It is time for the annual GISH (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt, 1-8 August 2020) and the scavenger list has been released into the wild. GISH-ers from across the world can be found uttering ‘Dammit Misha!’ whilst gathering recycling, baking, crafting, hot glue-gunning, expanding comfort zones, and learning new skills all in the name of kindness, releasing good into the world, and supporting charity. This year, GISH-ers are off to virtual summer camp - they have been assigned cabins, teams have been assembled, and camp counselors have been named. Want to know why so many people participate in GISH?
GISH is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has a Supernatural themed mascot ‘Sqroose’ (Squirrel + Moose).
As COVID19 has taken its toll on the world, GISHers are finding ways to be socially distant and safe while at the same time spreading kindness, and showing off weird, creative, wacky, and amazing skills. Some of the "hunt" items include Zoom sessions with Supernatural cast members, campfire sing-along with Kansas, making a Jared ‘Plaidalecki’ out of plaid, haikus and poems with phrases from the show, creating a shrunken apple head of Jensen, and much more.
For those not familiar with Supernatural, fear not! Most of the list items are not fandom related and focus on doing good, highlighting social justice, or spreading kindness and a bit of recycyled glitter across the world. GISH registrants have already provided over one million meals for kids in need and almost $200,000 for the NAACP Legal Defence Fund.
One item in this year's hunt asks participants to get their description of GISH published on a website, so let's hear about GISH for team member Erin Collins:
It’s that time again! During the first week of August, tens of thousands of people from over 100 countries will be participating in an event known as GISH. To the uninitiated, GISH is an international scavenger hunt in which people strive to complete acts of kindness, create works of unconventional art, and behave in ways that can only be described as “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” The scavenger hunt is led by Misha Collins, an actor from the television show Supernatural, and has been running for 10 years.
This week you should be on the lookout for your neighbor wearing a swimsuit made from a gourd, a family member building a goat out of LEGOs, or your coworker posting a video of herself reading a children’s book in American Sign Language. Those are just a couple of the items on this year’s list! Additionally, each year there is an item designed to change a life. Collins partners with photographer Giles Duley to find a person, family, or community that has been subjected to unreasonable pain and suffering. Then, GISH launches a massive fundraising campaign to right those wrongs. In 2019 GISH raised over $200,000 to remove unexploded landmines in Laos and provide prosthetics for children in the area. The Change a Life item is announced mid-hunt, and we are still waiting to see who this year’s recipient will be. In any case, if someone contacts you asking to borrow your bullhorn for an outdoor children’s story time, don’t be alarmed. Instead share your bullhorn and do your part to spread a little joy in 2020.
You can follow GISH on all social media platforms for a taster of some of the fun and shenanigans going on this week.