Try This: Father-Daughter Scavenger Hunt
Dads and Daugthers. Ministering to both of them at the same time while simultaneously seeking to serve, equip, and encourage their relationship with one another can be somewhat of a difficult endeavor, a mystery even.
I wanted to provide an event that would launch an ongoing focus of ministry to dads and daughters. My goal was to get them together to spend time having fun with one another. I spent months—maybe even a year—trying to dream up something that would draw in both dads and daughters. After many conversations with girls in our student ministry, we decided to host a Father-Daughter Scavenger Hunt.
About a month before the event, I sent out a fun mailer (with a very eye-catching graphic) to dads and daughters inviting them to join us. Then began all of the preparations!
I probably spent more time driving around Birmingham in the weeks leading up to our scavenger hunt than I have in the last year. I wanted to scout out fun places with unique views. I asked everyone I knew for some fun locations to add to our list. I grabbed one of our small group leaders and we spent a day scavenging through our city.
As we got closer to our date, we actually had way more people signed up than I was anticipating. So we ended up with three scavenger hunts so that we wouldn’t completely overwhelm the smaller areas in town. All three of our scavenger hunts are available for download. Granted, all of these places are in Birmingham, but I hope they might stir your thoughts on what your city has to offer.
We hosted our event on a Sunday afternoon following our morning services. This was our schedule:
1:30-3:30pm Scavenger Hunt
3:45pm Trophy Presentation
4:00pm Everyone Went Home—tired and happy
For lunch, we served hamburgers, chips, and cookies. Because of the number we had attending and the time of day it was happening, we catered the burgers from a local restaurant and they were delicious. We were going for a low-key cookout feel. Dads and daughters were instructed to sit together during lunch—not just off with their friends. I had some fun icebreaker questions scrolling on the screens to really set the mood for a fun day. We played upbeat music in the background and heard laughter roaring the entire time.
For Instructions/Directions/Rules, we started with the important conversation of following all traffic laws. When the adrenaline gets pumping our minds sometimes think about other things. Safety first, always. I let them know that the locations on their lists (which had not been passed out yet) were in no particular order. Dads and daughters would work together to create a strategy and game plan for the day. We talked about the prize for the winner. The winners received an awesome trophy we had made and fun, trendy “Birmingham” t-shirts. The competitiveness happening in the room had reached its limits and it was time to go. We passed out the location lists and they were on their way.
As they were out scavenging, I stayed back in our student building to receive all of the photos that started flooding in immediately. One of our staff was kind enough to upload all of the photos to ProPresenter so that they would be scrolling through as everyone returned. I was also keeping track of everyone’s scores and praying for good conversations. For a little extra, I included some conversation starters in the location packets for the car ride.
One of my most favorite stops the dads and daughters made was with a photographer. We lined up a professional to be at one location to take a really nice photo of each family…they turned out wonderfully by the way. In addition to all of the funny pics, I hope that this one makes it to dad’s desk.
They all rushed back with great memories and fun stories of things that happened throughout the afternoon. We finished our time together with a tiebreaker to crown the winner. It truly was a fabulous afternoon.
A few days after, I sent out an email to dads including ideas to continue building on the time spent together during the Scavenger Hunt. These ideas are also available for download.
In hindsight there were a few things I would have done differently. First, I would have included a list of the rules and instructions in the location packets. Second, I would have added more stops because my people were way faster than I expected. Third, I definitely would have made everyone practice taking a selfie before leaving.
Would I do this again? Absolutely.
Fun extra: We stationed some volunteers at a couple of locations. As dads and daughters were running to them throughout the afternoon, other people in the area started asking questions about what was going on. One of our volunteers was even able to share the gospel with a question asker! Praise the Lord!
I hope that you give this idea a try! Let us know how it goes! - Becca