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Go over the various types of distress signals. Practise making a signal for an aircraft, practise hand signals and see how many ways of creating 3 blasts or flashes the Scouts can come up with


Signals worksheets
An Outdoor area
Bits of "stuff" to make ground signal out of


Take a small group of Scouts (1 or 2 Patrols)

1. Distress Signals
Explain to the Scouts that in emergencies signalling for help is vital. (refer to attachment: 'signalling' for info)
Explain the standard / recognised international 3 blasts or flashes.
See how many ways of making noise or flashes the Scouts can come up with (e.g. banging Rocks, sticks. Whistles, shouts! Fire (smoke), mirror, torch)

2. Body Signals
Explain body signals. (refer to attachment: 'signalling' for info)
Highlight this is where you might not have time to make ground markers.
Split the Scouts in 2 groups, and put them at each end of a field.
Have them send and receive Body Signals as a conversation writing down the responses they get (attachment: 'Signalling - Body Signals')

3. Ground-to-Air Signals
Explain (refer to attachment: 'signalling' for info)
Highlight that they should choose message carefully, that aircraft will go out of their way to help
Highlight recommended size (Massive! 10m high!)
Have a go at making one of the signals using whatever you can find
Be aware for aircraft - be ready to destroy it quickly!


  • emergency
  • signals
  • survival

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  • Survival Skills - Signals