You will need
- Torch or phone
- Blindfold or scarf
- A set of keys
Before you begin
- Make sure you’ve risk assessed your meeting, and also have a COVID-19 safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. You can check out more detailed guidance here.
- Place a chair in the middle of the playing area, and put a set of keys underneath it. This is the base of the Night Watch.
Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include:
- Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session.
- Ask everyone to wash their hands before you start, and clean the torch and keys at the start and end of the game.
- Remind everyone to stay at a safe distance when they’re moving around.
- Everyone should use their own scarf as a blindfold when they’re the guard, or they could just close their eyes instead.
Run the activity
- Choose a volunteer to be the Night Watch guard. It’ll be their job to sit on the chair with the torch and defend the keys. Explain that everyone else will be escapees who’ll need to retrieve the keys from the guard to get away.
- The Night Watch guard should sit on the chair and get comfortable. Their legs and feet shouldn’t block any routes to the keys or be touching the keys. When they’re settled, the person leading the activity should place the blindfold on the guard.
- Escapees should take up a position at either end of the room and prepare to sneak forwards to take the keys. The Night Watch guard should be ready with the torch. If they hear someone moving, they should switch it on and point in the direction of the sound.
- Escapees have three lives. If they’re hit by the beam three times, they should return to where they started.
- Dim the lights and start the game when everyone’s ready. Escapees may move however they think is best. The Night Watch guard should only point the torch in one direction at a time. Once the torch is lit, they may not move the beam.
- When someone gets the keys, they should become the Night Watch guard for the next round.
Sneaking towards the person trying to find you must’ve been nerve-wracking! It took courage and persistence, as well as agility, to avoid the attention of the Night Watch and retrieve the keys. John Quincy Adams once said that: ‘Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.’ What do you think he meant? Bear in mind that a ‘talisman’ is an object that brings you good fortune!
Provide some light, so the environment isn’t completely dark. Everyone must be able to see others and move around the area safely.
- Active games
The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.
- Outdoor activities
You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.