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Scavenger Hunt Clues

Shrinivas Kanade
Did you solve all the clues to scavenger hunt, the last time you participated in? Sorry, if I have touched a raw nerve. I didn't mean to. Now, if it is your turn to arrange one, do you know the best way to create a list of challenging clues for the occasion?
Everyone, adults, teenagers and children alike, love to participate in, and solve scavenger hunt clues that they come across. Curiosity, 'I too can do it' factor and the chance of outdoing the rest of the participants, add excitement to the challenge of coming with an answer to the clues. Most of the time scavenging hunts for kids are planned as a part of Christmas party games, Halloween or the Ester day celebration.
If you are, at present, involved with a scavenger hunt, not this time as a participant, but as its planner and executor, then, sooner or later you will have to write the list of clues for it. Since, the participants are supposed to solve them, it automatically means that not all the clues are easy to create.
You can hardly take these clues out of a magician's hat but rather, you have to invest a lot of ingenuity to come up with them. Well, let's stop spinning the yarn, and get to the bottom of your problem of what to do about the clues for the hunt.

Clues for the Hunt

Number of factors contribute and influence the process of making clues for a scavenger hunt. The nature of the place chosen for the event, the age group of the participants, the time limit allotted to solve a clue, the points awarded etc., determines the complexity of the clues.
Before, I started writing this brief article, one of my friends suggested to include a crossword puzzle as an indoor activity in the hunt, which is to be completed by the participants with the help of hints provided for it. Whoever completes the crossword puzzle first, wins a stage in the hunt and lot of points.

Address of Mr. Big Ben

A clue such as, "Where does Mr. Big Ben, the keeper of time lives?," could mean different things to the participants depending on their age. The phrase may set a child, with a mischievous smile on his lips and eager to meet a person with an implausible name "Big", looking for someone dressed up for the occasion to impersonate Mr. Big Ben and carrying a placard with a caption, "Address of Mr. Big Ben and ..." in the designated area for the hunt.
But, to a teenager or an adult, the phrase may signify that the clue is about the famous watch, located in Bridge street, parliament square, London, the United Kingdom. An astute participant may enter a phrase Houses of parliament as an answer to the clue, in the crossword puzzle.
The answer to the clue could also be London or the United Kingdom, if the crossword puzzle is about the name of the capitals or the name of the countries, respectively. The word, Watch also fits the bill and could be a probable answer to the clue for the scavenger hunt.

Find the Slogans

For the adults, you can think of planning a scavenger hunt based on the advertising billboards in your community or in the business part of your city. You can base the clues for the hunt, on the slogans on the boards or the products they are advertising. The participants will enter their answers in the crossword puzzle to win the hunt. The most observant or imaginative participant can win this stage of the hunt.
At the beginning of the hunt, if it demands from the participants to find hidden objects, give participants their list of items to find and at a signal set them on the course to find answers or collect the items in the list. For young kids, in this case, clues in the form of pictures can work very well and they can work independently without any help from the adults.

Word Search

For young ones participating in the scavenger hunt you can plan word search puzzle. You can do so by making a 5x5 square on a paper for each participant. If you want a kid to find the word 'PIZZA' in it, then write it first on the paper. You can write the word in the squares in the grid horizontally, vertically or diagonally depending the age group and then fill rest of the grid with letters absent in the chosen word.
If the participants are adults then you would surely like to increase the complexity of the puzzle by incorporating many words. You may also construct the puzzles in such a way that the words entered in it, when arranged in proper order make sentences for the participants to use as the real clues in finding something.

Place for the Scavenger Hunt

When you decide to plan a scavenger hunt, the first thing you must do, is to scout a suitable place for it. The rule of thumb is to locate a place with plenty of things to find in it. You could choose a library or a museum or a mall or a school for the purpose.
Your scavenger hunt ideas and clues should center on the things or the items or the landmarks in the hunting ground. The clues for a hunt held in a library can demand book names and their locations as the answers from the young participants.
The scavenger hunt is a great group activity. It involves scouting, scheming, excitement of the challenge, bluffs, hunting for the answers to the clues and finally, the reward with a chance of standing out in the crowd. In short, it offers everything a child or an adult lives for and dreams about. It allows all the participants to play a detective to his or her level best. A scavenger hunt stimulates and satisfies the primordial hunter ever-present to show off his skills, in all of us.