**This is a guest post by Glenys Nellist from Kids Ministry Matters
Geocaching is a fascinating, fun phenomenon that is growing in popularity. A free, real-world outdoor treasure hunt, geocaching is played by using a smartphone or GPS to locate hidden containers called geocaches. With over two million treasures hidden around the world, geocaching is an ideal activity for tweens, and then presents some fun opportunities for follow up. Begin by learning about geocaching, try it out with your tweens, and then have fun ‘Bible Geocaching!’
This could also be a fun family activity or something for multi-generational small groups to do together.
In Bible geocaching, teams of tweens race through the 4 Gospels to discover 6 words that will make up a sentence about treasure. When the correct sentence is found, and matched with a hidden one, they may then hunt for real treasure! The ‘coordinates’ used for the 6 words are taken from the New Revised Standard Version. If you do not have these Bibles, you must change the ‘coordinates’ listed below, so that the activity will work.
1. Take 4 envelopes & number them 1-4.
2. Write out the following sentences on strips of paper, including the #:
1. God’s treasure is peace and love.
2. Your treasure is found in heaven.
3. Choose treasure of faith and peace.
4. Good treasure is easy to find.
3. Place each sentence in its corresponding envelope, seal and hide in 4 different places in your facility.
4. Take 4 sheets of paper, number them 1-4 and write on the top of each:
‘Bible Geocaching Coordinates.’
5. Write the following coordinates on each sheet
On Sheet 1: Matthew 27: 43: 19 / Matthew 6: 21: 4 / Mark 12: 27: 2 / John 20: 21: 6 / Luke 12: 31: 6 / John 21: 17: 14.
On Sheet 2: Matthew 9: 2: 28 / Matthew 6: 21: 4 / Mark 12: 27: 2 / Luke 7: 10: 12 / John 12: 44: 7 / Matthew 16: 19: 11.
On Sheet 3: Matthew 8: 3: 12 / Matthew 6: 21: 4 / Matthew 6: 22: 6 / Mark 11: 22: 5 / Luke 12: 31: 6 / John 20: 21: 6.
On Sheet 4: Matthew 7: 17: 5 / Matthew 6: 21: 4 / Luke 12: 23: 3 / Matthew 7: 13: 15 / John 20: 27: 4 / Mark 11: 2: 20
6. Now hide ‘treasure’ in the room where you will meet, like candy or Plastic Bible verse gold coins.
WHAT TO DO:
Put the tweens in to 4 teams. Number them 1-4.
Say: Welcome to Bible Geocaching! Your mission is to hunt through the 4 Gospels to find 6 words that will make up a sentence about treasure. To find the words, I will give each team 3 ‘Bible coordinates’. (Show them a ‘Bible Geocaching Coordinates’ sheet. Point to the numbers.) The first number tells you the chapter. The second number tells you the verse. The third number tells you how many words to count along in that verse. (Demonstrate this.) Once you have found the word, write it down on your sheet. When you think your sentence is complete, we will check it. If it’s correct, you will be sent to hunt for an envelope that has the same number as your team. When all teams have returned with their envelopes we will open them If the sentence inside matches the one you wrote down, you may hunt for treasure right here in this room! Questions? Go!
Make sure each team has NRSV Bibles, pens & their ‘Bible Geocaching Coordinates’ sheet.
Send each team to different areas to work on finding their words. (Try to have one adult per team to ensure success! Give the adult a copy of the sentence.)
When teams have written their sentence down, check it & then give them a ‘clue’ about where their envelope is hidden.
When all teams have returned, open the envelopes. If the sentence inside matches the one they wrote down, they may hunt for treasure. Let the team that returned first hunt first.
Finish by discussing what Jesus said about true treasure in Matthew 6:19.
HIDE YOUR OWN GEOCACHE!
Another fun idea would be to brainstorm with your tweens how your group could create and hide a geocache in the grounds of your church. (For example, they could each make concrete stepping stones and ‘implant’ a tin containing their favorite Bible verses!) Tweens are creative and will rise to this fun challenge while witnessing to the community at the same time.