Where’s Wally, Sue, Fred & Mary

Nature: Navigation
12-14 years, 14-16 years
Anticipate Time
1 hour min
2-5, 5-15, 15-30
Cooperation, Patience, Respect, Thoroughness


Two teams play this simulated mapping game. Each team has a map and places jelly baby treats at locations on their map. The other team tries to guess these locations (as in the game Battle Ships) by giving grid references.

Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:

  1. Demonstrate ability to find a grid reference
  2. Cooperate with other players in a board game
  3. Recall basic understanding of search and rescue

Scripture Focus

The theme of this game is “finding the lost” though in actual fact it is a drill for grid reference work. The theme of finding the lost is of course a major one in the Bible and for Jesus who came to “seek and save that which was lost.”


This game is played as groups or as individuals. This games needs at least two teams to play, but can be played with more than two teams if desired (e.g. played as multiple games between pairs of teams or as a circle of teams where each team must find the “treats” of the team to their left.) If more than two teams play then the materials must be increased so that each team has a set. The teams should not be able to see their opponents map. Use a barrier that the teams can talk over or through but not see through. Or have teams in different rooms and use an intercom of CB radio for communications. This later idea would also include training in communication protocols.

  • 2 identical 1:25,000 topographical maps for each 4-6 Pathfinders
  • 2 lots of 30 lollies
  • 2 pencils


1. Teach Pathfinders how to read a grid reference. (See Appendix) Practice by giving several grid references for objects on their maps, and ask them to name the object or place on the map. Then give them places on the map and ask them to determine the grid reference for it. This is a vital skill for map reading, and Pathfinders will need repetitive practice to be comfortable with it.

2. Play the map game.

First explain the idea of the game. Each group is in charge of a search to find several lost individuals (Wally, Sue, Fred & Mary) and several lost groups. They will do this by sending imaginary search parties to different locations within the designated area. The team that finds all their lost people will be heroes.

Describe how a real-life search normally works.

  1. The “Point Last Seen” (PLS) is determined.
  2. Major Features (hills, rivers and track junctions) are checked for signs of the lost persons.
  3. If these signs form a pattern, the search is concentrated in an area and this area is thoroughly checked.
  4. Explain that most people are found close to the PLS.

Tell your teams the grid reference of the Point last seen (PLS) of the groups that they are looking for. Make the PLS some central, obvious feature on the map. (use an example PLS and draw attention to examples found in the region).

Give each team 30 “treats” (jelly babies, smarties, etc)
Get the teams to place the 30 “treats” on their map in:
2 groups of 10,
1 group of 5
1 group of 3, and 
2 groups of 1 each.
Remind the teams that most people are found close to the PLS.

To play, teams take turns to ask if there are any “treats” near a grid reference of their choice.
The other team must answer cold, warm or hot depending on the proximity of the grid reference to the “treats”. If a team locates a “treat” they get to eat that “treat”. The game is played until one team finds all their opponent’s “treats” or until it is decided that the teams are confident with the concept of grid references.


Select from the questions below:

  • How difficult was it to learn how to do grid references?
  • Discuss the rule of determining a grid reference?


  • Discuss the methods each team used to find their “treats”.


  • What are the advantages of grid references?


Tony Field of Chasetrek – http://www.turvey.force9.co.uk/Chasetrek/tutorial/map.html


Grid Lines and Grid References

On UK Ordinance Survey maps there are two sets of parallel lines which mark the grid lines. These lines are in black and run vertically and horizontally on the map. They represent 1 km squares and enable people to accurately give a position of a place. On the side of the map are a set of numbers (known as Northings) which number each of the horizontal grid lines. On the top and bottom of the map are another set of numbers (known as Eastings), which number each of the vertical grid lines.

To make a grid reference, follow the vertical line to the left of the chosen location down to the foot of the map to read it’s Easting – for example 04. Then estimate the number of tenths from the grid line to the location – in this case 5. Therefore the first part of the grid reference is 045. Repeat this with the horizontal grid line just below the location (410). The full six figure grid reference is therefore 045410.

TIP. How to remember which numbers go first. There are loads of saying and methods, but here are three

1. Just learn that the Eastings go first followed by the Northings 
2. “along the corridor and up the stairs” 
3. “walk along the flat before you fly upwards”

Extra Information 

Maps and Map Reading 
This information is aimed at helping to obtain a basic understanding of how to use a map. S This document can be freely copied by any none profit organisation, providing that the source “Tony Field of Chasetrek” is quoted. 

This tutorial forms part of a set of information, which includes, some basics of compass use, how to use a map and compass together and finally some tips on how to avoid getting lost. You can find the rest of these topics on the web page listed under ‘resources’ above.

Map Scale

Maps are two dimension representations of three dimensional features. They are drawn to a scale which is printed on the map. Scales such as 1 to 50,000 mean that an object measuring 1 cm on the map will be 50,000 times one cm in real life, or 0.5km. 

However since maps are presentations they also use symbols to represent items. These symbols shown later on are not to scale. Thus the symbol for a church is a + The size of the cross does not represent how big the church is only that it is there.

Contour Lines

A contour line is continuous line of the same elevation (or height) around the edge of a feature. Think of it as the edging trim along each layer of a wedding cake. Each line gives an outline of what a feature looks like at regular intervals of elevation. The closer together the lines are, the steeper the slope.

For example the close gathering of contour lines on Mt. Wrongagain represents a steep slope. The spread out contour lines indicate a more gentle slope. UK map contour lines are at 10 meter intervals (Although they used to be at 50 foot intervals), that is each line represents an outline of the mountain 10 meters higher than the line below it. Contour intervals will vary with maps, and it is important to check the interval to interpret the map. 

On UK maps contour lines are printed in Brown, with every 5th line thicker. This line will carry a number somewhere along it’s length which tells you the height. The intermediate lines you have to work out for your self. (see below)

To understand the shape of the mountain it is helpful to use the contour lines to build an image of the feature, either in your mind or to draft out a profile on paper. Here is a profile of Mt.Wrongagain.

The mountain has two peaks, with the higher summit on the left. The lower slopes are moderate, becoming very steep towards the summits. 

Because the contour lines are at 50 foot intervals we can only estimate what the terrain between each contour looks like. An 40 foot cliff could easily hide between contours and not be recorded on the map. With this in mind it is good to remember that while these maps are generally very good, there is still room for the odd surprise.

One of the most difficult things to interpret on a contour map is a sense of elevation, ridges, and valleys. Here are a few tips. Water always flows down through valleys or gullies, never ridges.

Creeks begin at higher elevations and flow down to lower elevations where they join to form larger but fewer rivers. When contours form a bulge that points from a lower elevation to a higher elevation, it is a gully, valley, or bowl. When contours form a bulge from higher elevations to lower elevations it is a ridge.

Map Symbols

The only map symbols shown below are those that are likely to be found on Cannock Chase UK. They are sourced from the ordnance survey maps (1:50,000 series). There are some differences between the 1:50,000 series and the ‘Explorer 6’ map of Cannock Chase, which many find easier to use. © Crown Copyright MC 99/346

Competitors on Chasetrek should know all the following if they are to correctly navigate the route.

Roads and Paths


Land and water

Buildings and Objects

Did you know?

· The word MAP comes from the latin word, Mappa and means napkin, cloth or sheet. 
· The First map to represent the known world was created by Anaximander, a Greek philosopher in the 6th century BC. 
· A cartographer is a person who creates maps. 
· A map on a spherical surface is called a globe.