Scavanger Hunts

God/Food Scavenger Hunt

My youth enjoy eating so we always have a supply of Little Debbie snacks so one night I got creative with them. I took all of our snacks and hid them in various rooms. I used the Sunday school room, kitchen, chapel, sanctuary, nursery and youth room. Attached to each snack box was a clue leading them to the next box. The clues were bible scriptures that contained the word for the next room. Example: “The peacemakers shall be called children of god” would be a clue leading them to the Peacemakers’ classroom. The last clue led them to the chapel where the last snacks could be found along with a Bible open to a verse saying that together if we search we shall find God.

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Sum It Up!

One of the best times for me to do a scavenger hunt is during a lock-in. I always have at least one “outside” activity that the youth do such as bowling, laser tag or mini-golf. Then after the activity I set up a scavenger hunt for the trip back to keep the sleepy heads awake. I’ve done several versions of scavenger hunts from ‘clue leading to clue’ to a video hunt. Just about the only ones that work for me during a lock-in is either a video hunt or one called Sum It Up!

The problem with hunts during a lock-in is that by the time you can schedule one in, the only store that is open is Wal-Mart. So, I made a list of some general items with hardly any details. Such as, soft drink, diapers, shoes, jewelry item, and if you are fortunate enough to have a Supercenter – vegetable, cereal, deli meat…of course, the list can be as big and as detailed as you wish.

The object is to find the cheapest AND the most expensive. You add up ALL of your most expensive items and then SUBTRACT all of your least expensive items and this gives your team a final score.

For bonus points you can have each team try to find the most expensive item in the whole store.

This hunt does take a little bit of research but then, how many times do you go to Wal-Mart each week? It helps to get a general idea of what each of the items the youth will put down will cost. This is to make sure that the youth will not try to put down that Huggies are $25. (Although, it does seem like it sometimes.)

For the most part, you will have duplicate answers in a lot of the categories if you have detailed information to look for, but usually the ‘whole store’ item will seperate the teams. One year three of the four teams went to the electronics section for the BIG screen TV while the fourth team went to the often forgotten lawn and garden section for the riding lawnmower and won. Enjoy!

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Count by Numbers

This is an individual competition.
Provide each competitor with something to write on and with.
Have everyone count as high as they can using objects found within the playing area. The object is to get the longest continuous stream of numbers by the end of your time limit. I recommend that you set your limit no more than 30 mins to start.
Players may take numbers from anywhere but only one number from each location. For instance: the 1 from a clock is the only number that can be taken from THAT clock & a 17 on a UPC bar code is the only number that can be taken from that specific product. However, a participant might take numbers from several different soda cans.
See how creative the players can get. Page 74 from a book; 58 by combining buttons on a phone; 95 from the 1957 date on a gravestone.

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Sound Scavenger Hunt

Divide groups into teams. Each team is given a tape recorder and a blank tape. Make a list of sounds they must find, record and bring back in order within a given time limit.
Examples of sounds: a.) Dog barking b.) police car siren c.) someone over 65 explaining what “funky” means. d.) the entire team singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

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Back To School Blues

In mid September we had a “Back To School Blues” scavenger hunt. I enlisted 3-4 adult drivers and compiled a list of “blue” things. Ex: a blue crayon, a blue shoe, a blue tissue, etc.. The kids had 1/2 hour to find as many things on the list as possible. When they returned to the church we had a pizza party. The youth and the drivers had a blast!!!

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Scavenger Lunch

Prior to our meeting I worked with a local pizzaria to donate uncooked pizza dough, already tossed to size and on heat proof trays. (I also purchased a few additional pizzas for later!) Once all the teens were gathered we divided them up in smaller groups assigning an adult to each as well as one of the pizza doughs. We also provided a list of various pizza toppings as well as assigned points to each topping. (i.e. Sauce 5pts, cheese 5 pts, anchoive 50pts) The groups then went around door to door in different neighborhoods seeking out the needed toppings. Afterward returning to the church to bake them up and add up their points. (We gave extra points to the groups that ate their own pizzas!) Everyone enjoyed a pizza party and the winners each recieved a small gift!

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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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Amazing Race: Mission Edition

Based off of the TV show, but with a Service-centered twist.

I try to emphasize to my youth group how important service and volunteerism is, so when I saw their passion for scavenger hunts, I decided to combine the two.

You’ll need adult drivers for each team and lots of colored index cards.

Begin at the church. Divide youth into teams and tell them which color cards they will be looking for. They can only touch cards that correspond to their colors. Any tampering with other teams’ cards is off-limits.

Hand each team a card with a Bible verse on it, e.g. Matthew 3:16, which leads them to the baptismal font. Teams race to locate the verse and reach their destination where they find the card that tells them their next destination. You can tell them outright that they are going to a certain destination, or make it a clue.

The teams drive to their next destination where they either get another clue or have to do a challenge (I do a challenge at every other site). This is where the mission comes in.

For challenges, pick homes of church members who need help around the house, like raking leaves or walking dogs. Our church is in a rural area, so we milk cows or pick cotton. Drive to church members houses and pick up donations for Goodwill, then drop them off. Pick up grocery lists for shut-ins and deliver them. So long as it’s service, it’s a good challenge.

Since the teams may arrive at close to the same time, make sure the challenges are things that they will be able to complete simultaneously. For example, if they’re raking a yard, have the yard evenly divided before they arrive. However, you don’t necessarily have to have even amounts of rakes and bags – that’s part of the bonus of arriving first.

After teams complete challenges, they receive new clues for their next destination and the race continues. The last clue brings them back to the church for a celebration dinner and reward for the team that won.

A nice addition is to give each team a video camera (which they can give to the adults to use when they’re doing their challenges) and you can watch each team’s video during dinner.

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St. Patrick’s Day Hunt

Divide into teams and give 45 mins or so to try and collect the following items around town. Ex: green lettuce leaf, green pear, green piece of paper, green lima bean, green stamps, four leaf clover or shamrock, green pencil, green bathing suit, green straw, green hand soap, green ink, green key, green book, green stuffed animal, green sweater, green tooth pick, green button. Points are awarded for level of difficulty, etc. Winner has the most points.

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Initial Scavenger Hunt

This is a different twist on the scavenger hunt theme. Make up a long sentence with a great variety of letters in it. Like — “The quick sly fox jumped over the lazy brown dog.” The object is to find an object with the initial letter of the object the same as one of the letters in the sentence. Explain how it is possible to be creative in naming the object. For example: A rock could be used for the letters “r” for rock, “s” for stone, “q” for quartz, “p” for pebble, etc. Make your own rules for how many times an object could be used for vaious letters. It was fun to see the creative juices at work. The game lasted about 30 minutes.

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