Monday, November 17, 2008 by Dave Blum

For years I’ve been a treasure hunt vs. scavenge hunt snob.  Until now.

Treasure hunts, as you may recall, generally involve the solving of puzzles that lead to hidden, mystery locations.  Scavenger hunts, by contrast, tend to consist of a list of objects that you go out and collect. I’ve always had something of a bias against scavenger hunts because they mostly do not include puzzles to solve.  And I’m a big puzzle geek. A straight-forward, scavenger hunt list has always struck me as too simplistic.  I much prefer cryptic treasure hunt clues, with code, ciphers, word and logic puzzles. Something you can dig your mind into. Plus, I’ve never been crazy about bringing back objects, which seems expensive and, ultimately, unwieldy.

On the other hand, there is one type of scavenger hunt that I do like:  the photo scavenger hunt. In this type of hunt, participants receive a list of photo challenges, which they must then go out and perform, with photo documentation to present at the end.  The best team building activities, I believe, require groups to put their heads together and create something, as a a team.  Photo scavenger hunts fit that bill, and they’re fun.

Could one, then, combine the puzzles of a treasure hunt with the creativity of a photo scavenger hunt?  Absolutely!  Dr. Clue’s new puzzle-based scavenger hunt does exactly that. Teams receive ten puzzles and codes, which solve to series of photo challenges that can be performed in any city.  For example, a clue written in Morse Code might deliver the secret message “Go to your nearest Starbucks and photograph your team buying coffee for a patron.”  Or a clue in Braille might send you to a glasses shop, where you’d “try on the most outrageous spectacles” and take a photo. At the end, the host judges the photos for creativity and everyone has a series of photographic memories to take back to the office.

We’re always looking for new treasure hunt ideas and scavenger hunt ideas. Let us know your thoughts!

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