Tent Setup Challenge


The Tent Setup Challenge is the first game we played at the Skills Showdown. The purpose of this game is just to start the day right: rather than going through the normal routine of arriving and setting up before starting activities, the setup is one of the activities!

How to Play

Scouts are challenged to get their tents and personal gear set up correctly and neatly in 15 minutes. Tents should be staked out and guy lines should be taught. Sleeping pads and bags should be laid out neatly in the tent, along with other gear and the head or foot of the tent, inside or outside--also neat.

This is a patrol-based activity, so Scouts must buddy-up in tents by patrol. The first patrol to complete this task wins the ribbon. If all Scouts can complete this task in less than 15 minutes, everybody gets a Troop 29 carabiner.

Adults are needed to help point out tents that need help, with the intent that Scouts can finish the game in time.

How the Game Went

The Scouts really enjoyed this game. They worked hard and quickly to get everything set up well. In fact, I believe this is the best I have ever seen them set up camp! We were very strict: pointing out loose guy lines, corners not pulled tight, and sleeping bags not straight, for example. Despite being very harsh the Scouts responded positively and wanted to do a good job.

When the 15 minutes elapsed, we had the Scouts stop. Two patrols had finished and done a great job, and two had a few minor things to take care of: a stake bag on the ground, a tent with some leaves inside, etc. We had a little adult pow-wow and decided to give the Scouts one more minute to complete the task. They really only needed a few seconds, but it was great to watch them all put in some extra effort to make sure everything was perfect.

To close we handed the ribbon to the winning patrol, then handed out the carabiners. I don't think the Scouts actually set up any faster than normal, but it was certainly a better job than normal.

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