Social Media is used for many things these days and for the Riverbank Crossroads group on Facebook, their page includes an ongoing scavenger hunt. The page was created by Irene Gomez several years ago so that she could stay connected with friends in the neighborhood and share information.
A few months ago Save Mart Supermarket had a pots and pans promotion where they would give stamps to customers dependent on the dollar amount they spent. After collecting a certain amount of stamps the customer would be able to obtain a pot or pan offered in the promotion. Residents in the Crossroads and the surrounding neighborhoods started posting that they had stamps up for grabs and due to the demand, neighbors started hiding them. A person had 20 stamps that were put in an envelope and taped to a light post. The person then posted on the Facebook page that the first person that found them could have them. This idea started an anomaly which is now an ongoing scavenger hunt.
Gomez explained that the site is not for garage sales or selling items however, giving stuff away free and sharing information is okay. The site has allowed neighbors to share information regarding crime like break-ins that have been happening around the neighborhood as well, with a serious side in addition to the fun scavenger hunt idea.
“You need to know your neighbors,” said Gomez. “The page is also good for anything that goes on in the neighborhood like there were some people knocking on doors looking for work. So they will share that and kind of let you know to keep your eyes out.”
After the stamp promotion ended, neighbors started posting other items on the page like two jars of homemade salsa that were available to anyone who wanted them. Another neighbor hid a big bouquet of cilantro in a basket of a statue in Crossroads, which didn’t take neighbors too long to find.
Although the page took a while to gain a following, it has now reached over 1,200 members and counting. The page and the hunt is not only for the people in Crossroads but it has also expanded to neighbors throughout Riverbank.
“I am hoping people will take advantage of it (the hunt) like businesses,” stated Gomez. “People would go crazy for a free T-shirt.”
Pure Water Boutique business owner Shawn Mecca hid several raffle tickets for a custom dog bed, which were found by a ‘hunter.’ Another neighbor who is an author hid a copy of her book along with a few other items that were later found. A local photographer hid a business card offering a mini photo session that was taped to a light post and entered the following clue on the Facebook page, “perfect (blank) is necessary for a perfect (blank).” Once the blanks were filled in properly, this would lead the person to the location with the clues which being ‘light’ and ‘portrait.’ So the card was taped to a light post that could be found in Portrait Court.
“That took a lot of thinking for someone to find it and they did,” added Gomez. “You could not see it by just driving by.”
Gomez has participated in the hunt as well with a hidden box of Girl Scout cookies. Her daughter climbed a tree in a park and placed the cookies in the branches. They posted a picture of the tree that it was in and shortly afterward the cookies were found.
“What I love is that the neighbor that finds it, posts a picture and you get to see how excited they are,” expressed Gomez. “It has just kind of taken off.”