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20 ideas for organizing a scavenger hunt at college

How to make a scavenger hunt for college students

Are you planning to organise a scavenger hunt event in your college? As a former student union member, I can tell you that it’s definitely a good idea. Indeed, students need to have meaningful events to enjoy their years at university. Parties and sports events are the usual choice for this purpose but scavenger hunts in a college setting can provide an extraordinary and outstanding experience for all participants.

Create a scavenger hunt for your college.

If you do not know where to begin, you will certainly enjoy the ideas offered in this article!

As a student, you have an important advantage: the campus. When you make a campus scavenger hunt, you have the option to use all the different locations offered by it for hiding the items, to make the game enjoyable and engaging.

Back then, my campus was so big: twice the size of Monaco. There were separate building for every field: biology, chemistry, law, mathematics, etc. I wish some scavenger hunt tools existed back then: that would have made the events so much easier.

If it happened today, I would have plenty of ideas to build a massive scavenger hunt in my college. However, I’m not studying anymore, so the best I can do is to share them with you!

Here are 20 funny college scavenger hunt ideas for your campus:

1. A sports scavenger hunt

Sports events are one of the main aspects of college life. This is so important, that many universities have dedicated athletics departments that compete on a professional level. However, most college students are not at that level and just need some activities to keep them in shape. So, what if you use a scavenger hunt as a sport? For example, build a game where the winner is the one who manages to run the fastest to get all the items – that way the participants can mix physical activity with some plain old fun.

Using Loquiz, you can even set up an activity station: There you can set up a sports challenge. The player can only earn points or obtain an item if they succeed at the task given to them.

2. A spooky adventure

Do you know what’s the best way to catch players’ feelings? Fear! Believe it or not, fear is what makes everyone remember their experience. Keeping that in mind, you can easily set up a scavenger hunt on your college campus with some spooky tasks. Just don’t go too far with the scary parts – the objective should be to entertain, not frighten.

If you don’t have any ideas for the game, you can try out the Dark Manor.

The dark manor, a spooky scavenger hunt.

3. A college scavenger hunt as a part of a big party

College life also means massive parties. What if you create a college campus scavenger hunt to celebrate something? You can even combine it with some tasty beverages at each spot. Of course, if you choose to involve alcohol in the game, remember to consume it moderately.

4. A charity game event

How to create a great meaning for your college scavenger hunt? Charity is a good answer. Find a cause that you think is important, and make everyone play for it. For example, you can make them collect items related to different disabilities. They learn about the importance of inclusion for disabled people, and are encouraged to donate to charities that support this cause at the end of the game.

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5. An endurance race as a playful event

In France, there’s an important student event in the city of Nancy: The 24 hours of Stan.

The 24 hours of Stan event at the University of Nancy
Source: ENSAIA’s website

For 24 hours, groups of students push carts with funny appearances around the main square of the city. What if you organize the same kind of event?

More than just running around, you can also add questions or items to find across the racetrack. That’s something you can easily reproduce using Loquiz, with the game template “24 minutes of Loquiz“.

6. A musical scavenger hunt

Instead of collecting items, why not collect different songs throughout the campus? Students often have a great taste in music and are passionate about it, so you can use that for your advantage, to make a unique scavenger hunt on your campus.

7. An escape game as a scavenger hunt

You’re locked on your campus! However, there is a way to escape from it, but you have to find it quickly. Imagine a large-scale escape room, with the limits of your college campus standing in for the walls of the room.

8. A large scale murder mystery

Someone got killed in the university! Fortunately, only imaginary. But what if you made a story out of your scavenger hunt for your fellow college students? From there, you can set up a mystery about someone who got assassinated in one of the main rooms. Then the players would have to find a maximum number of clues, which would lead the players to deduce who’s the (virtual) killer.

Murder Mystery scavneger hunt game made by Loquiz.
You can build a murder mystery game using Loquiz.

9. A scavenger hunt based on the senses

This idea is based on a personal experience.

One day, I saw a little ad about a scientist offering students to take part in an experiment where we would learn about the sense of the taste. We went there: with my friends and found a passionate scientist letting us try his tools. He could test the integrity of our tasting sense while making us learn about it. For example, I learned that losing teeth from a hockey game or smoking cigarettes harshly deteriorates your tasting sense.

What if you offer such an activity on a large scale? You can offer different workshops across the campus, to make students run around doing experiments, learning new things.

10. A gamified exam

Let’s be honest, exams are one of the worst aspects of student life. And the student unions usually have nothing to do with them. However, why not combine preparing for the exams with some fun? That would be a great way to make it easier for everyone!

To do this, you can simply locate mock exam questions in different locations. Students will have to not only get to the questions as quickly as possible but also answer them correctly to get the maximum amount of points for their unit.

11. A historical scavenger hunt about your college

My former university was founded in 1849. Two and a half centuries later, it still exists. It’s even one of the front-runners in the world in its field. And I can tell you that the students were proud of its history. This pride is a good feeling to use for engaging people in a full-scale game. So why not do a historical scavenger hunt about your college? That way you can let your players discover the story of each building.

A historical university in France. Château de la Gaillarde.
This was the main building of my university. This building has stood there since 1849 when all the surroundings were only fields. Picture source: Montpellier SupAgro

12. Dating scavenger hunt

During student life, dating takes an important part of their life. So what if you gamify it? Indeed, by the sheer number of single persons, you’ll attract a lot of players willing to play this. In the dating version of a college scavenger hunt, let the player find information about other participants until they find someone compatible!

13. Gamified initiation (say no to hazing!)

Are you in charge of hosting the initiation of new students? There are many ways to make this event very fun. But there is one I do not encourage: anything that looks like hazing. When I was a member of the student union, we put a great emphasis on not humiliating the new students.

And you know what? Creating a special scavenger hunt game is a great way to initiate new students at your college, ensuring that everyone has fun. To make it even more engaging, you can create a GPS-based scavenger hunt to make the players discover the different traditions of the university.

14. A sponsored scavenger hunt

Depending on your university, you might have sponsors willing to contribute to the student’s life. This actually helps them get the best students as new members of their company. So, why not organize a scavenger hunt at your college with their participation?

Depending on your university, you might have some sponsors willing to contribute to student life. This actually helps them get the best students as new employees of their company. So, why not organize a scavenger hunt in your college in cooperation with them?

They might appreciate promoting their activity. And if you come up with an idea that is interesting enough (as all scavenger hunts are), they might also help you financially.

15. Inter-field scavenger hunt

A university means a lot of different fields, right? However, there shouldn’t be barriers between them. Science is about breaching them and seeing the whole of science as a global field.

What if you make a college scavenger hunt game that unites all the different fields? That way, people can learn more about other fields taught in their university.

16. Find-all-the-gossip

When I was a student, there was a gossiping system (!). Two people were known to investigate and gather as much gossip as possible. Then in the student’s newspaper, they would publish a full assessment of the gossip, using all possible metaphors. In this way, you can also offer your fellow students an option to collect gossip from all over the campus. They can gather small notes, or more conveniently, GPS points on their app (as you can do with Loquiz).

17. Intercultural scavenger hunt

My class of 45 students had no less than 12 different nationalities. Your university most likely has many different cultural backgrounds among the students. So why not organize a college scavenger hunt game based on the different cultures? Indeed, make everyone participate and tell an anecdote about their country. And then have the players collect these facts all over your campus.

18. A cool tournament

Do you know what’s the biggest secret for creating engagement from your players? Competition! Make students compete against each other, with prizes for the best ones in the end, and I can guarantee that they will appreciate it.

You can build a scavenger hunt competition on the campus. Each item found will bring points. and the player with the highest points at the end can win something that’s universally liked and I can guarantee that nearly everyone will want to participate.

19. A game about administration

Besides exams, do you know what is the other most annoying thing in student life? Bureaucracy. Filling documents, waiting for your dossier to be processed, confusion with the different administrative terms… And yet, there’s always a reason why the administrative process is necessary. Moreover, the people working in the administrative department of your university are human as well.

So what if you create a game to let the students know how the administration works, and who are the administration workers? This can only make the student’s life better (or less annoying).

20. A scavenger hunt for your student council elections

Ah, the elections… When I talk about them, this brings me a lot of memories. I don’t know how it happened at your university, but it was a one-week event. Each evening, each group of candidates had to be original by organizing an event of their choice. Naturally, games were very popular. For example, I remember that my team organized an air guitar competition.

However, a scavenger hunt would have been a blast. You can provide the students with a fun activity across their campus and their residence by tasking them with finding questions and items related to your program as a student union candidate!

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After reading all the engaging and funny scavenger hunt ideas for college students listed in this article, it probably sounds so easy to make a college scavenger hunt game. However, before you start, make sure that you have the right tools to create one. This is where Loquiz comes into play: using it, you can easily build your own scavenger hunt based on GPS locations across your campus.

This is how Loquiz looks like on a tablet. You can make a college scavenger hunt look like this.

And you can try it for free.

If the tool looks difficult to handle, then feel free to book a demo!

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