Scavanger Hunts

Banana Scavenger Hunt

I have been doing this event anually for seven years now and it keeps getting bigger so I guess the kids like it. The youth are broken up into teams of 4 – 5 kids and they are are given sheets with riddles and a banana. They have an hour and a half to solve the riddles which tell them what they need to measure with the bananas. Points are given if they have the right thing and the right measurement but mostly for the right thing.

Set up is also quite fun too. I use it as an opportunity for a one on one meeting with one of the kids. We go out to the mall, luckily I live in Edmonton with the World’s Largest Mall where there is no shortage of stuff to use. I use some obvious stuff some hard stuff and some fun stuff (one year I had them measure a urinal, I made sure each team had a couple of boys in it). You can choose anywhere that there is a lot of stuff you can use. Even a neighborhood, train station or whatever.

My chosen assistant and I go and find stuff and measure them with a tape measure, an infared tape measrure works really well if you have one. Then we chose a theme for the riddles to follow. I.E. a scatter brained tourist trying to remember his trip to the mall and can’t figure out what he saw but he discribes it in a weird way. Then we do the riddles usually about 15-18 will give about an hour and a half challenge dpending on how big your area is and how hard your clues are.

I buy the bananas a few days ahead of time to make sure they get nice and ripe. And so you can measure them and convert your answers to bananas. We give bonus points to the groups that eat the banana after but I should say drink it because they turn liquidy after all the abuse.

During the event me and the assistant hang out and walk around the whole hunt and sell clues to people and also buy prizes for the top three teams.

The groups have to be back at the meeting point on time or the get docked points for each minute late. Then we go to a restaurant for snacks – make reservations ahead of time. During which my assistant and I score the teams and then announce the winners and hand out the prizes.

E-mail me using the email address above and I can send you some samples of what we have done in the past.

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Basics of 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.

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.


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?)

More Ideas?

You can get ideas for specific scavenger hunts from

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Bible Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

Start with previously prepared paper, with the alphabet listed from top to bottom at left side of page, or the class/group can do this by hand. Here are the rules for the group:
1st – write down a book of the Bible that starts with the given letter of the alphabet.
2nd – if possible, also write down a Bible character for each given letter of the alphabet. (example: N- Numbers, Noah) 10 points are awarded for each bible book used. 10 points awarded for each character used. 50 points awarded for finding both a book and character for a given letter.

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Bible Illustration Hunt

Basically you use general scavenger hunt rules. You start off by finding Bible name like David, Jonah, etc. After finding a list of about 10 names tell your youth to go out and find object that relate to the names or the story that that person is in. For example, David a stone, Jonah a picture of a fish or a real fish. Drawing pictures of objects are allowed for objects that are difficult to get a hold of. Have fun and be creative. **liz&kat ><>

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Bible Scavenger Hunt – Around the Church

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
Tree–Psalm 1:3
oven—Hosea 7:6
nursery–Matthew 21:16
Pulpit Bible–2 Timothy 3:16
baptismal font—Galatians 3:27
Sink—Matthew 27:24
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
mailbox—Acts 15:30
drinking fountain—John 19:28
Refrigerator—Judges 3:24

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Bible Treasure Hunt Variation

This idea is similar to the Bible Treasure Hunt posted before.
This works with all youth with the older ones helping the young youth, but it also can be worked with older people and younger groups( just make sure in each group there is a mix.

Here’s how it is executed.

Items you will need and things you will need to do before:
1) Figure out the items that they are going to be searching for. Find items around your church or whatever area you are using and find texts that contain the item, or something that is similar or can describe the item. For example, if the thing they are looking for is a rose, you may use a text like Solomon 2:1, “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”
They have to try to figure out all by themselves which word in the text it is that is the item.

2) Print and cut out the references of each text except the first one. Place each cut-out on, in front of, near, behind or where ever in the vicinity of the item. You may need to use tape. Make them small enough that they are hidden enough but big enough that they can still be found.(If that makes sense to you.) When they find the item they have to look around for the paper with next clue. Oh and remember to number them so that if they inadvertently find a clue out of order they know it doesn’t come until later on in the treasure hunt and will not become confused.

3) Print and give each group a numbered paper with the first text in the number 1 slot. As they move from clue to clue they have to write down the text reference in the numbered space which corresponds to it. You can give points for having all the texts written down.

4) And this is where it gets different from most other treasure hunts. Create a list of a number of actions/ tasks. e.g sing a song in a squeaky voice, read a bible verse backwards etc. You can create different combinations of items for each team or both can have the same list. This is how this part works. Everytime they find an item, one or two of the members of that team(depending on how big the team is in comparison to the number of clues/items/tasks that you have) have to go to the leader of their team and complete the number task that corresponds with the number of the clue they just found. You’ll have to have a judge per team to ensure that they complete the task correctly or as well as they can. They get points for this as well.

You divide your hunters into 2 teams.(More if you want.) These teams must each have a leader. That leader doesn’t actually go on the hunt though as was said before. The leader is supposed to remain at the starting point. When they have designated their leaders, the leader is in charge of giving the tasks to them.

Here is the reason this is called a “Bible Treasure” Treasure Hunt. The very last clue should point towards a Bible. How I designed this part. I had a box with treasure logos on it. Maybe some money symbols and so on. And the last text had a clue to where it could be found(You may need to put this notice on the clue paper so that they know it’s a location they are looking for.) And in that box was a Bible. A Real True Treasure.

You can make the clues two-texted. That is, for each clue, one text will contain the item or whatever it is that they are looking for and the other text can contain a clue to where it is. For example the person maybe looking for say rock that you put near a pipe or water fountain. You would have a text for rock(e.g. the rocks will cry out) and a text for water.

©2006 Gem Welch

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Biblical Zoo Scavenger Hunt

In searching for different ways to get our youth more familiar with using their Bibles.

I looked up passages in the Bible containing animals that can be found in our local Zoo.

We planned a day a the Zoo. They had to look up the passages, then find them at the Zoo.

You can either have them take a picture (digital cameras are great) or have a leader sign off that the did find the animal. (can be hard on the leader, keeping up with a group of kids) You can make it more interesting by setting a time limit.

I gave them passages that contained 15-20 animals, they had to find at least 12. (Giving them some wiggle room for animals not on display or feeding etc.)

You can get a list of Animals in the Bible at

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Bigger & Better – 30 Hour Famine Focus

This scavenger hunt is a really good one to use during the 30-Hour Famine to teach a lesson to the group about how people in poorer countries sometimes have to trade or barter for things that they need even though they may have so little.

First you split the group into two teams, then you give each team one penny. The teams will each have a designated driver. The driver’s job is to take their group to random houses in you town or city. The teams job is to go to the resident of the house explain what they are doing (I.E. “We are doing a 30-hour famine, and to learn about how poorer nations needing to trade very little for what they need we are doing this”) and ask if, for the team’s penny, they would be willing to trade anything in there home that is bigger and better than the penny. We usually give the teams about 2 hours, you would be amazed at some of the strange things people will give you.

It’s a fun game, and helps the community to notice the youth, and, if you are doing the 30-Hour Famine, you will get a chance to explain what the 30-Hour Famine is.

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Blind Builders Scavenger Hunt

This game has been modified from

* 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).

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Blue Gnu – Mall Hunt Variation

You get people the kids won’t recognize and get them to walk around the mall wearing a piece of clothing that matches the colour of their secret name (Blue Gnu, Yellow Yak, Pink Penquin, etc). The kids have to collect the signature of each character.

However, they can only say “Are you the ?”. They can’t go around explaining how it’s part of a game and need to know if the person is the .

It’s also best to set a time limit and avoid HUGE malls.

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