Acroyoga Community Series: Setting up an Acro Scavenger Hunt
Updated: Jun 29, 2020
We just finished the first Akroyoga Aarhus Akro Scavenger Hunt and it was a blast. Read on for ideas we used (and some we didn't) and maybe get inspired to host your own. *Scroll to the end for a gallery of photos from the hunt!
Looking for a fun way to bring together people from different sub-groups of your acroyoga community?
Maybe you have some people who only attend jams and others who only attend class. Some who come on week days and others who only make it to weekend events. For our third instalment in the Acroyoga Community Series, we'll go a bit more in-depth in one community-building activity that we find super fun and inclusive: The Acro Scavenger Hunt.
What can a scavenger hunt do for your community?
A Scavenger Hunt is essentially a game. And like most games, it is something that almost anyone in your acro community can be involved in, unlike classes where some people may chose only advanced levels and other chose only beginner levels. You can design a scavenger hunt so that it is inclusive of the whole acro community.
This is also a chance to see your city in a whole new way; almost like being a tourist in your own town. Other movement practices and activities do this, too. Parkour is especially good for broadening the way we see familiar objects, environments, and surroundings. A scavenger hunt can work in the same way: you'll find places and notice things that you haven't before. And once you start, you'll constantly be scouting places and seeing ideas for the next hunt.
If you've recently planted the seed of acro in your city, or are looking for new people to play with, this can be chance to make your group visible and introduce acro to a wider audience. If this is your intention, you may want to make signs, t-shirts, or otherwise show on-lookers who you are and why you are making awesome shapes all over town.
Acroyoga, like yoga, can be extremely liberating. It can also be highly structured, with tense poses, hardworking muscles, and frustrating days. A scavenger hunt, because it is a game, can remind us of the fun and creativity that are also parts of this practice. Loosen up and make some silly things happen. It'll be fun.
How do we get started?
We were inspired to host an Acro Scavenger Hunt when we saw a facebook event for the AcrOhio Hunt. So, naturally, the first thing we did was contact them and ask, "How do we get started?" They were super helpful, answering all of our questions and providing some of the helpful tips that we are sharing here.
Next, we recruited a small group of organizers because more heads is better. In the end, we were a group of 4 organizers doing the logistical bits. (For creativity, we turned to our acro community. More on that below...)
Set your intention
The first mission of the organizers was to decide the intention of the activity. This is a crucial step that will save time and guide decisions later on. Some questions for your organizers to consider:
Is this a true contest with winners taking a prize? If so, what will the prize be. Some groups charge a small fee to join the hunt and the winning team takes home the prize money. We briefly considered offering up gift certificates to a local attraction, like an amusement park, but ultimately decided against a prize.
Is this just for fun and socialisation? If so, do you want to open it up for people to bring their families and kids along? Or encourage them to bring friends who have never tried acro before?
Is this to get people in sub-groups of your local community to meet each other? If you live in a big city with several classes and jams, maybe you want to invite them all as part of a city-wide meet your fellow acroyogis event. Then you'll also want to consider how you set up teams so that people from different sub-groups are working together.
Is this to be more visible to your city? As mentioned above, maybe you'll want to carry signs, wear t-shirts, or somehow be visibly identifiable. Maybe you'll print flyers with info about local classes and upcoming events to hand out to people you meet along the way.
Is this part of a larger event? A scavenger hunt could be a low-stakes and fun mid-week break if you are leading a retreat, festival, or training. If you are leading a semester-long class, this could be a super fun "final exam!"
Whatever your intention, be sure everyone on the organizing team is on board and let this be your guide in making other decisions.
Our organizers also decided how to structure the contest. Some more questions to consider:
How will you form teams? This is a place your intention will guide you. It is good to have someone who knows the city or area well on each team, and also some who like to base and some who like to fly. At least three people per team is the minimum, so you will have spotters handy. Will you have team colors or names? Will they chose their own teams or be assigned in advanced or the day of?, etc.
How will you keep score? We gave one point per completed assignment, no matter the skill level. You may want to give more points for more advanced variations. We also defined bonus points: one bonus point for showing good spotting and one bonus point for getting a stranger in the photo. How else might your teams earn bonuses?
How will groups submit their poses? We took photos or videos of each assignment, then each team posted their photos and videos in our fb event page once we reached the the final meeting place.
How will teams know the assigned poses and locations? For our hunt, each group received a printed handout with the names and a small photo of each assignment. We included many options for assignments; too many for any one team to complete them all. So, each team had to decide which assignments to go for.
How will you define the beginning and ending of the hunt? We established a meeting time and went over the assignments and created groups that morning. Then we had two hours to hunt and met back at an established final meeting place for the ending. We had only one required assignment for the hunt - the final pose was a group shot of everyone participating in the hunt. We also made the final meeting place a local restaurant so we could all have lunch together while we counted up points and looked at each other's photos and videos.
How will you define the winners? We had each team count up points for a different team. Then we announced how many points each team received and named a winning team. Because our intention was being social and having fun, our winning team received bragging rights for the entire year. ;)
The creative part
Our organizers' next task was to make a list of poses, washing machines and transitions familiar within our community and define specific or generic locations for each pose or transition. This is where we called on the creativity of our whole acro community and also how we announced our plans for the event. We created a facebook event and asked everyone interested to contribute ideas for poses and locations. Our intention was to be social and have fun, so we tried to come up with some witty ideas, like "perform Ballerina in front of the Aarhus Theater." We also included some creative challenges, like "Create a pose that show how you feel when you need coffee and do it at a coffee shop." We mixed specific locations, like familiar local landmarks, with more generic ones, like "any shoe store." We used poses and washing machines but kept most of the assignments open enough that each team could chose a variation or modification, from very beginner-friendly to advanced. We also kept all of our locations within the city center since most members of our acro community use bikes at their primary transportation.
Some of our challenges included in the photo gallery below...
Create a pose that shows how you feel when you need coffee at a coffee shop.
Create a pose that interacts with street art.
Lotus pose with a flower.
Plank on Plank pose at a gym.
Down Dog on Down Dog pose with a Dog (or two!)
Table on Table pose on a Table.
Cathedral pose with a church.
Mermaid pose at a sushi house.
Create a pose that shows how you feel when you've had too much sugar at a candy store.
Foot to Hand pose at a shoe store.
Vishnu's Couch pose at an Indian restaurant.
Whale pose at the Helicopter Whale Statue.
Poses and Washing Machines we also tried....
BallerinaWM at the Theater.
Four Step WM on stairs.
Corkscrew WM at a wine shop.
Leaf pose with a tree.
Throne pose on a bench.
Flag pose with a Danish flag.
Bird pose with a bird.
Sidestar pose at a windmill.
Have you been part of an Acro Scavenger Hunt? We'd love to hear your ideas and how you made it work; share them in the comments below. Or send us a link to see photos from your hunt!