I came across a video of a couple who’s traveling the country with a goal of visiting all 50 states in the US. They’re hiding a treasure at each stop to encourage other people to get out and go on their own adventures. Here’s their video for PA:
Our family decided to go out to York, PA to visit my youngest daughter’s Godparents, and we realized that put us about 45 minutes away from where this treasure was hidden. My wife and I decided to go on an adventure to see if we could be the ones to find the treasure.
The treasure was hidden at the overlook of the White Rocks Trail. We were wondering if we’d be able to figure out where to look once we got to the top, as we’d never been there before and didn’t know what to expect.
But I’m actually getting ahead of myself here. The real adventure was the fact that we went as a family.
Setting the Stage
With 3 kids under 6, we’ve found that we can still plan to do fun, adventurous things as a family. The real secret is preparing our kids before we enact our plans.
Our preparation started the day before we went, because we made these plans relatively last-minute. We told our kids that we’d be going to a different church to see our youngest’s Godparents, and that afterwards we would get to go on a special adventure – a hike for treasure!
Our kids received the idea pretty well, and they were excited that we would get to do something fun and different together. They were also excited at the prospect of finding treasure together (though we made sure to tell them that part wasn’t guaranteed).
Starting the Climb
We arrived at the trailhead, had some snacks, packed some water and started off. The trail quickly became pretty rocky, and our oldest wasn’t too sure anymore about making it all the way to the top. Throughout the hike, she was consistently wanting to bring up the rear. Our youngest had the advantage of being in an Ergo carrier most of the time, but she was enthusiastic about hiking for much more of the trail than I would have thought. And our middle child did a great job of just consistently pressing on.
All 3 of the kids wanted to find their own walking stick right from the start, because I brought one of my own for the hike (and was glad that I did!). They were also taking every opportunity to find treasure on the way up, especially green acorns. Due to prior experience, we told them that they were each allowed to collect a single acorn throughout the whole hike to keep.
Finding the Treasure
This is me holding the treasure!
Oh wait, why is my hand is empty? 😨
As it turned out, we did indeed find where the treasure was hidden, but it was long gone before we got there. Nevertheless, we all agreed that the hike together as a family was its own treasure, and we were glad we made the trip. We took a few pictures together at the top.
All 5 of us were in good spirits on the way back down. The attitude of our oldest had turned around from being apprehensive of the whole endeavor to being the most proud of our accomplishment of reaching the top. We took our time, and while there were a few minor slips, there were no serious falls. I’m proud of all 3 of my children for making the hike and pushing through the tough parts with us. I hope it’s something they remember well, and that they look forward to future adventures together.
While we were disappointed that we didn’t get to find a treasure, we were glad that we had a reason to make the effort anyway.