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Scavenger hunt | Rowing regatta | Chaos games

Planning town games - planning scavenger hunt

Searching and task games of this type have different names. We call them “rowing regattas”, “chaos games” or „scavenger hunts“. What is it actually? In short: the kids have to look for something which is specified. This might be a theme, simply an object or a number of objects. However people, photos, noises or problem solving tasks might be required (questions on the town’s history, characters, etc.).

The type of game encourages team work, is lots of fun and with the correct preparation, can become a great theme for an unforgettable group experience.

How can the program be ran?

  • In a classic scavenger hunt several teams sit next to each other. The person at the front of the team line must always bring the object which is simply called out or incorporated in a story. The player who comes back with the object within 2 minutes wins 2 points for his team. Then all of the players move a place forward in the line, the player who has just taken part, goes to the back of the queue. The type of game plan works well in a group room or on a campsite if the objects are daily objects and if the tasks are kept simple. The game is very hectic, very loud and for this reason, is often called the chaos game.

  • The other way of playing the game is that each team receives a task which they must solve within 60 or 90 minutes. The tasks are listed on a sheet of paper, or a theme is called out and the group may now choose their own way of dealing with the task creatively and cleverly. There are points for the number of tasks performed but also extra creativity points. Points might be deducted if the group comes back too late.

  • The third type of game plan: A playing board is designed with different task squares and cards, which are reached by throwing a die. When a certain square is landed on, the relevant task must be performed.


Before the group session, the list of relevant objects according to the theme must be available in the right quantity. You will get far enough with all of the ideas and examples given in these pages. You will probably think of new ideas and extensions of the games along the way.

Theme list

Plant hunt, fruits, animal tracks in plaster, finger prints, picture rally, people, pictures on a specific theme and objects based on a specific theme are possible tasks to be solved.

Safety notes

  • If the game is played against the clock, there is the danger that the kids do not pay attention and do not look left nor right in the street. This can be deadly if the game is being played in the middle of a town. This can lead to injuries on a camp or even indoors if someone trips over a tent peg or stumbles down the stairs. For this reason, you should warn the group about such dangers, accompany them where possible and intervene if the rules are not followed. Extra attention should be paid towards crossing the street safely and suitable behaviour towards the public, especially if the game takes place in the town.

  • There should be a mobile phone in each group.

  • A time is agreed for the end of the game when everyone must be back at the agreed meeting point.

  • The playing area must be defined. E.g. not outside the club premises, the club buildings, only inside a part of town or only in certain streets.

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