Uncle Zeb's Lost Treasure Activity
A Favorite Activity
This Activity is meant for Boy Scouts, Webelos scouts.
Staff or big stick that the leader can post in the ground.
bag of candy or reward for each patrol.
compass for each patrol.
6 to 10 3x5 cards for each patrol, all the same color for each patrol.
a map of your area makes the set up easier.
Simple compass practice and team cooperation.
At the starting location, tell the scouts that you found a dusty old diary belonging to your old uncle Zeb who was a (Indian, Pirate, Spaniard, Prospector, Mountain Man, ...) The diary said that somewhere out in this wilderness, old Zeb had hidden his treasure to keep it safe from thieves. But, sadly, old Zeb died without retrieving his riches nor telling anyone where the treasure was hidden.
But, luckily, you found these clues inside a false back cover of the diary and, being the generous sort, are willing to split the treasure 50-50 with whoever finds it.
Ask the scouts if any of them are interested in doing business with you. After they break out in ear-splitting roars of approval, have them break into patrols and ask all patrol leaders to come forward.
Hand each patrol leader a compass and folded clue card.
The card should say:
Follow this bearing ___________ from the starting stake to the next clue. All your clues are the same color as this card - do not touch any other colored clues. Bring every card back with you or you will forfeit your cut of the treasure. And, bring every member of your team back or you forfeit. GO!
The first patrol back with all their members, all their clues, and their treasure should split their treasure with you and you should have something more significant to add to the pot for them. All other patrols can just keep their treasure.
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Set up can take about 10 minutes for each team course.
The idea is to have all patrols start from a single spot and wind up at a treasure location. The setup requires placing compass bearing clues at stops along the path. It works much better when setting up to work backward from the final location to the start.
Set up for the Red Team: Place a reward at a location well away from where you will start the race. With the reward, place a red card that says Bring this treasure back to Uncle Zeb's nephew as fast as you can.
From this last spot, locate a tree, rock, ... between 50 and 100 yards away. Walk to that landmark and take a reading back from where you came. Write this on a red card and leave it at the landmark where it can be found. If you have a map of the area, draw a red line between the two points.
Repeat this process zig-zagging all over the area until you have one red card left and you are no more than 100 yards from the starting spot. Go to the starting spot and post your staff or stick in the ground - all teams will start from this exact spot. Take a bearing to the first landmark. Write the bearing on the last red card - this will be the first card for the Red Team.
Repeating this for each patrol will result in many courses starting at one point and winding up at different treasure locations. Try to make the paths cross, but not have landmarks near each other to prevent tampering.