When a scavenger hunt starts with slurping down beers from something called “Bongzilla” and dodging water balloons being thrown at you from rooftops, you know it takes a certain breed to emerge victorious. Such is the case at the California League of Adult Scavenger Hunters events. Their next venture will take participants through the wild streets of the Castro in Tight & Bright, neon spandex required:
SCOUT: How did this whole thing come about?
CLASH: How did it blossom?
SCOUT: Yessssss, how did it “blossom?”
CLASH: We started by trying to make a league out of scavenger hunts, much like soccer or some other sport, and it didn’t really work that well, but the result is what we have now, which is CLASH in it's current for, with hunts every Saturday night, sometimes Fridays. But, we’re going to take another shot at the league early next year.
SCOUT: So how does a typical hunt begin?
CLASH: Way back when, we started them off in parks, but one time we brought out a bottle of Jameson and gave people shots before the teams took off, and since then, we’ve moved the start to bars.
SCOUT: Social lubrication. Brilliant. So then what?
CLASH: About half of the people shows up with their team of 5-6 players and the other half shows up as individuals or pairs, and we put them in to teams. Once everyone's arrived, we do some ice breakers. Sometimes we do an alley obstacle course involving beer, although the cops have been called a few times, and then we launch the teams off.
SCOUT: And then during the hunt?
CLASH: The hunts usually last one and a half to two hours, and we have people dressed up as characters along the way, so there’s people to find, planted objects, strangers they have to interact with, even bonus points for spraying another team with silly string. The teams are taking photos the whole time, and a bit of drinking along the way, and when they get back to the bar, we download their photos and tally up their scores. Sometimes we have a bonus round, like a dance off, and we project the best photos from the night inside the bar and then declare the winners.
SCOUT: So basically, your job is to make up games. That’s like the coolest thing ever.
CLASH: Yes, it is.
SCOUT: What would your ultimate, dream scavenger hunt look like?
CLASH: With CLASH, we usually stick to one neighborhood, so it would involve a few different neighborhoods and a few different modes of transportation. Like those little yellow cars that you see all around the city, we’ve talked about getting a limo involved, so that would be part of it, public transportation... a lot of characters... and a lot of people on rooftops throwing water balloons at all the players.
SCOUT: Wow. Like a real life video game!
CLASH: Exactly! And also, there would be live animals. Tigers and zonkeys, maybe. Just something really extreme.
SCOUT: Like hard hats required?
CLASH: Hard hats, climbing up buildings, just pushing the limits.
SCOUT: So tell us more about CLASH moving in to the league scene here in a few months.
CLASH: We’re going to have a Tuesday night league that goes for four weeks, it’s called the CLASH Cup. And then our big hunts will just be one Saturday every month.
Sign up for CLASH’s next hunt here, and like ‘em on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @clashsf for more league news.