Caught on Tape

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No, we're not suggesting that you search your neighborhood Blockbuster for hard-to-find movies (although if someone would like to divulge a location with a copy of Cannonball Run, it would be most appreciated). But if you're looking for a way to engage in some healthy and humorous competition with a bunch of friends, and a good excuse to document it all through the eye of a camera, then a video scavenger hunt should be on your summer agenda.

This adventure will be infused with its share of spontaneity, but a little planning is in order before you start your engines. Wrangle enough participants to form at least two two-person teams. Each team needs some method of traversing the city and, of course, a video camera. The camera is vital, but a close second is the hunt list. Definitely put a little time and a lot of thought into the search items. Keep in mind that you're taping all your finds, so you don't have to limit the list to objects that have to be lugged back to a home base. With video, you're expanding your options. Use this to your advantage and include, for instance, a billboard advertising Morgan, Collings and Gilbert (for the people!), or a blue-eyed Starbucks barista.

It's also a good idea to include a couple of targets unfamiliar to most people, things to which the players will react with, "What the heck is that?" If something is open for interpretation, you're bound to get some creative stuff on tape. I took part in a scavenger hunt where one of the items was a wet probe. To this day, I don't know what that is (although I have my suspicions), but one of the teams taped themselves pouring water on a Ford Probe, and voila! A wet probe.

Let the teams loose for the filming spree, set a time for them to reconvene with their footage, and whichever team has the most items wins. Celebrate the triumph with a fun prize or a victory party. Or maybe a viewing of Cannonball Run.—Ana Lopez

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