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Code Of The Wolf

Elective Adventure

You can use math to have fun!  The great thing about math is that it can be more than just adding and subtracting numbers.  Math is also about patterns and can be used to create messages.  In the world of computers, math is used to create a secret code to protect information.  Encryption is when you take a message and use a code to change it into something that no one can read unless they have a way to read the code.  This is called a key.  Making and creating codes is a form of math.

Requirements

Create a secret code. Send a message to a member of your den or family. Have that person send a message back to you using the same secret code.
Code Stick
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Create and decipher a code stick coded message.

  • Paper strips cut into ¼” to ½” wide by 11” long for each Cub Scout
  • Pencils, 2 per Cub Scout
  • Tape, one dispenser for every group of 4 Cub Scouts

Before the meeting:

  1. Cut the paper into long thin strips of about ¼ to ½ inch wide.
  2. Make a sample code stick.
  3. Set up meeting space so there is room for Cub Scouts to make decoder sticks.

During the meeting:

  1. Gather the Cub Scouts and ask them if they have ever sent or received an email. Explain to them:
    • To protect the information in the email a computer may scramble the message so if someone who wasn’t supposed to receive the email gets it, they can’t read it. This is called encryption.
    • Encrypting messages has been going on way before computers. When all messages were written the message would use a code and to understand the code you needed a key.
    • Today we will create a secret code using a method that was used before computers.
  2. Give each Cub Scout a strip of paper and 2 pencils.
  3. Tape the piece of paper to the top of the pencil. Wrap it tightly around the length of the pencil so the edges of the strip are exactly side by side.
  4. Tape the paper strip to the other end of the pencil so the paper strip stays in place when you write on it.
  5. Ask Cub Scouts to write a secret message down one side of the pencil. Remind them to add a few extra letters on the other sides.
  6. Unwrap the strip of paper from the pencil. The letters will be mixed up and seem random.
  7. Ask Cub Scouts to pass their secret code with another Cub Scout.
  8. Each Cub Scout wraps the paper strip around a pencil to decode it. The letters will now form the secret message.
Decoder Wheel
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Send a secret message using a decoder wheel.

  • Decoder Wheel worksheet found in Additional Resources
  • Printer
  • 1 pair of scissors for each Cub Scout
  • Round brads, one for each Cub Scout
  • Paper, one for each Cub Scout
  • Pencil, one for each Cub Scout

Before the meeting:

  1. Print a copy of the Decoder Wheel, one for each Cub Scout.
  2. Make a sample decoder wheel. Become familiar with how the decoder wheel works. The decoder wheel can be used only if you have the key. The key is the position at which the decoder wheel starts.
  3. Set up meeting space so there is room for Cub Scouts to make decoder wheels.

 

During the meeting:

  1. Gather the Cub Scouts and ask them if they have ever sent or received an email. Explain to them:
    • To protect the information in the email a computer may scramble the message so if someone who wasn’t supposed to receive the email gets it, they can’t read it. This is called encryption.
    • Encrypting messages has been going on way before computers. When all messages were written the message would use a code and to understand the code you needed a key.
    • Today we will create a secret code using a method that was used before computers.
  2. ​​​Give each Cub Scout a decoder wheel sheet, a pair of scissors, and a round brad.
  3. Ask Cub Scouts to cut out the three circles and stack in order from number one wheel on the bottom, then number two and finally wheel three on the top.
  4. Have Cub Scouts attach the three circles by carefully poking the brad through the middle of the three wheels.
  5. Select a letter on the outer wheel and a number in the inner circle – this will be the key (ex. T10). Turn the inner wheel so that the number (10 in the example) lines up with the outer wheel letter (T in example). On the wheel 10 also corresponds with G in the shaded section. Don’t move the wheels now, keep them in place.
  6. Each Cub Scout writes a secret message as letters on their paper (no numbers and no punctuation).
  7. For each letter of the message, Cub Scouts find that character on the outer wheel, and then write down the letter that is exactly beneath it on the inner wheel until the message is complete.
  8. Give the secret message to a buddy to decode.
  9. To read the encrypted message, Cub Scouts will use the key from the message sender and align the wheel. For each letter of the message, find that character on the inner wheel, and write down the letter that is exactly above it on the outer wheel.
Pigpen Code
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Send and decode a message using Pigpen Code.

  • ​​​Wolf handbook
  • Strips of paper, one piece per Cub Scout
  • Pencils, one piece per Cub Scout

Before the meeting:

  1. Review the Pigpen Code
    • In the pig pen code, the alphabet is copied into grids. Then, each part of the “pig pen” is substituted for the letter in that part. For the second grid of each type, dots are added.
    • Draw two tic-tac-toe type grids and two large “X”.
    • Start in the top left corner of the first tick-tac-toe grid and write the letter A. Then moving left to right, top to bottom, fill in the first grid with the remaining letters B through I.
    • In the second grid add a dot in each grid, then in the same manner as the first grid fill in the letters J through R.
    • In the first large X place the letters S, T, U, and V.
    • In the second large X place dots in each section and add the letters W, X, Y, and Z.
  2. To create a letter, draw the section of the grid without the letter. For example, the letter A is written by drawing the top corner of the grid with one line horizontally meeting another line vertically at a 90-degree angle at the lower right corner.
  3. Set up room to allow space for Cub Scouts to make pig pen codes.

During the meeting:

  1. Gather the Cub Scouts and ask them if they have ever sent or received an email. Explain to them:
    • To protect the information in the email a computer may scramble the message so if someone who wasn’t supposed to receive the email gets it, they can’t read it. This is called encryption.
    • Encrypting messages has been going on way before computers. When all messages were written the message would use a code and to understand the code you needed a key.
    • Today we will create a secret code using a method that was used before computers.
  2. Give each Cub Scout a piece of paper and a pencil.
  3. Ask Cub Scouts to open their Wolf handbook to the Pigpen Code.
  4. Ask Cub Scouts to create a message using Pigpen Code.
  5. Ask Cub Scouts to exchange their codes and decode the message they got from their buddy.
Build and play a game that requires the use of codes or patterns.
Code Breaker
LocationIndoor
Energy 3
Supply List2
Prep Time3

Create and decipher codes to find your destination.

  • Paper, three sheets per team
  • Pencil, one for each team

Before the meeting:

  1. Review meeting space and determine a starting and ending point. This will be more interesting if there are obstacles between the two so that teams will have to use some creative coding to get their team through the course and to their destination.

During the meeting:

  1. Separate the den into two teams.
  2. Have each team create a code using the code they learned in requirement 1.
  3. Have each team write a set of directions to get from a starting point to an ending point using the code.
  4. The leader will have to provide two separate starting and ending points. This could be moving from one space in their meeting place to another. The idea is for each group of Cub Scouts to create a set of directions in code for the other team to decipher and then follow the directions. Each team should be given a different starting point and ending point.
  5. The first team to arrive at their destination wins.
Wolf And Fox Game
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Use logic to break your opponent’s code.

  • Wolf and Fox Game found in Additional Resources
  • Printer
  • Two pencils

Before the meeting:

  1. Print two copies of the Wolf and Fox game.
  2. Become familiar with how to play Wolf and Fox by reading the directions below.

During the meeting:

  1. Split the den into two teams.
  2. Provide a Wolf and Fox game card and a pencil for each team.
  3. Have each team select a ​​three-digit number, write it down, keeping it a secret from the other team. All the digits must be different.
  4. Team 1 guesses team 2’s number by writing their guess on their paper under the guesses using all different numbers.
  5. If the matching digits are in their right positions, they are “wolves”, if it’s a correct number but in a different position, they are “foxes”.
    Example: Team 1’s Secret number: 427
    Team 2’s try: 124
    Answer: 1 Wolf and 1 Fox. (The wolf is “2”, the fox is “4” but sssh .. don’t tell the other team which numbers are wolves or foxes.)
  6. Team 1 marks the response on their score sheet next to the guessed number.
  7. If the number isn’t guessed, team 2 guesses team 1’s number.
  8. Team 2 writes down their guessed number on their sheet.
  9. Team 1 provides the number of Wolves and Foxes for the guessed number.
  10. Team 2 marks the number of Wolves and Foxes on their sheet next to the guessed number.
  11. Play continues until a team guesses the number correctly.
  12. The first team to reveal the other’s secret number wins the game.
Essentials Quest
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Play a logic game to find your buddy’s essential items first.

  • Essentials Quest worksheet found in Additional Resources
  • Printer
  • One pencil for each Cub Scout

Before the meeting:

  1. Print Essentials Quest worksheet, one for each Cub Scout.

During the meeting:

  1. Ask Cub Scouts to place their three essentials on their “My Essentials” Quest grid by drawing rectangles on it. Essentials can be oriented either vertically or horizontally, but they cannot overlap or touch. Leave some space between the essentials for clarity.
    • Flashlight = 3 squares
    • First Aid Kit = 2 squares
    • Trail Food = 1 square
  2. Tell Cub Scouts that on their turn, they pick a spot on their partner’s grid, like “A3” or “B7” and tell their partner their guess. The partner will say “Found” if the spot has one of the essentials or “Miss” if it doesn’t.
  3. Instruct Cub Scouts to mark their My Guesses grid with “X” for finds and “O” for misses.
  4. Tell Cub Scouts to keep track of their opponent’s finds and misses by marking their own grid with “X” for finds and “O” for misses.
  5. Cub Scouts continue taking turns, targeting each other’s grids until one player has successfully found all of their opponent’s essentials. An essential is considered found when every square it occupies has been found.

Essentials Quest worksheet

Select a single shape. Observe the environment around you. Write down where you see that shape and how it is being used.
Shapes At Home
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List1
Prep Time2

Observe shapes inside your home.

  • Shapes at Home Scavenger Hunt worksheet found in Additional Resources
  • Pencil or marker, enough for one per Cub Scout
  • Timer

Before the meeting:

  1. Using the shapes on the Shapes at Home Scavenger Hunt worksheet, identify items that match each shape around the meeting space. If any shapes do not exist, bring items to the meeting space and place around.
  2. Print the Shapes at Home Scavenger Hunt worksheet, one for each Cub Scout.

During the meeting:

  1. Hand out the Shapes at Home Scavenger Hunt worksheet.
  2. Have Cub Scouts go on a Shape Scavenger Hunt around the meeting space. Give them 10 minutes to complete the scavenger hunt.
  3. After the hunt is completed, gather the Cub Scouts in a circle. Ask each Cub Scout to share one item they found that matches one of the shapes. Ask the other Cub Scouts to raise their hands if they found the same shape.
  4. Repeat the first step with the next Cub Scout.
  5. Continue until all Cub Scouts have had a chance to share what they found.

Shapes at Home Scavenger Hunt worksheet

Shapes In Furniture
LocationTravel
Energy 2
Supply List1
Prep Time3

Visit a furniture store and discover which shape is most seen in furniture.

  • Activity Consent Form
  • Shapes in Furniture Observation worksheet found in Additional Resources
  • Printer
  • Pencil, one for each Cub Scout

Before the meeting:

  1. Contact a local furniture store and arrange for a visit.
  2. Let your den’s parents and legal guardians know the meeting location.
  3. Print Shapes in Furniture Observation worksheet, one for each Cub Scout.

During the meeting:

  1. Before starting the tour, explain that shapes are everywhere and ask what shape would be more found in furniture.
  2. Tour the store and ask Cub Scouts to point out shapes.
  3. At the end of the visit, did Cub Scouts guess the most used shape?
  4. Ask Cub Scouts to thank the store employee who helped you.

After the meeting:

  1. Create a thank you card for the store and have each Cub Scout sign.
Shapes In Nature
LocationOutdoor
Energy 3
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Identify three different shapes that you see in nature.

  • Activity Consent Form
  • Cub Scout Six Essentials
    • Filled Water Bottle
    • First Aid Kit
    • Whistle
    • Flashlight
    • Sun protection
    • Trail Food
  • Shapes in Nature Observation worksheet found in Additional Resources
  • Printer
  • Pencil for each Cub Scout

Before the meeting:

  1. Select a place for your den’s nature walk.
  2. Remind Cub Scouts to bring their Cub Scout Six Essentials.
  3. Print Shapes in Nature Observation worksheet, one for each Cub Scout.

During the meeting:

  1. Before you start on the walk, ask Cub Scouts to name all the shapes they can think of.
  2. Provide Shapes in Nature Observation Sheet and pencil to each Cub Scout
  3. Go on a walk with Cub Scouts to see how many different shapes can be found in leaves, flowers, trees, rocks, clouds, and grass.
  4. Ask Cub Scouts prompting questions as you walk such as what shape are dandelion flowers? Point out that some patterns in nature repeat such as fern leaves. What shape are bird’s nests? Can you find a leaf that is heart-shaped?
Using a package that contains a number of different colored items, discover the most common color.
Tasty Predictions
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List3
Prep Time3

Predict which color of candy is most common.

  • Large bag of multi-colored candy such as M&Ms, Skittles, Starbursts, etc. (If there are food sensitivity or allergy issues, substitute a non-food item such as colored paper clips)
  • Small container – one for each Cub Scout (approximately ½ cup)
  • Tasty Predictions worksheet found in Additional Resources
  • Printer
  • One pencil or pen for each Cub Scout
  • Food-handling glove
  • Piece of paper and pen or pencil to record predictions and numbers

Before the meeting:

  1. Print the Tasty Predictions worksheet, one for each Cub Scout.
  2. Prepare the candy by placing it into smaller containers.
  3. Prepare the meeting space ensuring that it is clean enough for serving food.

During the meeting:

  1. Hand out the small containers of candy, the Tasty Predictions worksheet, and the pencils to each Cub Scout.
  2. Tell Cub Scouts not to eat it until the activity is over.
  3. Ask Cub Scouts to write the names of each color item on the line within the circle. Then ask them to sort and count their items and to write the number they have of each in the square.
  4. Give them time to sort and count.
  5. Ask each Cub Scout to guess which color has the most items based on what they’ve counted. Record their predictions on a piece of paper.
  6. Ask each Cub Scout how many of each color items they have.
  7. After all Cub Scouts have given their prediction and number of items, add up the total number of each color item to determine which color was the most plentiful.
  8. Announce the most plentiful and which Cub Scouts predicted that color.
  9. Allow Cub Scouts to enjoy the tasty treats or take home for later.
Print

Safety Moment

Prior to any activity, use the BSA SAFE Checklist to ensure the safety of all those involved.

All participants in official BSA Scouting activities should become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scoutingand applicable program literature or manuals.

Be aware of state or local government regulations that supersede BSA practices, policies, and guidelines.

To assist in the safe delivery of the program you may find specific safety items that are related to requirements for the Adventure.

Before conducting a craft activity, review the Craft Tips video (2 minutes 34 seconds.)

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