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Seek and Ye Shall Find: A Case for the 4th of July Scavenger Hunt

I don't have a favorite color or song, movie, athlete, saint or Springsteen album (no wait, I do. I'm a River girl, but Darkness on the Edge of Town is my #1). Instead, I create prized groupings e.g. my three favorite foods, five greats in sports, two best duos in all of music. I do however have a favorite holiday: the 4th of July. I love summer, birthday parties and the idea of America. USA! 

Like anything we love, we make time to honor and celebrate the occasion accordingly and appropriately. For me, that means kick starting the day with a parade. And the purpose of this post is to help you enjoy the best way to start this red, white and blue feast day in a new way— with a fun activity for you, your family and friends: the Sports and Spirituality Scavenger Hunt.

I first attended the Kiwanis Danville 4th of July parade when I was in high school and have only missed a few ever since. As noted on their website, "The parade attracts 30,000-40,000 spectators each year and is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate America's birth." I love the ritual of putting chairs out the night before on Hartz Avenue, planning what to wear, looking forward to who and what I will see, hear, taste, and smell. The 4th of July parade costs nothing and is a wonderful way to come together. Thank you, Danville. Thank you, Kiwanis!

No parade is ever the same. While I see many of the same families and friends from year to year, there are always surprises. For example, Clorox is a company whose headquarters are in Oakland, a city not far from Danville. Almost 10 years ago, they had a float promoting one of their products, Kingsford charcoal. This featured a life sized grill and inside was a woman singing "This grill is on fire," a play on Alicia Keys' hit song. Sing it, Clorox! Nice job on the advertising!

Furthermore, a friend and I began to notice how many Americans wear basketball jerseys to the parade. I asked him "What possessed that guy to get up this morning and say I'm going James Worthy today. I mean, part of me gets it—Worthy is a legend but this is not Laker country. There's no patriotic connection to that look." We started to look at what else others were wearing—high school football jerseys, not enough Notre Dame, Uncle Sam hats and even a Bush/Quayle '88 shirt. From year to year, we noticed that certain patterns and/or people emerged—there's always someone on stilts, another is dressed as Rosie the Riveter and Olympics gear never goes out of style (sometimes, the uglier it gets, the better it is!) 
With my nieces in tow, I decided these observations needed to be systematized. And, as a teacher I knew the way to do that: the Scavenger Hunt. 

I found that the parade has a fair bit of downtime. Sometimes floats, cars and horses stall. I figured why not take advantage of our time together to seek and find. I created a list of likely 4th of July items to check off, but there's a twist. This scavenger hunt is sports and spirituality style. Why not give this a go with the way both connect to this national holiday.

In creating a scavenger hunt, a sports and spirituality checklist, I found that my nieces and I paid better attention to what is on display and around us. It's fun to check off an item . Each one pertains to either the holiday, to sports or to spirituality. A pretty good trinity if you ask me. 

ORDER HERE: Excited to share: 4th of July Scavenger Hunt: Sports and Spirituality Style!  #independenceday #blue #scavengerhunt #4thofjuly #parade #sports #spirituality #faith

Matthew's Gospel reminds us, "seek and ye shall find." I need to be reminded of these words as I am easily distracted. I take my eye off the ball. I lose sight of the (bigger) picture. "Seeking" is a spiritual discipline worth practicing. Here's one way to start...Happy 247th birthday, America!
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