A parallax image

How to create your own Challenger Hunt

Posted by Shell Grayston.
First Published Mar 2018; updated Jun 2023.

The Challenger Hunt is an interesting activity you can do outdoors and adapt to different locations, and add further challenges to it.

I have to thank Ordnance Survey for this little activity idea. At the OS GetOutside Champions launch event, we champions were set a task....The Challenger Hunt.

this is a great activity for families to do

Now, who doesn't love a challenge? Fuelled by sweets and the thought of a prize, Tom and Amy were off like rockets, full of excitement and energy; they wanted to win a prize!

Seeing their enthusiasm got me thinking: this is a great activity for families to do. Now you know where the idea came from, here's what you have to do!

How to play the Challenger Hunt

A key part of the Challenger Hunt is to find landmarks. The landmarks could be a church, a post box, a play park, a statue, a shop, etc.

You'll probably need to do a bit of a recce and use a map to locate suitable things to find. Then present the challenge to the finders!

Using a paper map

Using the paper map to plan our challenge. If your kids don't know the map symbols, get our Map Symbol Bingo game (see bottom of this page on how to get it)

When the players find a landmark, they have to take a picture with it. The sillier the pose, the better!

Taking a funny photo at the landmark we found.

Taking a funny photo at the landmark we found.

Using the OS Maps app

Using the OS Maps App to record our route when doing a Challenger Hunt when staying at a nearby campsite

After their funny pose, the challengers must write down their coordinates. These can be found easily just by using the OS Map app or a paper Ordnance Survey map.

If you want to add an additional aspect to the game, you could record distance travelled using the OS Maps app or even a Fitbit (and remember, if doing it as a family, log your distance on GOWTK here).

Along the route, your task is to be a Plastic Patroller and pick up litter along the way. Looking after the environment is something we all need to be doing and getting involved with.

Picking up plastic is what we did on our Challenger Hunt, and it was lovely to see Tom embrace this with such enthusiasm. He was a boy on a mission!!

It was quite satisfying to see the rubbish we had collected - a good job done!

The litter we collected on the Challenger Hunt with OS GetOutside champions

The litter we collected on the Challenger Hunt with OS GetOutside champions

Adapting this Activity

What I love about this activity is that it can be adapted in so many ways to suit the participants.

Here are some ideas:

  • It can be done with different teams, which adds an element of competition, which we found increases the enthusiasm to another level! If you are a scout or youth group, this is an excellent activity for a bit of teamwork.
  • Do it as a family. Depending on the age of your children supervision will, of course, be needed and boundaries set. If the children are very young, you could omit distance travelled and coordinate recording from the challenge. Remember, we have activities to help you teach your children how to read a map.
  • You could have prizes for the best team name, distance travelled, most creative photo, fastest team back etc
  • It can be adapted to the location so it could be a rural or urban Challenger Hunt. Always remember to follow countryside rules and be safe.
  • If you are covering a long distance, then you could do it on bikes.

With a little planning, it's a simple way to get everyone outside. Teamwork, observation and gaining a familiarity with maps are useful skills to learn from this activity. Best of all it's fun and that is what getting outside is all about.

Map Symbol Bingo (free download)