Night Maneuvers

This is an incredible set of night games suitable for girls of Pathfinder (12-14) or Sr. Branch (15-18 and up) ages. For the set-up of this game and all the stations, I will be using examples from the night I played it at Camp Woolsey, the Ottawa Area Girl Guide camp.

You need a large area... we used the total (developed) area of the camp; around 20-30 acres. Establish a trail through your area and find spots along the way where your stations can be placed. Ideally the stations should be equally far apart from each other. Once you've decided where the stations will be, either show the girls a map of the area or (better still) take them down the trail so they are familiar with the area in daylight. Make sure you set up your stations well before nightfall. For each station you need at least one (and preferably two) people to run the station. For us, it was nice to have two people because we had approx. 10 minutes to wait between groups and sitting alone in the dark can be quite creepy!

There are two basic ways you can send people down the trail. Either send the groups down one at a time, at about fifteen minute intervals, or have each team start at a different station and have them rotate around the trail in a circle. Each team should consist of at least six girls. You can allow flashlights as long as you stress that they are only to be used in an emergency! There are two basic purposes for Night Maneuvers: (a) to get the girls comfortable with the darkness, and (b) to develop teamwork!

Once a team arrives at a station, the Station Leaders should describe the challenge and answer any questions they can so there will be a minimum of confusion when the games begin. We also had a couple of extra leaders wandering the circuit while the girls were out, in case a group managed to get lost or if there were any other problems. So sit back and enjoy! Remember that there are no losers in this game... only winners! Some sort of discussion with the whole group after the games are over is useful for comparing different strategies used at the stations. Late-night hot chocolate and cookies are usually also appreciated at the end!! Here are some of the stations I have used in the past.

In this section I've included the stations that we used to play the game; in reality, many cooperative games could be used or adapted to this activity too.

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