Scouts test their knot-tying skills in scouting games.
Scouts test their knot-tying skills in scouting games.

Boys and girls who participate in the scouting world take on a number of challenges that test their physical abilities and prowess. Tying knots is one of those challenges. Knot-tying games test scouts' accuracy and speed in tying a variety of knots, with scout leaders choosing games appropriate for their troop, depending on age and skill level.

Accuracy Games

Scouts strive for knot-tying accuracy in these challenges. Holding a 3-foot rope, scouts divide into two teams and sit in a circle. Scouts tie a square knot linking one end of their rope to the rope of the scout on their left. After teams finish tying all knots, scouts lift the rope over their heads and down to the middle of their backs. To test the knots' accuracy and strength, scouts lean back hard against the rope. A team wins if it has the longest tail of correctly tied knots, with the least number of scouts falling over backwards.

In another accuracy game, scouts compete to be the last scout standing in Simon Says. Each scout holds a rope and listens for the leader's commands. Players tie a particular knot when the leader commands it and exit the game upon making an error.

Ball-And-Knot Games

Knot-tying takes on new challenges with balls tossed into the mix. Players divide into two teams and number off for a knot-tying take on dodgeball. The leader shouts a number and a knot. For each game, teams alternate sending scouts to a designated spot to tie the required knot or to a designated ball spot. The knot-tying scout is out if a ball hits her; the thrower's out if she fails to hit her opponent. The team with the most members left at the end wins.

In a circle game, scouts throw a foam ball to each other. Scouts go to the middle of the circle for missing balls, throwing balls too hard, hitting scouts below the knees or hitting scouts in the middle of the circle. While in the center, scouts tie a knot of the leader's choice. Upon tying a correct knot, scouts return to the circle. Scouts leave the game if they go to the center twice. The last scout remaining wins.

Relay Races

Scout teams race to tie knots before their opponents in relay races. Scouts divide into two teams and line up. After the leader shouts a knot, scouts race to a rope 10 feet away. After the leader approves the knot, the scout unties the knot and races back to tag the next scout in line, who repeats the action. The first team to finish wins. Each round should feature a different knot type.

Speed Games

Scouts test their knot-tying speed in these games. After scouts form a circle and hold a rope, the leader shouts a knot and the scouts race to tie it, dropping the rope at their feet upon completion. The first scout to tie the knot correctly steps out of the circle and the remaining scouts prepare for another round. Play continues in this manner until one scout remains. In another speed challenge, scouts race to tie eight various types of knots in a minute or less. Knots should include bowline, clove hitch, overhand, square, taut-line hitch and timber hitch.