Mall Scavenger Hunt
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It can be difficult entertaining a group. It is, at the very least, hard to manage the wants and needs of multiple people at once. And if one person gets bored you risk isolating others by trying to accommodate them. The entire thing can be a risky social venture, to say the least. So what does one do when they have a moderate to large group of individuals and no idea as to how they will keep them occupied? Well, if you have a little bit of time to plan, then you don’t need much in the way of supplies, or in effort, for that matter. You only need to have a little bit of creativity, some willing friends, and some paper. And what is this all for? A mall scavenger hunt, of course!



             Mall scavenger hunts are fairly easy to pull off. The mall is a perfect place for a scavenger hunt party due to its size and diverse contents. Pretty much any object can be located in a mall in some way shape or form, be it literally or symbolically. You just have to have a good imagination to make it all work.



             If you need some help with specific scavenger hunt ideas, read on. There are plenty of options when you’re setting yourself up in a mall. And you can mix and match to find what works for you.



Video Scavenger Hunts

             A great byproduct of our modern age is the ability to film whatever you want whenever you want via a cellphone camera. And it is a safe assumption that most people now days have some form of cellular device. Not all, mind you, but most. And if you are working with a decently sized group of people then you will likely be able to pair them off so that anyone without a cellphone (or other form of portable camera) is with a team of people that have one. And you only really need one camera capable person per group.



             You may be wondering what a camera has to do with a mall scavenger hunt, but this won’t be your traditional scavenger hunt where you find an object and bring it back. Instead, this will be a video scavenger hunt.



             What are the differences? Well, first and foremost, a video scavenger hunt opens up the range of “objects” to more than just literal objects. With a video scavenger hunt the list maker can order that the participants preform certain actions. These actions can be highly specific or purposely vague. They can be silly or they can be serious.



             In a mall, this might manifest itself in a wide range of ways. Perhaps one of the items on the list is “Have a sword fight in the toy shop.” That is a specific action that specifies what to do and where. Alternatively you might make one of the objectives “Make a stranger smile.” That is open ended, ambiguous, and accomplishable via an endless variety of methodologies. Just imagine it:  you could ask the stranger to smile for you, explaining why you need them to do so; or you could present them with a random gift that you purchased right there in the mall, all in hopes of making them crack a smile.



             But then the issue becomes one of proof. How do you know that the participants actually completed their assignments? This is where the use of a cellphone’s camera comes in handy. Each team is required to record every item on their list as they complete it. If they don’t catch something on camera then it doesn’t count.



             Once the video scavenger hunt is over, there are a few results that’ll be rather pleasing. One is the creation of multiple videos that can be uploaded online for all to enjoy. Everyone can splice together all of their smaller clips and each team can have their own video. If you’ve been particularly inventive then your team’s video might even go viral!



             Another result is a tangible way by which the organizers of the scavenger hunt can measure success and dole out rewards. Everyone could gather together after the videos have been assembled, view the entries, and vote on who was the most successful (and/or who was the most creative). Prizes could be given out based on speed, ingenuity, and comedic value. It’s really up to you as to what you deem worthy of a reward. And you could match this to whatever group is taking part in the scavenger hunt.



             For instance, if you are part of a social justice group of some kind (an organization aimed at helping the homeless would be an example of this) then you could reward the group who accomplished their list in the most altruistic manner (see the previous example of “Make a stranger smile” for inspiration in regards to themed list objectives).



Conventional Riddles

             You might not be part of a video loving or tech-savvy group, and that’s alright. There isn’t anything wrong with getting traditional and using conventional scavenger hunt riddles. And there are many ways that the older scavenger hunt methodologies can be implemented within your common mall.



             To start, you may want to structure riddles so that they reflect the length of the event you plan on hosting. Do you want the hunt to take all day? Then order the riddles so that the players will be dashing from one store to the next, doubling back to places they’ve already been, and crisscrossing the mall. Do you want the hunt to take an hour at most? Then group riddles that can be solved in the same store together so that the players will spend less time in transit.



             A well-organized mall scavenger hunt can be fun for all involved. Be it competitive or casual, video or traditional, a scavenger hunt of this variety has no restrictions on age or origin. So when looking to entertain a group it may very well be your best bet.