Scavenger Hunt Ideas – How to Start a Hunt

Scavenger Hunt Basics
The scavenger hunt game may have evolved as a variation of the ageless treasure hunts. The main difference is that in treasure hunts, the participants have an end goal, which is to get the hidden treasure, by following a series of clues or consulting a map that would lead them to what they seek. Scavenger hunts usually involves giving participants (usually participants are in groups) a list of clues, and by solving these clues, they will know what they will be looking for and they can immediately find it. In other words, while treasure hunts guarantee you one treasure, scavenger hunts typically require you to collect different items that are in the list.

Literally, “scavenge” means “hunt, search, or forage.” This is exactly what participants do when in a scavenger hunt: they look for items that match the clues given by the organizer and at the end of a specified time limit, they must go back to the organizer and present what they have found.

Knowing This, What’s Next?
For scavenger hunts to be successful, organizers must carefully plan the course that their participants will take. The clearer they can visualize what their participants will do, the better they will be able to come up with a plan that can actually challenge the participants into giving their best. Scavenger hunts are by nature competitive. This is one of the aspects of the game that makes it popular.

Seasoned scavenger hunt organizers will always tell novices to plan the game carefully long before the date where it is supposed to be held. It is better to have a lot of information about their participants beforehand. After all, how can they make a game challenging if they don’t know what participants view as ‘challenging?’ Clues that will take ten-year-olds 15 minutes to think about and solve may already be chickenfeed to twenty-year-olds. It is important to know what context the participants are coming from, if they are familiar with the clues you will be giving, their level of education, and their familiarity with the venue of the game.

Once you have come up with an area where the game will be held, it is now time to establish some rules. As mentioned before, it is important to visualize what course they will take. Will they be interacting with the locals of that place? What is the size of the area where they will conduct their hunt? Will you be incorporating certain tasks into the scavenger hunt? How much time will you be willing to allow them to make the game challenging yet achievable? What time will the hunt be taking place? Answering these questions will already give you an idea about the whole course of the game.

The Moment
Before the day itself, make sure that you have all the necessary ‘props’ you will be using – lists, pens, and the items you will be hiding. It is best to have a co-organizer to help you hide the objects beforehand. If it is a team-building exercise, have your co-organizers hide the items while participants are having lunch or in the conference hall for a lecture.  When doing scavenger hunts for children’s parties, it is best to hide the objects even before the guests arrive so that the whole program will go as planned.

The success of the game is also dependent on the enthusiasm that the organizer shows for it. If the organizer is not able to ‘sell’ the idea of doing a scavenger hunt, chances are, the participants will not enjoy the game as well. In team-building exercises, it helps to explain to the participants what the game is for and what they can learn from it. They can also relate it to the topic of previous lectures. For children’s parties, the organizer need not try so hard to sell the game – children’s natural curiosity of things will do the job for them.

Make sure that each group receives a list and a pen. Designate team leaders who must report back to you when the time has elapsed. Ensure that they understand the boundaries of the area where the hunt is to take place, and lay out the ground rules before starting.

Scavenger hunts are excellent ways to apply what has been taught before, and it provides enough fun and competition to enliven your participants. In the office setting, it is also an excellent way to determine potential in future leaders and employees. Even children's true personalities can come out during the scavenger hunt. This extremely flexible game is perfect for passing time, exercising your creativity, and giving your brain a workout as well. 

Make your next treasure hunt a success. Discover more great scavenger hunt ideas and be the talk of the town.