A Socially Distant Scavenger Hunt

Racing to the Scavenger Hunt

What to do when you’re in a harbor near an unoccupied island surrounded by boat friends but not allowed to mingle? Sava organized a socially distant scavenger hunt for eight of our buddy boats this weekend!

How to organize a socially distant scavenger hunt

First step, find a mobile app. Brian found Goose Chase and created the hunt. Of course, we needed to think of challenges for the competitors. Since we are located near Great Bird Island, we set up the scavenger hunt there.

Socially distant scavenger hunt page
Great Bird Island scavenger hunt

The app allows for 3 teams at a time; we had 8 boats/teams participate. So, we had 3 time blocks of 2 hours each for the teams. This worked out in our favor as we didn’t want everyone running around the island at the same time. We are social distancing after all.

The first teams were off at 9am, the next 3 went at 11am, and the final two finished it off from 1-3pm. It was fun watching the teams race their dinghies to shore, only for some to return to their boats for needed supplies and props.

If you’re considering doing your own hunt, you could even make a physically distant one. Across cities, islands, even continents. Just tailor it to your group. We incorporated an environmental aspect to it: asking each team to photograph some trash they collected on the island that day.

Making it Challenging

The great thing about the scavenger hunt app is you can create a variety of challenges. We chose a lot of photo challenges, but there are video options too.

One task was to take a photo of the Antiguan lizard, another was a team selfie. Personalities definitely shone through on these!

Kevin and Cheryl from S/V Leefnu had a fun selfie

We also asked some questions that are answered on signs on the island.

Some of the challenges were harder than others so were worth more points.

Inukshuk scavenger hunt find
Photograph an inukshuk in front of the Atlantic Ocean

When you create the hunt, you make up all the tasks and can assign points for each task. The app offers suggestions and you can build from there.

You could do this in your house, backyard, local park. Parents could even make kids do chores and homework for points!

Other tasks were just fun and allowed for creativity liked the one asking teams to pose from a movie scene. We got island and nautical submissions mostly. “Castaway,” “Little Mermaid” and “Titanic” were all referenced. ????

Scavenger Hunt Feedback

The feedback was fabulous! Everybody had a great time. Sometimes it’s nice to have something different to do, and get creative and competitive.

We all enjoyed our socially distant scavenger hunt!

Cruisers Being Cruisers

Our group is made up of cruisers who have been cooped on their boats for weeks, so people got up to some fun. Some teams “completed” all the missions even though they weren’t close to having the correct answer. This was especially common when tasked to take wildlife photographs.

We think one of the hermit crabs was just a rock and many of the birds, snakes and lizards were hidden.

can on beach
That hermit crab dragged that can far!
Antiguan ground lizard scavenger hunt
There really was a lizard!

On the other hand, teams got lots of kudos for creativity!

rat trap Great Bird Island
If you can’t find the #8 rat trap, add a sign to one!

Since these are cruisers, there had to be some off-color humor. Not all the required sand castles looked like sand castles if you know what I mean.

sand castle Great Bird Island
Some sand castle

Virtual After Party

One of the best parts of the day was the virtual after party. We convened around the VHF (as we do) for happy hour drinks- each team to their own boat- and shared submission photos on our group whatsapp. Everyone could see what the others had found and help us find hidden lizards and snakes!

Hidden Antigua racer snake
Snake or not?

Also at the after party, we got feedback and suggestions for the next scavenger hunt, so obviously people enjoyed this one. After all, we’ve already been here 5 and a half weeks so who knows how much longer we’ll stay? We learned the app allows very short videos so are discussing how to incorporate that into the mix.

Make Your Own Socially Distant Scavenger Hunt

When planning a scavenger hunt, keep in mind the personalities and interests of your group. Do they like puzzles or are they creative? But don’t do too much of the same type of task or it will get boring. Imagine walking around the island only looking for rat traps or lizards.

If you know the area, you can make the tasks more specific like we did with the flora and fauna of the island.

Aloe Vera plant

But, if you want to make it more accessible while still fun and challenging, include movie scenes and team selfies. Open-ended questions with multiple creative answers work too. Think about what interests your group and build from there. Think of the possibilities!

Most of all, make it fun. Make it safe. And legal. If your area has curfew restrictions or mask requirements, follow them. Antigua just opened the beaches to the public on Tuesday so we couldn’t have done this last weekend.

What do you think? Any topics or suggestions for the next socially distant scavenger hunt? Or ideas for other fun activities? Share in the comments!

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

6 thoughts on “A Socially Distant Scavenger Hunt”

  1. This sounds like so much fun! I am definitely going to have to check out the app you suggested and look into the options of doing something like this for our group of friends!

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