A guest post from Jason Talley.
Last year around the end of the year we decided to do a “Ninja Scavenger Hunt” where a bunch of awesome adults dressed up as ninjas around town and the kids went off to find them! This year, during our planning meeting our scavenger hunt landed on Monday, May 4th. Immediately one of our leaders said, “May the 4th be with you!” and we all started freaking out about how cool it would be to have everyone dress up as Darth Vaders instead of ninjas.
HOW TO DO A DARTH (or ninja) HUNT
Contact The Police
The first step in this process is to call your local police department. For us, this was to initially let them know what we were doing. Having a bunch of random people standing around town in business and on street corners dressed as ninjas (or Darths) might seem a bit suspicious. However, that call ended up being way better than I could have hoped. After being transferred several times I spoke directly to the chief of police who was probably more excited about the event than I was. He offered to open up any public facility that I wanted to place a ninja at. So, we have Darths this year at City Hall, the Police Station, Fire Department, and Public Transportation stations. In addition, they raised the amount of patrol during the time of our event to make sure all the locations and kids were safe. So so cool!
We also will have Darths at several local businesses. I contacted, Dairy Queen, Jack in the Box, and Taco Bell. They were all down to help us. They also donated some things for kids to use as challenges. – We’ll get to that in a moment.
Contact Awesome Adults
I mean, who wouldn’t want to dress up as a ninja or Darth Vader and have some fun with high school kids for a couple of hours on a Monday night?! Haha. I got some volunteers from my church, our committee, and kids parents. This year we have a total of 12 Darth’s all over the city. I gave them detailed instructions on how the night will go (email me if you’d like a copy of these documents.) I also provided them with a simple Darth mask from Party City and asked them to dress in all black. Last year I had everyone make a t-shirt into a ninja mask. You can find out how here.
You will want all your locations to be within 2-3 miles from the club room or from one-another if your club location isn’t close to a lot of places. Map out how the kids will flow from one location to the next. I made a huge circle from one location to another on a map and the kids went in that order from location to location.
How the night works
The goal here is not so much for the kids to find the Darth’s. It’s for them to get to as many as possible before their time is expired. Kids meet at the Club Room at 7:02. I have them divide into teams of 4-5 with a leader or approved driver in each team. We give the kids intense instructions on not speeding if they are driving or they will be disqualified. I give them a score sheet and the location of their first Darth in a sealed envelope. They are to open the envelope all at once on the count of three and then they can leave.
Once they arrive at their first Darth, they are given a challenge – also in a sealed envelope. Here’s a list of some of the challenges:
• Each team member eat an order of cinnamon twists (donated by Taco Bell)
• Each team member eat a kids ice cream cone (donated by DQ)
• Run around the entire school (our HS is right by our club room.)
• Play a quick game to two points of sand volleyball (Park close by club room)
• Form a human primed.
• Sing the theme song to “Sponge Bob Square Pants”
• Recite the ABC’s forwards and backwards
• Run around your car five times (Chinese Fire Drill – done at the fire station)
• Name the Mayer of our city and how long he has been in office (City Hall)
• Do 20 Jumping Jacks and 5 Pushups
Once they complete their challenge they give the score sheet to the Darth who signs off on it and gives them a random amount of points between 100 and 500. I’ve told the Darth’s these points are not based off merit, but just random.
After signing off on their challenge, the Darth gives the kids their next location in a sealed envelope.
They have until 8:45 to get to as many Darth’s as possible.
At that time they must all meet at Taco Bell for a giant group picture and to tally the points. For every minute they are late they loose 100 points.
Once the picture is taken and the winning team is decided, each team member of the winning team gets a $5 gift card to Chipotle and a small Darth Vader Lego keychain.