Communication | Collaboration | Team Strategy
Group contributions, resourcefulness, and creative thinking
Objectives of large group scavenger hunts can vary depending on the type of event to include: earning revenue, completing a certain number of challenges, and ensuring the balance of team dynamics and participation.
Small Medium Large
Large group scavenger hunt events typically are the most successful with teams that have at least 3 or more participants, and competing teams of at least 3 or more, preferably 5-15 groups.
Materials for large group scavenger hunt events can include: scavenger hunt lists and clues, backpacks, pencils, paper, compasses, cell phones, gps (geocaching), maps and more.
Room for group to meet and end up in; fun area for scavenger hunt
Typical scavenger hunt events for large groups will be facilitated outdoors in a down town city, zoo, outdoor theme park or other fun and adventurous location.
Scavenger hunt locations for large groups often follow a theme such as mission impossible or clue based themes.
The following is one idea for a large group scavenger hunt event: After groups are formed, ask one representative to come up and get a paper bag with the scavenger hunt list in it. Ask the group not to open the bag until you say, “go”. Establish the boundaries, which are usually the room itself. Tell them to be creative in finding the items on the list and put them in the bag. As long as they can justify it, and can convince the audience it will work. Call time after ten minutes. Have each group explain their items. If you choose to score the activity, have the audience clap, or an “impartial judge” decides.
Suggested scavenger hunt items:
2. Pet leash
3. Ticket stub
6. Out of state license
7. Bingo marker
8. Pocket knife
9.The oldest penny
10. Baby picture
1. magic wand
2. portable phone
4. an invention
6. musical instrument
7. spider web
10. flea circus trapeeze
If you are trying to orient a group to a new space, consider adding items such as “date stamp from library” or “parking ticket from garage”, “count the number of stairmasters in the gym” or similar challenges to help them learn the physical layout of the new space. .
Also consider thematic lists: camping trips, holidays, etc.
Variation: Alphabet scavenger hunt: have each group find something on their bodies that begins with each letter of the alphabet, have them record the words on a sheet of paper.
See a team scavenger hunt comparison chart for variations.
Build the Tallest tower
Communication | Collaboration | Team Strategy
Illustrate the importance of collaboration among groups working to achieve similar goals.
Demonstrate how competition can be potentially destructive.
1 pre-built tower made from:
15 Paper Cups
25 Popsicle Sticks
5 sheets of Construction Paper
enough Masking Tape to hold it together
3 packets containing the following items:
1 roll of Masking Tape
10 Paper Cups
25 Popsicle Sticks
4 sheets of construction paper
12” strip of Masking Tape
25 Paper Cups
15 Popsicle Sticks
8 sheets of construction paper
6” strip of Masking Tape
10 Paper Cups
35 Popsicle Sticks
3 sheets of construction paper
The setup requires pre-building a tower and dividing the materials into each packet. There is no model for the pre-built tower - it can look like anything you want - the more complicated it is the harder it will be for the groups to replicate.
Big Picture: Participants will work in small groups to build towers that look like a pre-built tower. Each group will be missing some of the supplies necessary to build their tower, but between the groups they will have enough to build 3 towers identical to the pre-built tower if they decide to collaborate and share supplies. The facilitators should make sure this is not immediately obvious, and once it becomes more obvious, the facilitators should neither discourage or encourage collaboration. The groups will be purposely set against each other through competition (and therefore they will be less likely to collaborate). Use appropriate additional debrief questions based on the groups choice to collaborate or not to collaborate.
Procedure: 15 min Begin by randomly dividing participants into small groups and organizing the groups in different areas of the room. You should have the pre-built tower (hidden from view) e.g outside the room, or in a corner where not everyone can see it. Introduce the activity by saying: “Your goal is to build a tower that matches the pre built tower.” Ask for one volunteer from each group to be their group’s representative, and explain that only the representative will be allowed to see the pre-built tower. Announce that a prize will be awarded for the group that builds the tower that most closely replicates the pre-built tower. While one facilitator is showing the representatives the pre-built model, another facilitator should be distributing the supply packets to the group. The representatives should only have a short time (~30 seconds to see the model) and no one but the representative should be allowed to see the model. Answer any questions at this point, and then announce that the representatives will return to the groups, and once they return, the facilitators will not answer any questions.
[The facilitators should not answer any questions so that the groups are forced to figure out how to build their tower on their own. If the groups figure out they need to collaborate, the facilitators should neither encourage or discourage them (this will come up in the debrief).]
Send the representatives back to their groups and announce that each group has 10 minutes to build the tower. 5 minutes into the building, ask for the representatives to come to the center of the room and report to the other representatives one thing they are doing well and one challenge they are having. Then let them see the model again for a short time (~30 seconds.
[Again, the facilitators should not answer any questions, encourage or discourage collaboration! ]
After 10 minutes of building, have a representative from each group present their tower to the other groups.
Report Back: 10 min Give some candy to everyone who participated, and debrief!
The facilitators should ask the following questions of the entire group.
Raise your hand if your group built a tower!
Did you achieve the tower in the picture? Why or why not?
What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
How did competition add from or detract from what you were trying to achieve?
What will you take away from this activity?
How does building the tower in this activity compare to your daily work?
How does this activity relate to being part of the larger company or organization, or group?
How can we encourage collaboration and healthy competition among team members?
Additional Debrief (add the following questions if the groups did not collaborate):
Why did you not to collaborate?
Was it a conscious choice or did it not occur to you?
What would have been possible if you had decided to share resources?
(add the following questions if the groups collaborated):
How did you come to the decision to collaborate?
What became possible once you made the decision to share resources?
Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces
2 Group Size
4 Set Up
Help teams think about collaboration, communication and strategy.
A jigsaw puzzle. Blank ones are nice e.g. this set of 3 blank puzzles for $4.25, but ones with pictures are also ok. It is also helpful to have cups or small bags (to hold a some of the pieces).
Divide up the puzzle into chunks - 1 for each functional group or team.
Pass out the pieces for each group (it helps to divide them into bags or
Identify the goal you want the team to work towards - e.g. highlighting current challenges fitting teams face in working together, or
Introduce the activity - goal is to put pieces together
Give people time to work on it (varies depending on complexity)
Facilitate discussion about how this relates to what the group is doing in real life (i.e. how group is working together)ff
How is this similar to what we are trying to do as a team? How is this different?
Did you collaborate with the other Teams? Why or why not? How did that help or hinder your progess?
What are the implications back on the job?
So what? what do we want to take away from this?
Pass out the puzzles in advance and have teams draw their vision of success on them
To have the group communicate and find a way to get the entire group safely off of the ground with only hands touching ground.
Tell the group that their goal is to raise the whole group off of the ground with their hands being the only things with contact to the ground (I sometimes give a time to be off the ground to sway them from trying to do simultaneous handstands). They may use each other (if you want to limit trial and error further and your group can be split into groups of 3 or 4 as those work best for the push-up) but may not use any other props. I have seen this accomplished 2 ways, the first is a group (4 works best) where each persons feet are on the lower back/thighs of another person and in the box formation they are able to do a push-up. The second way the group starts sitting in a circle (groups of 3 or 4 work best for this) and crosses their ankles, putting them on the shoulder of the person next to them and then their hands are used to lift.
Talk about communication, whose ideas were heard, what challenges were there, etc. You can also ask them initially how hard they expect it to be and at the end ask why it was harder/easier
2 Group Size
4 Set Up
Practice giving and following directions. Work on clear and concise communication.
Cat's Cradle handout
String, yarn, thin rope, or a shoe lace
Cut string into pieces that are ~ 6' long and tie a knot so they form a loop. Draw a cat's cradle on a piece of paper.
Please help improve these directions. This is the rough idea. Have partners sit back to back. Give one person the handout with images of cat's cradle (attached) and the other person the string. The partner with the handout should do their best to explain step-by-step how to make the string into the image, but can't turn around and look at the other persons hands to actually see what they are doing.
What was difficult about this task? What worked well? How is this like other times you are giving or receiving directions? How is this different?
If they are really struggling, you can give them hints (see full instructions here:
http://www.ifyoulovetoread.com/book/chten_cats1105.htm) If it is too easy, you can blindfold the partner with the string, or tell them to try again, this time without using the words, "string" "finger" or "hand."
Another option would be to have groups of three people. With the same piece of string, one person uses their right hand, another person uses their left hand, and they can't talk, but have to take directions from the third person about what to do.
Another option is to do this on a large scale with a big piece of rope and each participant acts as finger on one of the hands (this would require at least 10 people).
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