Scavenger Hunting for Names

by Matt Mattson

Many fraternity/sorority chapters have enjoyed their first month or so of school, toiled through formal recruitment, prayed through the bid process, and are now simply settling for their mediocre recruitment results.

So, what's next?

The average chapters will accept their averageness, take what they have (as far as quantity and quality of new members), and just go about their business. However, the revolutionary chapters — the chapters that practice Dynamic Recruitment will see this time of the fall as their best opportunity to maximize their potential.

Remembering that “you can't recruit who you don't know,” what should you still be doing? That's right, gathering names. But going out and meeting strangers (so that you at least have a chance to recruit them) can seem like hard work. How can you make it fun?

Scavenger hunts are fun, right? They may seem a little cheesy to some of you, but they almost always end up as a good time. Now I'm not talking about scavenger hunts where you have to go and ask for embarrassing things from people, or the ones that if you don't win you end up getting ridiculed or even hazed. I'm talking about a scavenger hunt for one thing and one thing only…. NAMES!

Grow your names list with a multi-day challenge for your members. Attach a prize to the end, and ~voila~ you've got a fun way to grow your names list (and a way to regain some recruitment momentum after the early fall “rush” has waned).

Scavenger Hunt Challenges…

Gather names and contact information of non-Greek men on or around campus by fulfilling as many of these challenges as possible. Use the challenges to start deeper, friendly conversations, then record who you had these conversations with…

  • Talk to 1 person about how heavy their bag looks 
  • Talk to 2 people about their the smell in here
  • Talk to 3 people about the weather this week
  • Talk to 4 people about fuel efficiency
  • Talk to 5 people about body hair
  • Ask 1 person where they got their pants
  • Ask 2 people how long they've been waiting here
  • Ask 3 people why the Turkey isn't the national bird
  • Ask 4 people when the band will start
  • Ask 5 people who that important looking dude is
  • Complain to 1 person about your knee pain
  • Complain to 2 people about the grass
  • Complain to 3 people about the football team
  • Complain to 4 people about politics
  • Complain to 5 people about bad elevator music
  • High Five 1 person because of your good grade
  • High Five 2 people because of playoff baseball
  • High Five 3 people because of their hard work
  • High Five 4 people because of their funny shirt
  • High Five 5 people because they look like they needed it

At this point, you're probably starting to understand that the content of your scavenger hunt doesn't really matter — as long as you're using it as an opportunity/excuse to go out and interact with new people. These ridiculous challenges offer an opportunity to start a conversation with someone you just met — which then gives you a chance to add their name to your names list — which then gives you a chance to recruit them.

Important: Don't force/strongly encourage your new members to do this. First of all, it should be the “horses” in the chapter that are doing this stuff. Secondly, you should model the way with good recruiting behavior. Third, if you just make your new members do this, you’ll get in big trouble for hazing — don't be dumb. This should be used as a practical, fun, light-hearted way to get to know more people and grow your names list. I repeat, don't be dumb.

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