Find the Leader Game

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There are several games named "Find the Leader", but this is a group based hide-and-seek variant.


Often played near dusk, as the growing darkness increased the difficulty.

  • A small group (usually leaders) hides as individuals in a well defined area.
  • Each hider is assigned a number from 1 to the number of leaders hiding.
  • Each hider has several tokens with that number on it, one for each group of seekers.
  • The seekers, usually in small groups (patrols or sixes), are released at a signal and try to locate the hiders.

The goal of the game is to be the first group to find all hiders, in numbered order.

  • Upon finding a hider, they can request to see that hider's number.
  • If it is the number the seek, starting with 1, the hider will give up a token to the group.
  • The seekers will then look for the next hider, in numerical sequence.
  • A hider with a number higher than 1 will ask to see the seekers highest numbered token before giving up another numbered token.

To make it more of a challenge, the hiders can do any of the following:

  • Hiders can relocate, within the game boundaries, at any time.
  • Hiders can exchange numbered tokens with each other at any time.
  • Once a hider gives up all numbered tokens, they can either leave the game, remain as a decoy/distraction, or "swap" numbers with another hider.
  • It is important that only one hider has all outstanding tokens for only one number.
  • Hiders cannot lie about their number, lie about being out of tokens (although they don't have to reveal the amount remaining), or refuse to show the tokens being held.
  • Hiders can make noises, animals calls, snap branches, etc. in order help draw attention to themselves, either to aid seekers or to help divert from another hider.

Once a group of seekers gathers all tokens, they are declared winners and the game is ended. (If there are several groups of seekers, play could be extended to allow for 2nd and 3rd place, if time permits.) If a time limit is reached, the seeking team with the highest token number found wins.

Play fair, please, leaders! Give the youth a reasonable opportunity to find you so that everyone has fun!