15 July 2016
Teen Programming: Amazing Race
In my new position I have inherited an already active group of teens who enjoy library programs. I love that we can have programming for teens and I don't have to worry about finding teens to come. My previous library was just starting to have teen programming, but the teens here are already involved through volunteering and participating in programs.
One of the programs we did this summer was to have an Amazing Race-style event where the teens ran through our town to various locations and completed tasks in a race against other teams. We set up five total locations, one of which was the library itself, and each location had a library volunteer who would supervise the teens at their task before handing them the clue to the next location. The teens earned Mardi Gras bead necklaces at each location, and returned to the library only after they had received five necklaces.
This type of activity was easy for us to do in a small town, where it's safe for teens to run around and they don't have to travel far to complete tasks, but it could be adapted to be completed within a library building, provided there are staff or volunteers who are willing to assist with the program. The tasks the teens had to do involved solving riddles, eating strange food (sardines, and yes there was a non-eating alternative for those who were allergic or too grossed out), and completing puzzles.
Teens generally enjoy competing against each other and working in small groups with their friends, and everyone who completed the race received a prize of some sort, so I would say this was a very successful program overall and a great one to do on a sunny summer afternoon.