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YLT-Message Received?

How does it feel when you don’t understand something that others do? Try to fit in with the rest of the group, even if you don’t know what’s going on. Will you be able to fit in and act like everyone else?

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  • What supplies will you need for this adventure? 
  • What kinds of tasks will the envelopes ask people to do? 
  • How will you be able to tell who knows the task and who does not? 


  • Create a short list of different tasks that will not take too long to do, but can be done without too many people noticing (e.g. touch your woggle, adjust your hat, cough quietly, sit down). 
  • Have a facilitator write down a task on pieces of paper and put them into envelopes. There should be enough for everyone minus one person. 
  • Leave one piece of paper blank and put it in an envelope. Add this envelope to the pile with the rest, so there should be one envelope per person. 
  • Hand out the envelopes randomly. Everyone should read the task on their piece of paper. The person without a task is the “spy” and must try to blend in with the rest of the group. 
  • Everyone should start doing their action. The spy should try to blend in and copy the rest of the group. The people who did get the task should try to be subtle when doing their action so that the spy does not catch on. 
  • The group should do their actions for a minute or so and then stop. 
  • Take turns guessing who the spy was. When the group comes to a consensus about who they think it is, the person who was accused should reveal whether or not they were the spy. 
  • Did the spy get caught? Or were they able to blend in with the rest of the group? 


  • What do you know now that you did not know before?  
  • How did it feel to be the spy and not get the memo that everyone else did? 
  • What are some examples of not getting the memo in real life at Scouts?  
  • How can you make sure that everyone gets the memo when you have information to share? 

Keep it Simple

Rather than having someone try to blend in, give everyone an envelope with a task inside. Give 2-3 people a different task inside their envelope. Ask everyone to do their task. How did the three people with different tasks feel? 

Take it Further

Does anyone in your group speak another language? Find someone who speaks another language and break into small groups or pairs, with at least one person per team/pair who speaks a language that others do not speak. Have them tell a simple story in their own language – can you tell what they’re trying to tell you? Then have them tell the story slowly while using actions. How can you work past this language barrier to figure out what you are being told?