Spy theme

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 equivalent.
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 Inspector Gadget????????
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)

Activities 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);
Spy Skills
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 spies complete.
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 end???
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!)


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).
Introductory Activities
Making badges
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 with powder).
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 bags.
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 name) -
Two up, One up one down, two down (depends on the position of their hands) -
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 own colour.
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.
Wink Murder
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 being heard.)


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.

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