The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things. ~Ronald Reagan
On Saturday, Thrill of the Hunt had another Dog Gone! Scavenger Hunt in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Is that far from me? Heading out there is about a five hour trip, 300 miles one way. So it’s certainly a hike and a half. Why did we have a scavenger hunt so far away? Simply, because I love the area, it’s so quaint and charming and I’ve found the business owners and locals very easy to work with and very positive about what I have to offer. Not to mention, breaking out into New Hope was my way of introducing Thrill of the Hunt to the eastern side of Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas. New Hope is just across the Delaware River from New Jersey, and is relatively close to New York, Maryland and Delaware. Yep, New Hope, a borough in Bucks County, my next stop.
Kyle still loves being apart of all things with The Piper Corporation. I mean that! He never snubs his nose or whines when we have work to do with the company, well almost never. In fact, Kyle got a new Macbook Air for this past birthday. His comment to me? “Now Aunt Heather I can help you out with the scavenger hunts!” He meant it wholeheartedly. Kyle always shows the most enthusiasm when it comes to the company work. He really enjoys it and I enjoy having Kyle help me out and be apart of hopefully his future legacy, if desired.
Everyone knows Kyle is pretty money centric. Not with Thrill of the Hunt. Every now again, I will pay the kid in movies and popcorn, but no hard cold cash is ever transferred. One day soon I hope to be able to put him on the payroll, but until then, Kyle understands and is just happy to help out. And he truly is a huge help to me!
We left Saturday morning around 3:30 am on a long day of fun. It was a little difficult to get the twelve year old up, but let’s face it, it would be hard to get anyone up at that hour. Without a second thought, Kyle even went to bed early so he could rest up for the long work day. My little planner!
Once in the car he slept, and slept, and slept, and slept. He did wake up briefly, while I made a pit stop, but he stayed in the car and relaxed. I had a heck of a time waking him up when we finally got to New Hope. He really didn’t want to join the land of the living.
Getting there early to set up and address any last minute issues and get our bearings straight helps to reduce stress. I try to practice such behavior whenever possible, teaching Kyle the same lesson, after all I had my car packed and ready to go by Wednesday. The one thing about the scavenger hunt events, almost everything needs to be done prior to, at least all the hard leg work. So come the day of the event, it’s enjoyable not only for the participants, but also for us.
Usually Kyle stays with me, helps with registration, taking pictures and addressing questions, but alas this particular scavenger hunt I needed Kyle to pass out a prize at a participating business. Did he mind? Not really, he doesn’t prefer to be by himself, but he loves being needed and helping out.
Part of my business model with the Thrill of the Hunt Events, is to help local communities and businesses by bringing the customer directly to their storefront, driving direct traffic. There is more to the Thrill Sponsorship Program, but that’s how it came to be and the basic idea. Well, I did have a local business who wanted to participate, but was unable to have dogs in their store. They also didn’t have the staff on a Saturday to have someone stationed outside of their facility passing out prizes. Problem solved, Kyle. Normally, I wouldn’t have offered his service, but I’ve done this event already and I was an old hand at it. So if I could help out, then I will, and I did. Plus the business owner gave coupons for the participants’ goodie bags and branded them Thrill of the Hunt. They too were trying to promote my company. Now that’s working together!
So my little man and I were separated for the better part of the scavenger hunt. He was cracking me up while he was sitting on his little perch outside the storefront. He was passing out flyers promoting the Dog Gone! Scavenger Hunt to any late comers. Brilliant! He even took one for the team.
Apparently, as per Kyle, he was trying to hand out a flyer to someone walking their dog and saw a few more dog owners walk past him. He changed his mind and made an about face to approach the other set of dog walkers and splattered on the ground! What? Yep! I saw the bark removed from his leg. When he came to me later on in the day, he explained his story and showed me his minor scrapes on the knee and hands. He did so without drama and without complete agony, very unlike Kyle. To be honest, as soon as he told me his story, I busted out laughing. Without controlling my laughter, Kyle joined in and proceeded to tell me that he had no idea what made him fall. He didn’t trip, he just fell. Boy does he remind me of Nicole! He said, “I bet everyone that saw me wondered why I fell!” I bet!
Anyway, while he was sitting there, I did receive several phone calls from Kyle. He was keeping me updated on who stopped by and the new recruits he was sending my way. Once he called me to tell me, “I got lonely so I called Gigi.” What a stinker! I said, “O that’s good buddy, I bet Gigi wanted to hear from you. I bet you made her day. Did you tell her how things were going?” He did and he gave me a report on Storm.
You see, the day before Storm, my cat wanted out. No problem, except she didn’t come back in before dark, which she usually does when called. No Storm by the time we left, no Storm by the time dad got up at 5:00 am and no Storm when I called in around 9:00 am. Now that made me nervous. It seems like every time we have a Dog Gone! Scavenger Hunt, we have family pet issues. Dog Gone! Irony Storm did eventually come back unscathed and ready to sleep the rest of the day. No worries.
While manning his post, Kyle received a call from my sister who was checking in. I guess, it was not a good time, because Kyle told Nicole, “I gotta go Aunt Nikki, I have customers.” That’s my boy! Priorities! Laughing, Nicole called me to inform me of what just went down. We both found it humorous and I found it inspirational.
Throughout the day Kyle did pull out his iPod to play games and he couldn’t stand at the registration table passing out flyers and answering onlookers’ questions for too long, but after all he is only twelve. But he did try his best.
At the conclusion of the scavenger hunt, a few of the participants came up to me, not knowing he was my nephew, and commented on how helpful and professional “the little boy” was during the event. He was given kudos from many, even from a few of the businesses that met him. Kyle is getting accustomed to shaking hands, using his manners and speaking directly and speaking business. What a great leader and an impressive youngster! Thank you for all your efforts buddy! They are certainly noticed and appreciated by all.
On a side note, on the way back it was pretty uneventful. Kyle slept and slept and slept and slept all the way up till about hour from home. Once he did wake up he was back to being a kid again, asking me when we were going to arrive, over and over again. I told him, “Just go back to sleep.” Once we arrived at my parents house, which was closer and lets’ face it they really missed our little man, Kyle was wide awake and ready for a late night snack. Me? I was ready for the pillow. After all I was going on nearly twenty hours without sleep. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Can’t wait for the next scavenger hunt this Saturday, Discovering Greensburg sponsored by Seton Hill University.