Activity 17 – Code Breaker Tracking

This week, the instructors here at Thornbridge Outdoors are challenging you to create a code that only you and a special friend or family member will be able to understand. You can make the code indoorsy or outdoorsy, and it can be simple or super complicated, whatever suits you. The important thing is that it makes sense to those of you in the know. Lay out a coded trail of directions for your fellow adventurer to follow using the secret key, to lead them from a start point right to finish, where you’ll have stashed some fantastic treasure!

Think of the activity like Hansel and Gretel. You’re going to leave a trail out and about for a friend to follow, and your coded directions will be like their breadcrumbs, signposting them from one point to the next. They say ‘Great minds think alike!’ – this activity will certainly put that to the test.

Are you ready to formulate a secret code? Here are your instructions…

View/download here

Here at Thornbridge Outdoors, we share our site in the Peak District with a whole host of wildlife, which call the grounds home. When students come to visit on a school trip, we ask them to keep their eyes peeled at all times for a glimpse of any four- (or more!) legged friends. Often, it will be the first time a child has seen a rabbit in the wild, or had their jaffa cake pinched by a squirrel! Some animals though are asleep in the daytime, or they’re much more shy around school children, so instead we all look around us for signs to show that they live nearby. Clues could come in the form of droppings, paw prints in the snow, or a snatch of fur snagged on a tree branch. This constant looking about us introduces the basic concept of tracking to students, as they cast their eyes about or search about for signs of wildlife.



Please inspire your children/students to really get into the Code Breaker Tracking challenge. The coded directions that they leave for their fellow adventurer(s) can be as straightforward as a handful of arrow signs, simply made from the materials they have to hand. Or, they can be as complicated as a child can imagine! Anything goes.

If you can, try to ensure their fellow adventurer stands a chance of making it to the treasure, by keeping an eye on the key to the code and the directions too as they’re laid down, to check that the two roughly line up. Also, if the directions are going to be laid out for a few hours before their fellow adventurer will be able to follow the trail, encourage your child/student to leave the directions in locations that aren’t likely to be disturbed in the meantime by people, animals, or the wind.


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  • We’re pleased to announce new mountain bike leader training dates here at on 22 - 23 May OR 10 - 11 July 2021 The Level 2 Award enables qualified leaders to use their experience to safely guide others on off-road terrain. ,
  • If only the site was covered in the footprints of children having snowball fights and making snowmen! That said the wildlife is enjoying a relatively quiet site-just sharing it with staff who are making improvements ready for the return of guests. ,
  • ‍♂️‍♀️ If you'd like some fun outdoorsy children's activities for at home or school, then look no further... ,