Friday, October 14, 2011

Annual silver treasure hunt

For 30 years I have hosted a treasure hunt throughout the Greater Grand Rapids area. It's relatively simple, lots of fun and doesn't cost anyone a penny to participate. Winners of this un-ponsered event have taken home silver coins, bullion, heirloom items and other valuable and interesting items totaling almost $100,000 over that 30 years. I am pleased to have received requests for the information from every state in the union and over a dozen other countries including South Africa, England, Ukraine, Germany, Australia and more. The most pleasing aspect of the treasure hunt has been the amount of people who have been reminded of the ever present danger of an invisible, odorless gas that can easily sicken or kill anyone: Carbon Monoxide! The treasure hunt has accomplished it's purpose many times over. In the years when we could count the participants the people playing the game numbered well over 40, 000. Because of the very welcome media coverage that number could easily be greater than that but there is no way of counting them any more. Because of it, I have developed friendships that will last a lifetime and have hundreds of interesting, wonderful and often hilarious stories to tell. Maybe I'll write a book about them, who knows? As we enter into the 31st year the changes we have encountered during that time must be taken into consideration.

This year the game will start a little later than it has in the past. Except for one year the starting date was the first Tuesday of November. This time it will begin in the first week of January. The exact date will be announced soon. The end has always been determined by when the winner found the elusive medallion, not a specific time. The 31st treasure hunt will have a specific ending date or be when the medallion is found, whichever is first. There has always been one clue announced each month until it was solved. This time the clues will come more often. This will result in a faster paced game. Most years the exact nature of the treasure remained a mystery as a surprise to the winner. This year the treasure will be disclose at the same time as the original riddle. The rules have been updated a little to keep pace with the times. Those changes will be announced well before the game begins.

The treasure hunt remains family friendly. Some families that began the adventure 30 years ago are now playing with their grand kids. It is very satisfying to hear from hundreds of people who "Grew up" with the treasure hunt and have their own stories to tell about this annual tradition.

More information will follow as the starting time nears. For related information please check Meanwhile, have a wonderful fall and enjoy the Michigan colors.............Joe


Padolsky said...

Interesting changes. I agree with all of them. May I ask why?

Joe Cramer said...

Of course! I keep records of comments, reactions, interest and even weather in an effort to avoid dropping into a rut. I see a rut and subsequent need for change. January and February are the months of most interest. A clue once a month was fine in the past but it's time to speed that up too. A deadline will keep my own life from whirling out of control wearing too many hats when my busy life gets busier. I listen to people and these are the results. It'll be fun.

Padolsky said...

Thanks. You know I've now been doing treasure hunts similar to yours for a bit over 2 years here in Prague (in Czech). You inspired me to follow my dream. Have you ever thought of asking your finders to tell the story of how they found it and then posting their stories? It makes for interesting reading usually.

Joe Cramer said...

I agree with that idea and have been colecting stories for almost the entire history of the game. Some are interesting, some hilarious, some inspiring. Many were lost after a flood ruined them but I still have enough to fill a book and more and hope to put them together in the near future. I've found by and large most of them would prefer to be in book rather than a posting.

sunflowerjess said...

Awesome!! I knew I was missing something, I had to come over here and back track. I am just glad I'm not late,Yay!!We are looking forward to the treasure hunt this year, It will be so fun! Thank you Joe.
jess keeney

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