Snack Attacks, Potato Cairns... The 'Greatest International Scavenger Hunt'

Aug 6, 2020

Kirsten Beachy's daughter, Irene: the victim of a "snack attack" of rainbow piranhas.
Credit Kirsten Beachy

Tens of thousands of people across the world, including some folks in our area, are competing in something called the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt, or GISH. Teams complete unusual tasks – such as balancing potatoes into a cairn, or planting trees – and upload photos of their work to earn points. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Six-year-old Irene of Rockingham County was enjoying a snack, helping her mother complete scavenger hunt tasks, when disaster struck. [benign child yelp] Here's her mom, Kirsten Beachy.

KIRSTEN BEACHY: My daughter was reaching into a bag of rainbow fish crackers, one of our favorite snacks. She pulled her hand out and they were all clinging to her hand … You never think your snack is going to turn around and try to eat you. Or your children. It's very sobering.

Documenting a "snack attack" is one of the 244 GISH challenges this year. Simpler challenges geared towards children include stacking coins or buttons as high as possible; more advanced ones include helping people register to vote or reenacting a movie scene.

BEACHY: I need to film my part of a scene from Jurassic Park. I'm going to be, what's the old guy, Hammond talking about how awesome Jurassic Park is.

Beachy is one of 15 team members on the – mind you, their team name starts with a K – Knotty Hookers, a group of pun-loving fabric artists. Some of them live around here, some in other states. And that's part of the fun of an online scavenger hunt; you can collaborate via an internet connection and complete challenges while social distancing.

BEACHY: In a time of a lot of anxiety and cruelty, it's really nice to have something that emphasizes creativity and whimsy and kindness.