The eggs-citement is building for the second Easter scavenger hunt in Ashcroft, and Joyce Buckland — one of the event’s organizers — says that everything is ready for when the event begins on Thursday, March 18.
That’s the day when participants can begin scouring Ashcroft for the 30 locations that are participating this year. “All of them are ready to go,” says Buckland, adding that there are 10 locations in each of Ashcroft’s three neighbourhoods: downtown, North Ashcroft, and the Mesa.
Everyone taking part can pick up an entry form — which contains contest rules and information, as well as hints about all 30 locations — from boxes outside the Ashcroft HUB (711 Hill Street) and the Journal office (125 4th Street). The forms can also be printed at home; go to the Ashcroft HUB Facebook page for a copy.
The number of locations has doubled since last year, and people only need to identify 10 of them in order to take part. All locations and hints are clearly visible from the street, so if people choose to take part by car they don’t need to leave their vehicle. Buckland says she hopes that families will do it together, and that by limiting it to only 10 locations, people can stay in their own neighbourhood if they prefer.
The hunt started last year as a fun event that also kept participants safe by making sure it was easy for people to physically distance. The forms have been placed in convenient, outdoor locations so people do not have to go inside a building and can keep physical contact to a minimum.
“We don’t want people having to go in anywhere to do anything,” says Buckland. “We’re trying to be very cautious about the regulations.”
While scavenger hunts are usually for children, she says “Everybody is welcome to join: no kids required!” She adds that everyone who takes part will get a prize, with several special prize draws. These include a family season pass to the Ashcroft Pool as well as chocolate treats; two large treasure and chocolate baskets; and two gift certificates to Slim Jim’s Diner for adults who enter.
There will also be an early bird draw for a Safety Mart gift certificate for entries submitted by 4 p.m. on March 28, and a bonus draw for eager participants who identify all 30 locations. All entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30, and can be dropped off at any time in the locked white box outside the front door of the Journal office, where they will be collected by organizers.
Buckland says that the people decorating their homes and businesses have come up with some great ideas. “We had a huge list people could pick from if they didn’t want to figure something out. We think it’s going to be good.”
Once all the entry forms have been received on March 30, the prize draw winners will be determined. All participants will be able to pick up their prizes on March 31 and April 1 at the Ashcroft and Cache Creek Seniors’ Centre (inside the village office building at 601 Bancroft Street, Ashcroft) between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.
Buckland says that the dates (March 18 to 30) mean that the event takes place over two weekends, giving people more opportunity to take part. Holding it before Easter also means that participants will get their treats before the holiday.
In addition to getting ready for the scavenger hunt, the Family Friends group — which is organizing the event — has been busy giving the Easter Bunny a hand. They have prepared 52 treat bags to be distributed to seniors in the community by Better at Home’s Nancy Kendall and Community Paramedic Philip Schuberg, and another 48 bags to be given to residents of Jackson House and Thompson View Lodge and Manor.
In addition to the donors listed above, prizes have been sponsored by the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society and the Village of Ashcroft, while the Ashcroft HUB provided funding for the Family Friends treat bags.