Twenty families came out this weekend for the first-ever Langley Family Treasure Hunt.
The joint venture between the City of Langley, Langley Pos-Abilities, and the Brookswood Seniors Centre took adventure seekers on a bit of an art tour and nature hike in the downtown core Sunday afternoon.
Rule one – on one of the hottest days of the year, thus far – was to stay hydrated.
Rule two was to return any markers or clues back to their spot for other treasure seekers.
And rule three – just like number one – keep well hydrated. This message was reiterated several times over, including when volunteers handed up bottled water as people exited City hall to embark on their journey.
“You have to walk a few blocks,” explained Lydia Francescutti, a participant from the seniors centre who mapped out the treasure hunt and developed the clues.
The hunt featured virtual and literal geocaching activities.
“We thought we’d break it up into two kinds,” Francescutti said. “One an art tour, so people can get to know some of the art in the City of Langley. The second part, a park tour, so they get to know a park they might not normally visit.”
Francescutti first took up geocaching about four years ago, when her sister needed someone who could climb the occasional tree or fend off the infrequent snake during her hunts.“I just go along for the ride,” Francescutti said. But her experience was invaluable when Langley Poss-Abilities chair Zosia Ettenberg started pondering the creation of a family treasure hunt, and needed someone to design the course.
Ettenberg said her idea was to host something friendly for all family members, regardless of age and physical ability.
But thanks to Francescutti “it’s also maybe about getting people interested in the world of geocaching, which is kind of fun. It’s a nice multi-generational thing to do.”
Being the first time, organizers never knew what to expect in the way of attendance. But early in on the day, Ettenberg was elated with the turn out, noting there 15 families/teams of four or more people who registered in the first 15 minutes of the event, with more walking through the door.
By the time the day ended, she said there were at least 20 families – equivalent of more than 100 people – who took part.
“If it works out really well, who knows, we’ll do it again. It’s the first time and it’s really exciting,” she said part way through the day.
After the event, Ettenberg added:
“The first impression is that we will do it again,” elaborating on a few shortfalls that came up.
There needs to be more done to entice wheelchair participants, said Ettenberg, who is confined to a power chair, herself.
And likewise, she fielded suggestions that people wanted to know the length of the walk and that chalk be used on the paths to more clearly define the direction of travel.
“People are enjoying it. They’re laughing, and they’re having fun. That’s the important thing,” Ettenberg again said part way through the day.
That evening, reviewing the evaluations, she said one word consistently popped up: “Fun.”
ne word consistently popped up: “Fun.”