I have only been to three gatherings of letterboxers. Two Desperately Seeking Suns and one Ithaca Gathering. I am hardly an expert and I am NOT a social butterfly. So what possessed me to host my own event in Canton, NY ? My desperation to have letterboxers find my established boxes. I will not sugar coat, I will not attempt selflessness...I want others to find my boxes and in order to do that, they need to come up to the area. If nothing else gets them up here, I figured a gathering might do it. And perhaps, it will.
That was the intention...get letterboxers to the area and lets all get together while they're here. But then, this theme started up...Midsummer theme...but then, the date wasn't right. I was looking at July (after debating about an Autumn event) but not around the 4th. There was a full moon in late July...ah, perfect for night boxing. So out of the MidSummer and full moon idea came the Day/Night theme. A traditional gathering with exchanges, day-only boxes, event stamp, and lunch for the Day and a night boxing event for the Night. And maybe, if people came and stayed for the weekend, they could hunt established boxes in the area!
Now I was onto something. A dual nature, a twofer, a ying-yang sort of thing began to take root in my head. For every Day stamp, it's counterpart would be hidden for the Night. So I already have a night box planted called "Night Owl"...it's counterpart for the Day will be "Early Bird". I have already enlisted the help of jackbear for several stamps, LOSTGIRL is doing a twofer for me as well as some little ditties. So I think I'm good to go on almost ten new permanent plants for each gathering.
The day is going to be at Bend in the River Park in Canton NY. I managed to rent the picnic shelter there for dirt cheap! My only concern is that I might not have enough seating if this gathering gets big. I'm not really sure how many to expect. It has lots of little nooks for box hiding and grills for hot dog cooking. I don't see too much work going into this portion. Just hide the boxes, print up the cluesheets, secure the hot dogs, and let people mix and mingle till they drop! But I do have a couple little surprises for the event only.
Not only am I going out of my comfort zone on carving the event stamp, I am doing a dice game and a serious puzzle box. My Celestial Dice will be available to play and stamp. I'm hoping to also have a prize for those who win (or lose!). The puzzle box will be much more complicated. I have to do alot of research for this and find some perfect containers. The Puzzle of Ra is shaping up and I won't give too much away. The only thing I'll say is that I was inspired by Davy Jones' Locker (which I couldn't solve at DSS...in fact, I couldn't figure out the first clue). Inspired, I guess, goes to say that I liked that fact that there were 3 small boxes contained in a larger one. You had to open one box in order to solve the next. The Puzzle of Ra won't be like that though. I'm planning three boxes...all with clues out in the open..in other words...you don't have to rely on solving one to solve them all. Each box will contain a number that will somehow give you the combination to the last box. The three "puzzle" boxes will be available at the DAY gather but the last box will be at the NIGHT gathering. I know what I'd like to do for two of the puzzles but I'm kinda stuck on the last one. As well as a few of the images to carve.
The night boxing will take place at Postwood Park at twilight. As I mentioned, I am planning to have at least 10 new permanent plants. And some boxes will be planted as event only right around the picnic area for those who don't want to venture out into the "deep dark". The last box in the Puzzle of Ra will be there and fire tack trails will stand out. I'm still trying to figure out a few event-only things for the night portion but I'm mostly concerned about marking the trails well. I don't want people to get lost...not that there's an array of wilderness to get lost in at Postwood. If you go too far one way, you hit a road...too far the other, you hit a river. And there are telephone poles up the middle to follow back to the parking lot. I just haven't ever been to a gathering like this before and I'm not really certain of night boxing "guidelines".
So I'm still researching that. But I have found some great images to carve...I hope they're not too challenging for my budding skills. And I've got lots of help!
More idea sharing later, I hope.