Save the Whales

...actually, this game appears in an issue of the Guider magazine, but I don't know which one! Players: patrol groups of approximately four or five, divided into two teams. Terrain: sloping rough ground with some trees and open areas is ideal. Equipment: large garbage bags, newspapers, messages (written in some sort of secret code on white paper), tape, string or cord (for the boats), pencils or other writing tools, clothes pegs.

Story: Whale hunters sail the seas searching for whales to kill and process on their factory ships. They transport the whale products to shore for further processing at whaling stations. These hunters are hostile to the conservation movement. Conservationists do not believe in violence, but will defend themselves from attack and will interfere with the whale hunters' activities.

How to Play: Whales are represented by garbage bags stuffed with newspapers or just filled with air and tied closed. Each whale has a white patch (piece of paper) taped to its side with a secret message written on it.

Thee girls divide into two sides: whale hunters and conservationists. The Guiders are part of the United Nations Whaling Commission, acting as referees.

Each patrol and the Guiders must move about in a "boat" made up of a circle of strong string or rope, large enough to allow the patrol to walk (not too easily) and attached (with the clothes pegs) to some or all of the players so that their hands are free.

The area to be used must be clearly indicated at the outset of the game. Each side has a base: the whaling station for the hunters, the conservation area for the conservationists. Before the game begins, the whales are made and scattered over the whole area. Some should be difficult to reach so the patrols have to think of ingenious ways to retrieve them in their boats. Conservationists may move only one whale at a time, trying to get it to the conservation area. Hunters may attack the boats of conservationists who are moving live whales, grab the whales, and then try to process them. They must process them where they find them. A whale is not dead until processed, i.e. its secret message is decoded and hand-written on its patch. Conservationists may interfere with the processing.

Dead whales may then be taken to the whaling station. The winner is the side with the most whales at their base at the end of the game.

This activity gives the girls a good look at the frustration faced by conservationists trying to protect whales endangered by hunters. A discussion of the issues surrounding the whaling crisis would be appropriate following the game.


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