Scout Skills for the meetings this month. My last attempt didn't go over well with the Troop (Leave No Trace) but this should be great!
Thanks Again!

Thank you very much for sharing!

Troop 60 Scoutmaster (Woodbury, MN)

Great website and game!! I will use it this coming week. I took over a troop that is highly unorganized and am trying to get things going full swing, like when I was a scout. I'm excited... as if I am a kid again. Thanks.

This is awesome! Last year I made something similar for our KNOHOCADO Leadership Training banquet. I did a bunch of scouting, KNOHOCADO, sports, environmental, history, etc type questions. I even made a fake podium and set it all up on a big piece of foam core board so it was more like a game show. WE had a BLAST!!! I wish I would have seen yours sooner. But we will DEFINATELY use it with our Scouts! Thanks for going to the work and the trouble of putting it here for all to use.
:) Joleen

I'm ASPL of my troop and a first-aid instructor, so I think when the new scouts come in we'll play this. I've also made powerpoints to present too. Our troop likes to get things done ASAP, making first class in one year a standard. I'm modifying it to just be first aid though. The other instructor (member of the 30 knot club) can do knots and we'll go from there.

_David_ASPL of tr. 29_Life Scout

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