Thursday, July 3, 2014


Today, I'm bringing you a delightful post stolen (graciously given) by my author friend, Gina Welborn.

History of Scavenger Hunts

A scavenger hunt is a game in which the organizers prepare a list defining specific items, which the participants – individuals or teams – seek to gather all items on the list – usually without purchasing them – or perform tasks or take photographs of the items, as specified. The goal is usually to be the first to complete the list, although in a variation on the game players can also be challenged to complete the tasks on the list in the most creative manner. (source: Wikipedia)

When I was in junior high and high school, our church youth director did summer scavenger hunts. Sometimes we had to walk through the neighborhood asking for items. Other times our hunts were at the mall, or even city-wide. Before the item could be collected, the group had to figure out the clue. St.Patrick Hay meant Green Straw which meant Go to Starbucks and get a straw.

Scavenger Hunts evolved from ancient folk games. Thanks to Elsa Maxwell, they became a popular form of entertainment.

Elsa Maxwell (May 24, 1883 – November 1, 1963) was an American gossip columnist and author, songwriter, and professional hostess renowned for her parties for royalty and high society figures of her day. She developed a gift for staging games and diversions at parties for the rich, and began making a living devising treasure-hunt parties, come-as-your-opposite parties and other sorts, including a scavenger hunt in Paris in 1927 that inadvertently created disturbances all over the city. She also hosted parties in Cannes, Venice, and London, and launched night clubs in England and America.

In the 1930s, in a series of exclusive New York parties, Elsa introduced scavenger hunts and treasure hunts, which created a Society's obsession with them. This scavenger-hunting craze among New York's elite was satirized in the 1936 film My Man Godfrey.

If you have 93-minutes to waste, you can watch it here:

In 1950, the Connecticut Valley Camera Club hosted their annual photographic scavenger hunt. The group was divided into two teams, after which print titles were assigned. The photographers had to bring in print and color slides to fit the titles. The titles, chosen from suggestions given by the group, were Wet Weather, Rendezvous, Street Scene, Sour Grapes, Smoke, and Two of a Kind.

PBS Scavenger Hunt thru History // Match the historical event with the time period in which it happened. // Click HERE to test your skills.

Have you ever participated in a Scavenger Hunt? Tell me about it!


After her unscrupulous stepfather accuses her of being a thief, a horrified Katie hopes to hide out until she can prove otherwise. But slipping into obscurity in a small Texas town isn't so easy. Not with Texas Ranger Ward Alston on her tail.
Ward's used to getting his man—or woman. But he's not used to the accused being so resolute in her innocence or so beautifully appealing. As he uncovers the truth, Ward realizes this Harvey Girl isn't all she seems. Together, can they evade danger and obey the law of their own hearts?


Multi-published and Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013 and 2014 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at


  1. I had to come share that for my 14th Birthday, my mom actually Did the most splended Scavenger Hunt for my girlfriends and I, it was loads of fun ! Its neat that you wrote about them today Cynthia !
    Linda Marie Finn
    Faithful Acres Books

  2. My hubby and I did one for my son on his 12th. The boys had a blast searching the neighborhood for the objects. I'd like to someday do an adult one :)

  3. Scavenger hunts are so much fun! My children love for me to make a list of items for them to find around the house or outside. Such a simple pleasure!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  4. Hi Cynthia, it never occurred to me to think about the history of scavenger hunts.Recently I had a group of kids come to my door on a scavenger hunt. I was surprised when they asked if I had a green sofa. It turns out they only had to take photos. In my day, we had to cart the stuff back. Times sure have changed.

    Your book sounds wonderful! Love the title!

  5. Hey, Cynthia, scavenger hunts are such fun, but I didn't know the historical background. Thanks. Geocaching is real big around here. We first heard about it in Austin, just before we came to Colorado. "They" say there are currently 2,437,272 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide. Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache. It's like another world with its own language -

  6. Scavenger hunts are so much fun and we had a lot of them for our youth when we worked with them at church. I never thought about where the idea originate either. We sent them all over the neighborhood and even beyond, and they had a large sack or burlap bag to bring things back in. Taking pictures of items is a neat idea too. One hunt sent a group to a foreign automobile dealership near the church and they had to bring back something to prove they'd been there. Funny thing was they had the hardest time figuring out that clue. Thanks for bringing back memories of great times with our teens.

  7. Scavenger Hunts are fun. With a little thought and creativity, a great time can be had by many.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  8. I love Scavenger Hunts -participating in them and making them. Used to make them up for youth groups when husband was a youth pastor. sharon, wileygreen1ATyahooDOTcom