Scavenger hunts are fun activities to help teams blow off some steam, get to know each other better and learn new things about the project or any other topic of choice.
The team-based activity can last anything from one hour to maybe 2 hours – be sure not to overload the teams. It must be possible to complete the assignment within the allotted time. The size of teams working on the list o tasks and questions matters too. A group of 3 to 4 people will typically take longer to complete the exercise than a team of maybe 5 or 6 people. Split larger groups into sub-groups of 3-5 people to work on a worksheet of assignments. The assignment usually consists of a worksheet listing questions to answer, locations to visit and can also could specify items which teams are to collect and bring along with them when they hand in their final answers. The team that completes the assignment the fastest wins.
When the group is ready, you would first share the instructions with them. Be sure to include areas that they are not to visit or boundaries for the exercise. Include the maximum time they should take to work on the assignment and where everyone should meet at the end of that time period.
Each sub-team will receive an assignment sheet detailing the activities and answers they should complete as thorough and fast as possible in order to win.
At the end of the allotted time, teams are to return their completed assignment sheets and any items that they were asked to collect and hand them in to the judges at the agreed location.
Judges will score their answers and check that they have indeed collected all of the items specified as per the Judges sheets, which contains all of the required answers.
Judges will count the number of correct answers and correct and complete objects collected and the judges will also note how much time it took the team to complete the assignment. The winning team is the team which received a 100% (or highest score) against the answer sheet and within the shortest time period. (first accuracy, then time taken).
While a scavenger hunt is usually predominantly a fun activity for teams, you can also use the exercise to make specific points or to draw people’s attention to specific topics. Think of topics such as safety – for example – perhaps the assignment questions and tasks were all about safety at your location or in that building. You would then use that to have a debriefing discussion with the competing teams after the end of the scavenger hunt. Explain why that focus was chosen, discuss which are the most important take-aways from the exercise and perhaps invite activity participants to share stories and experiences of their own team working through the assignment.