Are Prince Harry’s recent antics in Las Vegas part of an elaborate PR stunt? After all, we’re in the middle of the Olympics, and games are still very much on our minds – especially after the excitement of the beach volleyball. And Prince Harry is a well-heeled young man, for whom the odd game of strip billiards is no doubt up there with limo lapdancing and a stag weekend in Gdansk. I’m sure he didn’t go out with the intention of offending his grandmother, though perhaps he should have stuck to some good old fashioned Scout games?
Gilcraft’s Book of Games, first compiled in 1928 by the Training Team of the Scout Movement, has a useful section called ‘Sense Training Games.’ This is subdivided into ‘quickness of thought, taste, smell, touch, hearing, observation, deduction and self-assurance.’ Some of the games listed in this chapter are:
What is it? (for taste, smell or touch)
Players are blindfolded and have to guess from the flavours, odours or by touching objects placed in front of them. Items suggested (depending on the sense being tested) include peppermint, petrol, lavender, onion, turpentine, an ink pen and a bicycle pump. NB The game also works for sound, where suggestions include pumping a bicycle or bouncing a ping-pong ball.
Who’s nose? (sic)
A sheet is arranged so that only the noses of those behind it are visible. The team behind show their noses one at a time and the others try to guess the owners. Variations – hand, foot, shadow etc.
A number of unnamed pictures of celebrities living and dead are posted round the room. The player giving the best list of who they are wins. Variation – ask for a fact, place or date connected with each.
The leader announces that a man has been found who has lost his memory, and the contents of the man’s pockets are put on a tray. Each team tries to deduce all it can about the man, and furnish information to help to find out his identity.
Other games explained in the book include Night Attack, Mounted Football, Pairs Knotting, Unmusical Bumps, Poor Pussy, Stride Ball, Bang the Bear, Bumping Race, Who’s Missing, Shoot Out, Blow Ball, Push Him Off, Mounted Wrestling, How Green You Are and Toilet Tig.
Perhaps Harry was playing scout games after all?