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Scavenger Hunts Aren't Just For Kids!

Updated: Apr 3


Every year the ESMDA Club has a scavenger hunt for their members. I'm not exactly sure how many years now the club has been holding the contest. ESMDA club member Patrick Whitton won the 2019 Scavenger Hunt contest! The contest is a nice little perk for club members and a fun way to boost enthusiasm for the hobby. Not that anyone really needs to boost their enthusiasm for metal detecting. If you don't love the hobby, you're probably reading the wrong blog. The club's scavenger hunt is a creative challenge. It's a list of 100 items that changes from year to year. The items on the list are items one would typically find when out metal detecting. Some of the items are naturally tougher to dig than others. For example, on the list was a Confederate Civil War Button. I have never dug one myself. They don't turn up all that often in our neck of the woods. So it naturally would be a little more difficult to find than say a flat button, also on the list. When you find an item, throughout the course of the year, you simply check it off on your list. At the end of the year, the person who found the most items on the scavenger list wins a prize. The items on last year's scavenger hunt list are pictured below.


Several ESMDA club members participated in the 2020 Scavenger Hunt. It was the first year I personally participated in the contest and I am certainly glad that I did. Club member Patrick Whitton and I had our own little friendly competition going to see which one of the two of us would end up with the most points by the end of the year. It may sound a little silly but it certainly motivated me to go out detecting when I might have not. Especially towards the end of the year when the days got really cold. And as a result of spending so much time detecting in 2020, I found some really great stuff. A friendly level of competition can be beneficial. It simply motivates you. If you lose, so be it, you'll grow as a result and become stronger because of it. You'll also probably end up making some great memories along the way.

Here are the highlights from mine and Patrick's friendly little competition. The year started off great with yours truly in the lead! One could even make the argument that I had a rather strong lead during the months of March and April. In May, Patrick caught up. He was finding items from the scavenger list left and right. Every time he went out detecting it seemed he was checking another item or two off the list. Before I knew it the unthinkable had happened. By the end of May, Patrick was actually leading in points. Throughout the months of June and July it was a pretty close competition. Unfortunately for me, Patrick was still in the lead though. I'd find one point and he'd find two.


During the month of August, Patrick dug several more items that were on the scavenger hunt list. On my birthday, he actually found a gold ring and five silver rings, picking up two more points. Can you even believe it? All I dug that day was a few lousy flat buttons. Things were not looking good. By the end of August, Patrick had 61 points and I had 53.

September rolled around and turned out to be a much better month, at least for me. I found several item that were on the scavenger hunt list! At the beginning of October I was still trailing, just ever so slightly, but by the end of the month I was able to tie things back up.


On November 15th, I found a Flying Eagle Cent. It would have put me in the lead. But, of course on the same exact day Patrick dug another point too. We were tied yet again. On the last day of November I dug a point and Patrick dug two. Lisa- 66 points. Patrick- 67 points. The clock was ticking. The year was almost over with. We entered the month of December and I was behind by one point. I asked Patrick if he thought I could count a dead squirrel that I found belly up in a park, as my animal tooth point. I know, I know it was kind of a far stretch, but his teeth were all still there. Ironically, a week or so later, I actually ended up finding a legit animal tooth that I was able to count as a point.

December was coming to an end and we were tied with 67 points. I was going out detecting every chance I got. Hopeful that I would find another point and Patrick wouldn't. On December 28th, I dug a standing liberty quarter. I was thrilled, thinking I might just win after all. Before you get too excited for me though I should tell you that on the same exact day Patrick dug a jews harp. We were tied yet again. The year ended and as it would turn out, I guess Patrick and I were destined to tie.


We tied in our own little competition and also tied for the win in our club's 2020 Scavenger Hunt. What are the odds?


Here are the top order of finishers! Congratulations to all who participated!

1) Lisa Stanco 1) Patrick Whitton

2) Gino DiCarlo

3) Edward Rifenberg

4) Mike Holt

5) Robert Hill


Pictured below are some of Patrick's more notable finds that counted as points in the 2020 Scavenger Hunt.

And here are a few of mine.

If you didn't participate in last year's scavenger hunt I encourage you to consider participating in this year's hunt. The scavenger list for 2021 will be out tomorrow and we will post a copy of it on our club's website as well as email it to the members. I'd like to thank ESMDA club member Edward Rifenberg for making the scavenger hunt lists each year. He does a really great job coming up with different items to include which in turn makes the scavenger hunt both challenging and fun. Thank you Ed!


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