Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's have a party-- a scavenger hunt

This week, I am continuing to write about our summer parties. These should have been written about weeks or even months ago, but I am just now getting to it.

The last weekend before school started in August, we held a photo scavenger hunt.  It was our second time to host a scavenger hunt, and I was very excited to have another one! It is such a fun way to usher out the summer by gathering a bunch of friends together for some fun. I am going to explain how I put it together, so that you can host one if you want. Everyone has a great time!
Scavenger Hunt 2009

2-3 weeks prior to the party...

Pick a date and send out some type of invitation/text/email.

The guest list needs to include an adult driver for each team, so I keep that in mind as I make the list. Each team needs a digital camera, so I usually include that on the invitation information and ask everyone to bring a snack to share.

A week or so before the party, my friend Lisa, from Running Towards Love, and I drive around a take lots of pictures of random things in our area. Two years ago, we only took pictures of things in our town. This year we included photos from five small towns that are all within 5-10 miles of each other to make it harder.

Make sure you don't take a picture of anything that is likely to change by the time of your scavenger hunt or anything on property where you don't want a bunch of crazies taking pictures.
Yes, we learned by our mistakes. Sometimes big RV campers get driven away for the weekend.
This hair salon was open when we took the pictures, but the sign was gone on Sunday evening of our party:

These are a few of my favorites from this year:

Preparing the photo packets...
We pick 20-30 of the best shots and print duplicate sets of photos for how many teams there will be. We usually have about 5 teams, and they all have the same set of photos in their packet. Once we have the printed packets of pictures divided up into matching sets, we analyze the order we want the teams to travel. We arrange each team's packet of photos differently, giving each team a different starting point so that they don't all end up at the same places at the same time. This takes the most time.

We put a sticker on the start location-photo for each packet to help us keep things organized. To keep the pictures in order, I punched a hole in the corner and used a metal ring. (Ziplock baggie also works, but they get out of order in the chaos of the hunt.) Somewhere with each team packet, include your cell phone number, so that they can call if they need help with something, need more time, etc.

When the guests arrive...
Choose an adult as each team's captain and driver.
*this game gets soooo competitive that even the adults find it hard to obey traffic rules!
Divide up teams however you want.
Make sure your drivers have their vehicles gassed up. :)

Get a cell phone number from a non-driver team member in order to be able to reach each team during the hunt. (In case you want to change the ending time of the hunt...which is a bad idea if you can't reach every team.)

Set an ending time for everyone to be back. Our first hunt took an hour and this year's needed more than 90 minutes, since we included 5 little towns.
Have everyone grab a drink for the road if it is hot weather.

Hand out the photo packets and watch them race to be the first out of the driveway. (Still haven't mastered a plan for that... my hubby's team has been blocked in the garage both years and he gets very agitated about being last on the road!)

Each team must identify what's in each photo, determine its location, travel to the spot,  take a picture of their team at the spot, be the first team back with the most points. We determine a point system, in case the teams don't reach every location. We gave each photo 10 points and 4 "super hard" photos were worth 25 points.   Like this picture of the nearby batting cage:

Once everyone returns, there is some work involved. Perfect time to eat a bunch of snacks!
While everyone snacks, someone needs to add up all the points and someone needs to load all the images from each team onto a computer. Thanks Becky and Lisa:

One of our favorite aspects of the party is finishing the evening by hooking the laptop up to a projector and showing every team's photos on the "big screen" (garage door).
Talk about hilarious! Some teams are very dramatic:
Some teams are in a big hurry:
But they didn't hurry enough to win...and it had nothing to do with me changing the ending time in the middle of the game. Just sayin'.
Some teams are very creative:
This team wasn't in a hurry at all. They were making phone calls and stopping for food:

It's really important to make time for play. Which is why I love to have these parties:

Becky's winning teams...yes, she won both years!

big prize: a Casey's cup and a $ for a drink
Scavenger hunt 2011


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