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Clues, challenges and more for scavenger hunt

By Staff | Sep 24, 2019

The Sanibel Sea School has a family-friendly event coming up that aims to engage participants by incorporating fun and learning, while providing youth the opportunity to help other children.

Open to all ages, the second annual Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt will be held on Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with check-in at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church. Teams of scavenger hunters will meet at the church and get a book of clues and challenges – all worth points.

Proceeds from the event will support the non-profit organization’s scholarship fund, which makes it possible for children and families in need to have meaningful ocean experiences.

Co-founder and Executive Director Dr. Bruce Neill explained that most fundraisers like the annual Octifest on the Beach help to fund the scholarships, but the events are aimed more at adults. He and the staff wanted to provide youths with a way to help their peers since the scholarships benefit children.

“We want to provide an opportunity for families with young children to be able to help other people and to teach stewardship through action,” he said. “It’s about showing our families ways that they can support others and simultaneously have fun.”

PHOTO PROVIDED One lucky scavenger hunt participant will win a sea star pendant from Lily & Co. Jewelers.

It also serves as a fun activity for families to explore their environment and community.

“We’re also an institution of discovery,” Neill said of the Sanibel Sea School. “Our scavenger hunt is designed to help us learn and discover more about our community.”

Tickets are $25 per participant.

“We still have tickets available,” Development Director Chrissy Basturk said on Sept. 18. “We are hoping to have lots of groups and families, which is what we had last year.”

However, those interested are encouraged to get them in advance.

PHOTO PROVIDED Participants bob for apples during last year's annual Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt.

“If there are tickets available, we could sell them at the event,” she said.

Basturk reiterated that the event is open to all ages.

“It’s just a lot of fun to see the parents and kids out there together,” she said, explaining that the youngest participant last year was a 4-year-old who took part with his family and siblings.

Scavenger hunters will need a vehicle because it is an island-wide event.

The clues will be broken down into categories, such as things teams have to know like facts, items teams have to collect, and things teams have to do that involve taking a photo. For example, they may have to answer when the Sanibel Causeway was rebuilt or take a photo with the Blind Pass Bridge.

Like “The Amazing Race,” the hunt will also feature challenges.

“Each task is worth a certain amount of points, and they can pick and choose the tasks they want to do,” Basturk said.

One clue leads to a Lily & Co. Jewelers white diamond and yellow sapphire sea star pendant.

“One participant will win a pendant from Lily’s,” she said. “It’s really pretty.”

The piece is valued at $1,895.

“We were really excited that Lily’s wanted to donate again,” Basturk said, noting that the company provided a pendant for last year’s event. “We’re looking forward to someone winning it.”

When the scavenger hunt wraps up at 3 p.m. and the teams gather back at the church, every correct answer or completed task will be tallied up for a total number of points – but that it not the end.

“The person with the most points doesn’t win,” she said.

Using their accumulated points, the teams will “buy” letters in “Wheel of Fortune” style.

“We will then hand all the teams the same puzzle at the same time,” Basturk said, explaining that the puzzle will be an island-centric phrase of sorts. “The first team to solve the puzzle is our winner.”

Last year, the winner received a Sanibel Sea School-crafted trophy.

“It’s pretty much bragging rights,” she said of winning.

The community is invited to take part.

“I think that the people who have participated in these scavenger hunts find that they are an incredible day of family fun that allows us the opportunity to love our community more,” Neill said, explaining that they notice things they might not have noticed before and learn little trivial facts about the islands.

“It’s a high-spirited nice competition,” he said.

The Sanibel Sea School’s mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time.

“Community is an integral part of the mission of what the Sanibel Sea School does because community is vitality important to conservation,” Neill said.

For more information or tickets, visit sanibelseaschool.org/flipflopfundraiser or call 239-472-8585.

Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church is at 2304 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.