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Hunting for Community Activities with the Kids? One Brambleton Family Has Some Creative Options.

April 24, 2020 | by Patty Lamothe
cartoons along scavenger hunt

There may be more clouds in our collective skies lately, but let’s never forget all of those silver linings. Everywhere you look, you’ll see Brambleton folks coming together to help one another stay healthy and, just as importantly, happy. Drive-by birthday parties, food drives, picking up prescriptions for the elderly and Zoom baby showers, to name a few. 

The Rood Family, Brambleton residents since 2012, have brought friends and neighbors together this spring in ways that show creativity and community-mindedness can go together easily.  

In March, when schools had closed and it became clear that parents would need inventive ways to keep their families engaged and healthy, Shannon Rood and her daughters came up with the idea of a community scavenger hunt, and it’s been a huge hit!  

Rood family creating scavenger hunt cartoons

“My girls love art, as do I, so I put out a quick survey asking Brambleton residents what were some of their favorite cartoon characters,” Shannon said.   

“We got a list going and decided to create a scavenger hunt of sorts on the three-mile loop near us. We hand drew and painted 32 signs for along that path. Some are hidden easily for little ones and some a bit harder for bigger kids (that includes the adults) like takes on Where’s Waldo? and characters from Scooby Doo,” Shannon explained.   

“We put them out over a two week period and the response has been so positive and exciting!” Shannon went on to say.  

Brambleton resident Kim Kniskern said recently on a Brambleton chat board: “We found all but Scooby today, and yes, my girls are now singing “Scooby Dooby Doo, Where are you?…”  Back out again tomorrow to look!!” 

That’s how you can share an intriguing adventure without having to pull the Mystery Machine van out of the garage!  

Brambleton resident, Eben Wells, jumped in on the fun by creating an interactive Story Map of all the sign locations. You can find it at storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/ed179dbdc7994f2b88dd10a79e050bd3.  

Bram Trail Pics interactive story map of scavenger hunt sign locations

The art-based scavenger hunt was a natural spinoff from a family project last summer, when Shannon and her kids painted small rocks with cartoon characters, funny animals and other designs, and hid them for people to find and post pictures on a special Brambleton_Rocks Facebook page. The project encouraged other Brambleton residents to paint their own rocks and place them around the community, too.  

kids holding rocks at brambleton

For the Roods, community service is just as important as fun and games. That’s why Shannon’s son has been supplementing his remote computer-aided design (CAD) classes in a creatively civic-minded way.  

“In between working on projects,” Shannon explains, “he has been 3D printing straps for N-95 masks for Brambleton residents who are on the front lines of Covid-19. The straps relieve pressure on the back of the ears from wearing masks for such long periods of time. We didn’t have access to a 3D printer since the library closed, so we decided to invest in one to try to help in any way possible,” Shannon said. Wow…talk about community commitment!

But then, shared community commitment has always been a hallmark of Brambleton. It’s just part of the fabric of life here, and we’re all better together for it.  

The scavenger hunt has come to an end so who has the NEXT big idea? Share what fun activity or community service project you’ve been up to. We want to know more! 

We may be social distancing these days, but connectedness will never be canceled in Brambleton.

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