July292011

On Scavenger Hunts

Had you asked me about my view on Scavenger Hunts as a part of pledging a year ago, I would have been all for it.  I would have told you they were fun, harmless, a good way to bond.

But ask me now.  I’ll tell you that I believe Scavenger Hunts are hazing.
Why the change?  What happened? 
I looked at the root of what this hunt was and asked if it was teaching.  As a rule of thumb, if its not teaching our values, then it shouldn’t be a part of the new member process.

What kinds of things go on during a scavenger hunt?
At best, bonding.  At worst, stealing, trespassing, embarrassment, nudity.
Are these the values we’re hoping to instill in our new members?

Lets think about what a scavenger hunt is at its root.
Its scavenging, hunting, looking, searching for things.  Its mindlessly crossing tasks off a list.  Making our members do as we say.  Its getting things, taking things, stealing things, and providing proof of completion.  Its singling our new members out to perform these tasks because “we said so”, while brothers/sisters spend their time doing something more valuable, more fun. 

In a lot of cases, members will lose sleep, spend money, break the law, etc.
In some cases, these new members will miss out on some other event. 
In other cases, still, there will be repercussions for each task not completed.

That doesn’t sound very fun.  So what makes scavenger hunts fun?
Bonding? Memories? Competition? Achievement? 
Yes, and those are good things!

So How do we get the fun without the bad stuff? 
Surely we can find another way to get our new members to bond with one another.

It all about our Choices. We have the power to make choices.  There is always a second (or third, or fourth) option.  We simply have to think about alternative ways, innovative ways to interact with our members.

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