In the 1979 Hollywood movie "Scavenger Hunt," potential heirs to a fortune are required to complete a scavenger hunt to determine who is worthy of the inheritance. Generally, a scavenger hunt is conducted in teams -- though it can be played individually -- and the film highlights teamwork. Scavenger hunts can involve all ages; they combine fun with creative and critical thinking, while requiring barely any athletics. With a little planning, you can jump-start your party with a scavenger hunt to involve everyone, and it may just ultimately "take the cake."
Know Your Audience
The first key to planning your scavenger hunt is to know your players. If it's a corporate team-building scavenger hunt, will you mix departments or keep them intact? If it's a child's party, will you include adults? Scavenger hunts can involve any mix of people because of their variety, but you must choose who will be qualified to play. The players often dictate the theme of the hunt, but -- again -- you are ultimately in charge of deciding that, as well.
Pick Your Theme
Now that you've decided who will play, choose a theme. If the hunt is taking place at a party for your parents' 25th wedding anniversary, you may want to choose a theme from the year of their marriage or a particular musician or vacation spot they love. Your child's party might have a rock star theme, while a corporate team-building hunt might focus on its industry and competitors. Narrow it down, pick your theme and use it to set the mood.
Set the Mood
A scavenger hunt doesn't have to be played at the party itself -- or, at least, it doesn't have to start there. Set the mood for your party in general and the hunt in particular by mentioning it in your invitations. Use a clue in the invite to spur interest; the clue might be a team name (if you've designated teams) in keeping with your theme. Or, you can start the game point-blank with the invite by asking people to bring photos in keeping with your theme -- such as early photos of your parents for their 25th anniversary party.
Let the Hunt Begin
You know your players, you've picked your theme and you've set the mood. Now it's time to truly define the hunt. Keep everything on the list of items or activities that need to be completed on your scavenger hunt specific to your theme. Divide your list into items that need to be collected, actions that need to be performed and photos that need to be taken. To fulfill the spirit of the game (and maintain decorum), document some simple rules to go along with a list of the items or activities you will hand out to your players; then, enjoy the game.
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