This badge program builds upon Photo Scavenger Hunt, incorporating specifics for adjusting a scavenger hunt for teenagers as well as highlighting possible themes / lists you can use. Unlike younger children, teenagers are frequently “bored”, so we need to step our hunt up to make it more interesting for them.
Adjustments for teens
1. Groups of friends.
When you send out your invitations, you can either choose to break apart groups and force the kids to make new friends or you can choose to let the kids register as teams so they know everyone who is going with them. Look at your group and decide which will work best for you.
Teenagers love to travel together. If you are in a small area, you can let them move around together with minimal supervision. Bicycles and skateboards are a great way for teens to get around. For larger areas, you may need to provide a driver. What other ways may your teens travel through the hunt?
Teenagers are more likely to stick with the scavenger hunt longer . . . especially if it is fun or interesting. You will need to determine the optimum time to have the hunt as teenagers are very busy with school, sports and other activities. You may choose to send out the list electronically the day of the event and let the team do the scavenger hunt and then meet at a certain time to share their photos. Brainstorm ways to make the hunt more accessible to very busy teens.
Make your hunt more interesting by adding action. Don’t take a picture of a dog, take a picture of a team member walking the dog. Don’t take a picture of a fire hydrant, put a hat on it first. Don’t take a picture of a chalk drawing, make one and then photograph it. Want a picture of the entire team, don’t have them standing at attention but creating a pyramid. As you work on your list, think of how you can inject a little action into the items.
5. Clues and questions.
Give clues at each location to move your teams to the next location to make it more of an adventure. Ask questions and have your teenagers take pictures of the answers. For example, in our town we have a historical marker regarding Abraham Lincoln’s final journey home that could be put into a question and provide a more in-depth look into our town’s history.
6. Focus on their interests.
Asking most teenage girls to photograph make-up items will interest them more than vintage cars. You might want to do a photo scavenger hunt of fashion items they feel are “in” or “out” of style. Find out what things interest your teenagers to help pull them into the excitement of the hunt and keep them engaged.
7. A bit of tech.
Many kids have smart phones. If you happen to have a tech savvy group, include items that they’ll need to look up online. You might ask for a picture of the mayor’s house, the oldest building in town, the street sign from the most crooked street or even a dead end sign with the end of the street in sight. You may want to provide URLs or a Pinterest board to help your teams find information to identify what needs photographed. Explore the possibility of providing a tech version of your photo scavenger hunt.
8. Include your community.
Is there someone everyone knows in your town so you can make visiting their home a stop on the hunt? Are your local businesses willing to let the kids “stop by” and photograph foods or items for sale? Will a service organization allow the teens to do something as simple as walk a dog? Look around your community and try to include others in your hunt.
For example, one of our youth organizations does a scavenger hunt that references various churches in our town. Each participating church has someone there to give clues so the teams can move on to the next stop in the hunt.
Themes for teens
9. Improve your photography.
Items on the list might be to take a panoramic shot of an area or to take a picture from a different angle. Think of ways to adjust your list so the team is looking through the lens differently and improving their photographic skills.
10. Decorate and embellish.
Add props to the mix. Include a scarf, hat and other items in each team’s materials. Ask them to decorate everything before they take a picture to make it more fun. They can even decorate each other. What items might you include that can be used to decorate inanimate objects?
Street art, sculpture and architecture are everywhere. Do you have any local instances where these items were made by famous or well-known artists? Perhaps an event creating art that they could photograph? Use your scavenger hunt to explore your local art highlights.
12. Puzzle hunt.
Use a combination of placed items with clues hidden within (or on) them. You might use plastic Easter eggs with riddles inside or bottles with clues. At each location you find, you get a piece of the puzzle. When you get all of the pieces, you get the prize . . . or the location of the end of the hunt if you prefer. What kind of riddles do you think your teens would like?
13. Community questions.
Create a historical hunt by asking questions about your community. Let the photos show the answers. This might be via historical markers or stories shared by others who have lived in your area. Explore ways to create audio files with clues in them to help your teens find their way.
14. Faces in places.
Finding faces in everyday items is something our brains do. It tries to organize the world, putting order to the chaos. Finding facial features in natural and man-made locations can be a challenge. Not only will the teams have different images, but they’ll have a great time comparing their photos. Try this yourself to see how many you can find.
15. Night hunt.
Try creating a photo scavenger hunt at night. The world completely changes at night and you can take advantage of this. You will want to utilize the lack of light in your items. You can use flashlights to illuminate faces, hide glow sticks or even paint with light. Find a location, like camp, where you can play without worrying about curfews.
16. Meet the neighbors.
Get your teams talking to people outside their team. Instead of finding things, find people who are interested in a certain sport, prefer a certain color or work in a particular field. When they find someone who fits one of the criteria, write their name down on a white board ask them to hold it while taking the picture. Write out at least ten questions the teams could ask and make sure a couple will be difficult to have answered.
Earning points for items on the list (or even bonus points) gives the teens a challenge. Make sure you have some pretty good rewards for your teens, though. Look through your list and see where you can add bonus points for your teens to earn.
18. Pulling from other badge programs.
If none of these themes sound good to you, check out “Photo Scavenger Hunt: Youth” and “Photo Scavenger Hunt: Adult” for more ideas.
19. Do it!
Create a scavenger hunt for one of the themes (Steps 9-18) and run it. Use the “Photo Scavenger Hunt” badge program if you need steps to follow.
Sites to Explore
- flyp.pbworks.com/w/page/43685941/Tween Scavenger Hunts