Scavenger Hunt ideas for 13-14 year olds.
July 23, 2008 6:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm building a photo scavenger hunt for teens ages 13-14. Creative suggestions needed.

We're a co-ed camp of 13-14 year olds at Stanford University. Our previous scavenger hunt consisted of "Go to X and do Y". These were fun but resulted in a bit of a uniform death march with pictures that didn't really challenge the kids.

I'm planning on having each picture be worth between 1-5 points depending on difficulty. A 1 point question could be take a picture of a group member with silly hair and a 5 point question could be "take a picture of your group reencacting the Gettysburg address complete with costumes.

Any and all legal, safe, sane and creative photo suggestions are appreciated. Also, if you have any suggestions on how to score, regulate or otherwise streamline the whole scavenger hunt I'd love you forever.
Thanks in advance,
posted by JimmyJames to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you're doing this in a semi-public place where other people might be around, it could be fun to force the kids to reach out and garner help from outsiders. "Photograph [#] people you've never met doing [silly activity]." could be cool.

Other random ideas could be photographs of team members... spelling words with their bodies... squished into a phone booth or onto a park bench... carrying a "fallen" team member to safety... I think anything that encourages the kids to be creative and think up how to make the picture, rather than just fulfilling some requirement, is good.
posted by Zephyrial at 7:17 PM on July 23, 2008

Light reflecting off of water
A leaf that looks like something else
the number "3"
a shadow that looks like an animal (or a specific animal)
posted by metahawk at 7:45 PM on July 23, 2008

a picture of people wearing clothes with the Stanford logo - pictures can ranked afterwards by the # of people in a single photo that are wearing Stanford stuff - the most people, the maximum points.
posted by metahawk at 7:49 PM on July 23, 2008

One that always got my kids going was finding and photographing letters of the alphabet as found in nature (or just formed naturally, as a bird's eye view of a coffee cup looks like a Q) - a found alphabet. Some examples here. Taking a length of hose and shaping it into an H is not "found"...found is much harder. Scoring could be based on how difficult some letters will be to find. For instance, the letters I and O are going to be found everywhere. G, not so much.

Also, found faces....photographing inanimate objects that look like human faces.
posted by iconomy at 8:04 PM on July 23, 2008

First: if you can, send an adult with each team, in a supervisory or participatory capacity, as they feel inclined -- keeps the chaos and legality issues to a minimum.

When we last did one, we had fairly mundane (non-dangerous) requirements -- BUT, we required that ALL teammates be in the picture -- hence, they had to have a stranger take the picture. (note, make sure that it's all faces -- otherwise, the "my thumb is in the picture!" scenario creeps in.)

We awarded points for completion, but also had a "second score" system for each pic -- which teams had the most unique, most creative, etc. An explicit "we encourage you to be CREATIVE" at the beginning of the hunt did wonders for ours -- asking for things like "an arrow" sent them to the hardware store, the sporting goods store, the road signs and the flashing neon signs at the bar. One group even made a human arrow out of all their team members, in a park. This makes the mundane MUCH more interesting -- and your work organizing much simpler. No need to come up with the "re-enactment" scenarios. We felt that letting kids do their thing made for a more free-form event, where they had a chance to interpret as they saw fit.

FYI: watch out for things that require pictures in stores -- we had issues with store security that cropped up which, in hindsight, would have been easier to not have to deal with.
posted by liquado at 8:26 PM on July 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

A few years ago, a group of teenage scavengers came to the library I was working at and took a picture of a children's book. This doesn't seem too hard, but the whole catch of the hunt was that they were from a town about 45 miles away. None of them knew anything about our town and were having to find a whole list of things. They were competing with another team and seemed to be having a blast.
posted by sapphirebbw at 8:32 PM on July 23, 2008

Best answer: Get a list of songs and have them take pictures of things that represent the titles.

Here's an example.
posted by theichibun at 9:22 PM on July 23, 2008

The best scavenger hunts I've been involved with are those that help you learn about your surroundings / the community. They're not structured as "Take a picture of your group doing XYZ" so much as "What year was Stanford University founded" perhaps with a hint pointing towards a plaque on a building that gives said date. The group has to take pictures of members with these answers. For added difficulty you can always institute minimum numbers of people in the group in each picture, which eliminates splitting up. It turns the whole thing into an educational experience, and can get kinda wacky, depending on how many cool / random / unknown facets there are to the surrounding area.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:07 AM on July 24, 2008

I used to have a lot of fun doing these with my church youth group as a teen. We'd get wacky list items like "someone in a tuxedo eating ice cream" (surprisingly, that one turned out to be easy and we didn't even have to buy the ice cream). In my experience, the best ones were ones that required a) really looking at your surroundings, such as the found alphabet idea above, b) talking to strangers (such as the guy in the tuxedo, or getting n people together in such a way that their clothes make a combined message, or having to have a picture of the entire group doing something -- forming a shape, making a conga line, etc.), or c) required finding local landmarks or traditions (such as, for Athens, GA, "the tree that owns itself," "a cobblestone street," "a freshman under the arch," "a globe that isn't round," etc.).

Good luck!
posted by notashroom at 1:16 PM on July 24, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks you all so much! I ended up using a list of the 100 Greatest Rock Ballads Ever. The results were hilarious, creative and awesome. Thanks for all the great ideas!
posted by JimmyJames at 5:19 PM on July 24, 2008

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