Hunt the Leader

4 stars

This was one of my favorites.  We would take the youth group to a large shopping mall or main street (depending if it's day or night) and all the youth leaders would dress up or disguise themselves somehow.  As an example: a homeless man, a guy with a moustache, a girl with a pillow up her top to make her look pregnant.  Some costumes can look bit ridiculous where the leader really stands out, others can be more subtle and blend in with the crowd.  Also have a combination of youth leaders sitting in the one spot (like a cafe) and others wandering around (like a cleaner with a broom). 

The basic idea is to split the youth group into teams and their goal is to 'hunt' down the leaders and get their signatures (or a stamp) on a piece of paper.  The winning team is the one that finds all the leaders first. 

A note of caution - ensure the young people are adequately supervised.  Depending on the age of your group, you may need to ensure there is a leader (not in disguise) with each group for their safety. Also ensure the group is aware of the 'boundaries', and have an agreed time to meet back.

As a variation, you could combine this night with the Photo Night and get the kids to take photos of the leaders they find (in amongst other challenges). 

  • Free / Low Cost
  • Night
  • Ice breaker
  • Team Building Teamwork
  • Indoor
  • Large area
  • Outdoor
  • Teens (Age 12-15)
  • Teens (Age 16-18)
  • Young Adults

Group Size
  • Medium (10-29 people)
  • Large groups (30+)

  • Longer (30-60 mins)
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We did something like this called Blue Ganu, we went to a mall where our leader (as this was when I was in Youth) had gotten a bunch of people to be different characters like the blue Ganu, red baron, pink panther, green gator, yellow yak, brown bear, black rino and the white ghost. We then had to go find them. The fun part was that I was the yellow yak and I was playing. Only my team found me and they had to ask me.
- Elan (14 May 2010)

You can also dress up one leader like "Waldo" and do a giant "Where's Waldo" search around a mall, ect.
- Kristen (30 Oct 2010)

I help run a Jr High Youth Group and we did something like this during Christmas. It was everyone's favorite event that we have done so far. What we did was had people from our Church (Some people the student's didn't know) dress up and we went to our mall and we could also go outside as well. We had to ask people "Are you Santa Claus" which if they said no they were just regular people thinking we were crazy, if they said yes we had to guess their name (We had a name list with their normal picture) if we guessed wrong we had to wait 5mins before guesting again. Throughout we would text the leaders in the small groups to get extra point by being the first to this place, take a picture with... etc. It was a point system and ended up great!
- Ashley (13 Feb 2011)

Fun to incorporate with twitter. You can give hints about where you're hiding, etc.
- Paul (13 Mar 2011)

A favorite twist for hiding a couple or single person is to get permission from a store in advance to be mannequins in their window. A week in advance meet with the store manager and arrange to model their clothing. During the event, stand perfectly still; you’ll get people stopping and looking at you. The store likes it, as it’s a great attention getter and the youth like it because they don’t expect this level of secrecy. As far as stamping their paper, just have them make note of where they saw you or have another leader do the stamping if you can’t step out of the window.

This was also called "beep beep". The youth had to say beep beep to the person, if they got it wrong it was embarrassing.

We also made sure that the youth knew they couldn't run in the mall (they had to respect the store owners, etc.), we didn't want any to be thrown out or have the mall upset for us running this game in the mall.
- Trevor (19 Jun 2011)

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