The May Day When Jay Runs Away

I really do love my Jr. Highers.  Actually, I’m pretty much always fairly crazy about the “maggots” that come through our teen ministry.  There’s a certain awkward charm about that age.  “The May Day When Jay Runs Away” is a treasure hunt of sorts (with the “treasure” being truly priceless!).  My precious Jr. Highers are teamed up with a responsible adult driver and are given clues to find me.  Last year’s event (entitled “Where in the World is Jay-from-San-Diego?”) ended with a bit of controversy.  One team of boys found me by complete accident so were not given the official win.  They still claim victory.  This year, I was determined to avoid any doubts or confusion.  The first clue went like this:

To Foothill you go, yet still in La Verne
A store where on clothes your money you burn
Right next to much food and also some gas
A place where a K-Mart once stood in the past

The teams were to finish a Bible arithmetic assignment before opening the envelope for that first clue.  It gave me about a five minute head start to get to Ross, where I met my wife to switch vehicles, change my shirt, and take a picture with Chloe (the first clue-giver).

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The clue they received from Chloe went like this:

A city just east with a liberal feel
But you’ll find great coffee down on Indian Hill
Mochas, espresso, green tea and lattes
You know it ain’t Starbucks, ’cause that would be gay

 Waiting at the Coffee Bean in Claremont was youth group alum, Tim.  One team was already hot on my tail and I knew it.  Parking can be tricky in the area, but I stayed true to the rules.  I took a pic with Tim right outside of the coffee shop and walked calmly back to the car.

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As I headed to the next checkpoint, one team passed right by me.  Had I been in my white 3/4 ton Dodge Ram 2500, they definitely would’ve spotted me.  I even drove real slow and waved at them.  I felt like a genius.  Speaking of genius, the next clue-givers were just a couple blocks away, as made clear by Tim’s clue:

To get back in the car would be a bit of a waste
But when crossing the street don’t do it in haste
A window shopper you know, who’s not there to pillage
Just enjoying a walk in the old Claremont Village

Enjoying the warm late-spring sun were two cleverly disguised young ladies.  I would’ve never found them myself.  Even while I was on the phone with Sarahjane, and both her and Samantha were waving at me, I could hardly tell it was them.

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I called back to Tim to tell the groups that left him to really look hard for these two.  I knew this would be the Jr. Highers’ biggest challenge so far, but when they finally found them, this clue was their reward:

Further from the ocean you now must drive
A place where electronics are very alive
You can buy a phone or big plasma screen
Some video games or a washing machine

I was very relaxed as I made my way to the Best Buy in Montclair.  I found my next contact, Raphael, by the video games but we had to walk back to the car to get the camera.

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Raphael gave them the clue to get to the final clue-givers:

Your next little trek is not far at all
Just head a bit south to the Montclair Mall
Whether stinkin’ it up or truly succeeding
You must go to a place where you’ll find someone reading

S.J. and Ashleigh sat in the Psychology section of Barnes and Noble.  Very fitting, as these two can be a bit psycho.  Tim met us there and took a very blurry picture.  It wasn’t blog worthy.  I said a quick hello and headed out into the mall.  S.J. and Ashleigh were to simply tell the teams that I was somewhere in the mall.

I hid in plain sight.  I casually strolled along, never ducking into a store or behind a sign.  Wearing a hat seemed to be enough (I never wear hats).  Pretty much every team came within twenty yards of me, a couple people even looked right at me.  I also had Tim and Raphael helping me with real-time intel as they kept track of maggot positioning.  It was very Navy SEAL-ish!  We really could’ve kept it going for much longer but time was getting away from us.  At a certain point I decided I would walk right up to the next team I saw.  I think they still almost missed me.  Nonetheless, congrats to Jen’s team:

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When it was all said and done, I ran away with my family … to Famous Dave’s.  But I’ll tell you about that some other time!


7 comments so far

  1. Renae on

    Sounds like you had a ton of fun. We are doing a similar activity in a few weeks. I am hoping it goes as well as yours did! 🙂

  2. Becka on

    How fun! I love scavenger hunts! Those clues were pretty good too. It was kinda cool for me to figure them out since it’s been a year since I’ve been in the area. Cool.

  3. jenmarie on

    It was so funny listening to junior highers use their “reasoning skills” as we drove around town! lol, and then they are like “what’s a liberal feel?”
    We had so much fun, they kept telling me that they couldn’t wait till next year to do it again! 🙂

  4. jaynepomuceno on

    Junior highers … reasoning skills … in the same sentence? Weird.

  5. Jane on

    Haha, that was way fun, Jay! Thanks for letting Sam and I help out! We had a jolly good time! =D

  6. Jane on

    And of course, our job would not have been done properly if we had not have dressed up! Things are so much better in disguise….

  7. […] truly priceless….  Me!  You can read the “how to” in last year’s post here.  I took off and met my wife close to the first stop to get into my disguise and switch vehicles […]

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