Have you ever wanted to team up with people around the world? Make new friends? Test your personal limits? Participate in a life changing scavenger hunt that is hilarious, serious, creative, and terrifying all at once?
Assuming you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to any, or maybe all of these questions, you should check out GISHWHES (pronounced gish-wes).
Established in 2011 by actor and philanthropist, Misha Collins, The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (GISHWHES, for short) is a week long annual event stuffed to the brim with the most absurd items you’ll find on any scavenging adventure. Teams of 15 people tackle a unique list all to benefit Random Acts, a non-profit run by Collins that aims to encourage random acts of kindness. It seems like a walk in the park, but each of the 150+ items are meant to be completely outrageous and that’s not counting the few that are thought up by Collins’ young son, West. Don’t believe us? Past years have included the following:
Challenge a professional athlete to a game of hopscotch and win. The image must include both of you hopscotching and the professional athlete’s name.
Go through a TSA (or your country’s equivalent) checkpoint dressed for snorkeling.
A brass band quartet performing “Carry On My Wayward Son” from a median strip, while commuter cars are stuck in terrible traffic.
GISHWHES is designed to make you test the limits of your personal comfort, form lifelong friendships, put some good into the universe, and create artistic expressions for the ages. GISHWHES items are little memory making treasures on their own, but that’s not to say there’s no pot of gold at the end of this metaphorical rainbow. Winners of the hunt get to travel to a specified location for an all new adventure, such as a slumber party in a haunted Scottish castle (this year, it’s discotecking in Costa Rica!), and rightfully earn full bragging rights out of THOUSANDS of participants.
At the end of it all, even if you don’t win the trip, you can sleep well knowing you’ve done something great. I have participated in GISHWHES for three years–and last year I even convinced my fellow staff member, Jen, to participate as well. This year, we have decided to chronicle our journey for you. Stay tuned to our twitters (linked below!), and here as well! GISHWHES entries will be posted regularly during the week of August 1-8, and if you’re in the mood to try something extreme, definitely check out the website, and join up next year!
P.S. If you’re interested in helping out with an item and being part of the fun, keep an eye on the #GISHWHES tag on Twitter & Tumblr!