Treasure Hunts - Part I

(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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Years ago the concept of a treasure hunt meant beginning with a map and looking for a large X to mark the spot where treasure can be dug up and found. Over the years, thanks to books like The Gold Bug and movies like National Treasure, they've evolved into so much more. They now are known to involve clues, puzzles, traps among just some of the obstacles standing in the way of the treasure seeker and his prize. These new additions can put a burden on the treasure hunt designer because now the adventurer has higher expectations than ever before on a treasure hunt, leaving the person setting up with a lot to consider, create, design and figure out. Because of this, many party planners opt out of creating one in favor of an activity that's less of a 'burden.' Hopefully, with this series of articles you'll have the tools you'll need to plan a fun and original treasure hunt that your guests will enjoy and yet won't leave you pulling out your hair in the process.

Before we jump in to looking at the different formats below, I'd like to make a point that the treasure hunt concept is NOT restricted to just looking for pirate's treasure. Although the pirate theme is perhaps the most iconic with treasure hunts, it's by far not the only one available. Throughout time man has had a fascination with seeking treasure (fake passages were built into the great pyramids of Egypt to trick grave robbers from stealing the pharaoh's loot.) You are only limited by your imagination. ANY period in history can lead to 1001 ideas on a great treasure hunt. Plunders of war from the Crusades, US Civil War, World Wars I & II, the Punic Wars in Greece, etc. If there was a ruler in a country, then there was treasure to be hidden and found.

Another aspect to consider, which is closely related to the topic immediately above regarding what kind of treasure the adventurer is looking for, is the inclusion of a story. Even the weakest back story can help the adventurer care more about the searching for the treasure. Video games such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong (for those that are old enough to remember these games from the early 80's) are things of the past and have been replaced by games with full blown stories and characters. Now, it's the gamer knows the name and life story of the hero as well as the person they are trying to save. It has become so much more personal now. Consider adding a story of some kind to your treasure hunt. Where did the treasure come from? Why should the adventurer go after it? Is it JUST because of the monetary value or is there a higher reason to go after it?

A final consideration is knowing your adventurers…WHO will actually be going on your hunt. A treasure hunt for six year olds is entirely different from a hunt planned for a sharp group of adults. Smaller children needs more things 'to do'…more activity (ESPECIALLY for the boys participating.) Adults, though can enjoy the physical aspects of the hunt, don't NEED all of the physical aspects to enjoy themselves. Make sure that the physical activity required to complete the activity is appropriate to the mobility of your adventurers.

To go to Treasure Hunts Part II - Click HERE.


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