If you saw my poster or presentation at OLA Child and Youth Expo…thank you for visiting! Here are all the details about the SCAVENGER HUNT ON STEROIDS if you wanted more information.
Well scavenger hunt might not be the best term, but it was the coolest and most concise.
The process to get to the end first and obtain the prize (donated Tim Horton’s gift cards) involved a combination of a scavenger hunt and a treasure hunt–with an overlay of dinosaurs obviously.
In celebration of the movie release (two days before it opened actually), I held a teen library program at our combination library facility (public library within a secondary school) that was narrative based on a Jurassic Park situation:
The Jurassic World theme park has brought a dinosaur and some of their research to the school as part of an outreach program. But the dinosaur is on the loose! You have to get together with your team to survive the dino rampage through the library and be the first to get to the designated safe room.
Teens then got into groups and had to progress through a variety of challenges. The first was obtaining a tote bag to carry any items they had to collect in certain sections of the library. I was very careful to keep from too much traffic in the different challenges. This added layer was a bit more work (making sure than everyone completed all the challenges but there were no more than two groups at each station at one time), but it definitely helped since we had 19 teens participating in the program that included 18 challenges both inside and outside!
The teens also had to put on “role badges” that included dino expert, tough guy/gal, tech master, survivalist, and Jurassic Park owner. Some challenges could only be completed by the person with a specific job (i.e.-only the dino expert could pick out which dino matched the dino tracks according to the guide sheet).
A few challenges had to be completed correctly to even lead the team to the next challenge (i.e.-pick out the right type of water that is safe for drinking to be lead to the next challenge). Then, some challenges involved more complicated tasks with time bonuses for completing it better than the other teams–such as creating an SOS on the front lawn out of various materials that could be found in the library or in the school and making a camouflage shield. I also made sure that there were physical challenges since I think that many teens respond positively to something a little different than a standard sit-down program. For example, the tough guy/gal had to do 10 push-ups and complete and obstacle course.
Then, to make things even more interesting (since this was supposed to take place during a real-life dino rampage of the library), each teen had to have a cloth strip hanging from a belt loop–a la flag football. When I pulled down my T-Rex mask, I was no longer a friendly librarian but a dangerous dino. If I pulled the cloth strip from one of the teens, they were “injured.” This situation left the team with a choice–they could take a 10 minute time penalty by leaving the person behind OR they could “handcuff it” by another teammate volunteering their cloth strip and then the “injured” and volunteer would be tied to each other by the wrist until the end of the game. We played by old school Jurassic Park rules though–stay still so the T-Rex can’t see you.
The teens LOVED this aspect of the scavenger hunt. In fact one boy loved trying to outrun me since I didn’t T-Rex myself until we were outside. He definitely succeeded though. Don’t underestimate the speed and stamina of a 16 year old! The rest simply enjoyed laughing at me and at each other. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to hear so many teens laughing their butts off at something that wasn’t a dirty joke.
While this program required more work than ANY other I had done previously (and more than any I’ve done since actually), I was SO worth it. In order to have a scavenger/treasure hunt with a variety of challenges, planning ahead is key. You should also chart out where everyone will be at each step of the game.
Three times the work = Three times the reward.
I will never forget this awesomesauce program.