Rules for Holding a Scavenger Hunt

by Erin Schreiner Google
Create some fun with a scavenger hunt.

Create some fun with a scavenger hunt.

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In a scavenger hunt, teams race against each other to gather objects and best their competitors. While this activity can be a fun one, in the absence of rules, it can also prove dangerous. To ensure that your scavenger hunt is enjoyable and as safe and fair as it possibly can be, adopt some rules when planning your event.

Stay in Bounds

Boundary setting is one of the most important steps in setting up a scavenger hunt. The size of your scavenger hunt field can vary from a few hundred yards to an entire city and will depend in large part upon the ages of your participants. If planning a hunt for adults, allowing them to roam the city as a whole is a wise choice, while scavenger hunts for children prove safer if the youthful participants are limited to a smaller setting in which they can be monitored.

Stick Together

Nearly all scavenger hunts are team events. To keep things fair and prevent teams with a few extra members from having a benefit over the smaller ones, teams are required to stick together when completing their hunts. This stay-together rule also ensures player safety as it prevents any participants from being alone during the course of the hunt.

Meet the Time Limit

A scavenger hunt is a timed event. The amount of time available for the hunt depends both upon the size of the playing field and upon the number of items for which individuals are looking. If your scavenger hunt list is a sizable one, set a longer time limit, allowing participants to run about the city for an extended period of time as they try to find these items. Conversely, if your participants are young and your list small, setting a limit of an hour will likely prove more than enough.

Record Objects as Requested

To earn their points, scavenger hunt members must collect or record the objects they find. If you are asking individuals to find small and relatively inconsequential items, like blades of grass, you may ask them to pluck these items up and place them in a bag; however, if you are asking them to find more sizable and important objects, you might want to provide them with digital cameras and have them snap images of the objects instead of actually picking them up.

Follow the Law

Participation in a scavenger hunt does not preclude individuals from following the law. Things like jaywalking must be prohibited in scavenger hunts so the event doesn't result in someone having a legal run-in. As the organizer, the individual preparing the scavenger hunt must list these rules off to participants as she presents the game rules.

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