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  • Writer's pictureKate

Activity of the Day: Treasure hunting 8- local area walk, bike, map hunts

*Edited to remove a couple of ambiguities 13.50 11/05/2020

This week we're working in a bit the wrong order- starting with a fairly difficult type of hunt basically because it's fun and that's the one we fancied setting up this weekend...

This post is probably going to be most use to people living very locally as the attached treasure hunt starts and ends at the gates to our Rowditch Allotments base- but take a look even if you're not so nearby as the principles work anywhere.

This is a treasure hunt type which needs no setup once written- it uses objects which are permanently in place in the area, so there is no need to put out or take in clues. It should work for a number of years after being written- but saying that, if it's a number of years after this blog was written that you're reading this post, it's probably worth checking all the clues still work if you're planning to send lots of people out to do it...

For this particular hunt I have assumed that all groups hunting will have access to a phone with maps and Internet access to search for answers to the questions: The are quite a few odd bits of history and general knowledge in the hunt, with one of the challenges being to get people hunting online for odd bits of information as well as hunting in the physical world. I would be very surprised if anybody knew all the answers without looking them up. However, it's completely feasible to write this style of hunt with clues and questions that can be done with a simple paper map and no internet access.

There are four sections to the hunt:

  1. Solve the clues to find (and record) the correct locations.

  2. Find the correct letter for each location and use it with the other location letters to make anagram words.

  3. Answer the question linked to each location

  4. While doing all of the above, photograph or collect the items listed in the scavenger hunt and answer any linked questions.

The distances here can be walked but it is quite a long way with all the zigzagging- it will be easier by bike for little ones!

This link opens the Google Maps answers sheet to the treasure hunt.

And here:

Rowditch Bike or Walk Treasure Hunt
Download DOCX • 22KB

is the Word document of the treasure hunt to download, modify as you like and print out. All treasure hunting groups will need a pencil, the hunting sheets and something to lean on- a clipboard or sheet of card- so they can complete the hunt as they go. A plastic wallet or carrier bag is also useful if it may be wet weather.

EDIT: Some people have said they're having difficulty with the Word document - so here is a pdf version:

Rowditch Bike or Walk Treasure Hunt
Download PDF • 740KB

All the instructions are on the hunt sheet- it's designed for older children (secondary age) to complete unsupported- with the bonus that you can track they haven't got lost as they'll have phones on them- or for younger children to complete with support from parents.

If you're doing the hunt as a family, avoid looking at the answers until you've had a good go at the questions! There are no answers for the anagrams or scavenger hunt provided- you can judge what you think the marks should be. If you're unsure about the plants, this is a good resource for general plant identification, and this is good for identifying trees- though it does cover UK native trees only unfortunately, which leaves out many lovely garden and park trees.

There is no prize provided: The idea is to have fun with the hunt, and with the no-setup structure many groups can complete the hunt and compete on points (no cheating with the answers sheets!) or just enjoy it without scoring. Of course, if you want to give prizes, chocolate and cakes rarely go down badly...

If you're writing your own hunt, extra things that can be fun are making the route between clues trace out a picture (you could use an app such as Strava to draw the picture) or spelling out the final clue using letters found in the earlier locations. Bigger versions of the hunt can be done by bike, if you make the clues a bit more obvious as searching a bigger area for weird answers gets difficult- but the bigger the distances, the easier it is to make words or pictures from the route!

Once again, happy hunting!

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