|Ideas for names
Sidney Rielly, said to be the ace of spies and the inspiration
for James Bond.
We thought we'd use different spying agencies as patrol names:
CIA, MI5 and KGB. Israel is the Mossad, Canada is CSIS can't
remember what it all stands for. Maybe use Interpol as one too.
We also used the FBI, not exactly a spy organization unless
you believe all the conspiracy theories!
Other group names could be Mossad (the Israeli Secret Service)
and Surete (with a circumflex over the middle e) the French
Our Guides went on a Secret Agent winter camp just in February.
We had a mystery meal - the food was labelled as things like
briefcase (bread) truth serum (juice) etc. Also, what about
Our two caterers are Q and M!
Violette Szabo (2nd WW spy in France, they wrote a book about
her called "Carve her name with pride" which is incredibly moving.
She was amazingly brave and I think a good role model for women)
|| Invisible Ink
You can do secret writing with any of the following: urine (!),
sugar/water, orange/lemon/grapefruit juice, onion juice (onion
skin can be used in the same way as a carbon paper, but it must
be the juicy part, not the dry brown part!), all of which can
be developed using charring - that is, heat . If you use candle
flames, make sure the girls have some wooden pegs to hold their
messages with, because it needs to be near the flame to work and
their fingers will get burned by the heat. If you have access
to an iron, it works like a dream (but isn't so much fun) You
can also do secret writing with a solution of starch in water,
and develop it with a dilute solution of iodine. Tincture of iodine
should be available from a chemist. You may remember the reaction
from school chemistry - in the presence of starch, brown iodine
turns blue. If you decide to try this one, test your paper beforehand,
because papers with a high undigested starch content show little
contrast between the writing and the background.
Fingerprints and Footprints You can do masses of things
with fingerprints, including letting the girls make their own
ID cards with their prints on (an ink pad is ideal), lifting prints
off glasses (use black powder paint on lightly coloured surfaces
and talcum powder on darker ones, blow away loose powder, then
press a piece of sticky tape over the print. Peel the tape off
and put it on your ID card or into your notebook. There are 4
basic kinds of prints: plain whorl, left loop, right loop and
arch. Given coloured card and an ink pad the girls can fingerprint
to their hearts content - then using a black felt tip can turn
their prints into fish, animals, crazy people, monsters etc. fingerprinting
and foot printing (learn about how fingerprints are unique) plaster
cast a track left behind (make your own casts of your hand/footprints
and then can paint them to take home)
Codes and Ciphers
Copy or trace the ones out of the back of the Brownie Handbook
Tracks and trails
Tracking /trailing a person without being noticed
Silent exercise - night game - put together a short obstacle course
along the lines of rustly leaves, tin can lids hanging on a knee
high wire to crawl under, water splash etc - girls must one at
a time travel up the course, leader at top facing away from course
listens, if she hears then she turns round and flashes a torch
on the spot she thinks was the origin of the sound. if she catches
a girl then that girl is out.
We went on a hike with clues written to read like mystery clues.
Following a trail (we have used spots of blood in the past – penny
sized pieces of red felt, not the real thing) with things to look
for along the way.
Disguises and Identities
The thing that springs to mind is making disguises - like those
glasses with noses attached! A people book - flick book of parts
of faces to make up different shaped faces.
Or maybe make cutting silhouette of each Guide/Brownie, and using
this on the id card?
A fun activity could be getting one group to work out which silhouette
belongs to which girl?
Or maybe they could laugh at you as you try to work it out?
Photofit descriptions and drawings of each other.
Things To Make
Making tools and equipment that secret agents would use. Also
we made escape vehicles out of cardboard and other junk. We made
beaded bracelets using morse code for the letters - this may be
challenging for the brownies - it was for the guides! But if you
explain it slowly they might get it.
Making things :- Dead letter boxes (for putting secret messages
in), designed to blend into the background - e.g. a pile of junk
artfully arranged as litter; periscopes /telescopes /binoculars,
treasure (sorry, spy) maps showing locations of above or rendezvous
points), disguises as already mentioned; pocket sized assistants
made from fircones or potatoes (along the lines of Mr. Potato
Head the archetypal spy);
Learn some basic morse - how to say your name and tell someone
your name from the other side of the field (need flash button
torches) Team games would also fit in well as part of the training
Something completely different that has been popular with Guides
has been "Licensed to Skill Evenings" just a way of the girls
gaining mundane skills in a different way. (ie: "Q had miniaturized
transmitters sewn as buttons onto James Bond's pockets - Sew a
button on firmly", "James had to know how to save lives and administer
First Aid - tie a triangular arm sling", "James Bond's gun handling
skills were excellent - test your marksmanship" (water pistols).
Things to try: lighting a fire using a magnifying glass, deduction
games using a collection of articles ( as per Sherlock Holmes);
Observation exercises - kim's game or a walk into a room stay
there 5 mins and then go out and in patrols/sixes, describe the
room as well as possible - marks for noticing particular things
the leader arranged there (eg pair of slippers - one pink ladies
one man's, picture hung upside down, etc)
One thing the girls really enjoyed was a relay called "secret
orders". Cue cards with different activities were at one end of
the room, the girls ran to the end picked a card and did that
activity back to her team, hopped like a bunny, crawl on the floor,
bounce a ball, etc. Also, what about a water-pistol secret agent
shoot out. Also, although it might be more a SS idea, how about
a ball similar to the one in True Lies when they tango at the
Our mascot was kidnapped (bunny-napped!) and the Guides had to
gather the ransom and leave it at the designated place at the
designated time & wait to see what happened! They were quite worried
when he wasn't returned at that time but he did appear later in
the evening - the Guides took ages to figure out exactly how/what
we'd done! (It was brilliant for a spur of the moment activity
- they forgot to take him on their walk so the two non-walking
Guiders quickly rustled up the ransom note etc before jumping
in the car to meet us at the local park with our packed lunches-
and the Guides haven't forgotten to take him on a walk since!)
MORE ACTIVITY IDEAS:
Description of Activities
Overview : Some top secret plans have been stolen from Chequers
(Prime Minister’s country residence). The Brownies/Guides need to
work together in their sixes/patrols to solve clues to find out where
the plans are hidden. They need to stay alert at all times so that
they can find the plans before they fall into enemy hands. (There
will be a number of clues given out/found/to be solved over the weekend.
The final clue will be given out during the Sunday activities).
Various word searches and other puzzles on a spy theme. These
will be available over the whole weekend so that they can be used
as a time filler and for odd moments.
Spy Reconnaissance Exercise Each girl is given a list of things
that she has to find in the grounds e.g. a good hiding place, a good
lookout point, something that smells nice etc.
Codes Galore - Making code wheels based on the design in the
Brownie Handbook. Solving and creating other simple codes (if time).
Spy Skills Wide Game - work in their sixes / patrols. There
are 4 challenges to complete, each lasting roughly 15 minutes. On
completing each challenge successfully each six will be given a piece
of a jigsaw. The jigsaw is a clue to the location of the secret plans.
1. Each member of the team is blindfolded in turn. The other team
members have to direct her to an object using verbal instructions.
2. A course will be set out using e.g. dried leaves, twigs, cornflakes
etc. Each member of the team must successfully negotiate the course
without being heard by the guider.
3. Each six will be given some coloured squares (paint charts). They
need to find an object in the grounds that matches each colour. They
should not pick any living things but take the guider to the objects
that they find.
4. All team members hold onto a long rope. One member of the team
is shown a shape and must instruct the others so that they form that
shape. No one may let go of the rope! This activity will take place
outside unless the weather is unsuitable.
Invisible Ink : the girls will have a chance to create and
reveal invisible ink messages:
1. Wax from molten candles/night lights (revealed by brushing over
2. Lemon juice and onion juice (revealed by heating).
3. Water codes (revealed by brushing paper with water).
Fingerprint Pictures Girls can create simple pictures by using
different coloured ink pads to make fingerprints and using felt tips
pens to add details.
Octopussy Water games. To be replaced by “silly” relays inside
if weather is unsuitable.
Spy Masks Girls disguise themselves by making masks from paper
Guides / Brownies Own Each six/patrol plans a short ceremony
together. Girls working on their advanced pack holiday badge should
write a short poem or prayer.
Spy Beetle As conventional beetle, but the girls have to make
a spy face using a biscuit base, icing sugar and small sweets as the
eyes, nose, mouth etc.
Solve the Puzzle (If time) Girls have to guess the trick behind
Train journey (say er before place you are going to e.g. I am going
to er Manchester) -
Crossed/uncrossed (pass round an object saying whether you are crossed/uncrossed
– depends on whether your legs are crossed or not) -
Food they can eat (only foods starting with the first letter of their
Two up, One up one down, two down (depends on the position of their
Spies in the room (number of words in the sentence you use e.g. Two
spies, There are four spies)
Spy Trail Each six has to seek out pieces of card in their
Other Activities (if required) Poisoned Smartie – 5 smarties
on a plate, one girl goes out and the rest decide which one is poisoned.
The girl can then eat as many smarties as possible until she chooses
the poisoned one.
Steal the Plans - (as Bear in the honeypot – one girl is blindfolded
in middle of circle, with plans in front of here, one at a time the
girls have to walk round the circle and try to steal them without
SOME USEFUL SOURCES:
The Henderson Publishing pack 'Top Secret File' (ISBN 1-85597-128-3)
which has not only information and activity ideas, but also ready
made decoders, ciphers and false passport.
Detective’s Handbook (Usborne) ISBN 086020278X
Spying for Beginners Author/Editor(s): L. Miles (ISBN: 0746025491)
Find out how to be a good spy and learn your enemies’ secrets! This
little book shows you every skill a good spy needs, from codes and
invisible writing to shadowing suspects and creating quick disguises.
Hotshots are pocket-sized books for you to collect and enjoy.
Spy’s Guidebook Author/Editor(s): L. Sims (ISBN: 0746036809) Psst!
Want to know what spies do? This book can tell you. Don’t just take
our word for it. In a famous spy trial at the Old Bailey in 1993,
Soviet spy Oleg Gordievsky agreed that the Usborne Book of Spycraft
gave away the KGB’s tricks of the trade. The case made national headlines.
Read those spy secrets plus loads of things about codes, disguises,
tracking and trailing in this new edition of an Usborne classic.
Spycraft Author/Editor(s): M. Fowler (ISBN: 0746028334) This kit contains
the Basic Training Mission of the S.T.E.A.L.T.H. Spy Organisation
– and all the documents any sleuth might need to complete it, including
a fully illustrated book which shows how to create disguises, write
and crack codes and to use maps, charts and plans. Once completed,
the sleuth earns the right to fill out the spy's ID card and join
the ranks of other S.T.E.A.L.T.H. employees.
Visit the Imperial War Museum or Bletchley Park.