Tag Archives: Catch the Snapper

Campcraft Activities, Patrol Challenges, and Troopwide Games

Scout Meeting Activities

Related to Scout Pioneering are a variety of campcraft challenges that can be incorporated into the troop meeting agenda. A relevant upside is, these activities require putting skills into action that were gained during instructional sessions. Appropriately, these skills come into play in a way that is challenging and fun.

Link to: Flagpole Race
A Fun Interpatrol Activity: Nothing Succeeds like Success!

Of course, campcraft encompasses more than just Pioneering, though Pioneering is often central to the rewarding experience inherent in Scouting’s outdoor program. The campcraft challenges in this post also include activities related to general knotting, woods tools, fire building, navigation, and some first aid Scout skills too.

Healthy competition between patrols can have a positive outcome when handled in the right spirit. Naturally, when patrol makeup is homogenous, there’s more of a level playing field. But, when patrols are organized by age, to compensate for the difference in skill levels, certain handicaps might be introduced. In this instance or when individual patrol attendance is disproportionate, dividing the troop into equal crews is also always a practical approach.

Scoring and points are arbitrary—no hard, fast rule. Keeping track of patrol points for these activities (and awarding points for various other criteria) can be adopted and contribute towards patrol spirit. But, the presentation of the activities themselves carry their own rewards translating into involvement, enthusiasm, and fun.


Scout Meeting Challenge: Catch the Snapper

What we’re doing here is challenging each patrol to build a device that will set off and “catch” a cocked rat trap (the snapper) placed 15 feet away.

Spacing their round lashings.
The lashings have to be tight and well-spaced.

This simple interpatrol challenge is fine for team building and simultaneously a whole lotta fun! The only lashings required are round lashings, but applying a sensible approach to spacing them effectively is also necessary. As with all pioneering projects, in order to pull them off the whole crew’s got to pull together. So it is with the simple process of racing to join the Scout staves together, and then setting about angling the long “fishing pole” so the sinkers will hover just right over the cocked rat trap.

CatchTheSnapper
Activities That are FUN!

Procedure. Using two tight Round Lashings to join each of the staves together, each patrol forms a long “fishing pole,” and attaches a cord with a weight tied on to the end. Using this device to pick up their snapper, there are two objectives here: one is to catch the snapper as quickly as possible, the other is to work together and successfully complete the task as smoothly as possible. Basically, three rules apply: no patrol member is permitted to cross a line between their work area and the cocked rat traps 15 feet away, the only thing allowed to touch the snapper is the weight at the end of their “fishing pole,” and all materials must be used.

Angling to Catch the Snapper
  • four 5-foot  Scout staves
  • six 6-foot lashing ropes
  • one 3-foot light cord
  • a weight (fishing sinker or some heavy metal washers)
  • rat trap(s)


Careful handling of the rat traps is required!
Left: Setting out the Rat Traps  / Right: Catching the Snapper

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