Friday, February 26, 2010

The Search For the Pink Panther

The Mall Scavenger Hunt was one of the regular events of my student ministries over the years, and the tradition began during the Springfield years (1986-94).  We would head over to the big city (Greensboro) and the Four Seasons Town Centre. This was before the days when mall security would freak out about groups of teenagers playing a game in the mall.  The youth would be broken into teams and sent out with a list of things to find.  Always included was one special individual each group had to seek and find.  Here's how it worked:  Groups would be told that somewhere in the mall an employee in one of the stores had been asked to play our game.  That person would respond to only one name.  Many times it was the Pink Panther; other times it was the Blue Gnu or the Purple People Eater.  Our kids could approach the workers and simply ask them "are you the Pink Panther?"  If they tried to explain, or say that their goofy youth leader had them playing a stupid game, then the real Pink Panther had permission to lie about their identity.  So we would have 20 or so youth wandering the mall asking people if they were the Pink Panther!  This would happen as they were doing the rest of the Scavenger Hunt.  I found a copy of our 1992 hunt; I thought it might be fun to look back at some of the actual items they had to search for and do: 
  • In how many (and which) stores can you purchase the movie 101 Dalmatians?
  • Buy something that costs as close to 25 cents as possible without going over.
  • Where can you purchase a poster featuring Dana Carvey as President Bush? (That would have been daddy Bush, not W.)
  • How much is the most expensive swim suit in the mall and where can you buy it?
  • On which Billy Joel CD (NOT Greatest Hits!) can you find the song Themes From An Italian Restaurant?
  • What's the largest size bra Victoria's Secret sells?
  • Which store sells Ren and Stimpy boxer shorts for $14.99?
  • Where can you find a tape by the band One Bad Pig?
  • How much would it cost (before tax) to buy a taco supreme from Taco Bell, a jumbo chili dog from Frank'N'Stein, one scoop of Baskin-Robbins ice cream and a large coke from McDonald's?
There were many more questions, a scoring system, and all kinds of other things to make the game fun, but basically, if you found the Pink Panther, you won.  There were also two bonus questions in 1992 that were really tricky.  The first was "Who is Yensid?"   The second was an activity:  Find the place where you can spend the dollar I gave you, yet still have a dollar when you are through.  I'll give you a hint; both answers could be found at The Disney Store!  Leave your answers in the comment section below if you'd like to play at home, and I'll give you the answers tomorrow.

Jesus once said that people would recognize his disciples by the way they loved one another.  I was always so proud to see my students playing hard, respecting others and caring for one another for all to see when we would play these wild games in public places. The person I would ask to be the mystery person always told me it was the highlight of their day, even thought they usually thought I was crazy. I think lots of adults often saw us in action and thought "I'll have a glass of what they're having!"  But more about that is coming Sunday...

Because of Jesus,


  1. Cheryl Deal Meadows2/26/2010

    Wow would you believe I remember participating in this scavenger hunt? I remember the poster of Dana Carvey as daddy Bush was found at Spencer's gifts. I don't remember exactly WHO Yensid is, but I knew it was a disney store thing, because Yensid is Disney backwards. And you can spend a dollar and still have a dollar left by buying a Disney Dollar at the Disney Store. And I am not sure, but I think my group was a little messed up on the spend as close to 25 cents as possible without going over. If I remember correctly, we came back with a keychain from Spencer's that was of a half naked and we were afraid to give it to you.

  2. Our youth played a variation of this game in which one of the leaders dressed in costume at the mall and the young people had to find him.

  3. We only used costumes when we went to kidnap youth for breakfast! Those stories are still to come.


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