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Mom creates Saanich Peninsula scavenger hunt to get families out exploring

Sidney woman set to hide Christmas rock for Dec. 23 hunt
A pair of clues to the spring scavenger hunt included, on the left: ‘my favourite to walk in. Walk further and you may find the live rock.’ And on the right: ‘The live rock is hidden somewhere in this area. Get out and enjoy spring.’ (Saanich Peninsula mom‘s group scavenger hunt/Facebook)

Peninsula families out enjoying fresh air and scouring parks and trails in search of a rock, bring a Sidney mom joy.

Sonia Christensen is, after all, the one who planted the rock, and posts clues to the Saanich Peninsula Mom’s Group Scavenger Hunt Facebook page.

Christensen started the hunt not long into the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to encourage folks to get out and about, something she was seeking herself.

“I had a child when the pandemic started, I had postpartum and was needing to get out of the house,” she said.

Friends suggested she had the personality to go out and get it done. They were right, she started a Facebook page and began sourcing prizes. As she’d lived in the community a while – and was familiar with local businesses – they welcomed her with open arms. She shared her intent to have folks and families get out and meet new people safely.

READ ALSO: Contest helps light up the holiday season in Greater Victoria

“It’s free to participate and it’s something fun for the family to do outdoors,” Christensen said.

She hides a rock then posts clues and photos to the Facebook page, which has seen continuous growth since its inception. She also posts notes of thanks to the businesses that come through for the community.

From free coffee to spa trips last Christmas the prizes added up to about $2,500. It was such a success she followed up with spring and summer events.

“It helped families, especially since COVID and loss of jobs,” Christensen said.

Work is already underway for the next big Christmas scavenger hunt, set for Dec. 23. Residents – they don’t have to be moms – must join the private Facebook page to see the clues.

On the page, she gives a vague location and a photo clue. If no one finds the rock she’ll give a second clue offering more context, and so on until it’s found. The fuel, time and energy invested in community scavenger hunts continue to be worth it for the Sidney mom.

“It’s fun for me, I get a lot of enjoyment from it, it soothes my soul,” Christensen said, excited at the prospect of seeing families excited to get out and be together.

“I love seeing stuff like that. I do it for the community.”

READ ALSO: Sidney’s Community Christmas Dinner serves up holiday cheer


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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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