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‘Night-line’ assault course


Before you Start

Two leaders (or older Venturers) go into the woods with the string during the late afternoon while it is still light to set a trail of string between the trees.

To start, tie up one end of the string to a tree and then unwind the ball to take a taught line of string to a nearby tree. It is usually enough to wrap the string a couple of times around the trunk or a branch of the second tree, rather than tying a knot, before taking the string onto the next tree.

What to do

Make the line zig-zag from tree to tree, and to logs, stumps and branches. Make the string go high and low, through tree forks, around rocks etc. Don’t make it too hard though – being blindfolded is disorientating and even a simple course can be very difficult. The string line has to be continual so that the Venturers can follow it. Once you have set up your course it is worth testing it, before setting the Venturers off, to check that it’s safe.

Later in the evening, when it’s dark, take the rest of the group down to the night-line and ask them to put blindfolds on at the start. Explain the task – to feel their way along the line in the dark and follow the strong trail past obstacles. Set each Venturer off on the string, one-after-another in a line. They can talk to each other, help each other by giving warnings – for example, when there’s a sudden drop, or an awkward branch coming up, and will inevitably sometimes bump into each other!


After the activity ask the group:

  • What was easy or difficult about the activity?
  • Was it easy to work together?
  • Could anything have made it better?
  • Who was a good leader, what skills did they have?


When you’re setting up the trail, it is worth noting whether there are any footpaths or areas where people mountain-bike nearby. The string trail could present a hazard if it crosses a path. Also, don’t get the string too tangled – you will need to collect it in again afterwards!

When setting the Venturers on the trail, it can be helpful to have someone at the front who is quite loud, in order to communicate with the rest of the group.

If you are on camp with younger groups you could run the night-line activity with the Elfins while it is light and the Pioneers once night has fallen, before the Venturers try it blindfolded.

Resources Required

4 or 5 big balls of string (one ball of string will get you approximately 50 yards). Scarves or similar to make blindfolds.


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