family reunions, girlfriend getaway


~shared by J. Ranner
Sometimes, despite my “young” age, I feel like an 85 year old man trapped inside the body of a 28 year old. I’m what they call “an old soul”- I’m very big on tradition and would love to go back to “the good old days” which I don’t directly recall, as they happened decades before my own birth.

One of my pet peeves today is sincerely the state of prime time television. Though there are a few really great shows on air (Game of Thrones and Mad Men are my personal favorites), it’s safe to say you have to sift through some garbage to find quality. Too many reality shows and morbidly dark shows are consuming the airways in my opinion.

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, America had a golden age of GAME SHOWS- exactly what I want sometimes. Low key TV that helps me kick back, unwind and relieve my stresses for a while. Whether it was the hilarious antics of “The Dating Game,” battling wits with “Jeopardy” or watching your favorite stars with “Hollywood Squares,” there was always something for everyone.

Games got so popular that toy companies even started selling HOME EDITIONS of their most popular shows, so the fun could continue even between airings of your favorite shows. Which got me thinking: since Woodloch can sometimes kind of be like a game show with some of our events, how great would it be to have “home editions” of some of our marquee events?

I’ve huddled up with my friends in our Social Staff and I think we’ve come up with the perfect solution. Look for new installments of this blog often!”


Ahh, yes. The Scavenger Hunt. It is one of our oldest and most traditional contests, but it does not lack in intensity. As anyone who has participated knows, it is one of the craziest hours you will spend on your Pocono Woodloch vacation. Teams of 10 to 12 players come together to run for their “bonus,” try to crack our brainteasing puzzles, and of course find items on an extensive list.

Despite all the gears turning at once, the good news is that this game actually translates fairly well to a smaller ordeal- perfect for reunions, picnics, parties and even team building endeavors!


PLACE: You’ll need a rendezvous point for when the game ends. It can be inside, outside, wherever really- just as long as everyone leaves and arrives back at the same time.

TIME: For us, it has always been 55 minutes total, but we typically work with larger teams. Depending on your group, you may have to expand this- you DO need a time constraint of some sort to add to the fun fury of the hunt.

MATERIALS: Luckily, this isn’t an expensive endeavor but you may have to spend some time developing an appropriate list, “Frantic Pic” bonus and accompanying puzzles. As someone who has developed them, it never feels like “work”- it’s far too much fun! But you will need a computer and a printer if you’d like to include these options. Make up your packets so your group has a chance to give everything a try. We give you a list, a photo bonus, and about 12 puzzles for each hunt. Play it by ear.

DESIGN: First and foremost, you need an ITEM LIST. Ours feature over 60 items- really strong teams typically come up with about half of that when they return. For smaller endeavors, scale it back. Think of what someone can possibly find in their environment, what they already might have, and in some circumstances, what they can MAKE (i.e. costumes, puppets, postcards etc.) and try to balance it out. The harder it is to obtain an item, the more points you should make it worth. Great ideas for puzzles exist on Sporcle, and you can even check out our “Roadtrip Concierge” program for extra ideas on Frantic Pic bonuses and items!

GO: You’re going to need someone to serve as Grand Marshall / MC / Leader / call it what you will. They will not only be organizing and timing everyone but will be responsible for fairly scoring everyone. For BIG groups, you may need to have “scorekeepers” to give you a hand when everyone returns. REMEMBER: players can “argue” all they want, but the judge’s decision is always final!

INCENTIVE: Of course, at Woodloch, we are ALWAYS about competition. The fun of the games is always a reward in itself, but we like to spice things up by offering prizes to our guests. There’s nothing quite like the euphoric sense of hoisting that gold medal high and placing it triumphantly around your neck.
You can always buy a few cheap medals in places like the dollar tree and certainly online, but don’t underestimate the value of human craftsmanship! Sometimes, all you need is an ideal with some tin foil and string!

And that is really all you need to get a good home-made Scavenger Hunt underway… that and enthusiasm! Always have a few cameras and camcorders around to capture all of your smiles!

Like where we’re going with this? Check back often for new installments in this series!