The Central Florida Metal Detecting Club recently completed a series of planted hunts at the Easter Seals Camp Challenge in Sorrento, Florida. These hunts were designed to introduce our hobby to a group of physically or mentally challenged campers for the first time in their lives. Because of the individual challenges of each camper, conducting these hunts required us to adapt quickly to ever changing events as they occurred. Every minute provided a new opportunity to positively affect the lives of this special group of over 200 campers. This was a huge commitment of time, money, and effort and I am thankful to all who helped out in any way. Hunts were held over a four week period beginning in early June and ending on July 5th. Each hunt day began around 9:00AM and ended around 12:30 or 1:00PM after every camper in attendance had a chance to use a detector to find their own buried treasure. During the day, we held four separate hunts with groups of 15 – 20 campers at each event. Help came in a variety of forms. The evening before each hunt, several club members religiously made the trip to the hunt site and spent their evening planting toy cars, jewelry, pirate gold and foreign coins for the upcoming morning hunts. Several hours in 90 + degree heat were required to prepare the four hunts fields each and every week. Kellyco stepped up to the plate and provided 5 new detectors, various prize items and ongoing support for this fantastic project. The five detectors will remain at Camp Challenge for their continued use. The Gold Coast Treasure Club from West Palm Beach sent an assortment of toy cars, jewelry, and foreign coins to be used in these hunts. Their support was a tremendous plus and we are lucky to have them as our friends. The Treasure Coast Archeological Society from Sebastian, Florida actually hand carried a variety of items to us to be buried for this event. The ongoing association between the TCAS and the CFMDC is nothing short of awesome, as it is with all of the SE area clubs. Lost Treasure magazine threw their support behind this project and covered the details of the Camp Challenge Hunts online and also provided several prizes to award. Their involvement in this series of hunts continues to help others become more aware and willing to participate in this type of event. My hat is off to all of those that helped out but especially to the members of the Central Florida Metal Detecting Club for their tireless efforts and support. Without all of the toy cars, jewelry, money, and time – especially time, the Easter Seals Camp Challenge Hunts could not have happened. Without the love and commitment from each of you, 200 campers would have missed a great experience and so would each of us. Many thanks to everyone.
Sincerely, Alan James Pres. CFMDC