Army youth scavenge donations in 'Dude - Find the Food' hunt
April 30, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Team Gaga-ha was ready and decked out in custom team T-shirts when they chanted their trendy team name for all to hear outside the Army Community Service building, here, April 24, at 9 a.m.
Schofield teens developed the first-ever ACS "Dude - Find the Food" scavenger hunt, which carried all the swagger and fun of the young adult set.
Meanwhile, event organizer and Leilehua High School student Sara McCaffrey stated clearly and matter of factly that although "trash talking is acceptable ... we are not responsible for speeding tickets. That's on you."
Armed with a packet of clues, 10 teams of youngsters, teens and supervisors, drove off chaotically in all directions, including the wrong way out of the ACS parking lot, to the hoots of laughter of bystanders left behind.
The search was on to scour Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield for food and health donations during the next two-and-a-half hours.
"We got seven kids together, and they did all the work," said Tracy Clark, ACS volunteer coordinator. "They contacted the USO for sponsorships, got with agencies on post to get food items, and then contacted three different organizations to deliver."
Four months of planning and organizing made the event planning a learning experience for the group.
A dozen agencies, organizations and clubs, including the Hui Na Wahine Thrift Shop; Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Outdoor Recreation; Army Hawaii Family Housing; Military Police; and the Armed Services YMCA contributed by staging food drive donations in the weeks prior to the event.
Saturday's event was merely a competition in gathering the goods. The first team to have completed all 12 stops and retrieved a single item from each donation station was declared the winner.
"We wanted it to be fun," said McCaffrey. "It grew to be bigger than expected, (but) we thought it would be effective."
The teams of four to seven members not only needed to find the donation spots, but also usually needed to perform for the sponsors before having their scavenger packet stamped.
The Hui Na Wahine stop employed a combination of hula hoops and footballs for the combatants to master. Another stop required singing a song - with a mouthful of marshmallows, of course.
In a hotly contested finish, the boys from team Alpha Team Ninja Force Go were nudged out by less than a minute.
Team Dude, comprised of Jordan Nixon, Joshua Nixon, Elizabeth Brown, Debbie Nixon, Linda Evans and Nick Evans took the top prize - in this case, free movie tickets and, of course, bragging rights as champions.
Team Dude made all 12 stops in just one hour and fifteen minutes. Team Sleeping Pigs finished third.
The two palates of food and health items raised in the event will be distributed to benefit the Tripler House, two Armed Forces YMCAs and the Hawaii Food Bank.
Teams were treated to a cookout hosted by the USO and Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, capping the morning's adventure. Both ACS supervisors and the teens themselves agreed this event will be repeated in the future.
"Not only are our teens taking care of our military community, but also reaching beyond our gates," said Clark. "This is a great success."
The event recognized both the Month of the Military Child and National Volunteer Week.