Adventure Race Help!
May 24, 2015 1:07 PM   Subscribe

I need help coming up with an event/obstacle for a high school adventure race/obstacle course. Details and complications inside!

I'm helping organize a high school adventure race/obstacle course type event. The route they will be travelling is about 5km with several "stops" along the way where they will be completing a task/competing in an event. Some of these will be more "tough mudder" style events (crawling through mud under cargo nets, moving tires) and others will involve teamwork and problem solving skills.

I need to come up with an idea for an event. Complicating factor: this is the first event of the race, so most teams will arrive at it all at once. That means that 20 teams of 4 people need to be able to complete this station with minimal waiting around.

Complicating factors:

- It would help if all teams can start this event without waiting for others teams to complete. (More or less).
- It will take place in a park-type clearing along public walking trails. We will have space, but it's not like we are in a big open field.
- It's on city property, so we can't dig a pit, change the landscape, etc.
- Won't have easy access to a water source.
- The event will be manned by myself and 1 or 2 student volunteers.
- It would be great if this event helped spread out the teams. Ideally, some would finish quickly and others might take longer. Bonus if finishing time isn't directly related to athleticism.
- Probably don't want them spending any longer than 10 minutes at this event.

I can spend a bit of money on supplies if needed (probably ~$200), but ideally it would be on stuff that could be used again in future school activities.

Thanks for your help, MeFi's! I would really like to make this an awesome event for this kids!
posted by Nightman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
1.) make a series of spots on the ground that are tables, and around each table are four spots for chairs.

2.) Next to each "chair" is a wallet (plastic bag), containing random denominations of fake money.

3.) The party is presented a bill and they have to make the amount out of their money at hand, this could be made more mathematically complicated in a variety of ways.

4.) team presents bill to "waiter", they validate the sum, and off they go.

You could also grab some jigsaw puzzles, and have them assemble puzzles as a team.
posted by nickggully at 1:25 PM on May 24, 2015

Some basic camp games, which can be done in out-and-back relay style:

Three-legged race
Elbows-linked, back-to-back, sidewise-walking race
Carry-a-thing race - e.g., carry an egg with a spoon, move a balloon without using your hands, etc

Easter egg hunt/Capture the flag type game -- with some kind of points assigned for the first, second, third, etc teams to bring a flag over to the judge's stand
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:27 PM on May 24, 2015

You could do an adaptation of the marshmallow challenge. Shorten the time limit and instead of having it be a competition to see which team builds the tallest, make them build it to hit a certain height target. Doesn't have to be the marshmallow materials, either.

Building challenges like this are fun, and are a nice thing to mix in with the more physical challenges.

Another idea, have a kiddie pool filled with water and a bin of scrap material, aluminum foil, etc. Each team has to construct a boat that can support X number of pennies.
posted by phunniemee at 2:09 PM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

There were some good tasks in the show "The Quest". It was enjoyable to watch, too, so if you have time you might want to give it a try (10 hours, two tasks per episode).

One that I remember involved teams of maybe four: two members were at a distance, with a simple message to transmit, a code key mapping letters to flags, and a set of flags. They displayed the flags in order, and the other two team members tried to decode the message. A neutral judge told them if the code was correct; the team got to proceed if they got it right.

I'm not sure, but I think it was in the 8th or 9th episode. You could set up an inexpensive signaling system for this (maybe 10 printed pages for each team, or maybe color combinations of 3-4 flags, or tree branch positions, or what have you).

However, there might be some other tasks that would be even easier to set up. Some of the show's tasks seemed to use expensive custom equipment, but maybe there are some other simpler ones for you.
posted by amtho at 2:27 PM on May 24, 2015

Carry-a-thing race and puzzles are always good.

You can also do a toss game - maybe something like 1 team member stands on one side of the area with a hat or container, and the other 3 team members each have to throw something (small ball, egg, balloon, etc) into the hat before they can all go

A variation of the cross-the-river game could work too.

Here's a list of challenges done on Survivor. Some of those seem like they can be adapted to work for a station like this.
posted by SisterHavana at 3:12 PM on May 24, 2015

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