Reunion Games Scavenger hunts
High tech scavenger hunts
When we were kids on scavenger hunts, we asked for old calendars of a certain year or a penny of a certain date. Everyone had the same list.
Now scavenger hunts use technology. Each group gets a camcorder, digital or Polaroid camera and a list of things to do at various locations. They film activities for proof.
Go to a gas station and help someone get gas or wash the windows. Go to another business and sing a song. Wave at a passing motorist. Ask directions. Each group goes to all the locations in different order, then they watch the films or look at pictures to verify what was done.
Scavenge for information
Ask hunters to gather information, not things. Ask them to get dates from a building cornerstone or gravestone or building lintel inscription, count the seats in a restaurant or the number of overhead light standards on a bridge, or identify historic community landmarks.
A community service scavenger hunt
Give groups a list of nice things to do for others: sweep a kitchen floor, read a story to a child, unload a dishwasher, sweep a front sidewalk, take out the garbage. The winners are the first group to return with all the items done.
Scavenge the family
This is a twist on an old favorite from the Family Fun website. The search is for family information. Great for kids who have an innate gift for asking endless questions. Before the reunion, gather clan lore and trivia from family members. Type a list of questions (include reunion-day happenings too).
How did Grandpa propose to Grandma?Which relative traveled to this country by boat?Who traveled the farthest to be here today?Who has the worst sunburn?Which relative has the most children? What are their middle names?Who has the reddest hair? The loudest laugh? The biggest feet?
Encourage players to pursue questions in teams throughout the day.
How about a scavenger hunt?
When deciding what type of scavenger hunt to have, you must consider the number and age range of guests, and how well they know the reunion area.
Photographic scavenger hunt
Ask members to bring digital cameras; each team should have one digital camera.
Form teams of four to five people, including drivers.
Create a list of items you want teams to photograph and assign point value to each photo. Hard-to-find items should earn more points.
Offer bonuses: for example, an American Flag with fewer than 50 stars earns a bonus point value. For July 4th reunions, include cars decorated for the holiday, houses with patriotic decorations other than flags, stores with a "Happy July 4th" sign posted, and other items that you know exist in the area.
Give teams a time limit (for example, two to three hours) to collect photos. When teams return, hand cameras to designated checkers. All checkers use identical scavenger hunt sheets explaining the types of photos and point values. Checkers score photos for each team. Award a prize for the team with the highest number of points.
Scavenger hunt highlight of winter family reunion
At a family reunion, Margaret Carney, Durham, North Carolina, sent three generations into knee-deep snow on a nature scavenger hunt.
The list was straightforward. Find three different leaves, three seeds, three birds, three animal tracks, three different-coloured stones, an insect, something more than 100 years old, and something less than a month old. In half an hour. What they couldn't collect in their bag, they could draw or describe.
Carney, an outdoor writer, was pleased by the booty teams brought back. For the insect category, two produced goldenrod galls, one with a hole pecked by a downy woodpecker to get at the grub inside. Another team found a snail shell in a ridge of sand where the sun had melted the snow -- not an insect, but she gave them marks for trying.
Birds included a chickadee, blue jay, cardinal, Canada goose, goldeneye and gull.
Tracks included cottontail, squirrel, coyote, fox, dog and bird - and what seven-year-old Jacob was convinced was a deer.
Two teams brought snow for the less-than-a-month-old category. Ironically, the other team chose snow for their more-than-100-years-old item, arguing that water was ancient and had been on Earth for millennia. Their month-old item was a bud they claimed was sprouting.
From Margaret Carney's column on Newsdurhamregion.com, Durham, North Carolina.
We found these great games at Dollar Stretcher, www.stretcher.com.
Scavenger-hunt/road-rally. Divide participants into teams of two or three, with immediate family members on different teams. The list of tasks/questions requires each team to collect information. Be clever and creative in how you word questions.
- What's the zip code of [some nearby small town]? They must drive to the town and find the post office; by the time we got there, a group of local teenagers had assembled on the post-office steps and were holding up a sign with the answer!
- What brand of pump is in the derrick at [intersection]? They must park the car and walk about 100 yards into a field to read the name. Get the farmer's permission first!
- How many miles between two landmarks? They had to drive it or the smart ones found the highway sign that gave the mileage.
- What was the date of death of [name of someone buried in a country church's cemetery]?
- What time is the Sunday service at [different country church]?
- Who has [rural mailbox number]? They had to follow box numbers down a desolate road until they found the correct box and read the name displayed on it.
- How many anhydrous ammonia tanks are at [local farm or intersection]? A “trick question,” because there were eight tanks, but only four were ammonia tanks.
Bring back the proof
A Polaroid scavenger hunt. Each team needs a Polaroid camera to bring back the proof. Get a photo of your group doing a human pyramid or your group in front of a house with the numbers 123 or a picture of a member of your group getting frisked by a police officer. Set a time limit - two hours is good. Some pictures are worth more points than others, depending upon difficulty of acquiring the picture. After time is up, add up the points.