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Thread: Easy, Simple and very effective Wide Game - 'Code Master'

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Hampshire UK
    Thanked 10 Times in 1 Post

    Easy, Simple and very effective Wide Game - 'Code Master'

    Good evening all,

    I am an ASL for an Air Scout Group from Hampshire and i recently ran a camp over the bank holiday weekend. After a (traumatic) wide that didn't go quite to plan due to scouts getting a little lost and then getting a little worried due to the rapid loss of light on an evening, I wanted to get them back out playing a fun game in the dark to try and remove some of the fear created the night before, so sitting over a camp brew (and obviously a custard cream.... this is not up for discussion as we all know this is the ultimate camp biscuit ) i came up with the following game. It was a huge success and so simple to set up and run. My scouts have now asked that we play this every camp so i thought i would share this with everyone. (If this is already out there i do apologise and please don't sue me for copyright infringement).

    Name: Code Master

    Time: with 3 codes it took around 90 mins. This can be shortened/lengthened with the numbers of code needed to be cracked.

    Objective: To be the first team to decipher the 3 codes to gain access to the treasure (Chocolate Biscuits).

    Equipment Required:
    • Chocolate Biscuits or alternative as a prize.
    • 4 Coloured Markers (TIP: don't use blue and black, these are really hard to differentiate in the dark)
    • 1 Small piece of paper per patrol/group per attempt. (We used around 20 for 3 patrols)
    • Torches (if playing at night)
    • 5 Leaders/Helpers.
      • 1 Code Master
      • 4 Marker holders

    • Prior to the game starting the code master is issued with the 3 codes. (Just set a random combination of the 4 colour's, for example the 3 codes we used were, Code 1: Red, Blue, Black and Green. Code 2: Green, Black, Blue and Red and Code 3: Green, Red, Blue, Black.) This is to be kept secret and only the code master is to be aware of these.

    • Now the 4 different colour markers are to be issued to the Marker holders secretly, so no of the YP know which leader has what colour marker.
    • The marker holders can now disperse around the playing field (the boundaries should be clearly established and briefed prior to starting the game).
    • The 4 leaders/helpers are to then continuously move around the playing area and keep a low profile (try not to hide too much as this just delays the game, but don't do what i did and take your dog with you as my trusty hound didn't leave me side, so as soon as the kids came over and shouted my dogs name he went running over wagging his tail and gave my position away every time.)
    • Once the leaders have had a few minutes to separate the YP can be set free.
    • The YP now in their patrols/groups need to locate the marker holders, and 1 by 1 get each of them to make a mark (a line worked well for us but feel free to get creative).
    • Once all 4 marks have been obtained they will have a code similar to the codes above.
    • Once they have 4 marks they take their guess to the code master for verification. (The code master tells them how many they have in the correct position)
    • when they get the code wrong they are issued with both the incorrect guess (with clarification of which colours are in the right place) and a new piece of paper.
    • They now need to work together to try and guess the correct order of the marks, but they also need to pay attention to which leader holds what coloured marker.
    • The above steps are now repeated until the code is guessed correctly. The code master then annotates which teams have guessed correctly and they then move onto the next code.
    • Repeat the steps for the last 2 codes.

    Increase difficulty:
    • You can increase the difficulty by the leaders swapping makers at random intervals (this would work well if you are playing in a smaller area, when playing in an large space we found this was not required)
    • You can also add in extra markers that are not required for example have a code of 4 colours but have 5 markers in circulation etc.

    Decrease difficulty:
    • Decrease the code length to only 3
    • Decrease the number of codes required to crack.

    Like i sat this worked really well for us and i just thought we all have a few random coloured pens and bits of paper so this something that can be pulled together quite quickly and easily.

    Hope you enjoy it and if anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me and ill help where I can.



  2. The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to Bogz2000 For This Useful Post:

    bellshillscouts (20-05-2019),Bloory (19-05-2019),deekjcornwell (21-05-2019),garethhowell (19-05-2019),ianw (20-05-2019),pa_broon74 (19-05-2019),Rob_82 (20-05-2019),shiftypete (19-05-2019),sjl14 (23-05-2019),Yellow Beaver (19-05-2019)

  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    East Anglia
    Thanked 28 Times in 18 Posts
    Excellent game. Why not add it to OSM as well?

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to garethhowell For This Useful Post:

    Dr_Pepper (24-05-2019)

  5. #3
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Thanked 1,189 Times in 788 Posts
    We have played a similar version to this, but we didnt have codes. We gave each patrol a colour they were trying to get 4 Leaders then went out with all 4 colour markers each and hid around the playing area. The kids had to find the Leader giving out their team's colour and get their piece of paper marked by the Leader and take it back to the central base and hand it it. The twist was that every few minutes (on a whistle) the Leaders swapped what colour marker they were using so they then had to work out which Leader was now giving out their colour marks.

    I like the code variation as it adds a different dimension.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite -
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  6. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Herts, UK
    Thanked 124 Times in 94 Posts
    We played this tonight, very successfully. By amazing good luck (and we're sure they didn't cheat), one team got two out of three codes first try, and the third with only one re-try. By the end, we had teams running flat out to get one more code completed. It may have been the chocolate prize, of course.

    Thanks very much
    SL, 11th Hitchin

  7. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Thanked 94 Times in 64 Posts
    Thanks a lot for this we're on camp next week so will try it! Always good to have a new idea.

    We usually do 'The name game' which is kind of similar- give the kids one name (usually in a theme like superheroes or whatever or something funny) and they have to go round all the leaders "are you Mr X" and if correct that leader says they have to go and find Mr Y.

  8. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Herts, UK
    Thanked 124 Times in 94 Posts
    For one that works with younger people, if you're worried about them "getting" the code idea, there's the postage stamp game, which is also similar. Three sets of cards, one with a parcel design, one with a stamp design, and one with a certificate design. Each set is held by a different leader. They move around as with the codes game, and again may swap when no-one is looking.

    Scouts have to find the leader with the parcels and ask for one. Then find the stamps, representing a stamped parcel, and hand in your parcel in exchange for a stamped one. Then the certificate of posting, giving up the stamp in exchange. Parcels and stamps get recycled to the appropriate leader at any convenient moment. The aim is to be the team collecting most certificates.
    SL, 11th Hitchin

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