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Treasure Hunts


Has anyone used treasure hunts in team building? if so, did you design them yourselves, or did you buy a package in?

The only ones I've used have been built into the grounds of a venue, but we've got a job coming up where we haven't got that option and the client has asked for a treasure hunt!

Thanks for your help,

Colin Hamilton
email: [email protected]
Colin Hamilton

11 Responses

  1. Treasure HUnts

    They are excellent in terms of team building. I had a group of 18 to 24 yr old males(Gateway to Work) on team building modules. We started with theory-norming/storming-and then proceeded to a BELBIN exercise,with people predicting each others scores etc. Great buzz. THen we moved to the Treasure HUnt-but one time drawn from Belbin data designed the treasure hunt AND went out to do the fieldwork.The other group remained indoors to determine common strategies/time management techniques/handling conflict etc/seeking clarification on the final brief.This group then went out to “hunt” and we observed them. Took over 2 days,you may not have that space but you can pro rata accordingly

    Good hunting!


    [email protected]

  2. good, virtual fun
    Used them a couple of times in hospital settings as a way of getting people used to newly built wards etc plus good fun from team building.
    We designed them ouselves based on our knowledge of the buildings, working practies etc.
    They are great as a physical task but you could base it on information central to the job or organisation, eg a clue might point people to a certain policy, or something in the induction pack, or whatever. You could even use staff already in post as a source of clues, reception, post room etc.

    Having fun seems to be the key!

  3. Applied Hunts!
    We regularly integrate treasure hunt activities into team development days. We thoroughly brief the facilitators though to ensure the treasure hunt reflects the learning that has been discussed during the rest of the programme so that although it is fun it is also relevant. They are good activities for all age ranges. We also do a KGB Hunt as well which is a little different! Regarding the venue these can be designed anywhere inside or out. Let me know if you want any further info.

  4. resources for treasure hunts
    Project Adventure Inc. In Hamilton, MA publishes a mag called Zip Lines. Some activity issues have great ideas for Treasure hunts and how to conduct/design them. Also check out any experiential educator’s site. you could start with and find links. Happy hunting!

  5. Designing treasure hunts
    We have used Treasure Hunts in Team Building on a number of occasions. We always design them ourselves using cryptic clues to point to places and objects in the building or grounds of the venue. The ‘answers’ or sometimes pieces of a custome made jigsaw are hidden at the place the clue has pointed them to.
    Hazel King. Newlands Learning & Development

  6. Treasure hunting
    Make sure you research the area first – in detail. Best way I’ve found, is to give the same clues to different teams. initially they will compete but the real emphasise is the need for cooperation across teams eg sales and production. Use as broad an area as you can and limit the transport resources. If they catch on, they might even share, realising it is the overall team that is successful not one small team. (Cf with Prisoner’s Dilemma or Red / Blue). Use the clues to enable them to build up to a bigger project to which the answers contribute where the whole team has to work together. It’s fun and real.

  7. Not all ‘treasure hunts’ are the same!
    Hi Colin
    I have spent 15 years working with and designing quite sophisticated ‘treasure hunt’ type learning activities all over the world. You don’t say where your client has asked you to do this or for how long so it’s difficult to just give easy advice. The crucial thing is to know what sort of people you are designing for; what are the issues and learning outcomes needed and then to discover how long they have and where. You need to decide whether this ‘treasure hunt’ can be offered in isolation or whether they need to do some other things before letting them loose on a large organisational exercise. There will be issues for you concerning competition or cooperation. You will definitely need to visit the venue to do a good job and you will need to decide how complex it should be. How much do you want to impress your client?!! Do you need a scenario or storyline (perhaps based on local history or characters) or can it be almost as ‘straightforward’ as orienteering? mail me ([email protected]) if you want to explore this further.

  8. Treasure Hunts
    Have always designed these specific to the audience. It’s rather like a learning experience where you need to tailor your delivery/content to the audience.

    A treasure hunt can be a great method of team building, but designing with your participants in mind will make it even more beneficial and fun?

  9. Team Building Games
    I have twice expereinced the use of treasure hunts.

    Firstly the Desert Game which was used at a Company kick off meeting. The game was really good a put across the point that departments and locations need to work together within a company. The game was run by “The Coaching People” who also delivered some excellent training on NLP and accelerated learning.

    I recently experienced using a treasure hunt in a garden of a hotel/conference venue. It was for HR teambuilding and it was basically run along the same lines and was good fun. we were divided into teams but it soon became apparant that we would benefit by working together.

  10. Thank you..
    Thank you to all who responded to our request.

    We took on board the many comments we received and designed our own treasure hunt specifically to suit the clients chosen venue, incorporating a number of problem solving tasks to good effect.

    We had a very successful day and the feedback from the team after the event was very good.

    This is certainly something we’ll do again!

    Colin Hamilton
    email: [email protected]


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