These clues will lead youth to locations throughout the church building and grounds. On each location, post a few slips of paper with the Bible verse number that points to the next clue. Give the groups the first clue. At the position of the last clue, put “return to the youth room and receive your prize.” This scavenger hunt took 3 groups of 4-6 middle schoolers 50 minutes to complete. It was made up using the New Revised Standard version of the Bible. The clues are arranged from easier to harder.
A few hints: The groups will sometimes pick up a clue that they find without having been led there. To prevent this, tell them not to pick up any clues unless the Bible verse led them there. Or, you could have them check back with a youth leader each time they pick up a clue to make sure they got the right one. If they don’t get the clues in order, it’s likely they won’t find all the clues.
It’s hard to find active things to do indoors here in Michigan, where it’s cold ten months out of the year. The kids really enjoyed this and it was nice for the youth leaders to lean back and watch them run around the church. It helps them become more familiar with both the Bible and the church building too.
Church front door–Matthew 7:7
music room—Psalm 149:1
communion table—Mark 14:22
Pulpit Bible–2 Timothy 3:16
baptismal font—Galatians 3:27
stairs—1 Kings 6:8
ice maker—Psalm 147:17
showers –Psalm 65:10
preacher’s chair—Jeremiah 52:32
furnace room—Daniel 3:23
church office—1 Timothy 3:1
drinking fountain—John 19:28
This game has been modified from www.suite101.com.
* Works best for groups of 15-30.
This is a two-part, team-building game. The first part of the game is a scavenger hunt; the second part is a teamwork game.
The first thing that’s needed is this: 1) objects for the youth to build with (like Legos or building blocks). The second thing you’ll need is this: 2) a photograph of those objects, built into a simple structure (like a small, simple Lego house).
Now form groups with three or four youth in them. Choose a leader for each group. The leader will receive a paper with: a photo of the simple structure on it, and also a clue telling the group where the building materials are hidden. An example of a clue might read, “The bread and the wine are carefully prepared…and your building materials are carefully hidden there.”
Then send the groups off to find the building materials. After they find the materials, they are to return to a pre-assigned location. The leader of the group will then direct the others in their group how to build their structure (only the leader can see the photo of the structure). The first group to create their structure wins a prize.
The youth leader should prepare enough photos and building materials for 6 to 7 groups (18 to 21 youth).
Divide your group in 2 teams. Each team heads out with an adult, a Digital Camera, some money, and the list below. Set an hour time limit when they will return and share their pictures with the group. Set up a way to project the pictures so everyone can easily see them.
Remind your groups to be polite! BEFORE they do any activity explain what they are doing to store employees and that there may be another group coming around asking to do the same thing… if they haven’t already.
Take a Picture of… (video optional)
- Group & stranger inside McDonald’s doing the song "Da, Da, Da, Da, Da… I’m Lovin’ It!"
- Group outside a pizza place pretending to hold a pizza saying, “Pizza, Pizza”
- Group in Wal-Mart standing by a Timex Watch case and pointing to their pretend watch saying, “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking”. This was an old ad slogan from the 1960’s.
- 2 people from the group in front of video store reenacting “Luke, I am your Father” from Star Wars.
- Our group with as many waitresses/waiters you can get at Applebee’s singing their birthday song.
- Group member inside KFC flapping their “wings” (elbows out – thumbs tucked under arm pits) making chicken sounds then saying “Unthink what you thought about KFC”.
- Someone inside Wendy’s who can remember the 1980s commercial “Where’s the beef?” and say “Where’s the beef?” as a group.
- Group inside Home Depot by the batteries pretending to be the Energizer Bunny (drumming & sunglasses help) saying “Nothing outlasts the Energizer. It keeps going and going and going…”
- Group & stranger inside Burger King singing the 1970s song “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders won’t upset us, all we ask is that you let use serve it your way. Have it your way, have it your way! Have it your way at Burger King.”
- Group at bank singing “F R E E that spells free credit report dot com baby”.
- Group & stranger in K-Mart pointing to a “Blue Light Special” sign.
- 4 from our group lying on a bed at a furniture store counting the Serta Mattress Sheep.
- Group inside grocery store holding a gallon of milk saying “Got Milk?”
- Group & stranger inside Quiznos saying “The Toasty makes it Tasty” – say it like you mean it!
- Group & stranger inside Taco Bell singing “It’s all about the Roosevelt’s baby”.
- Group working together to make a Christian symbol with their bodies in the grass in front of our church.
- A group member being a greeter at Wal-Mart or other store with greeters – make sure to ask the regular greeter first!
- A group member eating a Jimmy Johns pickle inside the restaurant.
- The group helping someone fold their laundry at a laundramat.
- The group and a police officer singing the theme to COPS “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”
- Group & employee inside a Chinese restaurant holding Chop Sticks – be polite.
- A SMALL team member being pushed in a Pet Supplies Plus shopping cart.
- The whole group inside one car at a new or used car lot – make sure to ask first and be careful!
- The group making a human pyramid in front of the library saying “Reading is FUNdamental!”
- Group inside Rite-Aid with a bottle of Pepto-Bismol doing the song and motions from commercial “Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea”.
- 2 people in front of Cinema reenacting the line “Run Forrest, run!” from Forrest Gump.
- Group outside Arby’s saying “I’m thinking Arby’s” with the thinker pose.
- Group inside store holding a Dora the Explorer toy saying “Swiper no swiping!”
- Group inside Wal-Mart holding a jar of Smuckers Jelly with everyone saying their slogan, “With a name like Smuckers… it has to be good”
- Group flexing muscles In front of Recruiting Office or Armory Building saying, “Be all that you can be”.
- Group with a mouth FULL of M&M’s saying “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.”
- Group at grocery store holding a box of Frosted Flakes saying “They’re great!”
- Group & employee inside any Subway with big smile saying “Eat Fresh”
- Group & stranger inside McDonalds singing the Whopper Song, “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.”
- Group inside store holding a Band-Aid box singing “I am stuck on Band-Aid brand ‘cuz Band-Aid’s stuck on me! I am stuck on Brand-Aid brand cuz germs don’t stick on me! Cuz they hold on tight no matter what on fingers, toes, and knees. I am stuck on Band-Aid brand cuz Band-Aid helps heal me!”
Gather several video cameras from people in your church & make sure you have at least one adult per team to drive and to make sure the video camera is in good hands. Give the kids plenty of time to go out and get several things on video tape. E.g. have each team do a parody of their pastor or youth pastor; have them go to the pastor’s house & see what they can get him to do on video; find a stranger who will pick their nose for the camera, etc. Gather back at a certain time to watch all the videos and have snacks.
It is good for youth to realize there are other Christians who are involved in other churches. Divide youth into groups of 6-8. Have each group be scavengers in different parts of the town. (With adult supervision) Each group has to receive the following items from homes they visit. No more than one item can be obtained from a home.
Daily devotional booklet.
Bible Verse. (May be written out for them.)
A weekly lesson from a Sunday School Class.
Newspaper ad/article of a local church.
Other Christian stuff.
If you want to add some other items you may do so. Kids have fun and realize there is a large Christian community outside the walls of their church.
Based on the TV Show
We selected drivers and a vehicle for each team of three.
Everyone started at the same location and were given the first clue. The first clue brought them to the local grocery store where they were handed a disposable camera (this was paid for in advance). With the camera the store handed them their next clue.
From this point on they had to take a picture of each event. This insures that everything is recorded so you have lasting memories.
Their next clue brought them to the local bowling alley where the first team to knock down 100 pins got their next clue.
This clue brought them to another location to do a quiz. Once done the quiz they were handed the next clue.
This brought them to the local curling club where they had to put a rock in the centre of the circle. Once that was done they got their next clue.
This brought them to a section of the woods where they were met by someone who handed them a match, a big tin can, some wood, water and soap. First team to boil the water and soap got their next clue.
and so on and so on.
The first team back to the starting location is the winner. We provided certificates for everyone involved, gave out prizes (gift certificates and chocolate) for the winners. Drivers were not official members of the team (they could not help) but they were given a little something as well.
This is the first year we did this and it was a huge hit. It will be an annual event.
In my seminary days I was given a frightening assignment. It was a scavenger hunt to take place downtown Toronto after 1:00 AM. Timidly my partner and I had to find such places and items as a Head Shop (sells drug paraphenalia and black t-shirts) as well as more subjective items such as “something that brings hope!” This assignment led to a debriefing time that week that has left its mark upon my soul.
I have used a much tamer version of this with groups of teens to help them see some of the needs of the inner city during a missions awareness weekend. I will give you the list but be sure to improve upon it for your city. After the list I will provide some discussion questions. Add to these as well to maximize the learning for your group. As you lead this activity have one adult leader for each 4 high school students. Use mixed groups and provide sheets with the items. Arrange a time and place to meet and debrief. End your debriefing session in a time of prayer.
location of 3 police cars
a dangerous place
a mission project
evidence of God’s grace
a quiet place
a homeless person (describe – don’t bring him home)
a bag lady
opposites that attract
a sign of hope
something that makes you sad
evidence of illegal activity
a need your church can meet
Now the questions
1. Have each of the groups describe their items or go through each of the groups item by item (I prefer the second route)
2. Have students respond to the questions: a. “What did you see today that you have never seen before?”
b.”How did this make you feel?”
c.”What have you learned?”
3. Have 3-5 students pray out loud for the needs of the city.
We divide into two teams, then give them a list with a few things on it like this:
1) Find a hill that looks the most like Calvary, then gather at the foot of it and sing “Were you there when they crucified my Lord” (or any song the kids know)
2) Go to public restaurant and sing “Go tell it on the mountain” (or any song the kids know)
3) Go to public shopping center and tell 20 people in 10 seconds “Merry Christmas, Jesus is the reason for the season” (did that at Christmas time)
4) Go to a rest home and share a personal testimony with an elderly person. *** BONUS: Find someone in need and help them!
We give each team a camcorder to record all their things. Then we watch the tapes at the next youth group and judge on the original and creative way they did things.
Before the meeting make a list of several verses from the Bible that have some kind of imagery. Psalms 119:105 is one we used. Don’t pick too many. We used 5 verses and they had one hour to find all 5.
Just list the verse name and number. Make them look it up.
At the meeting divide the youth into several groups. Make sure you have an adult driver for each group.
Give each group a list, a video camera, and at least one Bible.
The youth need to look up the verse, decide what to tape that “captures” that verse and where to go.
The driver may not help in any way.
After an appointed time, have everyone come back to the church and view the results.
We invited the parents. It was interesting to see how the same verse could be “captured” in so many ways.
My group had a blast. Hope yours does too.
This hunt works basically the same as any except; the objects that are being searched for can be anything. The only stipulation is that the teams must find one object beginning with each letter of the alphabet (that would be 26).
The way we did it was split up into teams and had a two-hour time limit. We used volunteer adult drivers to reduce the risk (we photocopy the driver’s licenses and insurance cards just to be safe). The teams can go anywhere to get items, just so long as they are not stolen and the team is back to the starting point before the time limit. At the end of the hunt, we have a table set up for each team and the teams display all of their items on their table. It is fun for the team (and leaders) to see what the other teams came up with during the hunt.
After all of the teams had their items displayed and everyone had a chance to look at the other teams tables, we had a group of our adult leaders serve as judges and independently judge each group on completeness (having an item for each letter) and on creativity. After the judges scored individually they got their heads together, compiled the scores and then announced the results (we had prizes for each place). A huge lighted Santa (the city used to hang from the light poles downtown) for S and a golden Lab Named Zack for Z were some of the items we ended up with were just to name a couple. This is the easiest hunt I have ever done, as there is very little prep work and definitely the most fun!