My brother is the COOLEST uncle out there. Really, he’s the absolute best.
Ever since Sugarbear was born she and Kevin have had an incredible bond. My shy and quiet daughter would turn completely crazy with excitement whenever she saw him, even though she still ran and hid from her Daddy when he came home. Kevin lived about 5 hours north of us for the longest time, so they would go months without seeing each other. Now my brother is a bona fide Big-Rig truck driver, and it’s even more difficult to coordinate a visit than ever before. Until this past trip to my parents’ house we hadn’t seen him in a year.
So Kevin decided to do something extra special for Emily’s birthday this year – he organized a treasure hunt just for her. He’d ordered a very authentic-looking treasure chest, along with an old lock & key. He’d even been saving every “gold” one-dollar coin he’d found along his truck routes (apparently truck stop vending machines frequently give them out as change). He stayed up all night one night creating a real map and tea-dyeing cloth to make everything look really old. A genuine treasure hunt that provided everything one would need to get started on treasure hunt: a map full of clues, a compass, and a mysterious key. I was insanely impressed. What 7-year-old wouldn’t want to go traipsing through the woods on the hunt for gold?
Here’s how the whole thing flawlessly went down:
After showing her the map he’d “discovered” outside, the two of them went off to see if there were any other clues there.
The map indicated that they needed to find a water pump.
After using the compass (we found an iPhone app was easier for her than the traditional compass he’d ordered for her) they were directed to walk through the woods looking for some flat rocks.
Kevin used the flat rocks all throughout the hunt to make it a little easier to find clues. Sometimes the rocks were shaped like an arrow to help point the way. Smart.
Under the second pile of rocks there was a small wrapped package, and inside was a small key. He’d tied a string through it to make sure that she didn’t lose it while walking through the woods.
My parents’ cat decided to join us for the hunt.
She had to keep checking her map to see which direction and how many paces there were to the next clue.
Another clue was buried under more flat rocks.
This clue had a code that she needed to decipher. Once she broke the code it would point the way to the treasure! (Yes, that’s Julieboo chasing the cat in the background).
Breaking the code!
The code told her to find a tree with two trunks. Hidden deep in the ivy at the base of the tree was a chain and cloth-wrapped package!
The key fit, and she frantically unlocked it to find…
She absolutely loved the whole experience. I know that this is a gift she’ll remember for the rest of her life. Thank you so much, Kevin, for being such a wonderful example of love in her life. You are the best, and my girls are incredibly blessed to have you!