Pioneer Contests

Wherever we are with our pioneers' unit, we can easily organize several contests, much loved by the pioneers. They can entail individual participation, pairs or teams of 3 or 4 pioneers of different ages, of both sexes. The playground should be even, clean and large enough for the contests to be organized on the camp premises, in school or a field trip. The participants will be assessed immediately or after three or four trials, as the referee decides. The Skilful Cooks: the task entails lighting up a fire in an earthen hearth and boiling an egg in a recipient against the clock. The contest is won by he who boiled the egg in the shortest time. The egg will be cracked and considered to be "well cooked" if the yoke is hard enough. Our spring: we will ask the pioneers to arrange a clean spot on the river shore or near brook, a spot from where they can take clean water to drink or to wash with. In case we are close to a spring, we will ask them to arrange the water source. The procedure is the following: we will carefully clear away the mud and the weeds, then place gravel and some larger stones instead, doubled by pebbles in circle or semi-circle, where the clean water will gather. We will make a waterspout of tree bark in order to channel the water. The winners will be those who finish their task faster and whose decorated place looks better. Night shelter: we will build two or three shelters at the edge of a forest where there are always enough boughs and sticks. The following guidelines are needed: the shelter will be pyramidal, with a large base; the entrance will be as narrow as possible and against the wind; there will be room enough for two pioneers in a lying position and one meter and a half in height. There will be teams of three to five pioneers; any natural resources found on the premises will be used. The winning team is the one building the best shelter in the shortest time. Assessment: we will ask the pioneers to assess and then to check by themselves in the simplest way the following:- the distance measured in steps or meters between two given points;- the diameter of a tree trunk (the length of the circle will be measured and then the diameter and the radius of the circle will be calculated)- the distance from which a person's features are distinguishable, as well as his clothes, the hair color and other particularities;- the distance from which we can distinguish the license number of a stationary vehicle- the distance from which we can distinguish clearly the traffic signs on the public roads- we throw a pebble. What distance did it fall at?- the length of the belt, the soles of the feet, the spread arms- taking the pulse during half a minute and a minute, with the help of the clock.- how many railway transverses there are on a railway- how much time it takes them to stroll, to stride and to run on a distance of one kilometer;- the speed of a tractor or a truck on the road. We can complete the assessment task with some elements inspired by the environment in which we organize the contest. But we must always be careful that our questions should be clear, and especially easily controllable with the means we have at hand. The winners are the pioneers who are the first to give the correct answers.  FUNNY GAMES This range of games will be used to complete a program of games with pioneers and whenever there is the need to create a cheerful moment for a short period of time. The number of participants is low, but the audience is large. Here are two of the games with a high amusing potential which can be organized inside as well, if modified a little: The cheerful relay race: The players of two or three teams line up, just like in any other relay race, and they have to run a pre-established distance of thirty to fifty steps. At the start signal the participant will put on the coat or the dressing-gown, will do up at least two buttons, will open the umbrella or will put the broom on his shoulder and will run the pre-established distance, then will come back in the same way. He will close the umbrella, take off the coat, pass them to the following team mate, and then go to the end of the line. The referee will decide whether the player should help his team mate during the exchange. The fastest team will win. The cheerfulness contest: the teams are organized as in the game above. On the distance chosen for the game, three circles will be made in front of every team, at equal distances. In the first circle we will place a whistle on a chair, hung from a pole or a piece of cardboard. In the second we will place a basket, a bucket or a crate, and in the third one an empty chair. After the start signal, the first competitors of each group will run to the first circle, will take the whistle and whistle three times, then place it back where they have found it. In the second circle they will take the object and take it to the third circle, then take the chair and run with it to the arrival line, where they will come back from; they will place back the objects, will whistle three times and then they will proceed to the exchange with the next competitors. Next to each team there will be a referee supervising the way in which the rules of the games will be observed. The fastest team will be the winner. The pioneers' itinerary: The game is played in teams and units, on a larger ground, preferably wooded and uneven, near the city. Before the competition it should be well prospected by the organizers. The game has two stages: in the first, the teams will proceed to the familiarization with the field. A winding, preferably circular itinerary will be established in the perimeter chosen for the game, by a group of pioneers who will be referees in the second stage. They will make maps of the field, marking the main elements-roads, buildings, wells, trees, precipices etc. on them. Such a map will be drawn for each team participating in the game; the orientation should be made according to the cardinal points. The pioneers have to find and identify five places previously established; the places have to be visible and scattered here and there. The results will be put down in each team's participation notebook. These places will be marked with numbers on the map; they will be found in reality, by the correct interpretation of the map.Examples:1 = an envelope with the following instructions. "Seek and the object you find at the indicated place will be thoroughly examined and its features will be written down. Neither the envelope nor the object will be moved form the spot." Other general instructions with regard to discipline or the stimulation of the spirit of research can be given. 2 = a little bag, hung from a tree, filled with fragranced plants (lavender, mint). The plant will be identified according to its smell.3 = visible signs made in chalk on trees or stones which should lead to the place where another envelope is hidden. The envelope contains the following problems to be solved; the answers will be written down in the participation notebook of the team: "What species of plants can you find around you. Gather some." "How can we find our way without a compass?" "While on your way, think about and compose a short poem which should contain the words youth, joy, pioneer, victory."4 = a poster on the wall of a house, a fence or a tree around a house which reads: "Find out more information on the house, family and the surroundings and write them down in your participation notebook." In view of this task, we will have already spoken with the dwellers of the house. The house will preferably be a railway watchman's cabin, a forester's house or any other house inhabited during our game. We will have emphasized the seriousness of our activity and the importance of a responsible discussion with the pioneers.5 = The tools shop of a state enterprise or, as the case may be, a slate quarry, a lumber-saw etc. All the team participating in the game will leave in turn in the order established by the pioneers' instructor at a distance of twenty-thirty minutes. They will all follow the same itinerary, in accordance with the map they receive at their departure. We will explain clearly and simply that the task is directly linked to the pioneers' powers of observation, their knowledge and their practical orientation abilities. We will also tell them that the signs, the objects or envelopes they will find should remain as they are and that their destruction, hiding and moving is forbidden. Each team will be accompanied by a referee who will not give any instructions; he will just observe the way in which the task is carried out and the way in which the respective place is taken care of by the pioneers. He will put down the various observations with respect to the competitors' conduct in his personal notebook. The average duration will be of one and a half hours or two hours on a distance of one or two kilometers. The assessment will be as follows: the pioneers' instructor and the referees will read the notes and the answers in the notebooks and give one hundred points for a good result or fifty points for an incomplete one. For the task accomplished in the shortest time five hundreds points will be given; for each extra minute, five points out of the initial five hundred will be subtracted. The winning team is the one with the highest number of points. The results will be communicated in front of the unit or the team, preceded by a short assessment of the pioneers' conduct and of the game and the proper praises and reprimands. There may be prizes as well: objects made of fir tree bark, flower baskets or cardboard boxes with shells glued on them, which will be unforgettable for the pioneers. from For Pioneers' Festivities, Tineretului, 1963

by Anonymous