Youth Scavenger Hunt in the Ward Boundaries

This youth scavenger hunt is a fun mutual activity to do with the youth that practices social distancing as well as getting their families involved in an outdoor activity.

I am a Young Women President for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These last few months have been difficult in trying to stay connected and hold activities that our youth will enjoy. A few weeks ago the idea for this one came to mind, and it’s been my favorite one so far. I wanted to share the idea for others struggling to have ideas or connect with their youth.

I wish that I would have taken pictures of the youth during our activity. It was so much fun and the youth had a blast. The best part was that we spent the time outside in our yard, social distance communicating with them. It was Sean’s birthday that day, but I still made him sit in the yard with me for an hour so we could say hi to each family that came around, catch up on how school was going, and hear about the new regulations for those still working.

Having the face to face interactions with those families (from well over 6 feet away) was just what the leaders needed after not seeing the youth for months.

Socializing with friends

Gospel Scavenger Hunt Activity

Ok, enough about the sappy leader side of things and onto the details of the activity! There’s a FAQ section at the bottom, of questions I’ve already had other YW presidents ask. If it’s not answered there, leave a comment and I’ll answer it asap! Also below is a link to print the questions we used.

We set up a gospel scavenger hunt around our ward boundaries. We are in Utah, so our boundaries are only a few blocks which made it easy for those who wanted to walk or ride bikes for the activity.

The day of the activity, I printed off gospel related questions. They could be anything. I wanted a mix of some easy ones, and some that they may need to look up the answers to. I was excited that even some not very active girls showed up to the activity and when they were at my house, were working together to look up the answers and truly read and learn the answers!

We used leaders homes for the questions, but really you could put them anywhere. We had them taped to garage doors, front doors, poles etc. At 7 o’clock (activity starting time) I sent out the first text that included the address of the first house. Everyone then proceeded to that house and found their first question.

On the bottom of that question was a phone number. When they knew the answer, they sent a text to the phone number (which belonged to one of the leaders). If their answer was correct, the leader would reply with “correct! your next address is…” and would send them to the next house.

They then went house to house answering all of the questions and texting a new number each time. We had them zig zagging all over the ward, backtracking and going from one end of the boundaries to the other.

The final question was at the bishops house, and once they got their answer correct, he social distance gave them a cookie (had them individually ready on a table for them to get)

It was the most fun activity we have had during all of quarantine, and even when we are back to normal activities without social distancing I think we would still have enjoyed it just as much.

Girls hanging out outside

Youth Scavenger Hunt FAQ

Q: Did you stagger start times, or addresses that they started at?

A: No we did not. The reason for this is because even if we had staggered I knew that people would catch up/fall behind. Everyone went at their own pace. When I sent the first address, some of the youth were right next door and there immediately. Others drove around with their parents so they got their quickly, while others were walking and had little siblings so it took them up to 10 minutes to get to the first address.

We just made sure in ALL of our instruction, and if we saw them outside, that we reminded them to be courteous and keep social distancing rules of at least 6 feet away from those not in their immediate household.

Q: Was it a race?

A: We did not do anything for the first person to finish. However, there are some competitive people in our ward and they took it upon themselves to race one another. Just make sure everyone is safe, keeping their distance, and having fun. However they choose to follow those instructions is up to them!

Getting others involved

Q: Was it just the youth, or others involved?

A: We invited all of the 11-18 year olds (boys and girls) and their families to participate. The reason we included their families was for encouragement. We have had some youth who have not had any involvement in group chats, zoom calls, or replied to text messages at all during this quarantine. So we thought that if families were included, the parents could encourage their youth to have a fun night out. IT WORKED! We saw some of those youth at this activity!

Another reason for including families was because not all of our youth have a cell phone. So in order to answer the questions, they would use a parents phone to send the text message. We let them know ahead of time that they would need a device that could text for the activity.

Q: Did you have to sit outside for the whole activity?

A: NO. That was the fun part. If you missed the youth and wanted to have that interaction with them, you could sit outside and talk to them as they got to your house. But we had others who weren’t even home participating. They were running errands, at work, or elsewhere and were still able to answer the texts as they came in.

Q: Did you put a person’s name to text or just a phone number?

A: I did just a phone number. Because not all of the youth (or their parents) have every leaders number in their phone. So we just put a phone number for them to send their answer to.

Set up the youth scavenger hunt

Q: How did you explain the activity to your youth?

A: I will post the exact text that I sent out the day before the activity. Feel free to copy and paste into a chat for your own youth if you want!

Tomorrow’s activity is going to be a fun one, and you can get your whole family involved in it! We will be doing a treasure hunt around the neighborhood. At 7 o’clock you will receive a text message with an address. That will be the start of the treasure hunt. When you arrive at the location, find the paper on either the door or garage that has a church related question on it. Once you know the correct answer, text it to the phone number at the bottom of the question. If you are correct, you will receive the next address as a reply! Each house will have a new question and phone number to text the answer to. We hope that this gets you and your family out and about for a fun activity, and of course, if you get all the answers correct, there will be a reward for you at the end. So, get your whole family out for a walk or drive tomorrow evening! As a reminder, PLEASE practice social distancing as many others will be out and about as well. Stay 6 feet away and be courteous!!!

Q: Can I just use your questions?

A: Absolutely!! We had 8 questions that were used. You can download the document here and print it out for your own use. Then just write in a different leader’s phone number on the bottom of each questions.

Q: How did you set it all up?

A: That was the hardest part of the whole activity. First I wrote down all of the leaders names, in the order they would be going around. So the first name on the list was the first address text out at the beginning of the activity.

Next to that person’s name I would write down the question and answer that was associated with their phone number. Then I would put the address of the NEXT person.

Once that was done for everyone, I sent each leader a text that said

Your question for the activity is “WHAT YEAR DID JOSEPH SMITH SEE THE FIRST VISION?” and the correct answer is “1820” When they give you the correct answer, please respond with

and then in a separate text, so they could copy and paste straight from there I put…

You are correct!! Good Job. Your next address is “………..”

Then each leader could copy the reply text and when someone sent them a correct answer, they would just paste the reply into their text!

What other questions do you have about the activity? I would love to answer them for you in the comments below.

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