I’ve been very quiet on this blog over the last couple of years, and I’d like to correct that right now. I’m going to start by telling you all about my latest experiment.
As you know I’m not really a lover of the old Xbox, and hate the idea of people (especially kids) sitting at home, wasting the day away in front of said machine. I realise that not everyone wants to, or is capable of, climbing a mountain or paddle-boarding across Scotland. Therefore, I decided to run a pretty low-key community scavenger hunt in my local town. I’m not really sure where this idea came from, it just sort of popped into my head, so I decided that ‘done was better than perfect’, and without any planning whatsoever, set up a Facebook event and published it to the world. Right! It was now out there with no going back, I had to get a shift on!
The first thing I had to do was attract some willing victims
The first thing I had to do was attract some willing victims/volunteers, in order to test out my idea. To achieve this I would have to do a bit of promo. Time was short so I contacted a couple of local community Facebook groups and asked if they could share the event page. One of them did, so a big shout out to Midhurst Rants for that one, thanks guys. I also promoted on Eventbrite and ran a small, locally targeted Facebook campaign. All of that was surprisingly easy to do.
Next on the list was to decide on a format. I was initially thinking about a treasure hunt, but what I really wanted was to get the vict…., volunteers to actually go outside and interact with people on the street. I didn’t just want them searching for clues; I wanted them to make connections and actually speak to others in the town. I devised a cunning plan which involved my volunteers following cryptic clues, leading to specific locations where they had to photograph or video themselves performing silly stunts. The idea was to create an event that appealed to the whole family. I then assigned scores to each activity – the more difficult the activity the higher the score. Five points for a video of someone in the team eating a disgusting sweet; fifty points for working out the location of a specific house based solely on a twenty digit code! See, I told you, something for everyone. The evidence was to be either posted on the Facebook page or shown to me at the end. I also roped in some of the town’s shopkeepers to give me a helping hand. Big shout out to those guys later.
I woke up having literately no clue whatsoever if anyone would actually turn up.
The morning of the event arrived and I woke up having no clue whatsoever if anyone would actually turn up. A couple of people had accepted the Facebook event and I’d given away a few tickets on Eventbrite, but entry was free and it was RAINING! So my expectations were low. I was delighted to see one couple already waiting when I got there and then a rapid succession of friends, families and couples walking through the doors of the Grange Community Centre to join in the fun. Enough people to form five teams! I gathered everyone together, explained why I was doing this, introduced some basic rules and sent them out into the town with one instruction: “Have Fun!”.
My plan was to settle down in the cafe with a coffee and watch the evidence come rolling in on the event page. It was so much fun following the guys around the town through their posts. At one point I watched a video of a kid eating a Double Salted Liquorice sweet, that made me physically laugh out loud. This drew very strange looks from my fellow coffee drinkers. By the time I’d finished explaining what we were doing to the family on the next table, they were asking me for the date of the next hunt. Watch the video here
‘I loved getting out and about, meeting people and learning more about the town’
All the teams were back within the hour and a half time limit and the scores were totalled up. None of the teams had achieved scores of 100%, but all the teams had 100% fun! They all asked when I would be organising another. The feedback was excellent, with comments like, ‘I loved getting out and about, meeting people and learning more about the town’, ‘The questions were set at a very good level, with a good range of difficulties’ and, ‘We found it fun squeezing into the phone box’. Mission accomplished!
And the results?
1st Team AAAS
2nd The Three Musketeers
3rd Bear Hunt
4th Team Fred
5th The Sausages
What did I get from this? Well I learned that organising something for the community is so rewarding, and I just loved the responses from all those who had so much fun. So much so that the Community Scavenger Hunt will return! Like and Follow the Facebook Page to keep up to date with what’s happening. I have a feeling that the attendance will be much higher for the next one.
Shout out to those shops who helped out by allowing the scavengers to enter there shops to complete tasks. You are all stars.