Synopsis: Participants will use stealth to get close enough to a military guard to squeeze off one shot – a shot that must hit it’s target. This is a great adventure exercise for those who fancy themselves as Halo or Medal of Honor experts.
Back Story: It’s occupied France during WWII. There is an enemy messenger scheduled to deliver plans to a base nearby. He’s currently taking a break in the woods after a long trek on foot after his motorbike was hit by a recent Allied airstrike. He barely made it out alive and is not fatigued. The mission will be to confiscate those plans and deliver them to the Allied encampment nearby without getting shot.
Setting It Up:
1: For this adventure, you’ll need a few things:
- A volunteer to play the messenger. Their task will be simple, to situate themselves in a stationary spot in a woodsy area pretending like they are resting from a long walk. They will have a couple small tasks as described below. Their role is crucial but incredibly easy to execute (and to get excited about, as well!)
- A location that will provide enough cover for your children to sneak up on the messenger, such as a park or hiking trail that is isolated enough from the general public such that they won’t interfere. You might need to drive a bit to get there, but this one will be well worth it and the drive will build up the anticipation in your kids!
- A nerf gun for each child, as well as one for the person playing the messenger. You might need to borrow them – ask around if you don’t have any in your own ‘toy arsenal.’ We have have a half dozen in our house alone! You’ll also need Nerf bullets – enough for the messenger to have a full supply and each child to have ONE each.
- When it comes time to begin the adventure, explain the back story as described above. Then explain the following goals:
- Have them begin quite a distance away from where you’ll have your enemy soldier messenger ‘resting.’ They will need to use stealth to get close enough to the messenger without being seen or heard so that they get a CLEAR SHOT at a target that you have set up next to the messenger. The target could be as simple as an empty soda can or plastic cup. They will only get one shot so they need to make sure that their one shot counts. The messenger will have MANY shots – if they are spotted and are hit by the messenger, they are ‘dead’ and the mission failed.
- If they successfully shoot the target, the messenger will NOT react. The NEXT goal will be to sneak up BEHIND the messenger to retrieve the plans from his/her back pocket (or someplace close to the messenger to make it difficult, but not impossible.) Click HERE for some quick WWII base plans to print out.
- Remind them that this is NOT a race. They each only get one shot so they need to make sure that their one shot counts. For multiple children, have the messenger reset the target immediately so that each child can have a chance to take their shot.
- You can repeat this exercise as many times as you’d like.
PROBLEM SOLVING AND WAYS TO MAKE IT EXTRA COOL
- Try to find a muddier place for them to crawl through in order to keep their cover. Getting muddy for no reason can be some fun…but HAVING to get muddy for the sake of a mission is A LOT MORE FUN! Therefore, make sure that they are wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting filthy. Don’t listen to their complaining (assuming there is some) – don’t apologize for it, either. In real life that is a regular expectation and getting dirty is a ‘part of the job’ of any soldier.
- If there are a lot of dried leaves on the ground, it might be impossible to sneak up on the messenger without making a sound. If this is the case, consider having your messenger where headphones so that they will have to rely more on visuals.
- If it’s difficult to find a heavily wooded area, consider equipping the messenger with sunglasses that would slightly impair their vision.
- Playing some music (1940’s big band, of course) would be a nice touch to play near the messenger to help your kids get into the feel of the moment.