Have You Ever Scavenger Hunted?

I had an interesting experience last night.

A friend was hosting a Harry Potter themed Halloween party. When I arrived, I was told it was time to leave–we had to go on a scavenger hunt! The hosts had spent the last week taking photos of interesting objects within a square-mile radius (things they saw while walking their dogs), and they clipped them together to form “spells” that we’d get points for if we found them.

There were 5 of us in the first group that ventured out, each with 2 or 3 packets of spells. Each photo was a specific, permanent object. As difficult as it was, it felt really good when I spotted my first “ingredient.” To get credit for it, I had to point a magic wand at it:

Soon afterwards, we realized just how difficult it is to spot specific objects among the MANY objects that are within any given 1-mile radius. We found a few, but eventually, cold and hungry, I resorted to another plan: Take photos of any objects that looked remotely interesting in the hopes the hosts wouldn’t notice:

Here’s a big leaf!

Here’s a port-o-potty!

Here’s a fire hydrant!

In the end, I think we found around 10 of the 40 or so objects. Good times.

Have you ever embarked on a scavenger hunt? How did it go?

6 thoughts on “Have You Ever Scavenger Hunted?”

  1. When I was a camp counselor we used to make elaborate scavenger hunt lists and divide the kids up into two vans, each with a Polaroid camera. We always included long shots like “a photo of your group with a celebrity.” One group was gifted a lifesize celebrity cardboard standee when they stopped to take a picture with it. I forget which movie star it was, but they were a fixture in the dorm for the rest of camp!

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    • That’s great! I like that you left it open-ended (rather than naming a specific celebrity–that’s the equivalent of what we were trying to do).

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  2. They were a regular for me and my mother (and sometimes just me, depending on if it was the regular events or the children’s events who were running them) at various holiday camps. They were enjoyable.

    Also did a photo scavenger hunt in London around a decade ago, which was also highly enjoyable (Well. Sort of. Bad day for it – One of the sites a side activity was at was difficult to get to that day on account of tube closure, and it happened to be on the same day as I think the FA cup final for that year. That aside, great fun.)

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  3. Oh Jamey I love those pics and what a happy idea (even the subversion)! I am smiling along with you! that just made me feel 5% better!

    I have never done an adult one, but I had it in my parenting toolkit for playdate situations. The place where I lived the kids had some area they could free range, and I always had a gift closet so I could provide a prize. Sadly I only implemented a couple times.

    I LOVE the idea of some sort of game related scavenger hunt that you could say play at a mid size con. (going back to gaming – as always LOL). (Unrelated note: Doing some Scythe studying tonight, got a tough Fenris game coming up TUES and I am going to bone up. My opponent is really strong. I got him on game one by being suicide level aggressive to catch him off guard and knock him off his psych game, but I better back that up…it is going to be war. Saxony (me) v Albion.)

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  4. What fun! I’m jealous! We used to use a scavenger hunt as an opening day team building activity in a leadership course at work, and we had great results!

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  5. I frequently run scavenger hunts with my students but I always organzie them, not participate. I really do enjoy watching the kids discover the puzzles though. However, I do some geocaching which feels a lot like a scavenger hunt. Plus it forces me to explore new places which is always an adventure.

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