Creative Collaboration

Art without loneliness. We all tend to think of creativity and creating as solo activities, but very few creations involve only one person and many of those generally are based on an assignment or a specific audience. The Mona Lisa was a consignment, as was nearly every great piece of architecture—and certainly all of those relied on contractors and workers. We praise fantastic chefs on a spectacular meal but (with the exception of TV competitions that usually turn out bad) they all have sous chefs and other staff. And this is ignoring the fact that the paint the artist brushed, the lumber the architect constructed, the grains and meats the cook sautéed, were all prepared and created by others.

The team. Not only does Steven Spielberg now have crews of hundreds, college filmmaker Spielberg had a crew, and, in fact, at age 13 he won a prize for a film, which had a cast of classmates and help from others. There is nothing embarrassing or less creative about getting help from others or building on an idea of others. Plagiarizing and presenting it as your own in public may be another story, but, then again, most sitcoms rely on the “restaurant meal faked as home cooking” or “Cyrano providing love poems” episodes. (So, as much as we want others to know about our treasure hunts, if you want to take full credit who are we to complain?)

Parenting help. Parental creativity has grown tremendously in the last 50 years. Colored bumpers and murals on the walls were just the start of baby rooms’ decorating. Birthday parties have jumped a lot further than just “Pin the tail on the donkey” evolving to “Pin the tail on Donkey from Shrek.” Ideas from parenting magazines or Martha Stewart or seen in shows are infinite… but so are the variations and creative way that families take these ideas. A carnival party that can’t afford a pitch and dunk tank, can easily substitute a “hit the face through the board” with a sponge activity; and can draw any thematic outfit around that face.

Team building. Likewise, when companies, or schools, or reunions, or friends get-together for activities, there is little reason for the coordinators to kill themselves with hours of brainstorming. Whether it is a hike, a “room escape,” a campus olympics, or a trust game, there have been others who came before. It is interesting to mix it up and give a new twist, but to think you have to reinvent the wheel, is expecting too much.

“Leonardo, we’re not impressed; paint from your imagination!”
When people hear of our website, some ask “well, couldn’t I do that myself?” and the answer is “Absolutely yes.”  While we think we do a particularly good job of making our Treasure Hunts and believe we will come up with fun ideas you might never think of, we believe we are also providing you something fun that frees up your time and your own creativity. For many it is this year’s event, or this season’s, or a recurring one (our favorite!). For others it is only part of a bigger set of plans for which we can either follow their theme or stand as one in a series of activities. We have never heard of someone saying to a host afterwards “how come you didn’t do it all by yourself?”

After all, treasure hunts are only part of being a pirate.

For her AND her grandfather

We’re so glad to receive the wonderful response from the Stantons:
—”The Treasure Hunt you made for our daughter (with my father) was great. They both loved it and he was so impressed.”

Not many have come to us for “intergenerational” hunts, but they work so well alternating clues between the younger, the “less young,” those they can each help with, and those they can impress each other with. Of course, when Grandpa knows Justin Bieber and a 9-year-old knows Alfred Hitchcock, it’s hard to be sure which are who’s!

Combining with Another Activity

Don’t think other party plans have to be on hold with a Treasure Hunt…the more the merrier:

While many families (and other hosts) use a Treasure Hunt as the activity in a party or get-together, for others it is just one of two or many—although, we would think one of the highlights!  That doesn’t mean the activities have to exist on their own as separate entities.

We often include other elements in the hunt, begin or end with them, or have them as a recurring theme in the clues. These may include a game (pin the tail, or soccer), a performer (clown, puppeteer, Crazy Uncle Philip), a major item (like a Bounce House or a Pony Ride), or a more low-key activity (such as face-painting or time in a play area). Whatever you want or need, we’ll find a way to work it in seamlessly.

If you are wondering how you’ll get everybody to a certain area, or how you’ll get them to stop and/or move on, the clues can provide the answer. For instance if you expect some kids will no want to end kicking the soccer ball around, we simply have a clue that ends with something like, “So here’s what you do–The team that scores 3 goals before the other, gets the next clue, by bringing the ball to Kevin’s Mother.” (No, we don’t always rhyme, but we like to!)

Recently, we included a Bounce House in our hunt, and if you think all the running around tired them out, apparently you should have seen the end of this one!

As always if you have any questions about how this can work, feel free to ask.  We’re not just pirates, we’re super-creative pirates.