Tapestry of Faith: Toolbox of Faith: A Program That Helps Children Discover the Uses of Faith

Activity 2: Cloak and Dagger Game and Relay Race

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Index cards for all participants

For Relay Race

  • A suitcase or bag of disguise items for each team
  • Rubber cones, masking tape, or chairs to place at the start/finish and mid-point lines
  • Optional: A whistle for official start

Preparation for Activity

  • The game, Cloak and Dagger, works best with eight to 15 players. Decide whether the group will play together or play in smaller groups.
  • For Relay Race. Gather a set of disguise items such as a trench coat, a wig, glasses, and a hat. You will need a full set of comparable items for each team's suitcase or bag.

Description of Activity

Play Cloak and Dagger or a relay race version of the game, to help release tension about difficult justice issues.

Cloak and Dagger is a popular game played in many Unitarian Universalist youth groups. If the group has played Cloak and Dagger in Session 7 of this program ("Democratic Process"), participants will enjoy revisiting it here.

The leader of the game orchestrates and does not participate. The leader writes an identity on an index card for each member of the group. Two of the cards should say "Spy," one should say "Informant," and the rest should say "Civilian."

Invite the group to sit in a circle. The leader distributes cards, instructing everyone to read in secret.

Then the leader says, "It is nighttime, everyone go to sleep." Everyone closes their eyes. The leader says, "Spies, wake up." Those with "Spy" written on their cards open their eyes. They must agree, without speaking, to kill one of the civilians. They point to this person, and the leader makes a mental note. Then the leader says, "Spies go to sleep. Informant, wake up." The two Spies close their eyes and the one who has "Informant" written on their card opens their eyes. The Informant selects one person to know more about, by pointing. If that person is a Spy, the leader nods, if a Civilian, the leader shakes their head "no."

Then the leader says, "It is daytime, everybody wake up." Everyone opens their eyes and the leader tells them who was killed by the Spies while they were asleep. Then the entire group comes to consensus on who they think is a Spy - who they should kill - by pointing to that person. The true Spies should try to hide their identities by engaging in the debate. The Informant should try to use their information to protect Civilians and kill Spies, but without revealing their identity as the Informant (or risking their own life for the next night of Spy prowling).

Every person who comes under suspicion has a chance to defend their civilian status. When the group decides and kills, the leader informs them whether the person they killed was, Spy or, Civilian. Round two begins by the leader saying, "It's nighttime..." Continue until all Civilians are dead or Spy members are found out and killed.

Cloak and Dagger Relay Race

In this relay race, participants work in teams to ensure that each person on the team gets dressed in a cloak and dagger costume, runs up to the midpoint line and back, and takes off the costume. The team that completes the relay first, wins.

Form teams. Provide each team with a suitcase or bag filled with disguise items. Each team should have similar items. When you say "GO" the first player on the team will quickly put on the disguise, run to the midpoint line and back, then remove the items. The next player takes a turn and so on until all team members have had a turn. The first team to have all members complete the relay wins.


For four or fewer participants, use a stopwatch or second hand to time volunteers as they put on items to make a disguise. Or, let participants impersonate a secret agent and make up a skit about a familiar or invented character.

Including All Participants

Relay Race. Movement-challenged participants could act as officials. They could start the race by blowing a whistle or saying, "GO!" and/or officiate at the mid-point line to make sure each contestant crosses the line in full disguise. Or adapt the game so it is not a "race" and the speed of movement is not a factor.