Scavenger hunts have long been a staple of club event schedules and have always stood as a natural way to make good use of club properties in a way that includes some physical activity, which is always especially valuable as part of youth-oriented programming.
But finding ways to go beyond the standard format of sending scavenger hunters out in search of a list of random items can help to generate new excitement for these events, while also using the concept to help the club address new purposes and objectives.
The Country Club of Virginia (CCV) in Richmond, Va. brings its scavenger hunts to life by introducing live characters for kids to hunt for, rather than or in addition to random items. CCV creates specific themes for its scavenger hunts and then creates characters to match those themes that kids must also try to find on the property—such as Captain America for a superhero theme, Ursala the Sea Witch for a Disney theme, or Uncle Sam for the 4th of July. Once found, the characters then serve as instant and special entertainment, and create opportunities for memorable photos.
Champions Run of Omaha, Neb. used the scavenger-hunt concept to increase traffic in its dining room at a time when the club was typically slow, and also to generate excitement for its new capital program, which included plans for a new Splash Park. The club’s Golden Ticket Scavenger Hunt sent kids out throughout the property in search of tickets that would grant them an invitation to join a private pool party and play date when the new Splash Park opened.
Over 60 kids, ranging in age from 4 to 15, participated—and while the kids were out and about, club management reports, the dining room was “insanely busy,” as their parents savored the success of finding and enjoying some elusive alone time of their own. “Everyone loved the concept, and we plan on doing more events like this in the future,” says Kris Ryan, Champions Run’s Clubhouse Manager.
The Goal: Create new twists on the standard scavenger hunt concept.
The Plan: The Country Club of Virginia sets specific themes (superhero, Disney, etc.) for its scavenger-hunt events and introduces live characters for kids to look for on the property. Champions Run had a Golden Ticket Scavenger Hunt to create buzz for its capital plan, which included a new Splash Park, with the tickets that were found earning an invitation to a private pool party and play date.
The Payoff:New entertainment and excitement factors were added to a standard event, and the scavenger-hunt approach was also used to give parents a chance to enjoy club dining and other activities while kids were occupied with their search missions.