Radio Comms Treasure Hunt

Picture of radio and treasure map So you want people to be able to use radios well, using the appropriate language and set procedures and to be able to communicate in a clear and concise way? We've tried out some fun treasure hunt style activities that get people using the radio and being a little less 'scared' of it!

The basis and general style for all of these activities has a main control or base that directs small teams round using radio communication in order to fulfil some kind of goal. We've found that giving them a bit of a competitive edge motivates people to want to do well (even better if you actually have prizes!) and will get people to want to use the radio and encourage them to use it properly.

Tasks in the Town
If you are based near a town centre this one might be ideal. You can get each of the teams to go to various locations (by directing them over the radio) to go and carry out certain tasks and then report back. So for example, a team might be asked to go to the bakery on bakers street and find out what time they open on a Tuesday. They then have to give the correct answer over the radio to be given the next task. It's a bit like those tourist information quizzes but over the radio. Test different skills by perhaps getting the team to spell the answer and so testing their knowledge of using alpha, bravo, charlie, delta... instead of a, b, c, d... The winning team (obviously) is the team that has successfully completed all of the tasks and got back to base first.

This one does require a bit of work beforehand in order to get all the tasks and answers ready and to work out whether you are going to give all the teams the same tasks (in which case being on the same radio channel might mean people hear the answers for tasks they haven't done yet) or whether you will give them all different tasks.

Scenarios Dotted Around
You could always combine the treasure hunt with scenarios (i.e. the scenarios are the things you need to find...and then complete). Have some patients and facilitators dotted around at specific locations (which control knows). Control can then direct the groups to the location of each scenario. The first aiders will then be practicing their radio skills in a situation a bit more like reality as they will need to radio in that they have a patient and what their condition was etc. Once the team had completed the scenario, the facilitator can give them a code to tell control to show that they have completed the scenario and are ready to move on to the next one. You don't necessarily have to do this in a competitive manner - in fact if you do, it might make the standard of first aid a bit more hit and miss! But you could say that the winner is the first team to have completed all of the scenarios.

Find the Characters
You need a group of people willing to dress up for a bit of fun with this version of the treasure hunt! Get a group of people to all dress up on a particular theme (disney characters perhaps) and go and hide out at various locations across the town/area. So you could have Elsa the princess in a pub and the Beast sitting next to the village pond. The first aiders are then given clues over the radio to help them find the hidden characters. The teams can request more clues or extra help via the radio. The winning team is the first team to have found all the characters and gets back to base.

Geocache Style Hunt
Perhaps the more extreme version of the ones above. Best done in a large area (perhaps you've gone away for a training weekend to the Lakes?) with little geocache style (little boxes with something inside) clues hidden around the countryside. Each team is armed with a map and a radio and needs to radio in the clues they find to be given the next map reference that they need to go and look for the next clue. The winner is the first team to have found all the clues and got back to base. Do get your map references right on this one though - we've known all the groups to be stuck trying to find the same clue together as one massive team because one of the references was wrong!

Practical Tips:
  • This type of activity is particularly helpful for people who have not really used radio communication much before
  • Consider using multiple radio channels if you are having lots of teams (and therefore multiple radio operators in control)
  • Make sure your plan of where you are sending people works because otherwise you will have people wandering around and getting confused all over the place!
  • Test the radios before giving them to the teams because you can bet that one of them won't work and will consequently lead to mayhem
  • You might find it useful to have a short refresher session explaining the procedures for using radios at events before doing the treasure hunts

Have you tried this idea out? Let us know how it went or give us your top tips to make it work well! If you are logged in, your usename will be assigned to the comment.
There are some really good ideas here. There is such evident flexibility about how this kind of exercise could be run!

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