Q&A with Kim McCleary, host of HSP’s first History Scavenger Hunt
In just a few weeks we’re welcoming walkers and bikers to a scavenger hunt with a history twist: participants will race to decipher clues across the city, all tied to a tumultuous decade of Philly’s history. We sat down with education manager Kim McCleary to hear more about the inspiration for the program and collect some pro tips for participants.
Q: This is the first time HSP’s hosted an event like this; what was the inspiration for this program?
A: There’s something very exciting about going outside of our walls and taking HSP outside of the building and into the streets of Philadelphia. We know scavenger hunts and escape rooms are really popular right now, and so we were hoping to do something that would connect with that audience, to tap into those elements of mystery and problem-solving to help Philly residents discover pieces of their city’s history.
Q: How far afield will participants be exploring? What neighborhoods are included, and how many clues will they be tracking down?
A: Lots of neighborhoods are included! Of course Center City is one of the key locations, because of its proximity to HSP, but participants will also be exploring West Philadelphia near University City, South Philadelphia, North Philadelphia (as far north as Temple University), and heading towards the Art Museum.
For biking and walking there will be some clues that overlap that are in close proximity to HSP, but because you can bike further than you can walk and still get back by the deadline, the biking and walking will vary into the courses that they will take in terms of the historical buildings and markers they’ll see.
Q: The clues will be tied to one decade of Philadelphia’s history: the 1960s. Why focus on that time?
A: This year, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of 1968. We’ve been spending time this year creating programs that have to do with the issues that were presented in that year: protest, activism, civil rights movement, youth culture, the Vietnam War. Lots of protests happened right here in Philadelphia that were really essential in the 1960s, along with memorials and sculptures that have been built to celebrate individuals or to express a bigger ideal of us coming together as a community. So for this theme it’s all about building awareness of how those issues impact us today.
Q: Any pro tips for our participants?
A: There are 20 clues total, but they’re not all worth the same number of points. You’ll get more points for clues that are further away from HSP. So teams may want to strategize: go further to get the high-scoring clues, and miss a few closer things, because it would be a lot to try to get them all!
History Scavenger Hunt takes place on Friday, July 13, from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. Register as a team of bikers or walkers (2-5 participants per team). All ages are welcome! Purchase tickets here.