Traffic Control

(This article is a continuation of our Adventure Treasure Hunts 101 -
The FREE Course
series. To start from the beginning, click HERE.)

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Traffic control within a treasure hunt refers to the management of the flow of people as they frantically go through your adventure. Whether your participants are on foot, in a car, on horseback or in boats…the need to anticipate potential obstacles in the overall flow is a must for any treasure hunt to be successful. Of course, if your hunt is solely for an individual or a single small group of volunteers, than one doesn't need to concern themselves as much with it. However, for the rest of us who are anticipating more teams or participants, you'll find these tips useful.

~ If you have different stops on your hunts at different locations where teams/individuals must collect a clue or speak to someone, avoid stationing the person or clue at dead end or cul de sac (if driving.) This is because when a team is done, they'll need to exit cleanly allowing the next team to approach without possible collisions…keep the movement in one direction at all times when possible.

~ Have volunteers stationed at different spots where you anticipate a lot of traffic. These individuals can maintain order where there might not be otherwise. These individuals are best to be holding the key piece of information that the teams need at the stop to ensure an easy flow of traffic.

~ The average age of your participant is important when dealing with traffic control. Typically, an older crowd will want to move at a more leisurely pace than a younger one. My rule of thumb has always been this: the younger the crowd, the more physical the activity. The best test for this is to walk/drive your hunt yourself. Then you will get a greater feel of how tired your guests may be.

A common problem with setting up any kind of treasure hunt is dealing with the inevitable 'everyone running to the same location at the same time' creating a following the leader of sorts. Here are some suggestions for dealing with this problem:

~ Stagger the participants in the launching phase of the hunt. This can be done in several ways. The first is to offer some sort of challenge that the teams must complete before they are allowed to leave. This will create a natural staggering. Another way is to use time cards…each team will have a card with the exact time when they left (used by the same timepiece for all teams for consistency.) At the end of the hunt, have a volunteer write down their ending times. In this way it won't matter how you stagger the teams or when a team actually leaves to begin.

~ Link the treasure hunt in a circle. Connect the final destination of the hunt to the first location. Then, send each team to a different location on the hunt. Once the team has visited the specific number of locations (that you explain to them during your launching) they can then proceed to the final location.

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