As you look at the title you may be thinking, “Are the writers of Nerd-Base drunk or something?” Well, first of all, that’s none of your business, second, GISHWHES stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. It was created by actor/humanitarian/overlord Misha Collins (who plays Castiel in the hit TV show Supernatural).
If you’re the type of person who hates fun, meeting new people, and all around making your life more exciting, then don’t read on. GISHWHES is not for everyone, and that’s okay. I mean, not everyone enjoys living their life to the fullest. Some people just like to live vicariously through other people who have fun. We are in a techy world, after all! Maybe you enjoy having fun, but you’re a bit shy or introverted. GISHWHES is actually a great way to get you to break out of your shell a bit. To be quite honest, I fall in the introvert category. I like meeting new people, but I tend to avoid a lot of social interactions unless it’s a group of good friends. I grew up being painfully shy, and I still think I am, even though my friends tell me I’m anything but (even the new ones that I make). For a couple of years now I wanted to participate in this world wide scavenger hunt. Not just because it was Misha Collins (who we all know I’m in love with) that was running it, but because it actually seemed like a genuinely fun time, and would be a good way to become more confident in myself and comfortable being myself completely in public.
You may not have really heard of GISHWHES by name, but I’m sure you’ve seen random pictures floating around the interwebs. More famously, the cheese dress. I know it’s popped up on a few Buzzfeed posts, and made its way onto Tosh.0. That right there shows you this isn’t your average scavenger hunt. Sure, there will be some more ‘tame’ challenges on the list, like painting pictures, or using photoshop to create something, but there will also be some really ‘WTF’ things as well – and that’s the fun part! GISHWHES encourages you to use your imagination, to think outside of the box. You can do the most simple thing on the list, but if you change it up slightly and do something really unique and creative, you’ll earn more points!
“So, what’s the point of all of this?” you may ask. Aside from getting people to have a truly thrilling and exciting experience, GISHWHES also helps out the unfortunate and touches peoples lives. For example, through the many participants, GISHWHES ended up donating and delivering thousands of items to the homeless and even completely furnished every room for a wounded veteran and his family. There were also touching items like performing a sock puppet show at a children’s hospital, and ‘most global hugs’ which actually ended up breaking a Guinness World Record. For all of the wacky and crazy stuff you’ll be doing, you’ll also feel good about the rewarding items too.
The best part is, over 100 countries participate in GISHWHES. It helps if you know people across seas (some of the items are location specific). Even if you can’t find 15 friends, or even just one friend to join you on this adventure, the folks at GISHWHES will place you on a team, and you’ll make some amazing friends! Again, I’ve never participated in this before, and I am doing this with people that I know, but I’ve heard and read several times that it is truly life changing.
I’m not really sure what you’re hesitant about. What’s life if you don’t take chances? You don’t want to look back and regret missing out on what could have been one of the best moments of your life. You only have a week (exactly) left to register before it’s closed. GISHWHES starts August 2nd and goes until August 9th. A week of madness, laughter, and tears. The most basic registration costs just under $20. There are more expensive registrations, but those also include really cool stuff (one being Misha recording a personal greeting for your voicemail)! If $20 is a struggle to afford (Misha, out of all people understands that), they do have an option where you can get a ‘GISHOLARSHIP’ where other GISHWHES participants will grant you a free scholarship. This is only if you REALLY need the financial aid, not just if you don’t feel like paying (this is also not guaranteed that you will get one). Did I mention there’s a grand prize for the winning team? And I mean grand. Every year so far, the winners have been flown to some amazing places around the globe (so make sure you have a passport!). One year Misha took the winning team to a haunted castle in Scotland. There are also runner up prizes, and some individual ones. Even if you don’t win, don’t be a sore loser! Hopefully participating in the fun will be rewarding enough for you.
“Okay, I signed up, but now what? What do I do?” At the same time (around August 2nd of this year), all teams will get a list of challenges for your team to attempt (last year’s list consisted of 155 challenges), all ranging in different points. GISHWHES requires good communication skills and teamwork. Have a phone conference or group chat, or even meet up if you’d like, to decide who can do what on the list. GISHWHES requires a good camera (aka no cell phone pictures) and a recording device, as some of these items require videos instead of just snapshots. The folks at GISHWHES will count the points, judge each of the submissions by the teams, and pick a winner. It doesn’t matter how much or little money you have, as long as you’re creative and give your all! So, don’t be discouraged at all – anyone can win! Have confidence and have fun!
Get your butts over to GISHWHES.com and register! If you have a team, that’s awesome! If not, you’ll get one! It doesn’t take long to register.