Are you a Girl Scout leader looking for something to do with your Junior troop? Our Detective Badge in a Bag combines an educational experience with hands-on fun and your girls will earn the Junior Detective badge in one unforgettable meeting.
Our Detective Badge in a Bag has everything you will need for your Girl Scout troop to learn about fingerprinting, Morse Code, observation and DNA matching. Then the girls will play a game of Clue on a life-sized game board where they are the game pieces. Giggle along with them as the get assigned characters such as Alien Keeper or Ghost Buster and guess which one of them ate the escargot in gym. Or maybe the Dolphin Trainer ate the octopus dessert in the Chemistry lab? Play again and again with your Girl Scout troop. Each game will be different!
Step 1: Practice the Power of Observation
Our Detective Badge in a Bag includes this observation worksheet. This is a good activity to give the girls as they arrive for your Girl Scout meeting. There are seven differences to find in each of the scenes. If you need help, print out our answer key. It will give you a chance to collect dues and review business with the parents. The girls can work individually, in pairs or as a group. You might set up a live observation game such as Kim’s Game or ask the girls if anyone is interested in setting up a scene to bring to their next meeting. To play Kim’s Game:
Collect about a dozen small items and place on the table. Cover with a cloth. After girls arrive, tell them you want to see how observant they are and give each girl a pencil and paper. Remove the cloth and ask the girls to study the items for 30 seconds and then cover it back up. Instruct the girls to right down as many of the items they remember. It’s harder than you think.
Morse code was invented in 1836 as a way to communicate over distance since there were no phones or radios. Each letter of the alphabet was assigned a combination of long and short sounds (or light flashes) that could be translated into an important message. Print a Morse code sheet for each girl. Ask them to think of a short message with about 15 characters. Using a paper and pen, ask them to translate their message into Morse code. Our Detective Badge in a Bag includes straws, pony beads and tipped yarn. Instruct your Girl Scouts to cut the straws into pieces no bigger than 1″ then tie a black bead onto one end of a lacing cord. Using neon beads as dots, straws as dashes and black beads as spacers, the girls should string their message on the cord. Finish by tying on a final black bead. Ask the to girls to swap messages with a troop to decipher each others messages. Our message shown here is “I am totally awesome”. Try another code such as pigpen code or a substitution code.
Step 3: Fingerprint for Fun
Our Junior Detective Badge in a Bag contains stamp pads and fingerprint cards for each girl. Press each finger onto the stamp pad then onto the correct box on your fingerprint card. Practice a few times on scrap paper to get the pressure right to make a clean fingerprint. Use our printable to identify different types of fingerprint patterns. You can also give your Girl Scouts a chance to try to match sample each others trial prints with their fingerprint cards. This FBI page has more information about how to take fingerprints.
Step 4: Find Out About DNA
DNA is microscopic code that exists in cells. Blood, skin, bone, saliva and every other cell in our body contains the same code. This code contains information about how we look like, who are relatives are and even can our personality and health. No two people have the same DNA unless they are identical twins. Because every DNA is different, it can be an important tool for eliminating suspects and proving guilt in a crime. When DNA from a suspect (such as a blood sample) is analyzed it forms a pattern that can be compared to DNA found at a crime scene. Our Junior Detective Badge in a Bag includes evidence DNA cards and suspect DNA cards. Fold the sheets back and forth at the perforations until the cards break apart. Mix up the evidence DNA cards and suspect DNA cards. Working individually, in pair or as a group, instruct the girls to match the DNA codes. Need help? Here are the pairs: 1F, 2E, 3D, 4C, 5A, 6B, 7G, 8H, 9I, 10J, 11K, 12L, 13P, 14O, 15N, 16M, 17R, 18Q.
Print out our dice printable on card stock. Cut on the solid lines, fold on the grey lines. To make crisp folds, score the grey lines by lining up a ruler on a grey line, opening up a pair of scissors and running one of the blades along the ruler over the grey line. Glue tabs in place. Separate the “Who”, “What”, “Where” cards included in our Detective Badge in a Bag. Randomly hand out a “Who” card to each girl. This will be her character for the game. Instruct the girls to blow up their matching included inflatable. You might want to bring a bicycle pump to make it easier. Set up the game board by placing the included stickers around the room for a life-sized game board. Reduce sticker adhesive for easy removal by peeling and sticking the stickers to your clothing before placing on the floor. Collect the “Who” cards. Instruct the girls to write the cards on their included worksheet and make a guess for who, what and where will solve the mystery. Secretly hide one “Who”, one “What” and one “Where” card in an envelope. Mix up the other cards. Lay one of each of the other cards up-side down on a sticker dot. The girls take turns, rolling the dice, moving to the sticker, looking at the card and marking off that option. The game ends when someone correctly solves the clue. Tons of fun! Don’t forget to take pictures or make a video. Find out how to earn up to $40 in store credit with your videos.