A scavenger hunt

After two weeks of craziness regarding my alma mater (whose letter Obama ignored and signed an nondiscrimination executive order anyway! YAY!), a trip for a funeral to Kansas*, being sick, getting in a mini-car accident** where some jerk hit my two-month-old car, and a ton of library programming, I’m back into the blog. I want to write a little bit about one thing I did over the last two weeks that was library-related!

I mean, this is supposed to a library blog after all. I should write about libraries.

It was a scavenger hunt! I really like scavenger hunts or at least I like the idea of them when I put them on the schedule. Somehow I always manage to forget how much work it is to put together a scavenger hunt. This is my process:

  • write the clues
  • then makes sure they are solvable
  • then type them
  • find cute pictures – because it’s Random Fandom Summer Reading themed –  for the clues
  • decide which picture of David Tennant to use for the Doctor Who clue
  • learn about bronies
  • realize you probably have all these pictures saved somewhere but can’t find them….
  • print them out
  • cut them into little strips
  • get envelopes to put the clues in
  • put matching pictures from clues on envelopes because it’s fun and it makes it a bit easier
  • tell the staff you’re doing a scavenger hunt and warn them
  • send the staff the clues so they can help
  • let the director know I am NOT sending kids up the top quiet study floor where her office is
  • pat myself on the back for thinking of that in time…
  • put the clues into a few different groups so you can send the kids in different directions
  • put markers on each of the clues for each group (I used different colored stars)
  • put the right clues from the right groups into the right envelopes
  • make sure they all end where you want them to
  • put the envelopes in their clue places
  • run back and write notes on all the envelopes saying, “For a library program! Please do not remove!”
  • wait for the teens to arrive
  • tell them the rules
  • give them their clues and groups
  • send them off
  • help with clues
  • give really easy hints that they sometimes don’t get
  • wait
  • help more
  • wait more
  • finally they bring all of the clues back to you . . . or most of the clues
  • Give them candy!

Overall, I would say it took me maybe 4 -5 hours in setting up the program. That’s kind of a lot! That includes all of the writing of the clues, organizing – it takes a lot longer than you think to sort them into different groups and make sure the kids aren’t just following each other around the library, and set up. That’s a lot more time than I usually spend on a program. I always have a good time helping the teens with the clues when I’m done but in the middle of the implementation stage it’s hard not to feel really overwhelmed.

Sorting the clues into their correct envelopes in the right group order is a challenge!
Sorting the clues into their correct envelopes in the right group order is a challenge!

Have you ever thought of doing a scavenger hunt. It’s a bit of work, but really fun and worth it. Give it a try sometime!

*I think I became a a bit more of a New Englander in Kansas. It’s so open . . . I don’t like it. Where are all the buildings? Or the ocean?

**I’m totally fine. My new spacecar needs bumper work:

Sad U.S.S. Spaceship (that’s what I call my car sometimes….H.M.S. Spaceship if I’m pretending I’m from Britain)
HAHAHAHA. I destroyed you!
HAHAHAHA. I destroyed you, Other Car’s Bumper!

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