This is our third year of hunting eggs and are third place in the world. Kenley’s first egg hunt was at a little church in Redmond, WA. We had some friends with us, the kids were great, and she had a wonderful time. It wasn’t your typical Seattle area day at all. Warm and sunny, it was probably the best egg hunt we have had. Kenley had us hide eggs at home for months after.
Our second hunt was west of St. Louis, MO in a small, but wealthy town called Lake St. Louis. It took place in a public park and was ran by the city. Every kid who participated got to choose an egg basket and Kenley chose one with Lightning McQueen. This was well before her sudden and “sad” turn to princesses.
The things that made both of these two egg hunts such a success was the style of the hunt and the parents and their respect for the people putting the hunt on.
This year, we attended an egg hunt in our new area of Chattanooga, TN. The place was packed and the people putting the hunt on were amazing. We had been to events at this place before, so we knew that it would be a great time. Yet, the two factors that worked so well in the hunts of the past were missing and this caused our hunt this year to fall short.
When we arrived at the hunt, the 0-3 year old kids were already in the game. This was no big deal, there were a ton of eggs. Kenley and I took the field and she started to grab anything she could get her hands on. At first, things were going great, then she stopped and popped an egg open. There was nothing inside. She looked perplexed for a moment, but was not dismayed. She picked up another egg and popped it open as well. Again, there was nothing.
“Daddy,” She said. “These eggs have all been emptied.”
This is when a nice lady stopped by to tell us that the only eggs that had anything in them were the Prize eggs.
Of course, we were not there for prizes, but we were at least hoping for some candy, stickers, or stamps. Maybe even a temporary tattoo.
Since we weren’t getting anything at the 0-3, I asked Kenley if she wanted to wait until the next hunt and she agreed. We moved to where the 4-6 year old were preparing and waited for the call.
The fence was dropped and we moved quickly in to grab up our loot. Kenley grabbed pink eggs, purple eggs, blue eggs, and yellow. Her basket filled quickly and there were still eggs everywhere.
That’s when I noticed something. No one was picking up eggs. Kids and, more annoying, their parents, were walking through the field kicking and shifting eggs to see what was inside them. They used the sun or a quick shake to see if there was a slip of paper indicating a prize. If not, they threw the egg back to the ground and moved on.
I even heard one parent tell their 4-5 year old, “Don’t put them in the basket, just open them and leave them here. We don’t need all those eggs.”
The organizers had thought that they were saving time by not filling all the eggs, but they were going to spend it picking up after the spiritless mob.
The crowd quickly dispersed as the prizes were all found. a few older boys had used their shake method to find four or five slips of paper each.
Kenley wasn’t daunted. She wasn’t there for a prize, but I was a little dismayed by the fact that she wasn’t really allowed to compete for one in the ancient art of the hunt.
Basket full, my daughter marched off the field a happy girl. What could I say, I wasn’t going to tell them how to run the show when the best part of the day is still there–the hunt.
We found out after we left the field that we could trade in the eggs for a bag of candy and Kenley got a balloon animal shaped like a unicorn.
SIDE NOTE – The guy making the balloon animals told me that last time he made one he, “Put the horn in the wrong place.” I felt like I was in a kid’s movie with a few jokes tossed in for the adults in the crowd.
Overall, it was a great egg hunt this year, but I think we will move again for next Easter. Not towns, I hope we are done with that, but places. There’s one around here where they drop the eggs from a helicopter.
Now, that sounds like a hunt!
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