GISHWHES is an acronym for the ‘Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen‘. Begun by CW’s Supernatural actor Misha Collins in 2011, it invites a bit of whimsy to the world in the form of good acts. While Misha might be best known as the angel Castiel on CW’s long running show Supernatural, his commitment to social responsibility should be commended.
GISHWHES is part of his yearly social calendar. An event that is now about to commence its 7th year. Notably, this year the competition will last from August 5th to August 12th, 2017. However registration is open now. Thus allowing participants to sign up months early to participate in a winner take all series of scavenger hunt tasks for a week. Teams of 15 then perform these acts of doing ‘good in the world’ for GISHWHES competition points.
GISHWHES is Hunting Fun
Past tasks have included making an elegant evening outfit from things found in your bathroom. A notable one was getting a local ice cream shop to create and sell a custom ice cream flavor for the participating team. In this vein, the creator Misha Collins admits these tasks are supposed to shake up the normalcy life has been victimized by. For a moment the world should feel and look a little bit different. Something it seems Supernatural fans have an easy time of adapting to.
GISHWHES has world wide appeal. For instance, it usually has thousands of participants and has represented somewhere upward of 69 different countries. Over the years it has broken a few Guinness World Records. In the books for 2011 was ‘Largest Photo Scavenger Hunt’. In 2012 ‘Most Pledges for a Campaign/to Complete a Random Act of Kindness’ was broken. Recently in 2014 ‘Most People in a Decorated Hat Competition’ fell to the hunt.
The tasks are mostly based in the concept of kindness. Other times reality bending is the most popular purpose. However it seems almost all of them are based in being patently irreverent. Consequently they invite a level of creativity. Cooperation with the overarching community is also a goal. If a person wants to play and doesn’t have 15 friends willing to go, that person can be assigned a team. All they have to do is indicate it during registration.
From GISHWHES to Random Acts
There is a reasonable participation fee that goes to Random Acts. Which is a non-profit organization co-founded by Collins that promotes random acts of kindness. The organization has been known to contribute to Red Cross and various other charities that focus on empowerment and opportunity. Projects like Dreams to Acts have aided in relief efforts in Haiti and educational development in Nicaragua. Caught in the Act is a program geared towards recognizing ordinary people committing great acts of kindness. Class Act recognizes schools for acts of community kindness. In addition, there is the SPNFamily Crisis Support Network which aids in mental health efforts such as depression and addiction.
And There are Awesome Prizes
While the competition is for fun and revelment, for the competitive, the prizes are pretty outstanding. For example, the winning team this year will be traveling to Hawaii with Misha Collins for merriment and adventures. Worth mentioning, previous locales have included Iceland, Costa Rica and Scotland. However no worries if the main prize is not secured. Evidently there are a lot of follow-up prizes such as certificates of greatness, being added to the GISHWHES Hall of Fame and a coffee table book of the year’s exploits.
Impact and Legacy
Unbelievable tasks aside, the most impressive aspect of this endeavor is the impact which catalogs what has been done in the name of the competition. Included is hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for charities and thousands of food kitchen volunteers. The event has donated to women’s shelters, blood drives and coat drives. Also listed is a tally of beaches cleaned and bone marrow donors. It really takes the theme of the Supernatural show of helping people to another level. Which is pretty amazing to see. As the saying goes, happy hunting.
Join GISHWHES today to receive bonus points for early registration. Any thoughts on this, post comments below.