Brownies decoding night

>>  Friday, November 17, 2017

Leading up to Remembrance I wanted the Brownies to think a bit about Girlguiding's involvement in the war effort. I told them about how Guides were used to carry messages for MI5 during the war years. The story goes that Boy Scouts were MI5's first choice for this work, but they turned out to be too naughty and too talkative!  Britain's secret agents turned to the Girl Guides for help instead.

And with that I introduced them to pigpen code.

Intially they looked confused but once they got going they got it very quickly.

I gave each six 3 sheets of paper, each had a number written on it in pigpen.

Once they had worked out those 3 numbers they put it in the lock that was attached to an envelope.  If the lock opened they could open the envelope.

Inside each envelope was another message to be decoded.

I explained that getting it right was most important not doing it fast.

When they brought me the message I gave them a bag of sweets.

They thought that was fabulous.

Next they made their own codes up and passed them onto a different six to be decoded.

The first time they made quite easy ones but after that they really started to come up with some complicated sentences.

Although sometimes the best messages are the short and snappy ones!!

This was a really good evening, the girls were engaged and really enjoyed it.

 I was worried that it would be too hard for them but having seen them do this so well I think that I could have actually made it a bit more complicated, perhaps adding another level of the puzzle before they got the sweets. Maybe when they brought the code up from inside the envelope I could have given them another code to decrypt first, maybe with a different simple cypher like a number grid.

I would definitely run this night again.


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