Some years ago I was asked to run a session on Wide Games at our Region Conference. Here is the basic session I ran - keep in mind that I was told to do it in 15 minutes, but this was changed at the last minute to 20 minutes. The sample wide game is not one that I would normally play with my Guides (ages 10-15) without more time. I did try it out on them before the session, and they had a ball, but wanted more time.
However, the sample wide game shows that (a) wide games don't have to take hours, and (b) they can be simple.
Because the Region Conference was arranged as a Round Robin, I ran the session three times, i.e. to three different groups.
Here is the session:
Introduction to wide games
§§Wide Games are planned activities which give the girls practice in skills, usually outdoors and in the context of a story or series of linked activities. Points may be awarded if desired. The term "wide" can be interpreted as wide in space, or wide as in requiring the participants to widen their experience. Wide games can take as little as an hour, or a whole weekend. All it takes is IMAGINATION.
Wide games are suitable for all ages.
Wide games can be planned in several different ways. Here are a few:
- Choose the skills you wish the girls to practise, and build the activities around those skills, linking them with a story.
- Choose a theme, and use skills or activities that fit with the theme.
- Come up with a story (or use a published one, such as Winnie the Pooh), and choose activities to fit.
You can include anything you like in a wide game, depending on your imagination, your girls, and your resources. You could include:
- a code
- first aid
- cloud watching
- scavenger hunting
- making up a song or poem
- a treasure hunt
Anything you can think of!
There are lots of resources available to help you plan your wide games. Look in the Guide Shop or on the internet for suggestions.§§
Today we will be playing a VERY short wide game, as an example of what you can do. The brief I was given for this session was:
Wide Games that can be adapted for all age groups, 15 minutes and PRACTICAL.
You will note that there is a theme, which was determined by the availability of a jigsaw puzzle. These activities could be done by all age groups. You are given only a very short time to do each base - don't worry if you don't finish - the next group will build on your work. I wouldn't normally suggest this with the girls, as they like to finish things themselves. This approach is a result of the short time available today.
Then I gave each group the choice of:
playing as a group (there were only six people in each group anyway)
dividing the group into three, or
doing it as a round robin.
Each group chose to do it as one group, which actually made it easier on me.
After playing the game, I asked for suggestions on variations, and answered questions.
Example of a Simple Wide Game
THE WIDE GAME - DINOSAURS
Base 1: See how much of this jigsaw puzzle you can do before the whistle blows.*
Base 2: Make a dinosaur. **
Base 3: Choose one person to be the dinosaur. All others stalk the dinosaur and get a dinosaur footprint.***
* It was a kid's jigsaw of a dinosaur.
** Materials provided were newspaper, sticky tape and scissors.
*** Each person was issued with a piece of paper and a drawing implement, and had to stalk the dinosaur without being heard or seen moving, then somehow work out how to get a footprint. Variations included asking politely, picking the dinosaur up, and trying to slide the paper under her feet without her knowing it!
Because of the time constraints, the game was designed (except for the stalking) so that each new group could continue the work of the preceding groups, i.e. finishing the jigsaw and making the dinosaur. The only base that actually needed to be built on by succeeding groups was the jigsaw, and we did actually get it finished with 0.02 of a second to spare!
Each participant was given a copy of the section §§ to §§ to take away.
Moving between bases
Apparently some leaders have difficulty figuring out ways of getting their girls from one base to the next in wide games, rather than just saying "Okay, now go over there". Some of the ways I have come up with are:
- walking backwards
- crawling sideways
- ministry of silly walks
- Scout's Pace
- silly relay
- compass trail
- follow a rope trail blindfolded
- frisbee throwing
- follow a map
- throw a lifeline
- follow clues
- grass skis
- billy carts
- water slide
- make a boat or plane out of rope or cardboard boxes and fly or sail
If you can, relate the methods of moving between bases to the theme of the wide game. I played a wide game once that was based around travelling from country to country. I don't remember all the ways of getting from one "country" to another, but I do remember making grass skis, and the whole patrol having to "ski" to Switzerland!
Here's a page with a wide game that has some more methods of moving between bases.
This session was posted to the Anzagl discussion list, and was subsequently (with my permission) added to the Anzagl website (the link to my name there is to the old version of this website at a different address). This is my own original material.
This version has been updated slightly from the one that appears on the Anzagl website.
Email me to comment, or to add suggestions to this training session.
Comments already received:
Thank you for the info on wide games. I was a bit lost as to where to start - this has helped heaps! [Comment received through the Anzagl website.]