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“Clear the Fort” and “Pull for Shore”: Physical Activities for Young Men, 1963

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 08, 2010

The 1963 MIA manual (“Exploring into Manhood”) for priests and Explorers included a few pages outlining physical tests of strength and coordination for a suggested afternoon of rowdy boy fun. What’s your reaction to these games — could you use any of them with Young Men today? any of them with the Young Women? how would the YM or YW respond to the close physical contact required by most of the stunts? does the current program suggest anything at all like these games as an activity?

Clear the Fort

Mark out an area 10 feet square to be known as the fort. Start the contest with both teams inside the fort. The object for each team is to force out the other team’s members. All tactics are fair except unnecessary roughness. As soon as an Explorer is entirely out of the fort, he is eliminated and cannot return to the struggle. Play continues until all members of one team have been put out of the fort.

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Pull for Shore

Explorers line up abreast along a starting line, alternating so that every second Explorer is on the same team. Members of one team face forward; members of the second team turn to face backward. All Explorers link elbows and on a signal each team moves in the direction it is facing and tries to pull the opponents with them. At the end of two minutes, the team having the most Explorers on its side of the starting line wins.

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Hop Across

Draw two parallel lines about 25 feet apart. Each team lines up on its base line, and upon signal the members try to hop across the other team’s line. As long as an Explorer keeps one foot raised and arms folded over his chest, he may charge and push against another; but if arms are unfolded or raised or foot touches the ground, the player is out of the game. All Explorers start together when signal is given and play continues until they have reached the opposite goal or have been eliminated. The winning team is the one having the most Explorers reach the other team’s line.

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Logroll

The Explorers on each team lie side by side, face down. Tie a handkerchief around the arm of the last Explorer so that he may be easily identified. At the starting signal, the first Explorer rolls over the backs of all the Explorers on his team and remains face down beside the last Explorer. Immediately after the first Explorer has rolled over the second, the second starts his roll. The roll continues until the last Explorer in line has rolled over all the members of his team. If teams are small, the roll could be continued until the last Explorer has rolled over his teammates for the second time.

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Over and Under

Teams line up single file with an object such as a towel on the ground in front of each column. On signal the object is passed over the head of the first Explorer and between the legs of the next Explorer, alternating until it reaches the last Explorer. He then runs to the front of the line and starts the object back over his head. This continues until each Explorer has been at the head of the line.

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Chinese Race

Draw two parallel lines approximately 15 yards apart. Each team lines up single file at the starting line. Members of the team are joined together in the following manner: Each Explorer reaches back between his legs with his right hand and grabs the left hand of the Explorer behind him. At the word “go,” the team advances to the turning line and returns to the starting line. The team that completes this course first without becoming disjointed is the winner.

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Pilot Relay

Draw two parallel lines 50 feet apart. Both teams line up at starting line. Within the teams Explorers are grouped in threes. The first and third Explorers face the starting line and the second Explorer stands with his back to the starting line. The elbows of the three explorers are interlocked. Upon a signal the second Explorer runs backward the first and third Explorers run forward. When they reach the second line, they start back without turning so that the second Explorer is running forward and the first and third Explorers are running backward. the next set of threes within the team starts when the first set returns to the starting line. If a set becomes disconnected, it returns to the starting line and begins again. first team with all sets to complete the course wins.

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Seize and Capture

Draw two parallel lines about 25 yards apart. Each team lines up along one of the lines facing the other team. The object of the game is for the Explorers to invade the area between the two lines and return with Explorers from the other team. if an Explorer is captured and returned beyond the other team’s line, he must remain there. Play continues for five minutes and the team with the largest number of captives at that time wins.

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Caterpillar Race

Draw two parallel lines 40 feet apart. Teams line up single file facing the starting line. The first Explorer in each team places his hands on the ground in front of him. Each man behind him bends forward and grasps the ankles of the Explorer in front of him. At the signal to start, the column moves forward in this position. When the last Explorer in the column crosses the finish line, that team has completed the event, provided the column is still unbroken. The first team across wins.

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Skin the Snake

The teams line up single file. Each Explorer reaches his right hand through his own legs and grasps the left hand of the Explorer behind him. On signal, the last Explorer lies on his back; all the other men walk backward, straddling men as they walk and continuing to hold hands. When all the Explorers are on their backs, the last one to go down gets up and, walking forward, pulls up the next Explorer. This action continues until all men are up without breaking the line. First team to stand intact wins.



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