This is the first year I’ve been a gisher, and I’m sad to say it looks like this year is the last year this awesome event is happening. For those of you who don’t know, GISHWHES stands for The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.
GISHWHES is more than just your typical scavenger hunt though. It’s Misha Colin’s brainchild and its main goal is to make the world a better place. And just in case you’ve been living under a rock Misha Collins is an actor who plays Castiel, a quirky lovable baby in a trench coat… I mean angel… in Supernatural. Regardless of if you love him or not, here is a Link to just a few of the ways his brainchild has helped the world.
So not only is GISHWHES an awesome way to help make the world a better place, but it’s also wide scale event that has broken world records (including the largest online photo album of hugs.) It encourages you to think outside the box, make friends, and have fun. The list itself is full of artistic and crazy ideas, and you must throw normalcy out the window if you’re going to do it right. In the past there have been mudwrestling grandparents, nuns on waterslides, and dresses made of corn. But there have are also the sweet items such as mailing a child a birthday card or volunteering at a nursing home.
Now that you’re all caught up with what GISHWHES is. I can begin telling you about my experience with it this year. I’ve started this post the day before the hunt begins and will be updating it as I go.
It all began when I saw a picture of Misha in my FB feed telling me that registration was closing soon. At this point I had no knowledge of GISHWHES but, “It’s Misha! It’s gotta be awesome.” ran through my mind and I clicked the link. My eyes were quickly opened to what an epic experience this could be, and I debated joining. Needless to say after a few days of hesitation I signed up else I couldn’t be writing this post.
I formed my own team MinionsOfRufus and lobbied to my friends. In the end only one person I knew joined me, but that was fine because she is a social butterfly and soon our team was full of wonderful people up and down the east coast. Our name changed and we became MinionsOfRufusLoveHalfWitHunters… a mouthful I know.
I researched and realized I had some work to do. A FB group, Imgur, YouTube, and Drive spreadsheet were quickly opened. I spread the login information amongst our members and began encouraging communication.
I’ll never forget my first GISHWHES moment. I dropped by the store after work set on getting supplies for the upcoming mayhem. I walked up to the register with pool noodles, finger-paints, baking tins, poster board, a kite, and TWENTY packs of pads. The man at the register looked shocked and confused and I couldn’t help but laugh as he made eye contact wondering what in the world I was doing.
08/05/2017 – The Hunt Begins
We crashed the website. It seems like everyone in the world was watching the counter tick down and the moment it hit 0 we all clicked “The List” and the site went, “nope, nope, nope, I’m not dealing with this.” It was back up quickly and cheers were going out in my FB group. We spent hours looking through the list and assigning ourselves tasks we thought we could do.
The first few times I read through the 200+ item list I felt like there was no way I could contribute enough. But the more I read through it the more I realized I could do a lot more than I initially thought.
Today is 08/08/2017, three and a half days into the hunt. I’ve done a lot, and I’m not finished yet. I’ve frozen a sword in jello, I’ve made a renaissance painting in a pizza, I’ve caught a “moon fairy” on camera, and I’ve gotten complete strangers to hug trees with me in a national park. I’ve also left washing money with cute little letters at a laundry mat and taken a selfie with a dog at a high kill shelter and posted it on social media to get him extra attention.
And those are just a few of the easier items I’ve done. One item was to send a paper airplane into space for a little boy named Loo. I failed, but I tried and my local NWS man would have happily done it for me, only his superiors wouldn’t let him. He left an epic response and I felt humbled that this stranger would take time out of his busy day to ask something so silly of his regional leaders.
Right now I’m working on getting a Forbes 1000 CEO to ride a toy horse in his/her lobby. And if my experience with strangers these last few days has proven anything, it’s that if I ask nicely enough…with enough enthusiasm, anything can happen…. Just a few days left, I wonder what will happen.
08/09/2017, sleep was difficult last night because my human-sized space-ladybug made out of balloons kept popping and giving me heart attacks. Despite that things are escalating and I’m pushing my social boundaries. I’m begging people on social media to take a survey about what side they start brushing their teeth on. I also just went shopping in a secondhand store wearing a beret I made out of raspberries that I had to tape to my head. (Yes, I really taped fruit to my head and went shopping.) I found a CEO to ride the toy horse so I’m all smiles and disbelief. Oh and I wrote a 2k word essay on “how to get pregnant for the 10th time” and posted it to twitter 140 characters at a time. Time is running out, I wonder how much more I can push myself.
08/10/2017, So I thought I was almost done but I still have time. I just gave myself an additional 10-15 things to do and I’m taking tomorrow off work so I can do as many of them as possible. Priorities and normalcy have definitely left my life for the time being. Today I have been in three places at once in a single panoramic photo (no Photoshop allowed.) I’m also mapping out a run that will spell out the word love which I must do tonight because of time constraints, and I’ve convinced a friend to let me set up an office meeting at the bottom of their pool. I have a Mayor declaring GISHWHES and act of civil disobedience on official letterhead, and I’m going to be exploding a soda bottle directly into my face as part of a celebrity parody. Gods what have I become?
08/13/2017, GISHWHES is over but let me catch you up on my last minute escapades. I completed my run even though it started storming halfway through it. During the run I performed three random acts of kindness. The first two were easy but finding a third was difficult. In the end luck smiled upon me and as I was running I saw an elderly woman hauling lawn debris to the curb. Needless to say I helped her and completed my task. I also raised over $100 for a charity, watched fellow GISHERS take a giant bear from California to DC 5 miles at a time, and donated to the Wounded Warriors Project. My friends’ pool was out of commission so instead we set up an obstacle course to navigate a balloon through using only a fan. I made art out of kitchen spices, and a bikini out of banana peels. Once again that’s only barely scratching the surface of the silly or helpful things GISHWHES has helped me do.
This entire ride the people I hunted with had just as much fun as I did, and I’m glad I got to meet and participate in this with them. All in all, this has been a wonderful experience and I’m sad that it’s over… and maybe just a little glad, my house is a mess of craft supplies and I desperately need a good nights sleep.
Misha said this is the last GISHWHES as we know it. Knowing Misha, that simply means that next year it will be even bigger and crazier than ever. I can’t fathom GISHWHES dying. I’ve only done it once, and that’s not nearly enough…. Plus come on, when does Castiel ever stay dead?