Are you in a rut and want to be more social in your neighborhood? Do you wish that you knew your neighbors? Are you shy and would love to find ways to meet new people?
We have the solution for you! You and your friends should organize a scavenger hunt!
We are so fortunate to live in the most social community. We both say that living in Towne Lake is like living in a fun retirement community, but when we are younger. Our neighborhood HOA employs a person to plan social events for our community.
Back to the scavenger hunt. Christa and I planned a Women’s Group Restaurant Crawl a few months ago and wanted to see if we could plan a Women’s Scavenger Hunt that would be just as fun (or more). I am happy to say I think we accomplished our mission!
Here are the steps to planning a fun scavenger hunt. You can use these steps to plan a small hunt 4 people, to a group just as large or larger than ours. The group dynamics are limitless (family hunt, couples, friends, etc).
Step 1: Coming Up With A Theme
This is optional, but it is fun to have something that ties everything together. We went with a “Welcome To The Jungle” theme because we wanted for every group to have an animal “team mascot” that had to be in every picture. You could do a Holiday Scavenger Hunt, Movie Scavenger Hunt, etc.
Step 2: Decide Logistics
How many people will be invited to the hunt? We decided to have teams of 5 (we ended up with 19 teams). How will teams be created? We said that people can create their team or sign up individually and be placed on a team. This worked out well because a decent number of people were new to the neighborhood and got a chance to meet new people. How much will the event cost and what will be included? We charged $15.00 a person that included dinner, scavenger hunt items, and prizes. The event was BYOB. What is the mode of transportation? We decided to have golf carts because we have enough in our community that it would not be a problem rounding up one per team. Driving cars, riding bikes, or walking are other options. Where will the hunt start, how much time will members have, and where will the scavenger hunt end? We decided to start the hunt at our community lake house and end the hunt at Sam’s Boat because it is also in our neighborhood and a fun place to be.
Step 3: Create An Invite and Advertise
We created a Facebook event and created a cute picture to get the ladies excited.
Step 4: Collect Payment and Set Deadlines
You must set a registration deadline before the event and make sure people pay before the event. If you don’t charge people in advance, you will buy supplies based on certain number and then be out money when people back out at the last minute. From our experience planning two large events, you must be firm and say “all tickets final”. If people can’t go then they can sell their ticket to someone else.
Step 5: Create Scavenger Hunt List
We went online to get suggestions and came up with the rest of them on our own. We came up with a numerical system where items were worth varying amounts depending on the level of difficulty. For example, taking a team picture was worth 1 point and putting make-up on a husband was worth 5 points. We set up rules where everyone (accept the photographer) had to be in all pictures (this is to prevent teams from splitting up). We thought it would be more fun if everyone in the group had to stay together.
Here are a few examples of scavenger hunt items:
Picture of a team member in a cage- 4 points
Picture of pumping gas for a stranger – 3 points
Picture of a team member mowing the lawn- 4 points
Picture with someone who is at least 85 years old (driver’s license in the picture)
Dress a fire hydrant- 3 points
Picture of a team member sitting on a kid’s potty- 2 points
Picture of the team taking shots at someones house- 2 points
Picture of all team members in a bathtub or shower (dressed)- 2 points (1 bonus point if someone is wearing a shower cap)
Step 6: Shop for prizes
We decided on prize categories and amounts. 1st place team members would receive prizes valued at $30.00, 2nd place $20.00, etc. You can keep prizes simple with gift cards or you can buy a wide variety of items. We chose the latter and shopped at Aldi, 5 Below, Wal-Mart, HEB, the Royal Standard, and The Land of a Thousand Hills. Winners received wine, tote bags, Pioneer Woman cake stands, coolers, etc.
Step 7: Shop for Scavenger Hunt Items
We decided every team would all have a matching bandana so we had to buy bandanas and material at Hobby Lobby. We also decided to give each team a bucket with supplies (clip board, snacks, drinks, team pet mascot, selfie stick, glow sticks). We shopped mainly at Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, and Target for these items.
Step 8: Firm Up Logistics/Print Scavenger Hunt Rules and List
One of our stops was the Cheese Bar, so we went and gave the owner a heads up that groups would be stopping by. We also stopped by Sam’s Boat to let them know that on Wednesday 100+ people would be coming by. We told them our theme and they were nice enough to create a signature cocktail “Jungle Passion”.
Step 9: Be Flexible
Remember this is for fun. There will be hiccups, but you can’t let it make you get upset. People will cancel at the last minute and people will want to join at the last minute. If you can make it work, you should try.
Step 10: Be Creative
We had each team member provide us with one cell phone number. We texted an optional road block opportunity worth 10 points. The husbands were troopers by standing in our Community Garden (the road block location) for 30 minutes handing out vegetables. We arranged so that the first team to arrive at the Cheese Bar would receive 5-$10.00 gift cards. This was a surprise.
Step 10: Recruit Volunteers to Check In Teams
This is an important step because someone has to look at each picture and make sure the item was completed. We had a great group that helped us figure out the winners.
Step 11: Have Fun And Know That There Will Be Mistakes Made
Overall everyone had a great time. We really enjoyed that our scavenger hunt was made up of ladies of all ages. We had no idea people would put so much time (and money) into their costumes and decorating their golf carts. We would have done the prizes a little different. The check in process had hiccups, but everyone had so much fun they were understanding.
Our question for you, if you were creating a scavenger hunt, what would be your theme?