Oh no! The sport balls are all deflated, the bow strings are all frayed and the craft supplies haven’t arrived from S&S yet. What do we do?
If you have been a camp professional for any amount of time, you know how much campers LOVE hunts. Treasure hunts usually take a lot of time to create and set up with all the clues and such. Scavenger hunts are much easier. Here are 5 that take very little time to explain and run.
There’s no need to cut objects out of paper, make long lists of items to give to campers, use cameras, or anything like that. As long as you have a few things ready ahead of time you should be good to go.
- Pull out some paint chips that you got from the hardware store like Lowe’s or Home Depot, or even Walmart (or buy some on Amazon).
- Have the campers find things (either in nature or around the site) that match the color(s) on the paint chips they have.
- Divide the campers into groups and give each group a sheet of paper (preferably with a clipboard) and a pen or pencil.
- Have them write the alphabet on each line.
- Now, have them go around the site and find things that start with each letter.
- At the end of the time limit, the group that has the most wins.
- Have the counselors choose a playing card out of a deck. The value of the card is the amount of points they are worth.
- Have the counselors hide (not in places that are our of bounds, or on roofs, etc.) while the campers are being entertained with some camp songs.
- Divide the campers into groups.
- Tell the campers what the boundaries are and how the hunt works. Then let them loose.
- When a counselor is found they must give their playing card to the group and then return to the main area.
- After a certain amount of time, blow a whistle or horn to have all campers return.
- Counselors that have not been found are now worth double points. Send the campers out again.
- A few minutes later, sound the horn again to have everyone (including staff that haven’t been found) return.
- The group with the most points wins.
- Reach into your bag of stuff and find a couple of action figure or toy figurines (I always have 3 Smurfs). Your figures could be part of your weekly theme.
- Have a staff member discreetly hide them in challenging places. Don’t bury them in dirt, but you can place them in a whole or under a table. You want it difficult to find but not impossible.
- After the figures are hidden tell the kids that it is time for a hunt. Let them know what they are looking for and what the boundaries are.
- After a certain amount of time, if one still hasn’t been found give the campers a clue or two to help them out.
In my program the campers who find each figure gets points for their color team and a Hunt Master bead to put on their necklace.
My Heart’s Desire
I have heard this game called different things from The King’s Desire to Bring It to Me. It is kind of a scavenger hunt and game mashed together, and it’s a whole lot of fun. Everything that is asked for is something the group may have already. There is no need for them to go back to their cabin or backpack area. This is not a Dutch Auction.
- Divide the camp into 2-4 groups/teams.
- Have each team go to the corners of the playing area. Ensure that each team is an equal distance from the “caller”.
- The “caller” shouts out his or her heart’s desire. This can be an object or something she wants a camper to do.
- If it’s an object then one (and only one) camper is sent to the caller with that object. The first one to the caller gets the point. Possible objects may include:
- If it’s something the camper must perform then there is no reason to race to the caller. Groups choose one camper to perform for the caller. The best performance wins the point. Possible performance may include:
- After a set number of objects and performances, the team with the most points wins.
Instead of racing to the caller you could have Hula Hoops set out near the caller. The first camper to their Hula Hoop with the object wins the point.
Want more hunt ideas? Check out my ebook.