This is one of my favorite opening activities to do for camp staff training. It gets the returning counselors involved and gets the new staff oriented to their surroundings and their new home for the summer.
As an added bonus, scavenger hunts are engaging and are a great way to model inclusive, hands-on activities.
Customize this activity to your particular camp property and have fun with it! Have more ideas to add? Send them my way and we'll work to grow this free resource.
* Start with map of camp and figure out what particular locations you would like your new staff members to learn about on day one.
* Place one or two of your returning staff at each of those locations. Have an activity for the participants to do at about 2/3 of the locations. For example: Eat to the bottom of a bowl of cheerios without using their hands. The clue to the next location is hidden under the cheerios. Or have a group challenge set up that they must overcome in order to get the next clue. The returning staff can help come up with these ideas as they will be running the stations.
* Split the new staff into groups and give each group a map with their first clue. Figure out a rotation so that each group is starting at a different location. Make sure you print out enough clues for each station so that there will be one per group.
* As you set up the scavenger hunt, keep in mind the amount of time you will be allotting for the activity so that each group will be sure to hit all of the particular locations that you have chosen. Map the stations out in a sequence that makes sense.
* Provide costumes for the returning staff to make it more fun and zany. Send the groups of new staff off on the scavenger hunt with a definite end time arranged.
* You can choose to have them collect things from each location, make it a race, or just a scavenger hunt to get to know the place.
However you intend to use this activity during your camp staff training, be sure that you are organized and that your returning staff are organized. If this is one of the very first things your new staff are doing, you want them to be excited and engaged from the start so that you are setting your summer up for success! Check out this camp leadership training activity as well for more fun camp ideas.
I have found that a scavenger hunt works well to orient people to their new surroundings. This is an activity that your summer camp staff can then turn around and use with their campers, an added bonus!