My friend Kate does this crazy scavenger hunt every year. It’s called the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (GISHWES). The idea is that it’s sort of a “break from normal” with some do-gooding aspects. You put together a team of 15 people, and you have exactly one week to complete around 200 items, with varying point values depending on difficulty/complexity. Teams can be distributed–we had a team that was mostly in Michigan, but because we didn’t have 15 people, the GISH folks put us together with a team of Aussies. Seeing what people came up with was super fun, as was being part of it. Here are a few of the ones I’m the happiest with:
Assignment: You’re late for your portrait. Put yourself into a painting that is at least 200 years old.
Kate dressed up, I photographed and edited. For not being a wizard at digital editing, I’m pretty happy with how this came out. I couldn’t figure out how to make the light on her face match the light on the faces of the people in the painting, though (Judith and Her Maidservant, Artemesia Gentileschi, 1625).
One of the clues was written in the Caesar cipher. I was so proud of myself for recognizing it and decoding it…And then I discovered that it said, “Unto Caesar lettuce render. Make yourself a Romaine lettuce toga.” Yep. So smart.
Other items included letting a kid make a mural on your wall (Silas did one on Jackie’s wall), and having kids help you make notes of encouragement to leave on random car windshields. I think that Silas and Petra maybe don’t quite know what “encouragement” means…
Another one was “perform a monologue by Oedipus T-Rex.” I wrote this one (it was longer and had a nice play on “meat eater” (eats his dad), “meeting her” (mom), “meteor,” but that was unfortunately too long. The time limit is only 14 seconds!). Brooke performed it.
Another one was to write a rhyming poem of 50-100 words that covered all of human history, from stone tools to smart phones. Here’s what I came up with:
There was one that said, “A thesaurus is a kind of dinosaur. Dig up evidence to prove it,” so I edited this image from our trip to the Field Museum.
Probably my favorite one was to make a treasure map for someone who is important in your life. The treasure is a note from you about how that person changed your life. Pam happened to visit during GISH week, and so she got roped into doing the treasure hunt. We did it at Meijer Gardens, which was a gorgeous location. I loved it especially because I wouldn’t just randomly do something like that, but I loved writing that note and going on that garden adventure with her.
I spent most of the week going back and forth between feeling like this whole thing was ridiculous and I didn’t have time for it, and planning my team for next year. I think I’m hooked.