I have probably waited too long to type this out, so some of the details will most likely have been lost.
May 1st was our final “real” meeting of the school year. The girls spent their time finishing up the Junior Detective Badge. The clue hunt was their favorite part.
We learned about fingerprints for this step. The girls watched a short YouTube video titled, “Why do we have fingerprints?” Once that was finished, we trooped over to the craft room for the activity portion – making copies of our fingerprints.
I gave each girl a sharp pencil and a small piece of paper. The girls colored a small patch of paper with the pencil, then rubbed their index finger over the marking to get their finder as dark as possible. Once they did that, myself and another mom came around with pieces of clear packing tape and an index card. We put the tape on their finger, pressing down to transfer the lead to the tape, then we put the tape on the index card and gave it back to the girls.
When everyone had their fingerprint card, I took out several fingerprint charts I had photocopied out of two kids’ forensics books. We went over the major types of patterns, and then some of the variations. Each girl looked at the chart to see which type of fingerprint she had. I believe arches won. The girls looked at the rest of their fingers to see how the patterns differed.
This was actually the last bit we did, using an activity listed in the GSRV planning guide (this is an amazing resource if you haven’t looked at it) called. “Who Wrote That?” I gave each girl an index card and had them write their first and last name, their school, and their grade. Some of the girls had to redo theirs as they got fancy or silly with their writing. I collected the cards once they were done. Then, I gave them a new index card and had them write “The rain falls on the plain.” Again, I collected all of the cards.
We sat in a circle and tried to match the name cards to the sentence cards. I had to remind the girls several times to NOT choose the ones they know they wrote. It turned out to be fairly hard to match the cards properly because some of the girls had very similar handwriting. The activity guide has the leader put distinctive markings on the backs of each index card. It’s a good idea, but it didn’t work out for us because I didn’t collect the cards in the same order both times around.
This step was hands down the girls’ favorite. My assistant leader put everything together for this, and she did an amazing job. The girls were paired up, given a cipher for the pigpen code they learned at our previous meeting, and the first clue written in pigpen. Once they deciphered the clue, they followed its instructions and repeated the process. There were six steps in all, and the girls ended up running all over the downstairs area of the church to find the clues. I am strongly considering doing something similar on our camping trip this July.