23 in '23

Barnacle Brad, First Mate Trish, and their crew put together 23 backpacks in 1 day this year!

Their account of the festivities is strewn below

On August 19th we were thrilled to host our own Shared Treasure Hunt - a "kids-helping-kids" project. Folks were invited to join our "crew" (especially those with kids) to bring Back-to-School items and enjoy a Pirate Picnic in the Park. Lots of folks were out of town or working, but we had a grand turnout of 8 adults and 4 kids - we were small but MIGHTY! 

The fun started with singing "A Pirate's Life for Me", learning to "talk like a Pirate" and a Quiz of famous Pirates from movies and books! Everyone made a cut-out Pirate Hat and received an eye patch (not Aye....eye). Picnic food included "Bilgewater Punch" (a right yummy blend of limeade, lemonade, Sprite, and rainbow sherbet), dogs on the grill, fruit, veggies (important to ward off the Scurvy), Pirate cupcakes and a pineapple Upside-down cake.

Barnacle Brad and meself (1st Matey, Trish) led the kids in an exciting Treasure Hunt! Cardboard treasure chests were filled with lots of goodies (rings, necklaces, gold chocolate coins, assorted candy, micro-popcorn, cookies and edible rings) and hidden in Barnacle Brad's Treasure chest! 

Participating Scallywags had to work fer the treasure by pitting their fighting skills against Barnacle Brad with their bubble wand swords; Billy the Bard took the second task of teaching a Sea Shanty - "Blow the Man Down"; followed by Diana the Galley Wench teaching them to dance a Jig. Finally, the kids raced to the playground, down the slides and into the secret "hold" where lay the Treasure Chest! Scallywags and crewmen alike had a Jolly-good time!

Our crew packed 23 backpacks full of items such as toothpaste & brushes, snacks, crayons, pencils and color pens, scissors, stuffed animals, books, kleenex, erasers and pencil sharpeners, notebooks and folders, stickers, flashlights and some candy, of course! All made possible by donations from crew members as well as Friends who couldn't attend but wanted to take part. The kids were very excited by the variety of "spoils" to choose from and took great care in filling their backpacks. And every crew member wrote personal notes to a child and tucked them in with care. 

All the backpacks - along with blankets, puzzles, games and some additional stuffed animals - were delivered to the Thomas House Family Shelter. The children's eyes were alight as we began to unload our "spoils" and carry them to the courtyard. I told them a little about the Pirate Picnic and Treasure Hunt and they all want to attend next year!  Thank you, dear friends, for making this possible - our hearts are FULL!