What is GISHWHES Anyway?

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Chances are, you’ve heard people starting to talk about something called GISHWHES, and you’ve probably seen your friends post some crazy pictures in conjunction with it. What exactly is GISHWHES, actually? In short, GISHWHES is: the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.

You’re right. GISHWHES is much catchier.

Of course, GISHWHES is much more than just your average scavenger hunt. Started in 2011 by the one and only Misha Collins, GISHWHES has broken five Guinness World Records. Participants from all over the world play in teams of 15 friends, strangers, or a bit of both to spend a week obtaining the crazy items on the scavenger list created by Collins himself, while abiding by a set of commandments, also set up by Misha Collins. The team who captures the most items and the highest quality submissions wins an all expense paid trip to some exciting location with Castiel himself. Winners of the 2015 hunt will be joining Misha in Costa Rica.

Of course, this hunt is a lot more than a scavenger hunt run by everyone’s favorite angel. With its signature crazy scavenging list, the hunt is perfect–and highly encourages–creative, slightly ridiculous minds. But even better than encouraging creative mischief-making, the scavenger hunt’s real purpose is to encourage its participants to do some good in the world. For example, one of the Guinness World Records the hunt broke was the most pledges to commit charitable acts of kindness with Misha Collins’ non-profit, Random Acts. The hunt has also put on puppet shows for hospitalized kids, delivered items to the homeless, and furnished the home of a wounded veteran and his family.

So what is GISHWHES? It’s a crazy, international (sometimes inter-galactic–a GISHWHES participant actually got something with GISHWHES written on it into space) scavenger hunt that encourages its participants to make new friends, think creatively, problem solve, take chances, and make a positive change in the world. Like it says on the GISHWHES website:

gishwhes believes that “normalcy” is overrated and that true “living” can be found hidden under the rocks of community artistic creation, acts of artistic sublime public performances, and random acts of kindness. More importantly, we are all artists and have gifts for society no matter what our capabilities or talents.

Sounds awesome, right? So how can you get in on this awesome scavenger-hunting action? Well, if you’re looking to get in on the 2015 hunt, I’ve got some bad news. You’re too late, but now is the perfect time to check out all the crazy videos and images of dogs going into battle or Wonderland tea parties. If you want to participate, you have to be at least 14–that doesn’t mean you can’t get younger family members to help you out, they just can’t be an official “gisher” and up for the grand prize.

Once registration opens for the 2016 hunt opens next summer, you can go to the GISHWHES site to register you and any other team members you like, buy any GISHWHES items to help commemorate your crazy hunt, and get ready for your big, international adventure. If you need some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, you can head to the website to check out some submission examples from past years, and keep your eye on the prize by checking out the Misha-infused vacation photos from past winners, or check out some of the other non-grand (but still totally exciting) prizes.

In short, GISHWHES is a one of a kind experience that allows you to (potentially) travel the world with a TV star, meet some amazing new people, let your creativity take over, grow closer to your friends, and most importantly, make a positive impact on the world. The whole experience is all wrapped up in a crazy, week-long, international scavenger hunt.

Are you participating in the 2015 hunt? Have you done GISHWHES before, or are you planning to do it in the future? Let me know your thoughts about the hunt in the comments!

Feature Image credit: gishwhes.com

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