Scavanger Hunts

Urban Awareness Hunt

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.

The List:
location of 3 police cars
a dangerous place
a mission project
evidence of God’s grace
a church
a quiet place
a homeless person (describe – don’t bring him home)
a bag lady
something free
something costly
opposites that attract
a sign of hope
something that makes you sad
evidence of illegal activity
a need your church can meet
something evil
something sacred

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.

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Christian Scavenger Hunt

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.

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Scripture Video Scavenger Hunt

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.

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Alphabetical Scavenger Hunt

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!

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Flip Flop Scavenger Hunt

Split the teens into small groups. Give each group a flip flop and a list of clues. Each clue leads to a specific item. Once the team finds that item they measure it with the flip flop. For example here’s a clue I used at camp. “If we’re making s’mores we’re probably sitting around this…” They groups would be led to the campfire and measure the fire pit area (make sure it’s cooled off!). The first group back with the answers and flop measurements win!

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Cemetery Scavenger Hunt

Make sure to get permission and notify all the proper authorities in advance of this activity. We used this at least twice with great results. Divide your whole group into smaller groups of 3 – 4 each (mix the “scaredy-cats” with the “bravehearts”), with one adult chaparone per group. In advance of this night-time activity, gather information from a chosen cemetery (such as oldest headstone, youngest/oldest person in the cemetery, most unusual name, name most like your own, most unusual epitaph, someone born on your birthday, etc. Just use your own imagination), and then compile a list of about 25 items to be placed onto paper to be handed out to each participant in each group. Make sure that each person has a good flashlight, a pencil, and wears old clothes. Depending on the size of your group and the size of the cemetery, this activity could easily last at least an hour and a half.

Remember—whatever questions are on the list (and they should all be identical, but listed in different order for each group), the leader or youth director must know all the answers to the questions before the hunt begins. At the end of the pre-determined time limit (stick to it!), bring the whole group back to the starting place (preferably still outside), give them some refreshments, and begin your discussion about death and dying. Many young people have never been to a funeral, a cemetery, have not experienced death in their family, nor do they really relish the idea of talking about these things, but this activity will give an excellent opportunity to talk about this “appointment” called death and how one can prepare for it, in advance of course.

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Crazy Creative Scavenger Hunt

Give each team a list of crazy names and the kids have to go out and collect items they think best fits the name on the list. For example: 1.) APBJ 2.) Zipper zapping shoestring fuse 3.) Idaho 4.) Tweed 5.) Snail Egg 6.) Chicken Lips 7.) Will be 8.) Snipe 9.) Yellow Grot Grabber 10.) Portable Electric Door Knob Kneele.
A panel of judges can determine the winners based on each team’s explanation of how their items fit the various descriptions in the list.

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Another Sound Scavenger Hunt

Here’s some more ideas for a “sound” scavenger hunt. We’re actually doing this with a college crowd, but all sounds are appropriate for younger ages too. Pop-can opening, cards being shuffled, someone saying “I love you” in a foreign language, video game in an arcade, 10 toilets being flushed, have a random passer-by say their name and describe their shoes, a store clerk singing a silly song, a sneeze — double points if it’s REAL.

Good luck — Daryl

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Misc Scavenger Hunt Ideas

As soon as the Scavenge starts we have (“x amount of time” … I suggest approx. 2 hrs. ) to leave, do as much as possible and return to the starting point. For each minute a group is late, there is a four point deduction.

> All transactions and scavenging must be done a minimum of one mile outside the starting point. (Residents within this range are excluded from being used for valid points.)
> Driving must be done at a reasonable and safe speed!!!
> Driving will be done by one designated adult driver.

As best as possible. Points must be verifiable by video tape.

Every challenge or item can only be done once for points, unless other specified by the word “each” after the point designation: I.E.: Orange Marshmallows are “30 points each.”

If you are allowed to repeat an action, you may be limited to repeat the action a specified number of times: I.E. “limit 5 times.”
Please note that the ENTIRE team must complete several said actions. A team cannot split up for the challenges unless specified or it is otherwise clearly unreasonable for the entire team to participate.
Section 1 (a) — Retrieval
Rules: >You must have proper permission to take/buy said item.
>You or your team are responsible to return or take home the said item. It will not be left at the starting point.
>Colored items are to be mostly the specified color.
>Disputable concerns will be judged by the team judges/drivers.

A). 15 points: Bring back one raw green bean.
B). 20 points: Bring back one Braille menu (must have proper permission).
C). 20 points: For the smallest stuffed animal returned.
D). 20 points: Bring back a pig (no live ones please — use your imaginations).
E). 20 points: Bring back 10 green marbles (Must be dominantly green).
F). 70 Points: In a small, undamaged paper cup, bring back a cup full of couch fuzz, dust bunnies, naval lint, sock fuzz, pocket fuzz, etc from a house(s).
G). 5 points ea: Bring back some whole chunks of old chewing gum — must be crusty. Limit: 5 ea. (Color of green is worth 15 points — for up to 2 ea, then all others count 5pts.)
H). 10 Points: Bring back a Haloween Napkin.
I). 35 points: Bring back a Wheat penny.
J). 20 points: Bring back this spice in it’s properly labeled shaker: Coriander.
K). 25 points: Bring back a blue gumball from a gumball machine.
L). 10 points: For each watergun brought back. Water gun must be smaller than 1.5 feet in any measurement. (Such does not include glasses/cups/plastic bottles for water. The water gun must be a plastic manufacutred watergun specifically made by a company for that purpose.) NOTE: No water-guns inside anybody’s house. This is only for when we come back to the river area and only at the appropriate time. Unwise use will result in a loss of points to your team or temporary confiscation of your water weapon.
M). 35 points: Bring back some prepared green jello.
N). 40 points: Bring back a batman yo-yo
O). 20 points: Bring back a yellow submarine.

Section 1 (b) Person Retrieval:
Must have their permission. No images, photos or representations are allowed.
100 points ea: Bring back a person who was not at the starting point to begin with.
For every person added to your group, there is a 5 point addition per additional person/per challenge to every challenge in which they participate. NOTE: Bring someone who is in the age range of our group and/or won’t mind staying for the incredible worship time after we scavange. As long as they show up and stay for most of the worship time, your team will receive the full 100 pts. Otherwise, they will only be worth 25.

Section 2 — Challenges.
1) 15 points: Video a fork in a flowing creek. (difficult to video at night)

2) 40 points: 1: For the time you travel, keep your radio tuned to a Christian station, OR…
2: Keep the Christian music flowing through tapes or CD’s. Have the music at an audible level at minimum, — except when praying, etc.

3) 30 points: The whole group must try some type of food from/in a store or restaurant that no one from the entire group has ever tried. (deli may give samples.)

4) 60 points: Video a dog peeing on a tire.

5) 25 points: Video a group member petting a baby goat or lamb.

6) 25 points ea: Create a card for someone (either by your personal design or on a create-a-card machine. (ie: Your pastor, someone’s grandma, youth leaders, ministers, shut-ins, etc.
7) 10 Have someone give you a guided tour of their back yard.

8) 70 points: Go to a fast food restaurant, and with at least 1 employee from the establishment, the entire team must do the Macarena or a Broadway high-kick for at least 15 seconds. (Serving suggestion: Do the High-kick to something like “Hello my baby, hello my darlin’ hello my ragtime gal…”)

9) 15 points: Feed some fish inside a aquarium.

10) 35 points each: Sing to and/or pray with an elderly shut-in, church leader or pastor or to those at a retirement home or nursing facility. Be sure to tell them how much you appreciate them. Stay for at least 5 minutes per visit. NOTE: I suggest you visit fairly early in the scavenge time. It’s also good to call first. (P.S. If you meet another group in a home, then visit together!) Limit 4.

11) 25 points: Have someone give you a guided tour of their freezer.

12) 15 points: Cameraman: video another video camera taping you for at least 5 seconds. (Security cameras okay).

13) 25 points: For at least 15 seconds, the whole group must dry their left socks in a laundry-mat dryer.

14) 10 points each: Tastefully invite someone outside any scavenge team to church with you. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit here! Limit 5.

15) 35 Points: With proper permission from parent/guardian: Interview a person 2-6 years of age on some current global news event: Interview must last at least 20 seconds.

16) 35 Points: Within a business establishment, under the obvious influence of helium, at least one member of your group must interview someone who will not be returning to the Starting point. (Serving Suggestion: discuss a strange topic: ie: rising costs of catfood) Interview must be at least 20 seconds long.
17) 35 Points each: Have a prayer time while traveling or anytime during the scavenge time. Suggestions: Pray for people in the area, sick, the unsaved people around, public officials, your unsaved friends, your church(s), etc. Pray for upcoming ministry events. Also, pray specifically for the safety of all the scavenger groups as they travel and scavenge. Also, pray for God’s heart for upcoming worship time. (You may leave the camera on or off, whichever you wish). Pray at least 30 seconds. Limit 4 (for points).

18) 15 Points: A team member must play Patty-Cake with an animal (live, non-human) for at least 15 seconds (Don’t try this with any strange, large, teethed animals or any who happen to be foaming at the mouth. The animal may have the assistance of another human in playing Patty-Cake.)

19) 70 Points: Along with at least one other person who will not be returning with you to the starting point, have the whole group blow bubbles. Each person in the group must have a bubble in the air (one blown by that individual) at the same time. Video the time from the first bubble is blown to the time that each person has their bubble in the air — each bubble counted must be in view of the camera.

20) 35 Points: The whole group must have a 15 second conversation with
A) a four-legged non-human animal physically more than 4 feet tall. This can be done from a distance of approx 50 feet or less. OR…
B) A large statue of some type (ie: Ronald McDonald Statue or Morris the Horse in Tryon)
(15 points extra for at least one person from your team proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ towards or near the animal or statue for at least 15 extra seconds.)

21) 35 Points: At someone’s house, team member(s) must ride in/on/upon some sort of wheeled toy [tri-cycle, bicycle, wagon, etc.] At least two laps must be made around the house. For more fun, switch out the members per lap… or have a race. Be careful!!! Please do not damage anyone’s toys or yourselves.

22) 15 Points each person (limit: up to 9 people): Slice a whole lemon into equal pieces. Each person participating must bite down into their slice and hold in the teeth for at least 3 seconds. Be sure to video! Limit one slice per person. Limit: one lemon.

23) 10 Points ea. can or food item (limit 15): Bring back some canned food items for the local food bank ministry. (okay to leave these at the starting point or church).

24) 25 Points: The whole group must feed some ducks for at least 20 seconds.

25) 10 Points: The whole group does a “nuggie” or backrub or backscratch circle for at least 15 seconds.

26) 15 Points: Go through a fast food drive-thru and order something really silly (ie: 2 packs of salt or one and a half napkins or duck sauce or a straw or fried snails, etc) Do this with your best impersonation of Forest Gump, Carl (Slingblade) or Nell (the movie “Nell”), Scooby, Shaggy, Darth Vader, etc. One or many group members can participate.

27) 15 Points: Jesus was amazed by something, what was it? (Hint : Matthew) ___________________.

28) 30 Points: Video acquiring a smiley faced balloon that was once a display model!!

29) 15 Points: Complete the verse: Create in me a clean heart, oh God,…(Hint: Psalms)________________


25) 25 points:
(I always leave blank spaces for the addition of any great ideas that the group might come up with at the orientation session)

26) 15 points: Entire team plays hackey-sack with a real hackey-sack for at least 20 seconds.

27) 35 points: Video the whole team singing and doing the Hokie Pokie in a grocery store. (Participate for at least 15 seconds.)

28) 50 points: In a public establishment, with proper permission from the manager, over the intercom: the entire group sings a song with great joy. I.e.: We wish you a merry Christmas, Pharaoh-Pharaoh or a birthday tune, a few lines of some old TV show: Gilligan’s Isle, The Bradey Bunch, The Flintstones, etc. Must use entire group, must last 10 seconds or more.

29) 30 Points: Video your whole team standing in a tent.

30) 50 points: As you scavenge, each team member wears any (at least one – in any order, of any type) of the following apparel items: (use discretion when wearing in a home): Each member of the entire team wears: sunglasses or hat (remove for prayer time, and any other appropriate time) or neckties (the real thing). The more unique the better. This will be verified by video!

31) 45 Points: Have the whole group involved in a video commercial clip where the intent of the commercial is to sell a product that is really stupid, such as: air, water, dirt, money, etc). Each team member must participate in the clip in some way (interviewer, interviewee, sound/lighting effect, testimony, etc.) The clip must be at least 20 seconds long.

32) 35 Points: Video your whole group in a VW beetle. Must have owner’s permission.

33) 15 Points: Test someone’s smoke detector.

34) 10 Points ea: Go to a house, the whole team will “Trick or Treat!” Limit 3. (5 extra points ea. for each time the whole team gets candy.)

35) 20 points ea: (limit 4ea for points) Representative(s) from your group tell(s) someone outside the scavange groups about what God is doing in your life. (Must last at least 20 seconds)

36) 30 points: Video a team member picking up litter clearly in front of an “Adopt-a-Highway sign.” THIS LITTER MUST NOT BE PLANTED! Be sure to add your comment to the video.

37) 50 points: Video a team member sitting on a Santa’s lap (Santa may not be played by a scavenge team member), telling Santa what they want for Christmas. NOTE: Santa must be bearded with a white beard (for a beard… paper, shaving cream, cool whip, etc: all okay), wearing a red coat, apparently fat (pillow okay) and wearing a red Christmas hat.

38) 35 points: Inside a store, the whole group does 2 rounds of Duck-Duck-Goose. (Must last at least 15 seconds.)

39) 30 points: Video the whole team building a people pyramid and doing a cheer for their team.

Be careful and safe while you have fun!!

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Reverse Scavenger Hunt

Because my kids were not very Bible literate, I came up with the following “reverse” scavenger hunt.

Split up into teams (4-5 per team). Each team is given their first clue which is the text for a particular Bible verse (without the Book, chapter & verse). For example, the first text might be “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…” The teams then have to find the text in their bibles and come show me. I then give them a hint to the location of their next clue, which is another bible text. I use familiar verses and stories, and assign 10 points to each clue. If they get stumped, they can “buy” hints with points. The team with the fewest points at the end of the game makes snack for the group.

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