Just Seconds to Think and Act
The Leader, June/July 1975
Looking for an activity that provides a chance to learn by doing, involves variety, provides quick
feedback on results and is (above all) fun? The following suggestion answers all these requirements.
This activity involves Scouts in a series of emergency situations with which they must deal correctly and
The great thing about it is the activities require no intricate preparations and can be run by a parent, a
Venturer or Rover. All the information needed is contained within each situation.
This activity is intended for a patrol to tackle together. It can be used for inter-patrol competition,
testing, or instruction and testing.
The best way to handle it is for each patrol to work in separate rooms. If this is not possible, a large
meeting hall that provides room for a patrol to spread out and still be somewhat separate from the other
patrols will do. Toothpicks or matchsticks provide a tangible token for scoring.
Judges should be waiting for the patrol when they arrive at the hall where the activities will take place.
Each judge should have copies of the activities in writing and a few dozen toothpicks or matchsticks.
(Each toothpick or matchstick counts as one point.)
When the patrol arrives, have the Scouts sit down in a row, with their backs to the wall. Explain that a
series of emergency situations will be read to them. After the description of the emergency, the
following phrase will be read: "Just seconds to think and act- go!" Explain that they must not act until
they hear the word "go". When they do hear "go", they must demonstrate the proper action in the
One toothpick or matchstick is given for each emergency handled correctly. Following each emergency
described here is the correct action to be taken.
Do not let the patrols see the sheets with the problems and answers. After the patrol has demonstrated or
explained what action they would take, tell them what sho