Sinbad returns…….

To take part in this exciting game, Scouts need:

  • A computer connected to the internet or a radio contact with someone that operates such a computer.
  • A printer connected to the computer.
  • An Android smart phone. We used the app Enigma Simulator by Franklin Heath.
  • A compass,
  • A piece of yellow paper, letter size or A4 size.
  • A similar piece of blank, white paper and a pencil to make notes.
  • Scout map reading skills.
  • an amateur radio station capable to communicate with other amateur radio stations, preferably on the HF bands.
  • Ingenuity and creativity.


Scouts can take part individually, in patrol units, or as a group.


  • Learn how to extract essential information from a story
  • Train basic map reading skills and compass use
  • Learn how to download and install an app on a smartphone
  • Experience information coding and decoding
  • Experience making a radio contact
  • Learn the radio spell alphabet
  • Have fun discovering connecting Scouts

Download a pdf version of the game here that you can print and distribute amongst the Scouts (in English).

Using the translator button (upper right corner of this web page) the game can be displayed in many different languages.


Sinbad returns …

  … follow his footsteps.

Sinbad is an adventurous Scout, who travels around the world in his boat. Several years ago, he went to different countries, met the Scouts there, and listened carefully to their stories. Sinbad wrote them all down in his JOTA-JOTI logbook. But then something happened…

Sinbad was troubled with a big storm at sea. His boat tossed from one part of the ocean to another. A lot of his things were thrown overboard, out of the boat. Including his valuable logbook with the stories of the world.

But our brave Scout managed to keep his boat afloat. And finally stranded at an uninhabited island, somewhere. Sinbad is, however, determined to recreate his World Scout logbook; but he needs the template for it that is hidden somewhere in the cloud and is coded. How to get that back? Sinbad calls for a friend to help. Someone who has experience with these kind of JOTA-JOTI challenges. And here he comes….. John Bont is airlifted to the island where Sinbad’s boat has stranded; as you may know, John Bont is the special agent of the Bureau of Information and Valuables (BIV). John is dropped by parachute at point A (coordinate 25101700) on the map that the BIV quickly has drawn for him to help with the search for the logbook.


After his safe landing, John Bont takes his compass: he has to walk 1.4 km in the direction 45 degrees. John quickly walks in a straight line and arrives at point B (plot his position on the map and note the map coordinates).

Here at B, he has a good view over the island. In the distance, he can already see the top of the mast of Sinbad’s boat. John takes out his compass and finds the bearing towards Sinbad. The compass reads 135 degrees. John has to walk 710 m to get to Sinbad. This is point C (mark this on the map and again note the map coordinates).

bont kaartAfter a struggling walk through the dense forest, John arrives at Sinbad’s boat at point C. Sinbad is very pleased to see his friend. Together they make a plan how to retrieve the lost logbook. John happens to note that Sinbad scratched a few letter into his boat. “What are those for?”, he asked him. Sinbad tells him that he received those letters by radio while at sea, before the storm. He had nothing to write them on, so he scratched them into the boat. The rest of the radio message got lost, so Sinbad does not know what to do with it. John understands and writes down the letters in his notebook. He may need those later. John marks them as group Y.

John suggests to find a high point on the island to have radio coverage. He studies the map and finds a nice spot at 25151725, point D. Let’s go. After a long walk (how far?), Sinbad and John arrive at the high point D. Here they find an old smugglers cabin. John remembers he has been here before and there should be an old computer inside.

enigma-1John now searches his back-pack. Where did I put my very smart phone? Ah, he finds the connection wire and the phone; brilliant. John carefully connects his phone to the old PC and switches both of them on. Following what he learned in his Scout troop, he now downloads from the Google Play Store an App called “Enigma Simulator”. John knows that it can break any code, as long as he uses the M4 type machine with 5 printing groups, so as a precaution, he needs that App. Sinbad follows what John is doing with full attention. Where is this action going to take them next?

Now all John needs are the special ring settings for the Enigma app. John pushes the settings button in the App. Aha, there it is, his favourite Thin B setting. John knows the wheel numbers should be beta, I, II and III always. He was also warned by BIV to leave the plug board pairs empty, as that would mess up any coded message. But what about the ring settings? Wooh, how to get those? BIV did not gave him any clue for that. Nor did Sinbad. John has to sit down and think. He nervously fiddles around his radio buttons. Would the radio help?

What did his patrol leader used to say? “if you can’t see the answer, you are sitting on it”. John looks around him. Sitting on it? He sits on point D, on top of a hill. Of course, that’s it ! John enters the map coordinates of point D into the Enigma ring settings. There we go. He reels the four wheels into the starting position, which is always AAAA.

So, now what? Sinbad suggest that the letters he received by radio must have something to do with finding the logbook. Of course, this must be it ! The letters from Sinbad’s boat need to be decoded! They may then lead to the logbook! “Why didn’t I think of this before”, says John. John now enters the four letters of group Y from Sinbad that he had written down in his notebook into the Enigma App. The Enigma machine gives him four new letters. John carefully notes down these new letters and he notes them as group X.

John’s heart beats fast as he types the following address into the old PC’s web browser:[4 letters of group X][4 letters of group Y]

Note — enter only the four letters followed by the next four letters, do not include the brackets.

A mysterious web page appears on the screen. Yes! John pushes the print button but in his enthusiasm forgot to switch the printer on. He puts the special yellow paper in the printer and tries again. Yes, he’s got it !! He’s really got it. The paper format for Sinbad’s logbook. Woow. Sinbad jumps up and down for joy. Now he can start to refill his lost logbook with the help of Scouts world-wide. He runs to the radio to make his first contact with Scouts. A contact he can fill in his logbook. And many more after. Can you help Sinbad and fill his logbook? Make many Scout contacts.

John Bont’s mission is accomplished. Well, almost.

He needs to upload the new logbook of Sinbad with all the new contacts to the JOTA-JOTI official Facebook page at  It takes a while but they manage.

Right after the upload, Sinbad and John walk outside and find a shady place under a tree. John opens up his lunch box to find out what BIV has prepared them for lunch..….




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