Evolution of Scavenger Hunts to Treasure Hunts

Corporate teams are jumping to the chance to explore more advanced treasure hunts than old-fashioned scavenger hunts.

According to Wikipedia, a scavenger hunt is “A game in which individuals or teams seek to find a number of specific items, or perform tasks, as given in a list. The goal is either to complete the list first, or to complete the list in the most creative manner.” Scavenger hunts are easy to organize and are great for school groups and social gatherings. No knowledge of the course area is required as most of the items on the list can be found just about anywhere.

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Treasure hunts are very different from scavenger hunts in that the activity requires more than retrieving items on a list. Team building companies who arrange treasure hunts should not disturb the area on the course and the points should not interfere with other patrons in the area.

One previously common form of treasure hunt is geocaching. Geocaching is where someone hid containers for groups to locate. Teams open the containers and find cards with varying point values on them or small objects. A common problem with this type of treasure hunt program was that the geocache container was often found by someone not involved in the team building activity and caused undue alarm. It was also not very rewarding or exciting to spend the day looking for small containers.

Team building treasure hunts have come a long way and now hunts like GeoQuest: The High-Tech Treasure Hunt and ClueQuest: The Indoor Treasure Hunt. GeoQuest incorporates hand-held GPS units to help teams locate clues in a large city or zoo. Teams of four to five people receive handheld GPS units pre-programmed with the locations of hidden treasures. The GPS units guide teams to within 20 feet of their goal. After that, they use their wits and determination to decipher written clues to find the hidden answers. GeoQuest gives participants the opportunity to work together to achieve their goals. Teams can learn about history along Boston’s Freedom Trail, discover the jungles at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium or explore the sites in historic Charlotte, NC.

Treasure hunts like ClueQuest, are similar to GeoQuest: The High-Tech Treasure Hunt, but instead of utilizing hand-held GPS units to solve clues outdoors, teams solve an emulator using Braille or sign language to solve clues indoors at locations such as the Field Museum in Chicago, the San Jose Tech Museum, the Atlanta Aquarium, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia or the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC to name a few.

GeoQuest and ClueQuest are perfect team building activities for corporate groups of all sizes. Teamwork, strategic thinking, planning, communication and leadership are some of the skills needed to be successful during the treasure hunt activities. Participants learn about a city, zoo and even discover things they never knew about in their own backyards.

Team building treasure hunts continue to evolve past outdated scavenger hunts. New themes are emerging such as CSI: On Location, treasure hunts based on corporate conscious initiatives like Kindness Wins and LimoQuest, which allows teams to solve clues on a much larger course by riding in style in limousines.