When you put together a scavenger hunt sometimes things can go wrong. It could be a misplaced clue or a vanished objective. It might be something you overlooked or it could be a factor that changed since the planning stage that you just were not aware of. Whatever it is, when one thing fails in a scavenger hunt it can potentially ruin the whole endeavor. This is especially true when you have designed a clues hunt that requires one object to be found before finding out what to look for next. The whole point of a scavenger hunt is to have fun, and that is not what happens when a vital part of the experience is missing or broken.
In situations where you can’t afford to let this happen, you need a bulletproof plan that leaves no room for error. Devising such a plan is not impossible, but you should stay within certain limitations to avoid uncertainty. Every aspect of your scavenger hunt needs to be under your control as much as possible. With that in mind, here are the key concepts that will make your scavenger hunt plan foolproof.
- Be in control of the list items. Do not assume something will be available unless you personally planted it. Choose objects that you own or things that are immovable, such as building fixtures or public statues.
- Avoid the one at a time format. Forcing participants to seek out targets individually in a particular order can be a creative and satisfying approach, but it is the most error prone option. Instead, set up your scavenger hunt so that items can be found in any order.
- Do not require every item to be found. You could include a bonus for locating everything if you want, and you can determine the winner based on the highest number of objectives found within a time limit. Just make sure that if one or more objects goes missing it will not have a major impact.
- Choose a setting that you own or have full control of. Private property is best. In public places anyone might be able to interfere with your scavenger hunt, either deliberately or otherwise.
If you follow those main guidelines, there should be no way for the most common disasters to spoil your plans. It is impossible to predict every possible circumstance that could crop up, but when you prevent the most likely problems your chance for failure drops to an insignificant percentage. Other factors should be considered if they apply to your specific situation, like planning for bad weather if you have an outdoor event and arranging for any specific requirements your participants might have.