Scavenger Hunt Basics: Important Tips for Planning Successful Scavenger Hunts

The primary goal of a scavenger hunt is to send participants out with a list of things to find, obtain, photograph, videotape, audio record, etc. The hope is that while they are working together as a team, relationships will be developed.

Publicity Opportunity

Make invitations to your church, business, or organization and give them to everyone who participates or that interacts with the groups in some way. Or create a small thank you card with your contact information. Participants can give a thank you card to everyone who helps them. Even better, invite them to a party or slideshow where the results will be displayed.

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Preparing Item Lists

Lists can be as creative and wild as you want them to be. Design your list around a theme or concept:

Ecological, Bible Objects, Occupations, Food, Canned Goods, Prices of items, Animal Tracks, footprints, Photos at History Locations, People, sounds, clothing, church members, Camp Supplies, Items for the needy, recycled materials, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, New Year, Halloween, Noah’s Ark Party, old family photos, fruits, vegetables, widgets, Posed Photos, Video, etc.


Protecting Participants

1. Don’t let any youth drive – put adults in charge and don’t allow horseplay on the roads like “Chinese fire drills”. Make sure everyone wears seatbelts or take major points away if they are caught on film without them on. You could also conduct the scavenger hunt on foot. You don’t want a participant killed while speeding during your scavenger hunts.

2. Participants must obey all laws and instructions from sponsors.

3. Limit the play area and place people at strategic locations if needed to insure the safety of participants.

4. Make sure each group has a mobile phone and contact numbers for emergency.

Points

1. Set a specific point value for each item on the list.

2. Have a point penalty for each minute late to the final destination or to report back with the items.

3. For Video or photo scavenger hunts, give extra points to groups for having a company, organization, or church logo in every picture. You could also require a Bible, a mascot, or some other object in each picture. Some groups have even been known to have to carry a large teddy bear or other object ( a couch) around to be in each picture.

4. Award extra points for having everyone in the group as part of the photo or video.

Planning the Scavenger Hunt – 10 Steps

1. PURPOSE: What is the purpose of your scavenger hunt. (Is it an icebreaker? For team building? Just for fun?)

2. TYPE: What type of scavenger hunt is it? (Is it to collect objects? a photo scavenger hunt? A video scavenger hunt? A sound scavenger hunt? Others?)

3. THEME: What is the theme? (Is it a Pirate’s Treasure Hunt? a Superhero Hunt? Aladin’s Magic Carpet Hunt? Others?)

4. LOCATION: Where will the hunt take place? What are the boundaries? (Is it limited to a school or church building? The downtown area? Walking distance? Reconnoiter the location to determine potential problems. Get permission in advance from affected businesses and individuals.)

5. ITEM LIST: What items do participants need to collect? (Based on your purpose, type of hunt, and theme, make a list of items that can be found in the specified boundaries. Are subsitutions allowed?)

6. SCORING: How will points be allocated? (Are some items worth more than others? Are there points for creativity and quality?)

7. INVITATIONS: Who will be invited to the join in the Scavenger Hunt? (What do they need to bring? What do they need to wear? Tailor the invitations to your theme.)

8. TEAMS: How will participants be divided into teams?

9. RULES: What are the rules? (Take into consideration the safety of participants as well as minimizing potential problems.)

10. AWARDS: Determine the location and the time for the awards party. (How will teams present their items to the judges?)

Ken has been actively involved in youth ministry for almost 20 years and has been writing youth Bible Study materials since 1988. He has written for numerous Youth weekends and summer camps around the world. He also does training workshops for youth leaders and teachers in Asia and is recommended by others for his creativity and for his passion in mentoring youth.

More Ideas?

Written by Ken Sapp. You can get ideas for specific scavenger hunts from http://www.creativeyouthideas.com/

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