Wednesday, March 4, 2009 by Dave Blum

Here are three types of scavenger hunt lists you’ll want to consider when creating your own DIY team building exercises:

1) A List of Items:

When we were kids, our parents often set up our birthday or holiday scavenger hunts around the house or neighborhood.  After receiving the laundry list of required items, you’d then spread out around the area in search of a button, a comb, a tennis racquet, etc.  In corporate team building activities, you can do pretty much the same thing — although you’ll want the items to be a little bit more advanced and the area- covered somewhat larger in scope:  a wig from a costume shop, perhaps, or a coaster from a particular bar, or a fortune cookie from the Japanese Tea Garden.  Once teams have returned from their hunt, you’ll then want them to do something with their items:  create an art project, perhaps, or employ the scavenger hunt items in a mock sales presentation of a new product.

2) A List of Photo Spots:

In your typical photo scavenger hunt, participants receive a rather straightforward list of photos they need to take:  ie. a snapshot of your team with the Statue of Liberty in the distance or a photo of you and your companions in front of the Wall Street bull statue.  A more abstract hunt might offer a list of intentionally vague directions, stretching peoples’ creativity and imagination.  For example, such a list might include:  “Get a photo that represents ‘hope'” or “Snap a shot that brings alive the concept of ‘innovation’.”  It’s then up to each team to interpret the directions and choose the appropriate locations.  At the end of the day, everyone presents their photo gallery before the whole group and explains their choices.

3) A List of Challenges:

An even more advanced scavenger hunt list would present teams with a series of challenges.   In this case, photos certainly suffice but video cameras are even better.  Have teams do the wave at the bleachers…or videotape a team member inside a washing machine…or document their attempt to cram themselves into a phone booth, 50’s style.  If your team is particularly extroverted, you could have them out in the field, candid-camera style, convincing strangers to do crazy things like:  singing their college fight song, doing one-armed push ups, or composing a love poem to President Obama.  The sky — and your own chutzpah — is the limit.

Please do let me and my audience know the interesting scavenger hunts you’ve been a part of!  I’ll even print your photos, if they’re not too racy. 🙂