Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    COMMUNITY BUILDER: Zen Scavenger Hunt

    Here's a youth ministry scavenger hunt idea that encourages lots of conversation, interaction, and give-and-take amongst team members. 

    Teams are sent out to collect a number of items, perhaps ten, within a given amount of time. The catch: they do not know yet what exactly is on the scavenger hunt list. They do not receive the list until they return with their items. They are then given a certain amount of time, as a team, to figure out which item best fits each descriptor on the list and to come up with a persuasive argument that will convince the judges (in a sense, this is a "reverse engineering" game). For example, if the scavenger hunt list item says "A new kind of drink holder," teens may try to convince the judges that the basketball they found best fits this description because it has a place for a straw to be inserted, can hold lots of liquid, and won't break if dropped! Teams should be allowed, within reason, to modify their found items in order to make them better fit the chosen description on the scavenger hunt list. Of course, they will really have to work together to come up with their presentation of the objects and how they will argue their connections to the scavenger hunt list. Some sample descriptors for the list might include:

    • A symbol for peace on Earth
    • A conversation starter
    • Our new youth group mascot
    • A tool to encourage sharing
    • Something Jesus could have used
    • Church worship 3.0
    • A new way to study the Bible
    • A aid for helping world hunger
    • A forgiveness machine
    • Useful for an object lesson about "resurrection"


    livefish said...

    I sort of came up with a scavenger hunt idea by accident at youth group one night. We had the Catch Phrase Wheel out and I handed a word disc to each team and said, "Go find as many of these things in the church as you can." When time was up they got to argue for objects that they had found which didn't relate at all to the word. It was pretty fun.

    Brian said...

    SOunds like you stumbled upon a zen scavenger hunt all on your own!

    Steven said...

    I like this idea. I'm thinking of using it this summer when we bring in our new freshman into the high school ministry w/ a lock-in event.

    Pastor Leah said...

    Thanks Brian and Jacob. I used this Zen Scavenger hunt at a recent weekly youth group gathering and they loved it. I particularly enjoyed one argument for how Jesus really could have used rubber cement in his ministry. Beyond the humourous results, the low vulnerability nature of this activity got the youth talking about concepts of God and faith in a very easy, fun and imaginative way, even raising a couple of great questions for further exploration. For a new youth group where comfort levels are still growing, this aspect of the activity was also much appreciated!