PERFECT FOR OFFICE
If you can send an email,
"Just wanted to say thanks for the Wild West Treasure Hunt. It was great! I work for **** Chartered Accountants and we used the treasure hunt as part of our annual team bonding day. It was a great success. We were able to use a large sporting stadium for the treasure hunt so we were able to hide our clues really well. At the end, it was great to see two teams scrambling for the treasure! We all really enjoyed ourselves." Amanda M.
Whether for party games, corporate teambuildings or just small focused discussions, a host/facilitator is presented with the task of putting people into groups. Depending on the participants involved and the activity in mind, this task can fall between overly simple and extremely daunting. The following illustrates some ideas from the simple to the fun and creative on breaking your larger groups into smaller ones.
Some more creative solutions to forming smaller
Here are some other categories that you might choose if using options 2 or 3 above: states, cartoon characters, countries, languages, dogs, trees, vegetables, fruits, cookies, continents, modes of transportation, presidents, authors, artists/painters, cities, movies, letters of the alphabet, numbers, songs, phobias, occupations, holidays, months of the year, fast food chains, candy, actors, directions (North, South, East, West), titles (Queen, King, Duke, Prince, Lord, Countess, etc.), illnesses, forms of world currency (yen, dollars, pounds, francs, etc.) and universities.
Focused suggestions for corporate teambuildings:
1. Grouping individuals that normally work together
can bring with it two different dynamics. On one hand it can be quite
functional, enabling the team members to 'practice' working together in
ways that perhaps they might not normally. This can bring about a 'freshness'
to their working relationships - which might have drifted into staleness
over the preceding months or even years. However, depending on the activity,
it could also easily slip into an 'auto-pilot' group interaction where
each individual plays the same or similar role that they play day to day
(i.e. the leader will lead, the follower will follow, etc.) By mixing
up members from different departments, individuals might get to experience
an opportunity to play a different role than perhaps they see available
in their own current department dynamics. This can be a great way to recognize
leadership skills in individuals who might not be currently in a leadership
Treasure Hunt activities are double edge swords. On one hand they can leave room for an abundance of creativity and fun for the planner. On the flip side, the more creative the planner gets, the quicker the process gets more complicated, causing an escalating feeling of being overwhelmed and a desire to quit. Creating one of kind, themed treasure hunts is my passion and I hope that the suggestions provided in this article will assist you as you plan a fun treasure hunt activity for your friends, family and co-workers.
WHY PLAN A TREASURE HUNT?
Treasure hunts are great because of their wide appeal. Their flexibility enables the maximum amount of participation no matter what group is involved. Young can participate as well as old. Those less cerebral can enjoy it as much as someone who works crossword puzzles in their sleep. They can utilize a wide range of skill sets from problem solving opportunities to physical agility to interpersonal dynamics. The shy and bold. The tall and short. The poor and wealthy. EVERYONE can enjoy the activity!
Treasure hunts are also great because of their versatility. They can be adapted to any location or locations and surroundings. They can be created to fit any duration of time needed from several minutes to several days! They can even work around any theme or special occasion you might be planning around.
WHAT KINDS OF FORMATS/OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE
Over the years, I've explored literally hundreds of varieties of formats. There are a few basic formats to begin with. Enjoy creating hybrids of the ones detailed below, or have fun creating your own!
· At a single location - This is where the treasure hunt itself is at a fixed location and all activities, clues, maps, etc. revolve around this single location (i.e. inside your home, at a church, inside a baseball stadium, etc.) Participants travel by foot typically (although there is a lot of room for creativity here )
· Car Rally - This is where the participants
are grouped by carload and progress through the treasure hunt as a team,
driving from one location to the other. The options for varying locales
are much greater, but deep consideration must be kept so that your participants
aren't spending the bulk of their time driving only.
· Progressive Dinner - This is a fun variation wherein the participants will partake in a full course meal at different locations. Each course (i.e. salad, soup, main course, dessert, etc.) will be served separately at different, previously undisclosed locations throughout the city. The team's job will be to use the clues provided at the beginning to get to their first course/location. Once there and they've enjoyed the course, they will be given instructions/clues that will lead them to a new location, wherein the next course will be served. This can be a lot of fun, especially if the food/meal is themed to the theme of the treasure hunt (i.e. seafood with a pirate theme, etc.)
CREATIVE IDEAS AND NEW TWISTS
· Give your treasure hunt an overall theme. It's more difficult to make sense of the activity without cohesiveness. An overall theme (no matter what it is) does the job nicely. The theme could either be already built in based on the gathering itself (Christmas party, St. Patrick's Day festival) or purely imagined by you. The following is a healthy list of themes to get your creative juices flowing: Pirates, Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider, Spy/CIA/Mission Impossible, Wild West, any of the Disney movies would work for children (and adults ), Medieval, American Revolution, Civil War, Roaring 20s/Mobsters, Arabian Nights.
· Give your treasure hunt a storyline if possible. By storyline I am referring to some 'goal' the teams will be attempting to accomplish. In this way, you'll be transforming a treasure hunt into an adventure. Why connect random locations around the city when you could have the participants continue their search for a specific treasure, recover an ancient Aztec idol or rescue a French aristocrat from the guillotine during the French Revolution! Since we began offering treasure hunt downloads revolving around different themes, our customers have reported that they have observed a much higher level of fun on behalf of those participating.
· Utilize volunteers whenever possible. It's fun to show up at a location to get a clue however it's a LOT more fun to show up and find someone waiting to interact with! This is especially effective if you've chosen to incorporate a theme to your treasure hunt. Then, you could have volunteers dressed in costume, ready to bring to life the adventure you've created! Volunteers can be recruited from friends, family, schoolmates, children, co-workers, children's friends, co-workers' children's friends you get the idea. It's not unusual for the volunteers to enjoy themselves more than those actually going through the treasure hunt itself.
· If the teams haven't been grouped by the participants themselves, have fun dividing up the group. This can be done in a variety of ways (you can also see our Article 'Grouping' for specific ideas) including grouping by drivers license numbers, drawing names from hats, passing out 'like' objects written on pieces of paper (those with similar objects are in a group.) In this way, you'll also be providing a creative solution to the 'how do I keep everyone from running out at the same time?' problem. You see, only allow a team to head out once all the members of their team are found and assembled. In this way, the teams being released will be staggered, making it more difficult for teams to follow each other.
· Depending on the reason for the hunt, you might opt to spread the treasure hunt over several days, releasing a little fun each day. This can be especially fun if the treasure hunt is for a single person. They can enjoy the treasure hunt over a prolonged period of time. Each day would present a new surprise on their journey. This can be accomplished by providing the clues needed to lead someone to a new location, but instructing the participant that they must wait until the following day at X time before the next clue will be available. This is also great for the workplace because it will only pull the workers away from their duties for a few minutes a day (depending on how elaborate you've designed the clues and puzzles for a single location.)
· Launch it with a bang! If you've chosen a theme for your treasure hunt, have someone dressed up in character to see the teams off. Be excited and enthusiastic.
· Do your best to have a bang of an ending. Your participants will have rushed, sweat and pushed their brains all in an effort to get to the 'end' of the treasure hunt. Reward them with a great ending by providing snacks and drinks, possibly even entertainment. When possible, give closure to the adventure by providing a visual representation of their goal (i.e. set up a treasure chest if they were looking for pirate treasure, have someone dressed up as a thief if they were trying to catch one, etc.)
When it comes to games, it's definitely true 'the more the merrier.' The synergy that comes from the group as they enjoy the experience collectively creates memories and can bond the group like few other experiences can. However, facilitating larger group games can be challenging.
Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind when choosing the game and preparing for it.
· Probably the single most important question
to ask of any game for larger groups is 'How many people will ACTUALLY
participate?' Participation is the key and if you've limited half of the
group's activity to ONLY watching, you've lost a lot of that synergy.
Go for games where everyone participates equally and as a group. Even
simple games like Name That Tune can be converted to a large group game
by leaving it open to the crowd, allowing anyone to quickly stand when
they think they know the tune (this works great for TV show tunes, movie
soundtracks and pop songs.) Other activities, such as our all new Movie
Adventures (where groups of people watch a popular movie while solving
clues simultaneously) work great because everyone watches, everyone contributes
I have planned quests for crowds and individuals over the years. I have experimented with many ways of grouping people together. Although sometimes the number of teams might already be dictated for us, here are some things I've observed over the past 20 years of professionally designing treasure hunts and themed adventures:
A single participant - If he were the only one participating in the quest, I would still advise having someone going along with him, even if that means you. Funny things happen. Exciting things happen. It can be disappointing for someone to laugh and/or get scared all alone.
Teams of two - This can potentially work very well for smaller groups. I have found, though, when a disagreement occurs about what to do or where to go and there is no one to 'break the tie' the pair may return a bit on edge.
Teams of three - Not ideal at all. It definitely breaks the ties, but it also creates the 'third wheel' effect in a most powerful way. Two people end up getting more excited than the third, leaving the third out of several, if not all decisions. When all is said and done, your participation ratio will drop from 100% to 66%.
Teams of four - The best for groups of 15 or more. The dynamic of four seems to solve all problems. Although there is an even number of votes when deciding on certain actions, the individuals tend to be more open minded to possibilities when there are more people involved. No one is left out, for if two members are speaking to each other, two others are able to engage in a conversation of their own.
Teams of five and larger - Enter the 'committee'
effect. The A types take over while others who feel comfortable hanging
in the rear will do so all too easily.
Copyright © 2013 Quest Experiences. All rights reserved.
For Questions or Comments about this site, email