Archive for August 20th, 2009

Calling all smarty pants! History Mystery Challenge awaits

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

I’ll admit it; I’m not much of a scavenger hunt person. I suspect this stems from when I was little and the “Easter Bunny” (that’s right, Mom and Dad, I figured it out) would hide my Easter basket each year. I’d have to search for it as my parents sat in the living room, watching me with annoyingly self-satisfied smirks on their faces. One year the basket was in the garbage can (garbage removed, thankfully). Another year it was hanging from the shower head. Then there was the time it was suspended from the pipes in the basement. The “Bunny’s” finest hour was the year it was hidden under the pile of dirty laundry in my closet (took me over 5 hours to find that one, and then I had to do the laundry, too!). Suffice to say, the experiences left me lacking in “hunter” enthusiasm.

So it was with a little trepidation (and a lot of the spirit of a good employee who wants to continue to be employed) that this week I scavenger hunted once more. You might have seen me, along with my five companions, running through Old Town Tuesday afternoon. We were a motley bunch: two directors, two curators, one educator, and very smart soon-to-be third grader with cute shoes, clutching sheets of clues and trying not to trip over curbs as we ran through town (we already had one broken arm amongst us, and that was enough). Why were we doing this? History Mystery, of course!

Now, before you panic, don’t worry, you haven’t missed it. History Mystery Challenge, the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center’s fourth annual scavenger hunt fundraising extravaganza, will be happening Friday, August 28th and there’s still time to register. What we were doing was testing out the clues – seeing if the challenge to find all the answers in less than 90 minutes was possible.

Now, I can’t tell you what the clues were, as that would be cheating and we all know that cheating is wrong, but I can tell you that solving them was a blast! Deciphering clever clues written in (cough, loose, cough) rhyming meter is way better than hunting for your Easter basket in the garage. I discovered new areas of Old Town, and on at least two occasions I was instrumental in solving a clue and it felt good to be smart. You can feel good for being smart, too, and you’ll have even more fun than I did because the actual contest has food, drink, adult beverages, door prizes, and costumes.

If you haven’t signed up for History Mystery Challenge yet, there’s still time. Visit the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center website for more information and, after all the work I did testing out these clues, I expect to see you there.

(P.S. I can’t tell you the clues (remember, kids, cheating is wrong), but for a price I may be willing to consider performing an interpretive dance that gracefully embodies the riddles. Interested parties can contact me at the Museum – I accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards.)

August 2009

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