Tuesday, August 20, 2013

GISHWHES - what not to do.

Medieval Runway: unconventional challenge using kale to create a dragon dress.

I am coming down from the GISHWHES high. Relieved it's over, but also feeling a bit empty and lost just sitting here quietly wondering what to do (believe me, there is PLENTY to do given that my entire house is trashed from 7 days of sewing, gluing, cutting, and painting. Not to mention the costumes, wigs, props, and borrowed items that all need sorted out and the laundry, dishes, and cat litter that have been neglected for a week.)

In the last three years I have run a 10K, competed in a Sprint Triathlon, and performed a Spartan Mini-Beast and this scavenger hunt was every bit as physically demanding, mentally challenging, and emotionally draining than any of those (if not MORE SO).

This blog isn't to talk about everything we did but more to document what we will do differently next year. If any of my team members read it, please don't be offended. I understand we all did the best we could given that we jumped in with four days before the hunt started, little time to prepare, and NO WAY to know what was in store for us. I had a GREAT team but there was room for improvement (on all of our parts, mine most of all). 

I guess because I am the one who discovered this hunt and begged my friends to jump in with me at the last minute, then we were paired up with a team of teenagers - I became the unofficial "leader" of the group. My competitive nature and natural bossiness were probably not well received by my team (especially the teens who I imagine kept thinking "um, you're not my mom"). 

I will be referring back to the list next summer when Gishwhes (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen) begins registration.

in no particular order:
1. Gas up your car before the hunt begins - not just $20 but fill it up - you never know where you'll be driving at a moments notice and it's very frustrating to have to stop for stupid reasons like gas and stop signs...and police.

2. Clean your house, do your laundry, and mow the lawn before the hunt begins. I should also add shower - you might not get to it in a few days.

3. If you are married or in a committed relationship, have sex with your spouse the morning of the hunt. It will help ease the tension over the next 7 days while you are a total psychotic bitch. (sorry to the teens, guess what - adults have sex)

4. A month or so before the hunt, start saving weird stuff like cereal boxes and cans and stuff. You just never know.

5. Have a costume box and hit some garage sales.

6. Groceries. Whichever house you are going to call "central station" needs to be fully stocked with drinks (RedBull is helpful), healthy snacks that are easy to grab, aw fuck it - frozen pizzas and chips it is.

7. Cancel all appointments and other engagement for the week. Trust me, you will either forget you even have the appointment OR you will go to the meeting/appt and not be paying any attention because all you can think about is getting home to finish sewing a Flash costume. If you work full time, you might consider taking a day or two off. 

8. Your team. In one sense I can see it being much easier if you actually know your whole team - easier to communicate (cell, texts, meet ups, etc.), it's easier to tell them when you think they need to "get their asses in gear" (because you know they will forgive you and vice versa), and it's easier to know which task is best suited for which member. On the other hand, we had a nice little group of teenagers who all seem like really good humans and we enjoyed meeting them. We grew especially fond of one who was dealing with some major unexpected drama during the hunt and he still came through while living in a hotel/hospital combo all week.

9. Unless Gishwhes changes their upload system then ONE person needs to track what items are submitted. There is no way to ensure stuff is getting submitted the way it is set up currently. (maybe that is part of the challenge on purpose - who knows but it sucks). That one person should be your MOST organized team member. 

10. Don't spend stupid amounts of time on things that will barely be seen. I spent several hours sewing the entire GISHWHES logo onto a sweater that would be put on a statue and you can really barely see it in the photo. A simple logo tacked on would have sufficed and freed up a lot of my time to make other stuff for other shoots.

11. Make sure your printer has ink.

12. Switch to unlimited texting or plan to exceed your minutes.

13. You are going to get tired. Pulling one or two all nighters will probably happen (as long as you aren't also working full time or going to school it's fine). BUT when you are so tired that you are no longer productive (like when you start burning your fingers on hot glue or talking like you just had a stroke) then GO TO BED.

14. Get an IMGUR account now and start using it so you are familiar with it - also Dropbox (this is mainly for me because i hate technology)

15. A few people on your team need to have some editing software and ability to use it 

16. You will want a musician on your team

17. If you claim a challenge then you are responsible for it - get it done! If you realize it's not going to happen (and we certainly know stuff happens) then UPDATE the group as soon as possible - another person might have a solution or be able to get it done. There were several "easy" challenges that got left on the floor because we all thought someone else was doing them.

18. DON'T have more than one spot where you are communicating. Some people were keeping track of the google doc and others were just posting their stuff on the FB page and it wasn't getting updated on the google doc page. Too confusing. Having only one person submitting entries will help with this also. The person submitting can be the one updating the google doc. maybe?

19. Even if someone has claimed a challenge - if you have the opportunity to achieve the same challenge without too much effort/time/money - just go ahead and do it! Having a back up version of a challenge can only be a good thing - 

20. Plan play dates and sleep overs for any nine year old boys who might live in your house. They won't be a fan of GISHWHES unless there are farting challenges that involve watching Adam Sandler movies. Grandmas come in really handy in a pinch.

if you have suggestions or notes, please feel free to comment and i can add it to our plan for next year (unless all of my team member's spouses plan surprise trips to bora bora during gishwhes week)