Tales from the Hunt #2 – Our first scavenger hunt

Way back in 2002, even before we had a website, we had our first contract to run a corporate scavenger hunt.  It was for a Fortune 500 client and took place in Chicago.

The area was Navy Pier, The Magnificent Mile, The South Loop and went as far South as the Field Museum! Although teams did cover most of this terrain, we now realize that this area is much too large for a 2-3 hour activity!

So much was different back then.  There were 4 different task types:

Taking photos

Each team was given a disposable camera and a list of 20 photos to take. They had to return with developed photographs, which means they had to find a 1-hour-photo shop and plan ahead enough that they would be able to retrieve their prints and return to the finish location of the scavenger hunt!

Collecting objects

Teams had a list of 20 objects to collect and a budget of $20. They had to find a Chicago snow globe, a coffee bean, something with a Blackhawks logo on it. We no longer even require teams to collect objects as we have found that it is wasteful and often our staff were reluctant to touch some of the items collected!

Checkpoints

These were pre-arranged staffed locations where additional challenges, such as solving riddles, were presented. One checkpoint even had a person dressed up as Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow, who allegedly started the Chicago fire. And we still have the picture:
Shows a team in Chicago doing a team building scavenger hunt

Answering questions

We had dozens of carefully-crafted trivia questions about Chicago history, architecture and landmarks. Some of them were super-cryptic, asking about famous musicians and actors from Chicago. Others were location-specific. Most of them we don’t use any more as they were either too difficult to decipher or now are too easy to answer using web search. See if you can get this one:

Why was the direction of the Chicago River reversed?

Or this one:
Unscrambling the letters below will spell out a Chicago landmark. Take a photo of it. RMAAGIKCACLODHNA

Back then, we created all of our scavenger hunts in Microsoft Word. Now everything is in a super-handy database, which makes things more efficient for us and for our clients.

How times have changed!