source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
only for private using

The Name of the Rose

Preparation time: approx. half a day Material: high Age: 8 to 16
Group size: several groups of up to 12 people
Location: outside
Length: all day
Season: Spring / Summer / Autumn
Activity level: high
  • Cladding for monks and abbot altar boy robes, dark t-shirt
  • Scroll of the Abbot
  • CD of Gregorian Chant
  • Altar Candles
  • Incense
  • Scented Candles
  • Incense
  • Coasters
  • 5x tins with fruit (pineapple - is presented by the magician as a remedy)
  • 5 Shower Gel (ingredient)
  • 5 stone (ingredient)
  • 5x gummy bears (ingredient)
  • 5x spoons (ingredient)
  • 5 potatoes (ingredient)
  • Table reading (created stories)
  • Costumes for specific characters
Educational Aims: Role-play, development of imagination, team spirit


An exciting action packed fantasy game, with costumes, a medieval atmosphere and no losers. It doesn’t require great acting skills, nor is it too theoretical, or has too little action. Both leaders and children enjoy dressing up and getting into different characters.

The actual story in this game is deliberately designed to be quite simple (to obtain the ingredients for a miracle cure). This is so that in the first part of the day (in the morning) the children can focus on their costumes, a befitting shelter, and interacting as a group. Whilst in the second part of the day (afternoon) the action and group work should focus on the main point of the game.

It is particularly important that the leaders who in the morning supervise the groups, and then later play the monks in front of the rooms, prepare (motivate!) their group in the first part of the game to act independently in the afternoon (i.e. older children should assume responsibility and act as "entertainers"). However, individual items should not be placed too far away from the "monastery", since no child will be motivated to walk for miles on their own!(not a running game!).

The game is designed (amongst other things), and should be modified as such, that each supervisor has fun within his role (the imagination should hold no boundaries). Some things should be strictly observed:

  • The key figures (Abbot, witch, goblin, etc.) should be played by leaders who understand the concept, and have fun in their roles as this is the only way in which enthusiasm will be generated.

  • All the team leaders should be introduced to the game and its rules (at least one day before), because then initial ideas regarding the costumes, roles and behaviour of their individual characters or that of their specific groups can be made. In doing so the leaders will have relevant information at hand for the first few minutes of game play, in which the children will need guidance from their respective group leader as to what is expected from them.

  • The most important thing about this game is the atmosphere!

    Hence you should definitely use paraphernalia such as candles, incense, robes for the monks (altar boy robes etc. The monastic rules below should be followed (the eating and table rules in particular provide a great experience and create the right atmosphere)


In our monastery, an old wise monk died, who took a secret about the ingredients for a miracle cure for the plague (raging at that time), to his grave. He also knew where these ingredients could be found. The abbot, who himself is already old and feeble, is now calling on all sections of society to obtain these ingredients. The reference to the location of these ingredients, and the rules of to how to deal with the guardian of these ingredients, can be found in rooms that have been sealed for decades. Before you can enter them, you must prove your ability, so that you don’t fall short in the procurement of the ingredients. In front of 5 Doors are Group leaders disguised as Monks, with whom the groups have to solve problems. The order in which the rooms are searched can be arbitrarily chosen.

Once the groups have solved the problem of the respective monk, they may enter the room and obtain the information.

Every child has a life belt, which can be snatched by all characters (apart from by humans and other groups) if it is held out too openly (the harder the five groups try to get hold of these life belts, the more action will ensue). Above all, caution is advised from the Orc, who is crazy about life belts. If a group loses 3 belts, you can solve a task / game set by the monks to get new ones. Consequently all Monks should think of a game in advance.

Since the 5 groups will be invited to a monastery, they must act accordingly and stick to the monastery rules. The same applies to the group leaders, especially the monks.



  • Children play in groups with leaders (1-2 Leaders)

  • After breakfast, they will be told (draw lots?) that they have to dress up as one of the 5 group types and at some point obtain relevant items, and adapt their discussions and behaviour in a manner that reflects their group type.

  • Leaders should help and motivate, but don’t need to dress up themselves, because the group needs to work alone in the afternoon.

From about 12 clock:

  • The Abbot meets each group, invites them back to his monastery and informs them of monastic rules.

  • 5 group leaders dress up as monks.


  • Awareness of compliance to the rules

  • Possibly the table reading


  • Noon Prayer ("prayer" with e.g. excerpt from "On behalf of the Rose") in the table tennis room


  • If possible, without a break (at a maximum the time required by the dish washer) begin the afternoon activities.

  • Sitting in front of 5 rooms are monks

  • To enter the rooms the groups must solve a task

  • The other 5 leaders should spread out in the village, on the hill ... and should dress according to their roles.

  • In the rooms the children find evidence as to the people from whom they can obtain the ingredients

  • As soon as 3 children within the group lose their life belts, they can not continue to play, rather they must go to a monk who will set them a task for which they can reclaim the life belts

  • if the children have collected all 5 ingredients, they must go to the magician, who converts them into the miracle cure.


  • No matter what the children are doing at 16:00 hours they should return to the house for prayer

Around 18:00 Hours:

  • By now all groups should have found the ingredients for the miracle cure, and should gather for the magicians closing ceremony (the magician should be creative). This marks the success of the group and the game is over.

  • There are no winners or losers! The most important thing is fun of playing!

Ending with Prayer:

Entry if possible in two rows to a Gregorian chant, then history, prayer, music, excerpt.

Ethnic groups:

  • Farmers
  • plague sufferers (cured)
  • highwaymen
  • scholars/academics
  • Aristocrats

Tasks that must be solved with individual monks to enter the rooms:

  • Skill > Build pyramids out of coasters

  • Thinking > Riddle/puzzle

  • Strength > Holding tins with outstretched arms for as long as possible

  • Creativity > Pictionary (Think of items/captions!)

  • Sports > Obstacle Course, etc.

Allocation of characters to the tasks:

  • Dexterity: Witch: urgently requires a new ritual or a new dance, which they should come up with. As a thank you the children receive ingredient.

  • Thinking: Old man: is almost blind and deaf, and is waiting for his family to come back; he will only give the magic stone to them. Consequently the Children have to pretend to be his family however, they should first agree upon what they will say so as to sound credible and not contradict one another.

  • Strength: Orc: It is impossible to speak with him, the ingredient must be cunningly snatched away from him, however, he will try to steal the life belts.

  • Creativity: Troll: Is hungry, should sit as far away from the house as possible, children bring him something to eat, if he is satisfied with it, he gives them a jelly baby

  • Sport: Dwarf: knocking cans down; the dwarf will try to prevent by jumping around

Monastery - the rules (should) be printed:

  • 12.30 Lunch
  • 13.00 Noon Prayer (Chapel = TT-Room)
  • 16.00 eating
  • For midday and evening prayers attendance is required.
  • Enter the chapel in two rows.
  • During the prayers there should be silence.
  • Whilst eating speaking should be done quietly.
  • After meals the dishes should be stacked together
  • During the table reading one should remain silent.
  • During the meal wandering around is prohibited.
  • No speaking on the stairwell.
  • The monks should be treated with dignity and politeness; their instructions should be obeyed.

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