Tuesday, March 1, 2011


In case you haven't heard, this weekend I participated in a Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party Extravaganza for my friend Shanzie who just turned 30.  The scavenger hunt consisted of 5 teams of 3 to 4 people.   These people then ran around local stores and restaurants taking pictures of things (like a Maryland license plate, a person with a cool beard, the giant horse in front of PF Changs) and collecting items (menus, brochures, pennies, etc).  There were also several extremely hard riddles to solve (ok, apparently they were only hard for me).  My husband, B was in charge of planning and scoring the scavenger hunt.  Below is my hard hitting interview with him...

Tallying up the scores...
Please give a brief description of the scavenger hunt?
B-This was your typical scavenger hunt. You had a list of items that either needed to be found or photographed.  I kept it limited to The Friendly Center (local outdoor shopping center) and downtown to try to limit the travel time.  There were a total of 68 items, including 10 riddles to solve. And the riddles were hard.  There was one that was so hard that no team got it.  Granted, I had a typo that made it impossible to figure out, but still.

How much time did this take to plan?
B-Hard to say. When you are doing something you love, you just lose track of time.  But in all seriousness, all of my hourly charges are detailed in the itemized bill that I sent to Shanzie.

What was the funnest part about organizing this?
B-I enjoyed coming up with what people had to scavenge, particularly the riddles.  I enjoyed the looks of frustration on both my wife and Shanzie's faces when I told them I couldn’t give them any details of the scavenger hunt because that would have been inappropriate.  That was all a lie though, I could have told them, but I really enjoyed that feeling of power.  Also the friendships.

Do you think you did a good job?
B-I included a Comment Card for Shanzie to fill out rating her experience.  I will wait to see what comes back, but I would say it was an A to A+.  Some comments that were overheard Saturday night during the post-hunt party...
“This was the best birthday party ever, including the time when my parents got me a bouncy castle”- Shanzie
“I am in a moment of euphoria, scavenger hunt high is so much better then a runners high”- Beezus5
“After watching you host and lead a scavenger hunt, my love for you has increased twofold. I am the luckiest woman alive”- JM
“I am an expert on Ashton Kutcher”- Curly T
***all of these where made up, except for Curly T.  She is an Ashton Kutcher expert.

Did you have a sense of fulfillment once it was over?
B-You know, I did.  It might have been because while everyone else was out scavenging, I was drinking at the bar (special shout-out to Old Town Draught House).  But I would say it was about 70% sense of fulfillment, 30% beer.

What if anything would you change about the hunt?
B-It was pretty much perfect.  But I would look to limit the driving. Both Beezus5 and Mrs. Acorn may or may not have run over a pedestrian.  (Note-No participants or innocent bystanders were injured in this scavenger hunt)

Do you think Hobie was mad that you were doing all the planning in front of him and then didn't even invite him to participate?
B-Hobie and I are cool.  He understood that with his heightened sense of smell, he would be at an obvious advantage in regards to scavenging.  He said as long as I didn’t include his bone in the hunt, he was ok with not being invited.

Which team did you want to win?
B-I had a soft spot for Team Mo-Tif-vated.  I mean, they only had three people, two of which were from out of town.  I think they did well for all they had working against them. Plus, they were the only ones to put together a team outfit.  Oh, and JM’s team.  We made a pact 2 years ago to always support each other through better and worse. I know you are thinking it was our wedding vows.  Nope, it was an OIB Olympic Games Unbreakable Vow overseen by Beezus5.

Why didn't you give your wife more of an advantage over the other teams?
B-One, I put JM on the team with the only participant who could fit into Harry the Happy Dragon. (PHOTO needed.) Two, JM and I have been to 99% of the places on the list together. Three, she lost because of a key tactical error. I gave everyone 10 minutes to strategize before the hunt began, but Team Mo-Tif-Vated was the only one to take advantage.  Yes, they finished last, but still, she should have focused on the higher point riddles.  That’s Scavenger Hunt 101.
Team Member with Harry the Happy Dragon-5 Points

Would you consider the Scavenger Hunt Extravaganza a success?
B-The goal of every scavenger hunt that I have ever put together (well, this was my first one) was to get people to spend two hours taking pictures of themselves looking silly while I hang out at a bar watching college basketball.  So yes, in that regards, Scavenger Hunt Extravaganza was a rousing success.

Thanks B!  Even though my team only got 3rd place, (I mean we did only have 3 members whereas most other teams had 4 players) I had an excellent time.  Yes I think I pulled a muscle when I was trying to photo myself in front of the PF Chang horse and yes I was profusely sweating after running from the Harris Teeter to REI to PF Changs, but still, I had fun.  I would like to give a special shout out to Mrs. Acorn's husband who was willing to sprint in any direction we told him although he usually had no idea where he was going (since he just moved to this city) and of course to Mrs. Acorn for jumping into the Harry the Happy Dragon ride without thinking twice.

Team Photo-5 points


$hanzie said...

From the birthday girl's perspective, YES this scavenger hunt was a total success! It was pretty much the best ever. It was fun,. exciting, creative, slightly stressful and frightening at times but overal UH-MAZING! I am pretty sure that everyone should have just let me win since it was my b-day but whatever, I am ok with 2nd place.
Thank you B for organizing such a hit yet again for my birthday- you have one year (minus a few days) to plan next year's event- Good luck topping the last 2 years- really.
But once again, thank you thank you thank you!

Bonnie said...

Though i did not make that comment, it is true, I was in "a state of euphoria" after WINNING the scavenger hunt with my teammates, The Wieners. JM needs to quit making excuses about her team and admit that her strategy was weak. She needed to appoint a Riddle expert who was in charge of either solving riddles or taking bad pictures of random buildings and claiming that they were the correct response, its just a shame the picture was out of focus. Come on JM, have you learned nothing from trivia? Im pretty sure if you had just left a little room for interpretation you could have exploited the "I must support my spouse in all things even if she is completely wrong" clause, as stated in the OIB olympics. Cheers B, it was awesome. (side note: I did not harm a pedestrian, but i may have caused him to wet himself. Partly his fault for trying to talk and walk simultaneously)

Shana said...

I think I want B to come and plan my birthday party this year. should put him into business being a party planning genius. Sounds like it was so much fun!

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

You guys are so super fun. I wish we could hang out. Our husbands would get into some serious shenanigans, or at the very least watch college basketball together. Personally, I am terrified of these kinds of events because I'm terrible under pressure and also terrible with riddles.

Jenni said...

I will have to agree with Beezus5 that I was in a state of euphoria after winning the greatest scavenger hunt known to man (well at least the greatest one I have ever done). Beezus we should probably try out for Amazing Race together to win the million!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a riot!
I love organizing scavenger hunts (not so much the participating, because I am painfully shy) - it is so much to watch people scramble and do silly things

Mo Young said...

B's interview may be my fav yet! I laughed numerous times. Oh, and LOVE the pic of A on the dragon! Sounds like an aweseome awesome event. Shanzie, you have the best b-days!

$hanzie said...

I am mad that I did not get a pic of the dragon! We ran out of time! Maybe I will go back to Harris Teeter this weekend and make someone take a picture of me on Harry the Happy Dragon- any takers?

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Scavenger hunts!!! I love those, they are soooo fun!

MariahSmile said...

My friends and I used to have scavenger hunts all the time when we were younger! I totally know what I want to do for my birthday now!

Anonymous said...

Our team was pretty much awesome and I did some great tactical driving if I must say so myself!
-Mrs. Acorn