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You are here:   » Crystal Palace Rally Wide Game

Crystal Palace Rally Wide Game


This is a wide game I created to give my 9–13 year old Guides practice in some traditional Guiding skills that we had been working on for a couple of months. It just so happened that the wide game was programmed for Monday 7th September 2009, exactly 100 years and two days after the Crystal Palace Rally was held in London, where Lieutenant-General Robert Baden-Powell (he wasn't a Lord at that time) took the salute of over 10,000 Boy Scouts and a handful of Girl Scouts.

This is the official start of the Girl Guides Movement, because those Girl Scouts insisted on being allowed to be part of Scouting. Eight thousand of them registered at Scout Headquarters in the year following the rally, after B-P allowed them to do so as girls rather than as initials. There were so many of them that B-P realised he could not look after the girls as well as the boys, and so he asked his sister Agnes to start a Movement that would be suitable for them.


We played this wide game at our normal Unit meeting, which is two hours long. For various reasons, none of the Patrols managed to complete all the activities. However, I am certain that experienced and skilled Patrols and Patrol Leaders could easily fit it all in within a two hour period. Alternatively, you could run it over two nights, or at a camp.

Skills used

  • First aid
  • Compass
  • Observation and thinking skills
  • Knotting
  • Patrol teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Firelighting
  • Lifeline throwing

Supervision needed

I set this game up with six bases, one of which could run by itself. I thought I had five supervisors, but at the last minute two of them pulled out. This meant that I was trying to run three bases by myself, which didn't work out the best. I recommend, if you use this wide game in its entirety, that you have one supervisor per base (except maybe the Crystal Palace base, which doesn't really need supervision).

Set up

I made up a full page sign for each base and stuck them up on the walls so that the players could see them easily from anywhere in the room:

Crystal Palace Snack Attack
Uniform Check Scouting Skills
Accident Scene River Thames

Underneath each base sign, I stuck the instructions. To make the instruction pages more interesting, I put images of old Guides doing similar activities - I got these images from the internet, and am unsure of copyright holders, so have not included them here.

Introductory Game

To set the scene of the Crystal Palace Rally, we played a variation of Dorothy Crocker's Crystal Palace Rally participation game. Instead of using yells, we allocated words to Patrols, and every time a Patrol's word was mentioned in the story, the whole Patrol had to run to the far wall and back. This got them focused, listening and quickly out of breath!

The Wide Game

Give each Patrol Leader a sheet of paper with the following on it.

It is Saturday 4th September 1909. You are a group of girls who have read “Scouting for Boys” and decided to become Scouts. You want to go to the Boy Scouts Rally at the Crystal Palace where Patrols will be inspected by Lieutenant-General Robert Baden-Powell.

Follow the instructions at each stop of the journey. Remember, you are Girl Scouts, and you are out to impress Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell, so be on your best behaviour and work as a team.

There are seven activities. Try to do all of them, in any order.

HINT: Work out how long you can spend at each activity in the time available before you start.
Take with you a compass, pen and paper.

Keep an eye on the time – we will be debriefing at 8:40 pm SHARP.

Points Tally

Crystal Palace


Accident Scene


River Thames


Scouting Skills


Uniform Check


Snack Attack




Crystal Palace Base

You have arrived at Crystal Palace, and are preparing to join the 11,000 other Scouts in the Rally.

Prepare a Patrol song or chant to explain to Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell why you should be allowed to be a Scout, and why he should start Scouting for Girls.


Prepare a Patrol song or chant to show to Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell what Guiding is like today – and to say thank you for starting Guides. (This could be used as part of the Junior BP Award.)

Uniform Check *

Here are some pictures of the 1909 Crystal Palace Rally, and some of early Girl Guides. Study them carefully, and write down how the well-dressed Girl Scout of 1909 kept the Scout Motto by Being Prepared.

Patrol Points for Uniform Check Base

1 point for each item and 1 point for every clever use

Patrol Name



Useful for


Staff or stave


















Sensible shoes


















Total Points



* A similar exercise is included in both the Blue Rainbow Challenge badge and the BP Award.

Accident Scene

On your journey to the Crystal Palace, you come across an accident. Two horse-drawn carriages have collided, and there are injuries. Write down what you will do, in the order in which you will do it.

Two carriages, blocking the road.
Two horses – uninjured but loose.
Two drivers – one with a broken arm, one with cuts to his face.
Two passengers – one thrown onto the road, does not appear to be breathing; the other is screaming and has blood spurting out of his thigh.
There’s a crowd.

Patrol Points for Accident Scene Base

1 point for each item and 1 point for every useful action not listed here

Take a point off if they want to use a mobile phone or call 000 – it’s 1909!

Patrol Name: ________________________________________


Check for Danger to patrol/bystanders/casualties


Decide who to treat first –


   1. Passenger not breathing


   2. Bleeding passenger


   3 Broken arm


   4. Cuts on face


First Aid











Recovery position


Monitor after treatment


Introduce self and ask for permission to help


Talk to casualty


Reassure casualty


Get medical aid


Treatment for non-breathing casualty


Treatment for bleeding casualty


Treatment for broken arm


Treatment for cuts on face


Use of bystanders

Get a bystander to go for help.


Get a bystander on Traffic Control


Get a couple of adult bystanders to look after the horses


Scouting Skills

Show Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell that you have Scouting skills by making a Knot Man (one each if there is time – if not, one per Patrol). Make a little raft of twigs for the Knot Man to hold. The raft should be square, using square lashing at the corners, and snake lashing for the cross pieces.

The pictures on this instruction sheet were the Knot Man, and a photograph of a small raft made of twigs (from the internet - search for twig raft).

Snack Attack

Your Patrol is hungry and the Scout Rally is not yet ready to start. Light a small pyramid fire, no taller than your hand, and cook marshmallows on it. If you have to use more than two matches to light the fire, disassemble it and build it again.

The pictures on this instruction sheet were of a pyramid fire.

Patrol Points for Snack Attack Base

Correct fire height: 2 point
Correct building: 4 points
Only two matches used: 4 points

Take 1 point off for each match used over two.

Total possible points: 10

The River Thames

On your way to the Crystal Palace Rally, you come across the River Thames. There is a small child caught in the middle of the river. Rescue him. Pictures of lifeline throwing are here.

Patrol Points for River Thames Base

Time each Patrol from the time that they start to the time the last patrol member rescues the victim.

Each patrol member must throw the lifeline.












Take bearings at each base. Write the answers here.

Accident scene to Crystal Palace ____________________

Crystal Palace to Snack ____________________

Snack to Thames River ____________________

Thames River to Scouting Skills____________________

Scouting Skills to Uniform check ____________________

Uniform check to Accident Scene ____________________


Rate the bases in terms of what skills you currently have


Very Hard




Accident Scene





Crystal Palace










Thames River





Knot Man





Uniform Check






At 8:40 pm sharp, we called everyone in for a debrief. The Patrols who had done the Crystal Palace base performed their songs/chants, we added up Patrol points, and talked about what went well and what didn’t.

All in all, it was a useful wide game to consolidate skills we had been learning. We also had two prospective Guides attend the meeting, and both of them want to join up!

If you'd like this wide game, complete with pictures, in a Word document or a pdf, please email me.


Comment from a happy Guide Leader in Lincolnshire about this wide game:

"You are wonderful. The Game is brilliant & it will save me masses of time. We go to camp next Sunday! Thank you SO much!" H.G. July 2010