I spent the weekend away with my Scout troop. We camped at Harmergreen Wood in Hertfordshire on our annual woodland camp.
Part of our regular programme of activities is playing “Wide Games”. Wide games are generally games of strategy played in the open air over a large area. Typically, a game will involve two teams who have to achieve an objective.
Over time, we leaders have observed that the standard of game play has declined. Three of our leaders, including the Scout Leader, used to be Scouts with me as their leader. It was they who commented that the current crop of scouts don’t take the game seriously.
On discussing the matter further, recalled that if they were involved in similar game that involved some degree of stealth; e.g. to get inside a defended area; they would have blackened their faces and crawled around without any lighting (most of our games are in the dark). Nowadays, scouts wander around making a noise and with their head torches on. It doesn’t seem to matter how much we emphasise the need for stealth: they just don’t get it.
So, I reiterate the question: have kids forgotten how to play?