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Organize a scavenger hunt - Here's how to make it work!

You want to organize a scavenger hunt and don't really know where to start? Below we present a possible approach and give you a few suggestions on set-up and structure to make your event a complete success. There is a lot to be prepared, such as stations, tasks and materials for the participants. Do you already have a rough idea of how you want to set up the scavenger hunt? You should start your planning well in advance.

This is what you should consider in advance!

The first questions you need to clarify: Where should the scavenger hunt take place and who is supposed to participate? Depending on the location, this opens up a wide range of possibilities for customizing the scavenger hunt, but there are also potential problems to be considered. Should the city rally take place indoors or outdoors? Is there enough space for all the participants?

Clarify this with all players in due time. In addition, you should always have your participants in mind when you plan something. Are you doing the scavenger hunt with your friends? Or are you planning a team event for a company? Is it perhaps an outing for your sports team? The more responsive you are to your participants, the more fun everyone will have. Also be aware of any problems that may arise, such as language barriers or weather changes.

Organizing an outdoor scavenger hunt - what to consider

Things are different when the scavenger hunt takes place outside. Here, the scavenger hunt can extend over a large area. However, one should not lose sight of the physical constitution of the scavenger hunters. Also the weather plays an important role in an outdoor scavenger hunt: Therefore, think about rain capes and umbrellas when planning.

Possible locations for this would be, for example, the nearby forest, a garden or the nearest larger city. Especially in the context of a city trip with friends or the company, you can kill two birds with one stone during a scavenger hunt: During the game, you get to know both the city and your fellow players better.

Organizing a scavenger hunt - The size of the group matters

The size of the group is also important: there should never be too many or too few people on a team. If the teams are too large, the majority of the players will have nothing to do and will be bored. In a group that is too small, the other players will soon feel overwhelmed. The optimal number of players is usually 4-6 people. As soon as the upper limit is exceeded, it is advisable to form several teams. Thus, the competitive spirit is also quickly awakened! However, the complexity increases with the number of teams. You should not forget this when organizing a scavenger hunt! Therefore, the number of participants in a privately organized scavenger hunt should never exceed the mark of 50 participants.

The age of the participants also plays a major role

Not only the location of the event, the size of the teams and the framework of the scavenger hunt should be known. The age of the players is also very important! The tasks and the length of the scavenger hunt depend on it. Especially with young participants, care should be taken not to make the games too difficult and the whole game overall not too long. This is because children in particular have a shorter attention span and can quickly lose interest in the game as a result. With a scavenger hunt for kids, you also need to think of one supervisor per team to guide the kids through the game and make sure they arrive safely at the destination.

For adults, you should adapt the games to the different abilities of the scavenger hunters. The focus of the scavenger hunt for adults should no longer be on finding a treasure with older players either - here, the focus should be on solving the puzzles. So here the motto is: "The way is the goal"!

GPS devices or rather a treasure map?

You have many options when it comes to materials as well. The good old treasure map, for example, can be replaced by GPS devices or by a map on your cell phone. In addition, you can integrate photo tasks into the scavenger hunt: Here, the players are supposed to take photos of themselves, a certain statue or a living creature. You can give the team a Polaroid camera for this purpose. Alternatively, each player can use their own cell phone camera. This has the advantage that videos can also be playfully incorporated into the scavenger hunt. Such a video task can, for example, require a participant or even the whole team to sing a song or recite a poem. No matter what scavenger hunt material you decide to use, be sure to have it in sufficient quantity. Nothing is more frustrating than a task that can't be completed due to a lack of equipment.

Indoor scavenger hunt as a bad weather option

An indoor variant would be, for example, the scavenger hunt indoors. Office rooms and conference hotels are also suitable. You could even rent a castle for it ... However, you should keep in mind that you may have less space indoors than outdoors and therefore you are also restricted in terms of tasks. When creating the tasks, make sure that they are feasible in practically any environment. The focus should be more on the puzzles, and they should challenge different skills as much as possible. General knowledge, math, logic and observation skills are a start. This is very important to appeal to the different personalities of the participants. For example, the bookworm can quote Shakespeare's works page by page, while the passionate soccer fan can recite the champions of the 1st Bundesliga in his sleep.

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Preparation is crucial when organizing a scavenger hunt

Good preparation is the essence of a successful event. Start thinking ahead of time about what you will need for the scavenger hunt. Do you want to provide materials for the participants? To be on the safe side, provide a little extra just in case. In general, you should assume that your participants are not optimally prepared. Therefore, consider what else might be needed but is not a given.

If you want to prepare stations, go to the respective locations yourself and test whether everything works as you imagine. Make sure that everything you plan to do is allowed and that you don't accidentally include private property.

However, prepare the stations just before the event so that the weather or vandals do not throw a spanner in the works. Also, think about what problems might arise. Are all tasks clearly formulated? Do the participants have a contact person in case of problems? Could individual participants have problems?

If you take the above points to heart, nothing will stand in the way of a successful scavenger hunt. Here are all the tips again in a nutshell:

  • Scavenger hunt tip 1: Start planning the scavenger hunt in due time
  • Scavenger hunt tip 2: Consider group size
  • Scavenger hunt tip 3: Adapt tasks and procedure to the age of the participants
  • Scavenger hunt tip 4: Include and provide materials in the tasks
  • Scavenger hunt tip 5: Prepare the scavenger hunt conscientiously

Organize a scavenger hunt yourself or book it?

Equipped with the above information, you have already taken a big step towards creating your scavenger hunt. However, you will have noticed that there are many things to consider and that developing your scavenger hunt takes a lot of time. There is also the question of whether the participants will like their scavenger hunt puzzles in the end. Therefore, it is worth considering whether you want to plan and organize the scavenger hunt yourself or whether you would prefer to use a tried and tested concept. In the following table, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of both options.

Organize yourself
Pros & cons self-organization
Book tickets
Pros & cons ticket booking
Very time consuming Simple booking
  • Correct level of difficulty difficult to estimate
  • Extensive research
  • A lot of creativity needed
  • Already played over 68,000 times
  • Optimized concept
  • Elaborately designed tours
Paper only Intuitive web application
Free of charge (except material costs) Not free of charge
Customizable Not customizable

How can you organize a scavenger hunt yourself?

A self-organized scavenger hunt is costly, but quite feasible. First of all, you should determine the route. Then it is necessary to develop the tasks and carefully plan the sequence of events. And a winner's prize should not be missing from a self-organized scavenger hunt.

How do I organize a scavenger hunt for a children's birthday party?

Organizing a scavenger hunt for kids is easier than you think. Besides the right ideas for the scavenger hunt tasks, you need a suitable scavenger hunt area. When organizing a scavenger hunt for young children, you need to make sure that they are never unsupervised.

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