Clue hunting was too much fun
Fun is the only word needed to describe the tale of three Baldwin City women's experience with the second-annual scavenger hunt.
"It was awesome," Kathy Gerstner said. "We had a blast."
It was the scavenger hunt that brought the trio of friends together last month. The threesome of LeighAnne Bathke, Eva Durand and Gerstner won first prize in the scavenger hunt this year. The prize was $500. The three women were one of 16 groups to complete all 22 clues.
"We thought it would be fun and the money would be nice," Gerstner said. "It seemed like a fun thing to do with some friends during the holiday season."
They definitely had fun - maybe too much fun with the scavenger hunt. Any of them will testify about their enjoyable experience.
"It was a fun thing to do with a couple of friends," Durand said. "LeighAnne was our task master and always made sure we stayed on the task at hand. It was all about having fun, being silly and being together."
Even Katie Skinner, scavenger hunt organizer, noticed how much fun the three local women had when she awarded them their first prize money.
"They were out there having fun the entire time," Skinner said. "They were in the snow and the bad weather, but they were still laughing when I called them after they won. They had so much fun."
Winter weather did try to stop their hunt, but they proceeded for three days to find all of the clues.
"The first day we went out it was snowing," Gerstner said. "The second day it was snowing harder. That didn't stop us from having fun."
Durand said the snow made the experience more enjoyable for the group.
"It just added to the winter adventure," Durand said. "It made the Christmas season more special, because it was snowing. We rarely get that much snow in December."
Besides enjoying the winter weather, the three women also learned about different Baldwin businesses that were involved in the scavenger hunt. Each clue took the hunters into several different places, hoping to find the correct item to snap a photograph of.
Gerstner and Durand each admitted visiting businesses during the hunt that they never knew existed or entered.
"That was the cool thing about it," Durand said. "I had no idea about the buffalo place (Lone Star Lake Bison Ranch) or the stained glass place (Globe Art Glass). It was fun to go out there to those places."
Gerstner agreed with her friend, saying the scavenger hunt achieved what it set out to do, which was get people into Baldwin businesses.
"We went into stores we had never been into and the merchants were so helpful," Gerstner said. "It was a quintessential Baldwin thing. It did exactly what it's designed to do. Everyone should do it next year."
Two other prizes were awarded to groups for the scavenger hunt. The second prize of $300 went to Brett and Stephanie Knappe. The third prize of $200 went to Amy Gill.
Six of the 27 groups only completed the 15 clues for the second prize, while the other five did the 10 clues necessary for the third-place money.
"I'm really pleased with the turnout this year," Skinner said. "I think people knowing about it last year increased the education about it this year. Once people start doing it, they usually try to do all of the clues. They start having fun and the clues make them want to complete the hunt. It's all about having fun."