GPS Amazing Race

We initially did this with our middle school group. It was so successful we modified it for our college group. We split into 4 teams of 6-8. Each had a digital camera and a GPS (it was amazing how easy it was for members in our church body to lend us these items. Key was to ‘assign’ one person only to the camera, 2 to the GPS with the rest solving clues, giving directions, and being in the pictures). The starting clue was a set of coordinates. An adult drove the van, but did not help. One person only could give directions.

Once the coordinates were reached, the driver gave the written clue/directions of the task to be performed. At the bottom of this clue were the next coordinates. We did 12 in all. It took 4 hours.

Examples of locations and tasks:
Plant nursery: find the common name for the following latin name (we did two different ones to keep groups from copying

Cemetary: find Joe Somebody and take a picture with him (we provided two names so they wouldn’t be at the cemetary all day-they only had to find one. We had them find headstones of kids who died at their age-it made a good point)

Coldstone Creamery: get them to sing without giving them a tip; Goodwill: Try on an outfit and find the person in the red hat, when he/she approves that this is a very crazy outfit, take a picture; send them to a public park and have MANY people from your church in black hats. Give different people a clue and have the teams find the one person with their clue. We had high school kids help; grocery store or food place and have them order their lunch with the time to eat being their ‘pitstop’. Once checked in we gave them 20 minutes and sent out exactly 20 minutes after check-in.

These are just a few location ideas. In order to not overwhelm businesses, we first asked permission then we flip-flopped the order so two of the teams were doing the first chunk while the other two were doing the second chunk and vice versa.

Our college group did a few other ideas like making salsa with the choice of about 20 ingredients and no recipe (it was fun to include bizarre things…). They were to take it with them for a snack after the race. They also got to choose recipes and bake or jump rope 50 times in a row for all members of the team as a road block. Another one was to translate a paragraph with translation dictionaries available. This could happen at Borders or a private location.

Note: We color-coded the clues to help organizing them. It did take a lot of leg work to get GPS coordinates and label the clues, but it was worth it! The kids talked about it for weeks. Make sure the GPS’s are all on the same map reading (there is a screen that will tell you-most are on the map that is structured from 1968). If they aren’t all the same, then some GPS’s won’t take the team to the right place!