Build & Defend

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Build a tower as high as you can with plastic cups while other team tries to knock it down


30-50 plastic cups per team
Missiles of some kind - bean bags, soft balls or newspaper balls


Each team is given a number of plastic cups and missiles
An area between the teams is marked out as "No man's land" where neither team can go.
Beyond each side of "no man's land" each team has to build a tower from the plastic cups.
Each team is allowed to throw their missiles at the opposing team's tower to try and destroy it
Set a time limit for the game, say highest tower after 30 mins.
Nobody except a leader is allowed inside "No Man's Land"

Leader Notes:
1. It is amazing that scouts very rarely figure out that if they do not throw missiles and just collect the ones thrown at them then at some point they will have all the missiles and the opposing team has no ammunition left.
2. Scouts nearly always build a tower across the playing area thus presenting a large target to the opposing team, it is better to build the tower at right angles to the opposing team so that the target is just one cup wide.

The game should foster some team building skills within your patrol, they will need to assign builders, defenders and attackers if they are to succeed

I find that the scouts really enjoy this game and are always asking to play it. Generally I only roll it out two or three times a year. Keep them wanting more!

An extension to this game I am currently using is to tie it in with pioneering. Teach them some basic lashings, square and shear and get them to make a catapult with garden canes (3ft bamboo sort) then they can use the catapult to fire their missiles. Scouts soon become very interested in lashings with this objective in mind.


  • construction
  • game
  • leadership
  • pioneering
  • planning
  • team building
  • troop

Badge Links

  • Teamwork - Challenge
  • Teamwork - Team game
  • Teamwork - Team game