River Crossing Team Building

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As a wildfire rages through the grasslands, three lions and three wildebeest flee for their lives. To escape the inferno, they must cross over to the left bank of a crocodile-infested river. Can you help them figure out how to the fastest way to get across on the one raft available without losing any lives?




Use 3 cub scouts as Lions, and use 3 cub scouts as Wildebeest, trying to cross a pretend river (alternative option to use plastic animals or prints of animals on a tabletop).

The raft needs at least one animal to paddle it across the river, and it can hold at most two animals.
If the lions ever outnumber the wildebeest on either side of the river (including the animals in the boat if it’s on that side), they’ll eat the wildebeest.
The animals can’t just swim across, and there are no tricks; The animals have to use the raft as described.

Why can’t the first move be two wildebeest going across?

Note - The animals must get out the boat before returning the boat back. (Just because the wildebeest is on the boat does not mean he won't be eaten by the 2 lions waiting on the bank).
If there are extra cub scouts they can be on each side of the river counting the number of animals and working out who is going to be eaten. They can shout "Lion, Lion, Lion" if the Lions outnumber the Wildebeest.

There are two solutions to this problem. If they work it out quickly, then ask them to try find another solution.


  • Animal river crossing
  • Lion and Wildebeest

Badge Links

  • Teamwork - Team game
  • Teamwork - Team-building