The Scavenger Hunt at Fort Frederica National Monument is one of our most popular activities for people of all ages. The Scavenger Hunt started in 2020 when the park opened again after Covid. We were not allowed to give out the haversacks that go along with our Junior Ranger program. Without the haversacks, the Junior Ranger program isn’t nearly as much fun. And we wanted something that people could do while they were exploring the outdoor spaces of the park.
Intern Sydne Turskey developed the Scavenger Hunt. She thought it would be a fun thing for kids to do. She arranged for postcards to be given out as prizes. The program was so popular that we continued it even after we could pass out the Junior Ranger haversacks again. Families who can’t spend the time for the Junior Ranger program enjoy doing the shorter Scavenger Hunt. Kids, especially, get very excited at the idea of the hunt.
The Scavenger Hunt has eight stations. The first clue is on the breezeway, which everyone walks through on their way into the park. Each of the clues points to another place that the players can see from the clue. The kids read the clue, think about it, spot the next place, and go racing off. For instance, the first clue says “Colonial women spent their days picking and planting veggies and herbs.” The kids can see the garden across the lawn and they run to it to find the next clue.
Once they have followed all the clues through the townsite, they get to the last clue. It says, “You’ve finished the game. . . To collect your prize, you must shout Huzzah!” The kids come racing back into the Visitors Center to say “Huzzah!” and get their prize. Most of them are delighted with the postcard. We also have stickers that say “Let’s move outdoors!” that we give them. It isn’t a big prize but it is something that can be a keepsake of the park. I think just the activity of the scavenger hunt is a prize in itself.
I love telling families about the Scavenger Hunt. Most of the time the kids are excited to do it. Some of the kids want to know what the prize is before they start the hunt, but we always tell them it is a surprise. Last year one little boy was visiting his grandfather on the island and insisted on coming and doing the scavenger hunt every day. He was thrilled to get the same prize every day. Grandpa was glad he was excited about doing something at the park.
We also have adults that do the Scavenger Hunt. We give out the same prize to the adults. The adults often say “Huzzah!” more enthusiastically than the children.
The Scavenger Hunt has been a good thing at Fort Frederica. I keep expecting, when we return, that they will have put up permanent scavenger hunt signs instead of the temporary laminated ones that have been up for three years. As long as the signs remain in some form, we will enjoy seeing families participating in the hunt together.