Scavanger Hunts

Search for the Holy Grail

My youth group plays this at every lock-in, and it brings a lot of people there – we call it Search for the Holy Grail, and it’s basically a glorified scavenger hunt. The youth leaders print out little strips of paper with clues on them and hide them in their respective places (one clue takes you to the next and so on until the last clue, which leads you to the Holy Grail, which can be anything – we use a coffee mug). We go indoors and outdoors, but it could be strictly one or the other, too. We set up a room and call it ‘jail’, and all of our youth leaders are the cops, and they run around with flashlights and catch people as they try to run around the church (all the lights are off) and find the clues. Similar to flashlight tag, if you get caught in the beam, you go back to jail. The leaders can only catch two at a time. Back in jail, one leader asks kids trivia questions which, if they are answered correctly, free them. Also team members (doesn’t matter how many teams you have) can come and rescue jailed kids. It’s a blast, we always play into the wee hours of the morning.

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City Wide Scavenger Hunt

This is a great event to bring as many church’s youth groups in a town together as possible.

Basic rules:
1)Up to 4 kids on a team.
2)Jr. and Sr. high are separate
3)$10 dollar entrance fee per team ($5 to prize pot, $5 to cost)
4)All laws must be followed (no stealing, speeding, etc…)
5)Sr. high may use vehicles driven by a team member or parent only.
6)Jr. high may use non-motorized transportation only.
7)Team members must stay together at all times.
8)All items must be in and counted before the time limit is up!!(we have a 2hr limit)
9)If any of the rules are broken it will result in an immediate disqualification!!!

Make a list of around 150-200 items and give a points value to each item depending on its difficulty in finding. Examples: a blue crayon 3pts, a live horse 100 pts. Get a creative as you want. If you want to have a copy of the list I made up feel free to e-mail me at
It’s a good idea to have a rule of what ever they bring in must be immediately taken out. It is also a good idea to have as many volunteers helping as possible and advise the kids to check in throughout the time period.
I also went around to area businesses to get donations for door prizes. I was able to get movie tickets, mini golf passes, video rentals, a ton of free fast food and pizza coupons and much more.
We also contact the police to let them know what was happening so they wouldn’t worry when they saw teen’s running around with hoses and milking machines.

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Pizza Scavenger Hunt – Add-On

We used the idea from this site for a pizza scavenger hunt. It was awesome! We handed out thank you cards from the youth group at the homes of folks who gave the kids pizza toppings. We then used Matthew 7:7-12 for our lesson. Since the kids saw the generosity of complete strangers on the scavenger hunt, it was easy to talk about how God’s love is even MORE abundant and generous!

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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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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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Amazing Race

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.

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Living Bible Scavenger Hunt

This is not a new idea for EGAD! Ideas but all of the work is done for you. The youth must look up the verse in the Bible in order to fill in the blanks, they then have to find a letter that I placed near all the missing words. For example, Philippians 3:14 reads;
I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the ___________. The blank word is “prize” to which I then showed the group the chocolate bar they were playing for. Our Church has a tower but you might have to eliminate the verses that don’t apply to your location.

Matthew 2:13
After they were gone, an __________

James 2:3
and you make a lot of fuss over rich man and say give him the best ________

Job 31:32
Actually I have never turned away a stranger but have opened my ________

Genesis 8:20
Then Noah built an _________

Revelation 7:16
They will never be hungry again, nor ___________

Proverbs 20:24
Since the Lord is directing our __________

Ecclesiastes 3:2
A _______ to be born

Genesis 11:5
But God came down to see the city and the ___________

Psalm 69:30
Then I will praise God with my ___________

Exodus 25:23
Then make a ________ of

Psalms 71:22
I will praise you with __________

Genesis 1:14
Then God said, ”Let there be bright ___________”

Exodus 25:29
And make golden dishes,__________

Proverbs 22:9
Happy is the generous man, the one who ___________ _____ ___________

Matthew 3:11
With ______________ I ______________ those

Of course it never hurts to remind the kids that trying to win this scavenger hunt without checking the Bible is like trying to go through life without looking at God’s Word.

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Alphabetical Scavenger Hunt – Variation

This is a twist on the Alphabetical Scavenger Hunt. Same idea, except extra points are awarded for a scripture that goes with the item found! For instance, if a GI Joe Army doll is used for “A”, 1 point may be awarded. If the youth also knows that the word “army” is found in 1 Samuel 17:21, 5 points may be awarded.

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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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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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