Way back in the nineties and between dogs, Hubby and I arranged a couple of Treasure Hunts for our work colleagues and friends as so many of them were complaining about being bored, nothing on the telly, no money and nothing to do.
The idea was to get people out at the weekend to enjoy the countryside, and have a bit of fun in the process.
Our original plan was to meet up in the New Forest and give everyone a hand drawn map of one of our favourite walks with clues along the way leading to the X and treasure.
On thinking about it, most of the people we knew wouldn’t be able to find the car park in the first place, so that idea was shelved and we all met up at work on a Sunday morning instead.
Everyone was given a copy of an ordnance survey map, a sheet of 12 clues, a balloon, and a sealed envelope. On the back of their clue sheet, was a shopping list of 20 items to collect along the way, points being given for each. Anyone with young kids was also given a sheet of animals to tick off, though no extra points were allotted for completion.
Our first clue was ‘Head for the Risen Torch’.
Now, we had a water tower two miles away that was shaped like an olympic torch, but that wasn’t where we wanted them to go. Their destination was Beacon Hill, some 5 miles in the other direction, and clearly marked on the map.
We staggered their departure so that no-one could cheat and follow anyone else.
Our route in total was 30 miles, going out into the Dorset countryside and little villages, but included 2 watering holes for lunch/comparing notes/potty breaks/and clue collecting.
We had however designed it in a loop, so you could eventually pick up the final destination, but if you got totally lost, the rendezvous was in the sealed envelope, which if not handed over intact, cost you 10 penalty points.
Now the title of this post comes into play.
These are some of the things we asked them to collect en route:
1. A frond.
2. A picture of the Queen.
3. A discarded limb.
4. A florin.
5. A green leaf.
6. A small tree.
7. Something metal.
8. A cutting tool.
9. Something from Nature’s Kitchen.
10. A button.
With a bit of imagination and observation, everything could be obtained without trespassing, stealing property, or causing damage.
I’ll post our expectations of this list tomorrow just in case any of you want ‘to play’.
We also had things like the number of the train standing at platform 2 (one of the watering holes was a pub that had a railway carriage converted into a restaurant in the grounds)
Sooty’s autograph (this got a lot of them stumped, despite Hubby wearing a large paper badge on his chest with a picture of Sooty on it)
and our final clue was to meet Sweep in the car park and give him a tip.
‘Sweep’ was actually my Dad who had a chimney lining business at the time, so had all the brushes and gear attached to his truck which was parked outside the ice cream kiosk in the Park, a mile away from where we all started. He also had a cloth cap for his ‘tips’ and I think raised about 70p!
We had a first prize of £20, second place £10, and third £5.
The closest mileage was 46, but the furthest was 87 and they didn’t get beyond clue 5 and were one of three that had to open their envelopes.
The balloons were collected and given to the kids, totally irrelevant to the plot, but then no-one knew that, and so many of them guarded them with their life in case they lost points if it burst!
For the record:
You had to appreciate our sense of humour, but our hunt had the desired effect, and was the talk of the office on Monday. We later organised another in the New Forest for another group, and the results of that were hysterical………… especially as the participants didn’t know we had two cars!