The Scavenger Hunt. Friends, I need to write a post about this, because it literally consumed me, to the point of madness, in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Now might be a good time to tell you that I do a really shitty job of managing my time--and this has NEVER been more evident than RIGHT NOW, when I have volunteered to write/execute a scavenger hunt for 50 people on New Year's Eve, plan the women's retreat for our church (this weekend) and coordinate Art Fest at the kid's school (next Thursday). And this is me, in the year when I decided I was going to take on FEWER commitments.
But here's the thing, friends. When I sign up to do something, I do it. There is nothing that bugs me more than cutting corners out of laziness; I dream large-scale and very theme-y, and when I am attached to an idea, it is heartbreaking for me to have to scale back. As witnessed by the 15 hours I spent creating Jon Bon Jovial on Facebook. Ri-di-culous, I know. I KNOW. But also? The details of writing a fictional biography that includes obscure details, like--"Failed to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a band), so he created his own. Right next door. With an all-you-can-eat buffet and nightly fireworks."--REALLY excite me. Special is in the DETAILS, and the time and effort it takes to create something truly unique. If you want it to be good, I mean, REALLY good, it's going to cost you your soul, literally.
So. The Scavenger Hunt. Twelve teams and eleven clues hidden across St. Louis city and county. Finding locations is not the difficult part of the process--as we've learned in the years we've been doing this, you can hide clues ANYWHERE. But for a minimal amount of stress, they need to be in places where they can't be disturbed or influenced by human error. We have buried clues in the sand pit of a volley ball court, hidden them in books (that appear to not have been touched in YEARS) at a local library, given teams a picture of someone they needed to find at a mall, and planted clues at the house of a person playing in the game. We have made our little game ENTIRELY too hard, and suffered the wrath of our closest friends--but you live and learn, and you realize that people like it to feel interesting, but not be so challenged that they want to hang your severed head on a stick.
But also, every time we do this, we try to come up with something big and memorable--our very first scavenger hunt began with a simple ticket to a Cardinal's baseball game (which was being played as we started the hunt). We pulled a favor with a friend to get the tickets, AND to have the clues planted before the start of the game, on those specific seats. To date, it is the detail we are most proud of, because that is some bad-ass pre-planning, you know? But also, most difficult to *top*.
This year was the first time we've ever done a scavenger hunt at night, which lent itself to ideas involving things that glow in the dark--or more specifically, pens that were invisible to the naked eye, but reveal messages when illuminated with a black light. Sound crazy? That's what I thought when Mike began obsessing about this idea, particularly as he was talking about paint that costs $500/gallon. But I gotta give it to him, homeboy did his research, and found pens that worked SO WELL. And blacklight flashlights (given to all our teams) that were quite cost effective. Proving, that you never give up on a good idea, because you can *usually* make it work if you search Amazon.
We used those pens EVERYWHERE. In very public places like the City Garden, the City Museum, Forest Park, the Moonrise Hotel, Rocket park, Llewellyn's--and the best part about it, is that NO ONE knew it was there. Downside: It is REALLY difficult to write with invisible ink, fyi. The game began with us kidnapping one person from each team and dropping them at an unspecified location that they had to lead their other teamates to, and ended with a glow in the dark clue planted in the MIDDLE of a long, curly slide at a local park. Cops were involved there for some teams, but failed to press any charges when they realized the teams were a bunch of mostly 30 year olds playing a GAME.
There was the 15-minute delay of game when no one could find Jon BonJovial's address (because it was wrong), but ultimately, the first team arrived back at our house within 10 minutes of the official end time--making this our BEST planned scavenger hunt, as far as timing goes.
On Friday, I will share with you all the secondary game we play, in addition to uncovering the clues--it's a game of numbers that is worth points, and can potentially pass the lead on to a team that doesn't finish first. Cause we like to keep you on your TOES.
It's all in the DETAILS, friends.