FORT BRAGG, N.C. Five-year-old Maddie Daniel finally got to meet one of her heroes, Frosty the Snowman, during a Christmas-themed scavenger hunt at Smith Lake Saturday.

The event was sponsored by the Fort Bragg Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and was open to military Families. Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Frosty and the Grinch all made appearances to help hunters complete tasks.

"This is the first time we've done a Christmas scavenger hunt," said Sabina Bryant, FMWR chief of outdoor recreation. "We just thought it would be a nice way to get Families out here and have some fun."

Before the hunt, Families were given a list of 20 tasks to complete within a 90-minute time limit. The tasks were not only themed around Christmas, but also environmental awareness and outdoor recreation safety.

"It's a way that we can get in the holiday spirit but also teach people about what we have out here at the lake and how to take care of it," Bryant added.

For two points, hunters found litter and disposed of trash in appropriate waste collection receptacles. To earn three more points, participants were required to list four items that could be recycled.

During another task, Derek Weller, recreation specialist with the Warrior Venture Quest Program, was on hand to help hunters think of safety tips for outdoor activities. Each safety tip was worth three points.

"This isn't a normal day for me, but it's fun to come out and help teach kids," Weller said.
That sentiment was shared by some of the children who participated in the day's events.
Marshall Daniel, 7, said he was excited to be at Smith Lake for the scavenger hunt, but he was having a difficult time finding the "elves" who were supposed to help solve some of the hunt's riddles.

"They are tricky and really hard to find," Daniel said, running from tree to tree trying to locate someone or something resembling one of Santa's elves.

At the end of the scavenger hunt, the top three highest scoring teams received FMWR goodie bags, including coupons for Smith Lake cabin rentals.

Bryant said that she hopes to have scavenger hunts throughout the year. For more information about events sponsored by the Fort Bragg FMWR, visit