Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt?
My High School & Middle School Youth Group Teens LOVE a good hunt and I have done tons around here with all sorts of themes. But, it was time for me to switch it up. So, I headed to our local mall where I found SO MANY great ideas and came up with a fun and challenging Mall Hunt that my teens absolutely loved!!!
It’s a great way to promote teamwork among your teens as well as a wonderful way for them to mingle and get to know each other better. And, of course, it’s just a TON of FUN!
It’s a pretty easy activity to accomplish, FREE off site activity (as opposed to bowling or putt putt golf) and it requires very minimal materials. Most teens pride themselves in knowing every corner of their local mall, so it’s great fun to send them to a place they know so very well and make them hunt for things they’ve never seen before! All they need is at least one teen per group with a cell phone camera option. (Do they even make cell phone’s without camera’s anymore?) It is not necessary for EVERY teen in the group to have one, as long as at least one team member does, that will do just fine!
I have everything detailed in an attached pdf document (too much to type on one blog post page…you would be scrolling down forever) and you can easily print it out as well. Look for the link below printed in blue.
I went to the mall a few days before with a notebook and cell phone camera ready. I wandered around looking for each location and item being careful not to make each one ‘too easy’ to find. I decided for my hunt, there were two components. Once given each clue (a poem), the teens would have to decide which location/store the item might be in and then they had to actually search for the item.
I took pictures on my cell phone for each item and then went back to my office to create the poems/clues. Once I knew approximately how many teens would be attending, I decided how many teams I would have and printed each of the poems/clues 8 times (the amount of teams I planned to have). Once printed and cut out, I arranged each of the 8 team’s clues in completely different orders (so that no team would be looking for the same clue/item at the same time). Each team would only get one clue at a time. (ie. Clue #1 must be correct and complete before each team received Clue #2)
I actually created my hunt in June and used it as a fun ‘welcome summer’ type of activity. I had several clues that reflected what was happening in June. World Cup, NBA Finals had just finished a few weeks earlier, etc. It was SUCH A HUGE SUCCESS, that I will for sure be doing another one. I’ve already decided to plan one for just before Christmas and use a Christmas Theme or Jesus is The Reason for The Season Theme since the malls will be filled with all sorts of fun items and decor that is only out there during The Christmas Season. There are plenty of future ‘theme’ possibilities (Back to School, Valentines, etc.) to consider as well depending on what time of year a mall hunt works for you. My hunt can be very easily modified to fit you and your group’s needs/area, etc.
I have attached a pdf file with all the info as well as photos of each item and each item’s poem. I have also included special hints/tips/issues that came up during our hunt.
Here are a few examples of my store/location, items, and poem/clues. Please look below for the blue link to the attached pdf doc for full information!
Store/Location– The Disney Store Item– Chewbacca’s DiaryThis is one of those items I found while wandering around my mall and I just couldn’t resist. It is actually a journal/notebook in the Star War’s section of The Disney Store and the entire book is covered in Chewbacca’s fur. There was recent buzz that they have brought back together the original Star Wars Cast (including the actor who originally played Chewbacca) to film the next installment of the Star Wars Series.
Poem/Clue- They’re filming another sequel and this character is excited, it’s been many, many years since he had been invited. Lots of lines to learn and director’s notes to remember, this notebook should help him during filming in September. Not to worry, it will be easy to find. Just like the character, it’s a fur covered one of a kind!
Store/Location– Hallmark Cards & Gifts Item- TGIF (Thank God I’m Forgiven) Wall PlaqueI’m sure you’ve seen the word/saying plaques. They are everywhere right now. Most are black (antique look) with off white lettering. Hallmark in our local mall has an ENTIRE WALL of them. As you can imagine, it’s an eye full and they all blend together when you’re standing in front of this wall. The challenge on this one was to stare at the hundreds of sayings plaques on the Hallmark wall until you found the right one. (There was a regular TGIF …Thank God It’s Friday, and this one specifically which was Thank God I’m Forgiven)
Poem/Clue– Sentimental Sayings is this store’s specialty, not just for holidays, but also for everyday things. We all love Friday and thank God when it’s here, but there is something better God gives to us year after year!
Store/Location– Thing’s Remembered Item– Snow Globe with 2 Panda’s InsideThing’s Remembered has a very large section of snow globes. This was one of those clues where the teens would run back to me with a picture and I’d say, “Right Store, Wrong Item!” Then, they’d run back to the store. They would figure ‘snow globe” out, but didn’t realize that I was asking for a specific snow globe.
Poem/Clue– Remember last winter, the snow was all over. Some things a black and white duo just can’t get over. Stuck in a storm is the hand they were dealt, on a shelf with others where the snow never melts!
Store/Location– Buca di Beppo Restaurant Item– Photo of Communion Boy from 1940’sIn our mall, we have a Buca di Beppo restaurant. Being Catholic, I thought an obvious choice for one of my hunt items would be The Pope’s Table. (If you have ever been to one of these restaurants, you know what I’m talking about) Unfortunately, the restaurant manager could not allow our teens to enter into the dining area and disturb paying guests, so I had to get a little creative. The walls of this restaurant are plastered with photos….thousands of photos. I happened to find this one which was a boy who was literally looking out from the photo right at the Pope’s table!!! Perfecto!
Poem/Clue– One of the sacraments this little boy just made, and off to a large lunch where his Father will pay. But, the boy is excited and full of hope, he can’t believe he’s actually looking at The Pope!!!
Again, these are just a few examples (FULL INFORMATION IS ATTACHED IN A PDF DOCUMENT) and they can all be very easily modified to fit your group and your local mall.
Click on this link for full hunt: Jenn’s Mall Scavenger Hunt
It was an amazing and fun afternoon for my teens and they can’t wait to do it again at Christmas Time with a Christmas Theme!!!
Feel free to share any of your ideas with me if you do your own mall hunt!