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Variation on: The Final Countdown

This entry was sent in by the community youth ring in Schiffdorf and is a variation on the original version of the daytime terrain game - The Final Countdown.

This version was played with 29 children aged between eight and twelve and with seven leaders. It was a complete success. Despite the pouring rain everyone took part and were all very impressed.

Start of the game

1. After breakfast the leaders return to the quarters to put on their army clothing. The children are called together; leader 1 says that they must clear up because the hostel management has complained etc. While the children are moaning and complaining the other leaders burst to the room in hectic in their army clothing shouting that something must have happened because all of the children must collect in the table tennis area outside. Leader 2 is standing here as the commander and explains the situation to the kids – the cassette is played. The group is split into teams and each team receives an envelope with a start clue (-> Station 1-5) along with the entry permission alpha.

Cassette (a dark voice)

„Group leaders, can you remember? It’s me, you always used to call me Bomb Bill. You did not recognise my true genius. I was different to the other children – a talent like me who was able to produce a bomb which blew a hedgehog into the air. What value does an animal’s life have anyway? – And you sent me home for doing it. My parent’s gave me 10 years house arrest – enough time to build a bomb which will blow your entire camp site up in the air. That is my wrath and only I know where it is hidden. Muhahahaha!“

2. During this the other leaders are putting up the individual stations in hectic with a big Tohuwabohu and additionally they whistle, carry beds backwards and forwards, cordon off areas with tape, shout and do press-ups etc.

3. Letter clues:

  • Group 1: Go to the garden shed and you will find a radio there
  • Group 2: Go to the barbecue area behind the dining tent. You will a cassette recorder there.
  • Group 3: Go to the table tennis tables and you will meet an informer there
  • Group 4: Go to the leader’s tent. We have set up a chemical laboratory for you
  • Group 5: Go to the newspaper salesman at the entrance to the hostel

Bomb search

If queues start to form at the stations you can carry out some intermediary programs which the commander calls out ( press-up, attack from above, knee bends or jogging).

  • Station 1:

    • Location: next to the garden shed

    • Leader: only an informer (leader 3) at the other end of the radio.

    • Material: Radio, 5 clue letters (Final clue group 5)

    • Clue letters: An informer finds himself at the other end of the radio. The code word (jumbled up): ecnalubma -> the informer claims to be clueless at first. He must find out the code word otherwise there is no information prize. The correct code word is "ambulance", in mirror writing. You are sent to the barbecue area by the informer.

  • Station 2:

    • Location: at the barbecue behind the dining tent

    • Leader 3: Leader 3, who cordons off the barbecue area with tape every time a group arrives. There has been a commando headquarters set up here for which the entry permission level beta is required. You can get this at the sports field.

    • Material: Cassette with an incomprehensible message and tape

    • Cassette: (a high helium voice) 374 916 394 (The coded message can only be deciphered by a mathematician.)

  • Mathematician:

    • Location: In the dining tent

    • Leader 4: Leader 4 as the mathematician. This person sits in the dining tent and is huddled over a difficult mathematical tasks, a simple Sodoku riddle, which the children must help him solve so that he translates the message in exchange. (Solution: The translated message is: Go to the informer at the table tennis tables.

  • Entry permission beta:

    • Location: At the sports field

    • Material: 5 kitchen benches

    • Leader 5: Leader 5 a as a military fitness trainer, who is carrying out a fitness test. In the first round benches which are placed 2m apart must be crawled under and on the way back, jumped over like hurdles. The second exercise is 2 sprints per child over the sports field; the kids believe that the time is being recorded and the leaders spur the kids on to move faster and faster.

    • Aim: Entry permission beta

  • Station 3

    • Location: Table tennis tables

    • Material: 5 envelopes with catalogues or final clue for group 2

    • Question catalogue: Welcome to group X,
      I couldn’t wait for you because I was called to an important job. In order to prove that you really are Special Forces I have written down a riddle for you so that you can work out the code word. Once you have decoded the code word you will receive a further clue from the commander.

      1. How many showers are in the boy’s changing room?
      G) x
      L) correct
      O) z

      2. Which item is found in the top left corner of the vending machine in the youth hostel?
      A) correct
      F) y
      Z) z

      3. What is X’s favourite food?
      G) correct
      J) y
      E) z

      4. How old are all of the leaders together?
      S) x
      R) y
      E) correct

      5. Who is Bomb Bill?
      M) An actor
      P) The hostel manager
      Q) A former camp participant

    • Commander (leader 2): 5 clue envelopes and final clue for group2: A seemingly blank sheet with a coded message (written with an onion), the commander sends the children to the chemical laboratory which has been set up in the leader’s tent.

  • Station 4

    • Location: Leader’s tent (chemical lab)

    • Material: Tea lights

    • Leader: Leader 1 is the chemist, but they need a gamma entry permission which is to be won on the playground. Once they have the permission the chemist helps the children to decipher the message with a candle. Message: „Go to the newspaper kiosk at the entrance to the hostel.“ When group 5 arrives the leader must improvise because something special will happen – they get their final clue.

  • Entry permission gamma:

    • Location: The playground

    • Material: Tin cans, stone

    • Leader 6: Leader 6 is the Military Fitness Trainer. The children must knock over cans from a certain distance etc. The aim: To gain entry permission level gamma

  • Station 5

    • Location: Entrance to the hostel

    • Material: Newspapers + instructions

    • Leader 7: Leader 7 gives the kids the clue that the solution can be worked out by decoding the newspaper. (The solution is: Go to the commander) At the commander: 4 envelopes „Go to the garden shed“, final clue for group 1

Intermediate sequence:

The commander puts all of the final clues together, riddles and then comes to the conclusion that the bomb must be at the centre point of all of the cards. After some musing he makes the cross and the kids storm off to find the bomb (under the cheekiest child’s bed)-> All-clear, the bomb can now be defused, the leaders will go to work and the children may play until midday.

After lunch:

Intermediate sequence:

The bomb could not be defused. The bomb disposal team was clueless. However Bomb Bill has been found but has been knocked over by a car and is unconscious. A professor from Minsk has a life saving idea. With the help of a MHT we can beam into the enemy’s body.

Material: Laptop with video

Video: (Mad professor, a serious voice)

„Hello Special Forces Agents. I am professor Rutschnakschenkowitz from the Russian University in Minsk. I have developed a special machine with which we can beam into human body. Conveniently, the prototype is very near to you. It has been thrown out of a helicopter. No one has tested it out yet but you do not have any choice in this case. You are the first! Good luck!“

In the body of the enemy:

Accompanied by leader 3 the kids walk towards the sand pit, the MHT is in front of the sand pit and the groups of children are given different organs of the body: BRAIN, HEART, LUNGS, STOMACH and LIVER; we are on the search for the guilty conscience.

Game plan:

At each organ there is a leader with questions from a general knowledge quiz for children (leaders 1- 5). In order to be allowed to answer a question the kids must deliver enough energy to bring that organ into swing e.g. with hopping on one leg, jumping jacks, wheelbarrows, pummel horse, press-ups, running backwards, running in circles. The actions are signalled with signs held up until the organ is charged up (1 minutes) then a question is posed. If the group answers 10 questions correctly they receive a 2- letter sign (SP-OR-TP-LA-TZ)

The signs should be put together by the children independently otherwise the leaders must help. At the sports field we find the guilty conscience. It is leader 3, totally mad and crazy, the children must catch him, slay him and lay him down then he will give them the solution.

Finishing sequence:

It comes to the final showdown. The bravest kids may now try to cut through the correct wire.

The final countdown - original script.

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