There’s a lot to find in the Kittitas County Historical Museum, from century-old cars to classic standard telephones, it’s no wonder the museum staff have created scavenger hunts to give people a challenge. The Kittitas County Youth Services Mentorship Program decided to take up the challenge and will host a table at the March Museum. 24 and 25.
There are different skill levels of treasure hunting depending on age. The easiest hunt is for children from six to nine years old, the most difficult is called diabolical and is reserved for the most courageous individuals. Administrative director of youth services Cassey Henrickson says she tried hunting at the devilish level with her 17-year-old mentee and they failed to get 100 per cent after an hour and a half of hunting .
“It was awesome, they’ve done so much for the museum since my last visit was years ago,” Henrickson said. “I just thought it was a really cool thing and it would be great for more people to know it exists.”
Museum entry and scavenger hunts are free for everyone when the museum is open, so everyone is welcome to stop in and start hunting. This week’s Youth Services event is simply taking advantage of the service, and is not just for those registered with the program.
“It’s a really different way for people to experience the museum,” said museum director Sadie Thayer. “They don’t realize they’re learning, and it’s fun to see their smiles.”
Hunts, especially the more difficult ones, require participants to pay close attention to exhibits. Sometimes a clue can be found by carefully reading exhibit information plaques.
There are six exhibit halls in the museum, and people can choose to look for five items per hall, or ten if they have more time. Thayer said they expected the average person to take about a minute to find each item, so they wanted to give people the option to complete hunts without taking too long. Diabolical level hunts are the only ones that don’t have the ability to search ten items per room, nor can they ask museum staff for clues like the others.
The Youth Services Mentorship Program has about 40 mentors countywide, though most are active in Ellensburg. Henrickson said they are always looking for more mentors to help the kids (ages 5-18) and the program holds events whenever they can.
Mentorship Hunts will take place from noon to 4 p.m. in March. 24 and 25, taking advantage of the free time that many children have during spring break.
“We are really excited to offer this opportunity to all mentors and mentees,” Thayer said. “It’s an opportunity to bring mentors and mentees into the museum and it’s a fun and exciting activity.”