The Great EAA Scavenger Hunt of 2014

  • Aug 7, 2014 10:09am GMT

The All Things Aero Team had an awesome week out in Oshkosh, WI for EAA's Airventure. The airshow is like Christmas for me. It's that special time of year that I get to spend with friends and family that I only see once each year. I start getting excited about a month out. In the following weeks I have giddy moments when I start thinking about how much fun we're all going to have. And then the night before I arrive, I'm like a little kid and I can't even sleep.

I've been going every year since I was a counselor at the EAA's Air Academy Camp in 2001. I have been camping with a group of friend's in the EAA's Camp Scholler and it's always a blast. The group has evolved over the years as we make new friends and we bring along newbies and significant others as well as children, but the core group is always there. I know that there are many Oshkosh attendees out there who have very similar stories that go back further than ours.

A few years ago we began a Facebook message that was used to determine who was coming and when. It's also used to plan out the logistics of the campsite. The message thread amps up the few weeks prior to the airshow and then tapers off until the following year.

This year we added a new element to our week in Oshkosh. One group member had suggested that we should do some sort of scavenger hunt on the airshow grounds throughout the week. After attending the airshow year after year, you see the same things over and over, and this thoughtful group member thought it would be fun to get us out on the grounds with a new objective.

This scavenger hunt evolved into an idea where hints would be posted each day into a Facebook event page. We would then have to search the grounds for these clues and take a selfie picture with the clue. Our friend Tyler, who would be posting the clues each day, was an Oshkosh regular who recently had a child and was crushed that he would be stuck at home this year. But he did a fantastic job of writing up the clues and tallying up the scores each day.

Not only did we all learn new things about some of the planes and attractions that were on the grounds, it got us exploring places we had never been before. Each evening he would post four clues that we would read aloud around the campfire. The following day we would head out onto the grounds to search for each clue and take selfies with them.

Some were easy to figure out, "Get a selfie of a radial engine powered amphibious airplane." Others were more difficult, "After Pearl Harbor he said 'I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.' Get a selfie in front of the kind of plane that killed him." And some had nothing to do with aviation at all, "Get a picture with a MAN wearing jorts. (cut off jean shorts)"

The winner this year was my mom. She dominated each day and was up early every morning trekking back and forth across the airshow grounds. We all had a lot of fun and there are definite plans for another scavenger hunt next year. And I think Tyler, who organized this year's event summed it up nicely at the beginning of the week, "Good luck, and may the price of AvGas be ever in your favor!"