keeping track of my adventures in guiding!

Evil Doctor Greyzone and the Great Colour Hunt (Wide game)

Here’s a short (approx. 1 hour or so) wide game developed recently as part of our Science and Technology term.  This was tackled by Guides aged 6-12 in mixed aged patrols – there is quite a bit of reading required, so its not one you’d want Guides under 10 doing without support from older girls.

Read to the unit:

I hope all Guides are very Prepared this evening, as we have quite a difficult challenge for you.

It seems that the Guide hall area has been transported to another dimension, and we have been trapped in a giant grey bubble by the Evil Doctor Greyzone!

Doctor Greyzone works by slowly leaching away all the colours, leaving no light, and no hope.

However, Doctor Greyzone has clearly chosen the wrong group to target tonight, because we are going to FIGHT BACK and rescue the colours!

As always, to defeat the Evil Doctor, everyone will need to be alert, pay attention, and FOCUS on working through the challenges. There are eight challenges. Most of the challenges need to be tackled in a different order by different patrols, so DON’T FOLLOW other patrols, follow your own instructions!

Opening activity: (all patrols complete at once)

Using the periodic table provided, decode the message from Doctor Greyzone:

53 74 13 10 81 22 8 62 52 63 33 71 13 57 103 17 76 3 76 92 75 51


Note: I just found a periodic table on Wikipedia – you can probably get a clearer version than this. The numbers in the table correspond with an element, which the Guides then write down the symbol for. The trick is that only capital letters are required, not the lower case ones. I only provided this hint to the patrols that were struggling, but most figured it out independently. When a patrol thought they had the message correct (which is “I want to steal all colours”) they came up and told me the message, if correct, I provided them with the next instructions.


Main section:

Each patrol was provided with a little list, which had their six colour-themed activities in a certain order. Each patrol’s order was different, but all ended up doing the same activities.

Instructions for each activity (one per patrol) was put in a small envelope with the relevant colour written on top (in the relevant colour, naturally! So there was a pile of green clues with ‘green’ written in green texta, a pile of ‘blue’ written in blue texta, etc).  The envelopes were left in a central location for the girls to collect as they needed them.

Patrols were instructed to do the activities in the order assigned, and when they had completed the activities included in each envelope, to move onto the next on their list.  

Envelopes had both the activity instructions and a short “science” fact/information slip in them to explain why the activity was included in the wide game.

Activity: Yellow

Locate the yellow edible items, and put them away for safekeeping for now. Rumour has it that Doctor Greyzone hides food items in the kitchen.

You may take up to two per person.

DO NOT eat them yet!

Yellow science:

Marshmallows are originally made by mixing together various ingredients and baking them. All types of cooking, but especially baking, involve chemistry to get the right mix of flavours and textures. So each time you cook, you’re also doing science!

Activity: Orange

To find orange, each patrol member will need to (safely and sensibly!) light a candle and toast your marshmallow.

Note: I splashed out and bought orange coloured tea lights to add to the ‘orange-ness’ of the activity, but the flames are pretty much orange anyway!

Orange science:

The tips of matches are made up of sulphur and potassium chlorate. When the matches are struck firmly against the ignition strip on the matchbox, which includes red phosphorus, the ingredients combine to make a brief flame. The wood and wax in the matches then keep the flame going long enough for you to use the match.

Activity: Red 

To find red, you will need to hunt around the grounds for a red butterfly. Your patrol will need to find and retrieve one butterfly, and keep it safe.

Note: the red butterflies were small (about the size of a 50 cent piece) paper butterflies purchased from a $2 shop. You could also use stickers, or paper cut outs, or whatever. They looked semi-realistic, but it was quite clear to girls when they found them that they were what they were looking for. The butterflies were hidden at roughly eye-height (for the girls!) around the garden.

Red Science:

The study of living things is known as “biology”, while the more specific study of insects, like butterflies, is known as “entomology”. Biologists try to understand creatures and plants of all types.

Activity: Purple

To rescue purple, your patrol will need to blow up one purple balloon, and then using the purple straws provided, blow the balloon from one end of the hall to the other. Be sure to keep the balloon safe!

Note: I purchased purple balloons and oversized purple straws (the type used for bubble tea), which helped theme this one

Purple Science: 

When you blow into a balloon, the air (oxygen and carbon dioxide) you send out is ‘trapped’ in the balloon, and so it stretches out the rubber and expands.

Activity: Blue

The youngest member of your patrol has twisted her ankle. Administer appropriate first aid, remembering RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

To recover blue you will need to make an icepack and treat your injured team member properly.


  • Citric Acid
  • Baking Soda
  • Tap Water
  • Zip lock bag
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic teaspoons

What to do:

  1. Put one level teaspoon of citric acid in a zip lock bag.
  2. Put one teaspoon of baking soda in the same zip lock bag. And shake the bag gently to mix the two chemicals.
  3. Fill up the measuring cup with cold tap water (about 30ml).
  4. Here’s where you have to be quick! Pour the water into the zip lock bag and snap it shut fast. Not only does the bag blow up, it also becomes super cold! So don’t forget to feel its temperature.

Treat your patrol member properly before proceeding.

Note: in addition to the ingredients for the cold packs, you will also need a set of crepe/compression bandages for the girls to use. If I were to do this again, I’d also add a couple of drops of blue food dye to the acid and soda before adding the water, so it was actually ‘blue’

Blue science:

Citric acid and baking soda (with the water) form an “endothermic chemical reaction”, which is a type of reaction where heat is absorbed, resulting in something very cold – at least for a while.

Activity: Green

To save green, you will need to make green slime.


  • PVA glue
  • food colouring
  • water
  • Borax
  • 2 plastic cups
  • a sealable plastic bag
  • some paper towels
  • Paddle Pop stick for stirring
  • at least two plastic spoons

 What to do

  1. Measure 3 teaspoons of PVA glue into the a cup.
  2. Add 3 teaspoons of water and stir.
  3. Add a few drops of dye to make green.
  4. Place approximately 1 cup of water into the other plastic cup.
  5. Stir in 1 heaped teaspoon of Borax powder. Once the mixture has been stirred thoroughly you have made a Borax solution.
  6. Add 1 teaspoon of Borax solution to your cup of paste and stir. As you stir the slime should start to form. You might need to add a little more Borax solution. Be careful when you are adding the Borax solution, too much and your slime will go hard.
  7. If your slime feels very wet and slippery (but is not still runny), remove it from the container and kneed it in your hands. In a few minutes, any extra Borax solution will evaporate or be absorbed.
  8. Place the slime into a sealable plastic bag and it should keep for a while.

Make sure you wash your hands after playing with the slime.

Green science:

You are blending together different types of materials to form a non-Newtonian fluid. The borax and glue (in particular) bond together at lots of different points (at a chemical level), to create a flexible, different type of material.


Final activity

Note: This section was read out to patrols who reported that they had done all six activities successfully.

To defeat Evil Doctor Greyzone, your patrol will need to have collected each of the six colours, and now, bring them together into a single rainbow to ensure colour is returned to the world.

Mix together in a bowl:

Water, dishwashing liquid, and 2-3 spoons worth of glycerine

Using your hands, try to send rainbow bubbles into the air to show Doctor Greyzone that he is defeated once and for all, and that the colours are safe once more! Once each member of your patrol has successfully created a rainbow bubble, you will have defeated the Evil Doctor!


Notes: Overall, this wide game was a lot of fun, and was just the right length for a standard unit meeting. If you wanted to add some additional time, the yellow and orange activities could be combined into one, and another activity added, potentially some sort of trail to follow or puzzle to solve.

Hope you have fun defeating Doctor Greyzone! Let me know if you try it out!



Super spies save the guiding light! (Wide Game)

A wide game from a few years ago which uses a secret agent theme as a basis for teaching some Guiding traditions. The wide game took a little over an hour for the girls to complete.  The ‘dossiers’ were manila folders with ‘top secret’ printed across the front.


Leader reads out the following to the whole group:

We have just had notice that the Guiding Light is under attack. Crack patrols of secret agent super spies have been assembled to help save Guides. Your mission is to discover the key item that will save the Guiding Light and Girl Guides from disintegration. Firstly, in order to ensure your identities are not discovered, you will need to prepare a disguise of glasses and a moustache. While doing that, you will need to determine who in your patrol made her promise most recently. When all members of the patrol are properly disguised, the girl who made her promise most recently will need to come and collect your top secret dossier of instructions.

All girls:

  • Make glasses from pipe cleaners
  • Draw on moustaches with black eyeliner

Leader to read to patrol reps:

This dossier contains all the information you will need to complete your mission. The information contained in the envelopes is numbered, and should be opened in order as each part of the mission is completed. Some additional information will be available at particular points during the mission. Each patrol’s mission contains the same elements, but in a different order. Do not copy what other patrols are doing, or you will miss vital information. You will need to collect evidence along the way. A small plastic bag is included in your dossier. Use this to store your evidence. Each patrol will need to commence by decoding the information contained in envelope one. This will tell you where you need to start your mission.

Dossier contains:

  • Envelope one – code indicating start point
  • Trail information
  • Envelope – trail instructions – follow trail, collect item at end.
  • Envelope – scout’s pace instructions – relay info, collect items.
  • Envelope – Semaphore construction information – how to, where equipment is available.
  • Envelope – semaphore code word
  • Envelope – semaphore decode information
  • Word search
  • Plastic zip-loc bag
  • Note paper and pen.

Trail info (in envelope)

Using the information sheet provided in your dossier, follow the trail. At the end of the trail you will find a small item for inclusion in your evidence bag.

  • Small item (bright beads?) to be located at end of trail (on top of ‘gone home’ symbol)

Scout’s pace info (in envelope)

Scout’s pace is used so that you can travel a long way without getting exhausted. You run or jog 20 paces, then walk 20 paces. Spies and secret agents often need to travel long distances to carry a message. The whole patrol will need to practice their Scout’s pace before you can move on. What you need to do: One at a time, do Scout’s pace from the starting point (marked with a small flag) to the big tree and back. At the tree, you will find a small item for inclusion in your evidence bag. The next person cannot begin until the first has returned with their evidence.

  •  Starting point to be marked with small flag (old scarf) tied to fence.
  • Small items (coloured feathers?) to be located at base of the Tree.
  • Adult to supervise.

Semaphore info (in envelope)

Semaphore is a form of communicating messages. Flags are displayed in particular shapes to indicate letters. The diagram below shows the different shapes for each letter. What you need to do: Working as a patrol, construct two semaphore flags. An example is provided for you to copy.

When you have constructed the flags: Divide your patrol into two groups – A and B. Group A will take the information sheet and gather at one end of the hall. They will use this information to decode the message that Group B will send. Group B will take the envelope marked ‘semaphore code’ and use the semaphore flags to send the message shown inside to Group A. Group A will write down the secret message. When Group A thinks they have the message correct, they will show it to a leader . If correct, they will receive their next clue.

  •  Equipment – sticks, yellow paper, red paper, glue, string, scissors, example semaphore flags.

Kim’s game (dossier)

Kim’s game is designed to test your memory. Spies and secret agents need to have sharp observation skills. What you need to do: As a patrol, identify each of the items, and write them down. You cannot proceed until all items have been correctly identified.

  •  Equipment – tray, tea towel, items for identification (x10)

Word search (envelope)

Spies and Secret agents often need to be able to find hidden information. Contained within the word search are 24 words associated with Girl Guides. What you need to do: As a patrol, find each of the 24 listed words. Words run horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. Words do not run backwards. You cannot proceed until all words have been identified. (words should all have something to do with guiding traditions)

  • Equipment – word search contained in dossier, pens.

Hunt to save the Guiding Light (in envelope)

Hidden in [location] is a small item closely associated with Guides, and the promise each Guide makes. To save the Guiding Light, you must find this item, and bring it to the Leaders. Finding this item will save the Guiding Light, and finish the wide game.

  •  Equipment – promise badges – one for each patrol