Parish sponsors ‘in-home scavenger hunt’ for families during pandemic

By Patricia Kasten | The Compass | April 8, 2020

ALLOUEZ — Do you have a bar of soap, a crucifix and a prayer book?

During the “safer-at-home” order in Wisconsin, parishes are finding unique ways to engage members: prayer chains, phone trees, livestream Masses and Stations of the Cross.

Parker Milbach, son of Heather and Zach Milbach, is pictured with the family’s in-home scavenger hunt items. Resurrection Parish in Allouez sponsored the scavenger hunt as an activity for families who are following federal and state health guidelines and staying at home, according to Sheila Deluca, care and bereavement minister at Resurrection Parish. (Submitted Photo | For The Compass)

To these, Resurrection Parish in Allouez added an in-home scavenger hunt, including the above items.

It was the idea of Sheila Deluca, the parish’s care and bereavement minister.

“An in-home scavenger hunt, which means everything we ask you to find, you should be able to find right at home,” Deluca explained on the parish’s YouTube post at youtube.com/watch?v=m68OI6wJ8r8.

She told The Compass that she got the idea from an insurance company magazine.

“They had a scavenger hunt as something for families to be doing,” Deluca explained. “I thought that would be a fun thing to do for our ‘church of the home.’”

The rest of the parish staff agreed enthusiastically and Deluca chose 10 items “you should be able to find right at home.” The other seven items were a Bible, a house plant, a coffee mug, a piece of fruit, a shopping bag, a remote control and paper towels. (If parishioners didn’t have an item, a drawing would do.)

Participants grouped the items together, took a photo of themselves with the grouping and emailed it to Deluca. The first five entries won a prize, with the rest entered in a drawing for a larger prize. Winners were posted on the parish website at gbres.org.

The YouTube video, made on an iPad and explaining the hunt, was made by Deluca at her home. It was posted by Katie McAllister, Resurrection’s coordinator of youth/young adult ministry on the parish website at noon on March 30.

“I had hits within 10 minutes, which surprised me,” Deluca said. “Some were families who sent adorable pictures. A lot who have responded are senior citizens, so it wasn’t just families.”

In the first day, they had 35 entries. The final tally was 40, including families, individuals and grandparents caring for their grandchildren while parents have to work.

Prizes were Scrip gift cards, which the parish sells to fund the school and parish activities, but which “we aren’t selling right now,” Deluca said. The bonus prize was a gift card to a grocery store, “something that the whole family can use.”

Other plans are in the works, perhaps an in-home treasure hunt after Deluca works out the details of how to place clues “because I can’t leave clues in their house.”

In the meantime, she left scavenger hunt participants, and everyone else, this advice:

“Wash your hands, be friendly and loving toward each another, say your prayers and God bless.”

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