07/03/13 — Scavenger hunt goal: Families to search for time together

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Scavenger hunt goal: Families to search for time together

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 3, 2013 1:46 PM

Get ready to go on a wild goose chase around the county next month.

The "Countywide Scavenger Hunt" is a good way for families to spend time together, says organizer Cheri Whiteman, as well as an opportunity to generate foot traffic into some of the region's best sites -- Cliffs of the Neuse, Wayne County Museum, Charles B. Aycock Birthplace and the Arts Council of Wayne County.

Mrs. Whiteman, a wife and mother of two from Pikeville, launched Family Fun Resource a few months ago, initially as a website featuring recipes and craft ideas for parents and children.

Instead of remaining just a computer link, though, she decided to use it to connect families and spur them to get out of the house.

Like many moms, she says she has seen how easy it is to get caught up in technology and never spend "real time" with each other.

"This is one of the reasons I came up with this, so that I could spend time with (my kids)," she said. "I have a job and I'm a mom."

She learned from her own experience how to be creative with family time. She and husband, Charles, often take their children to churches and schools to do skits and workshops.

Carving out time together can be done, Mrs. Whiteman said.

"It takes planning, you know, but it's something that any family can do," she said. "It can be simply cooking dinner together, folding laundry, making a game of it. You can take the time out to do something every day."

Or in a bigger way, like the community scavenger hunt, which officially kicks off July 8 and runs through the rest of the month.

Clues can be found online, at www.familyfunresource.com.

"Print out the clue sheet and visit each location," Mrs. Whiteman explained. "While there, you'll find answers. Write them on the clue sheet. Visit Facebook to get daily clues as well. Send in answers via email to info@familyfunresource.com."

The website also provides details, such as what item to look for at a particular site.

"At Charles B. Aycock Birthplace, for instance, we'll place a modern object in one of the buildings. They're going to have to spot it out," she said. "They'll know where to go. They need to know what object to look for, and then will email the answer to us."

Families that complete the hunt will also be invited to a free family fun party on Aug. 10 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at "I Wanna Have Fun" on William Street, featuring laser tag, free popcorn, face-painting and games. The first five families to complete the hunt will also receive a gift basket with items from local businesses.

Even though the event doesn't officially start for a couple of weeks, it has already generated interest, Mrs. Whiteman said.

"A lot of people are excited. They're ready to get out there and get the clues, figure out what's going on," she said.

"We're just trying to get families to spend time together in different and inventive ways. This is one way for families to spend time together without having to spend money, other than gas."

The effort won't stop with this event, she said. There are also plans for other family activities in the future, including zip-lining.