Wide Game: Alcatraz

Since 2014 Brisbane’s Bramble Bay and Charles S Snow districts have combined resources to run a Wide Game on the first Friday night of June.

 It was pleasing to see no loss of interest due to COVID or wet weather with 141 Scouts, 49 Venturer Scouts and 38 Adults (Leaders and Rover Scouts) attend this years event.

 The 2022 Wide Game was inspired by the film “Escape from Alcatraz”:  A true story about prisoners who escape from the maximum security prison on Alcatraz Island. The Brownsea Water Activities Centre was chosen as it has most of the elements – prison like buildings, rock walls along the creek and shark infested waters !

As always, our aim with the Wide Game is not only to ignite the imagination of our Youth members by creating an environment in which they can relive this historical prison break, but it also presents them with the opportunity to test their Scout skills in a fun way.

Leading up to the event, a series of fictitious news articles were issued via the “Alcatraz Prisoner Weekly“ publication, the purpose of which was to give the players a hint of the relevant skills required for the game’s tasks. In other words, teaching our Scouts to “Be Prepared”.

On the night of the game, Scouts in Patrols, acting as a gang of inmates deployed their skills across 6 activity bases as they competed to be the first Patrol to escape from Alcatraz.

The 6 activity bases were run by the Scout Leaders. The Leaders acted the part of the Black Marketeers. These inmates, being old, long-term Prisoners of Alcatraz are not interested in escaping, but are content to supply the young gangs with “contra ban” items in exchange for a favour (A.k.a. a scout skill based task).

The Black Marketeer activity bases and their respective challenges were:

Prison Cell A1 headed by Pablo Escobar – Pioneering skills – Make a bed out of poles without rope

Prison Cell A2 headed by Al Capone – Triangulation skills – Pinpoint the centre of triangular shaped table and place a coffee there

Prison Cell A3 headed Jackie Jo Chan – Teamwork and learn a new way to join poles without rope – Using only torniquet lashings, making an extended pole to reach the jar of pink noodles high on a shelf

Prison Cell A4 headed by Doctor Goldwrappa – Breaking a code to diffuse a bomb with only 4 seconds to spare before world annihilation

Prison cell A5 headed by Bonnie & Clyde – Problem Solving Skills – Filing prison Library books in the correct sequence

Prison cell A6 headed by the Barely Nine – Estimating the height of the old electricity pole in front of VMR.


By participating in all 6 activity bases each Gang earned enough Contra ban items to give them the right of passage through the escape route to freedom.

The game ended when the first Patrol escaped.