Scavenger Hunt Day

May 24 is Scavenger Hunt Day. A scavenger hunt, of course, is a game where people are sent out in teams to find (scavenge, not buy) certain items. According to National Day Calendar, American gossip columnist, author, songwriter and professional hostess Elsa Maxwell is credited with the introduction of the scavenger hunt for use as a party game in the modern era. Sometimes these hunts are completely random, but often they have some underlying topic, such as a holiday themed hunt. One place I read on the Web had a delightful idea – a tree planting hunt. Teams are sent out to find all the kinds of things necessary to plant a tree – soil, a watering can with water, fertilizer, etc. The first team to get their tree planted and watered wins the game.

Scavenger hunts serve other purposes than simply completing a task. They are great ways to get to know people, and often a chance to do something silly. It gets people outside and into their neighborhood.

For those who think this sounds like fun, but you don’t think you can get together a bunch of friends to play it with you, there are other options now with the Internet. To me, the most intriguing is GISHWHES. It is pronounced gish-wishes, and stands for Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. Sponsored by actor Misha Collins, it gets together teams of fifteen people from all over the world and gives them tasks. You can join any team that needs people. The teams divide the tasks because team members are likely to come from many different countries. As they complete the tasks, they take a picture. In previous years, one of the tasks was to completely cover a VW Bug with shaving cream and have two children stand in front of it. One was doing a sock puppet theater at a children’s hospital. Another was recreating a historical site out of gummi bears. The teams get points for each task completed, and the winners get to go somewhere amazing, all expenses paid. It sounds like tons of fun, but the underlying cause is to raise money for charity. So far, they have raised over $400,000, and many of the tasks are things that spread kindness – like the puppet theater.

I couldn’t find any quotes about scavenger hunts, so here are some about playing.

Always jump in the puddles! Always skip alongside the flowers. The only fights worth fighting are the pillow and food varieties.–Terri Guillemets

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.–H. G. Wells

Fun is fundamental, there is no way around it. You absolutely must have fun. Without fun, there is no enthusiasm. Without enthusiasm, there is no energy. Without energy, there are only shades of gray.–Doug Hall

Go and play. Run around. Build something. Break something. Climb a tree. Get dirty. Get in some trouble. Have some fun.—Brom

If animals play, this is because play is useful in the struggle for survival; because play practices and so perfects the skills needed in adult life.–Susanne Millar

In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.—Ovid

It is a happy talent to know how to play.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.–Michael Jordan

Play has been man’s most useful preoccupation.–Frank Caplan

Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.–Joseph Chilton Pearce

Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good.–Lucia Capocchione

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.–George Bernard Shaw

Find over 9500 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at Also visit us on Facebook at and on Twitter: (@kloberst)

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