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Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, said that "Scouting is a game with a purpose."

Teamwork is very important to teach youth at least ten years of age. As they grow older, they will participate on teams in school, work, clubs, church, and even marriage. The better they learn skills to be good team members, the more successful they will be.

Teamwork teaches them to lead, follow, listen to others, see things from another's point of view, appreciate diversity (differences of ideas and opinions), make decisions, express opinions, respect others, problem solving, brainstorming, good sportsmanship, fair play, discipline, self-control, initiative, cooperation, trust, imagination, strategy and skill, and much more.

To get the most out of these activities follow these steps:

The reflective time is very important. It should not be longer than 10 minutes. Have the group sit or stand in a circle. The leader should facilitate discussion. Help get the discussion started with open-ended questions (questions that can't be answered by a simple yes or no answer), but then let the group go.

I've found that once the group gets into an activity they want to play more. Repeating the same game isn't as productive in terms of learning teaming skills. What will work though, is coming up with variations on the game by changing the rules or equipment. As long as you have the basics for a game in place, it is very easy to make small changes to it. So, explore making small changes to the rules or equipment.

One of the nice things about teaming games is that the list of materials is usually flexible. You can substitute things that you have on hand.

Don't be afraid to challenge the team by choosing a difficult situation for the game. They may surprise you with unique and very creative solutions.

I am always trying to make improvements to these games or invent new variations. If you come up with a variation that works well, or even a new game, please let me know so I can update these pages and share the information with everyone.

Copyright © 2005 Vincent Hale