When the list of over 200 challenges is released early Saturday morning, my family usually displays it on the TV so we can all read it together. It takes several hours to read through and process it all. Only a few of the challenges actually seem doable, and many of them require multiple readings to be sure we understand them correctly. However, by the end of the week we’re staging epic battles between zombies and vampires and finding creative ways to complete impossible tasks.
That’s what Gish, the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt, does to you. The brainchild of actor Misha Collins, this week long hunt inspires creativity, amazing acts of kindness and pushes you to do things you never thought you could.
What has Gish taught me?
- I’ve learned that maple syrup mixed with sugar does actually wash out of your hair fairly easily, after staging a video where my daughter had to pour it over my head.
- I’ve learned that you can in fact print with an ink jet printer onto toilet paper when recreating Chris Evan’s twitter feed on sheets of toilet paper which were added back to the roll and placed in a public bathroom for others to enjoy.
- I’ve learned that it’s easier to recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night as a pancake when you bake it instead of fry it after a failed first attempt.
- I’ve learned that chickens basically ignore you when you read them Proust much like people probably would.
- I’ve learned that you can do just about anything with skittles, including make a skittles pie, complete with Jensen Ackle’s face baked into the upper crust.
- I’ve learned how to make cookies that look like dog poop and brought them to a park where we attempted to fly a poorly designed homemade kite.
- I’ve learned that goats aren’t cooperative when having them stand in for my husband and I in a recreation of our wedding video.
- I’ve learned that you need to let papier-mâché dry thoroughly between layers or you won’t be able to paint your mailwhes: The Most Amazing, Intimidating Letterbox The World Has Ever Seen.
- I’ve learned that cats do not like to wear pretend mustaches so you must get creative when taking a picture.
Beyond the creative, fun, challenging, and often weird hunt items, there are many geared towards kindness and giving back. The hunt itself is a fundraiser for Random Acts, a charity also founded by Misha Collins, focused on kindness and giving back.
Each year there is one overarching project that all the Gishers participate in together, allowing us to have an large impact for a group in need. These projects and the associated hunt items are focused on where they can have a most impact. To learn more, check out the Charity & Impact page for Gish.
Beyond that project many of the individual hunt items are kindness based. Some that we’ve personally completed in past hunts include:
- Baking cookies and delivering them to first responders.
- Visiting our local animal shelter and posting a picture to social media encouraging pet adoption.
- Donating food and sanitary supplies to a homeless shelter.
- Giving away something every day of the hunt either as an act of kindness or a donation.
The week blurs as you move from one challenge to the next with the only constant being a lack of sleep. Some challenge submissions fail and others soar beyond what you thought they would be but all are empowering. You feel like you can do anything by the time you get to the end of the week.
One of the greatest gifts I got back from Gish was unexpected. Three years ago, one of the hunt items was “to take your parent back to the place where they lived when they were 10. Find someone they knew from then and ask them to recall a shared memory.”
I took my Mom and her sister to their childhood home and have a video of them together telling me a story from their childhood. My mother passed away a year and a half ago. It’s the last video I have of her before she died.
Why does this bring me bliss? I am happiest in a creative space. GISH is an entire week where I can push myself to create unique and unexpected art. It opens me to creative paths I hadn’t anticipated. I also love the focus on kindness. I believe kindness gives back to the person who puts it out there. It’s a selfish act in the best of ways. Completing the hunt is a blissful experience.
Have you ever participated in GISH? Do you like scavenger hunts?
I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2020. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Bliss. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.