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See DC Like Never Before!

Camp Nai Nai Nai and Sixth & I are teaming up for an ‘Uncover DC Scavenger Hunt.’ Clues and ridiculous tasks await all daring individuals as you uncover DC treasures. Using a mobile app, teams will traverse Chinatown and explore Jewish history, art, and culture in our beloved metro scene. Come with your friends and a ready-made team or be adventurous and join a team of new friends when you arrive. P.S. This scavenger hunt uses a super cool app developed in Berlin, no pieces of paper and markers needed!

Expect the Unexpected!

via GIPHY

Random acts of kindness? Yup! Food from a country you’ve never visited? Yup! Jewish Deli in DC? YUM and most definitely yup!

Wrestle with clues, discover historical sites, and compete in absurd team challenges!

Ever invented an odd job and tried to get paid for it? How about cheering on strangers for simply crossing the street? As you venture through Chinatown, we promise to show you a side of DC rarely explored!

What will YOU find?

Do you like puzzles and logic games? Do you like to dance in the streets like nobody’s watching? Synagogues become churches…and back again? Uhhh, yup! Several synagogues in DC have become churches over the decades and some have even come back to the tribe. We promise you will see the same streets you walk every day in a brand new light.

Camp Nai Nai Nai & Sixth & I believe that Jewish ritual and culture should be vibrant, relevant, and exciting. We don’t know how many clues you’ll solve, but we do know that you’ll find  a group of people who enjoy spending time together in this beautiful city of ours. “Uncover DC” is an opportunity to meet fun new people and become a part of a brand new community.

via GIPHY

$$$, SWAG for the Winners

Why do this? First of all, everyone that shows up will get a Sixth & I tote bag, and we ALL need more tote bags for walks home from Trader Joe’s! Second, it will be a guaranteed raucous good time. Third, the winners will get exclusive and fabulous Camp Nai Nai Nai swag and 50% off registration for Camp Nai Nai Nai.

 

Camp Nai Nai Nai is a Jewish Summer camp for adults, taking place over Memorial Day weekend, May 25 – 28, 2018, in Waynesboro, PA (1.5 hours from DC). Camp Nai Nai Nai gives you a chance to relive the curious and courageous days of youth through spirited song sessions, creative play-shops (there’s no work at camp), color wars, festive meals, and more. This inclusive and pluralistic weekend getaway is your canvas to connect with new and old friends and recharge your city-worn spirit. Camp busses will be leaving from DC, and we would love to see you all there!

 

RSVP and Invite Friends on Facebook

Sign up for the Uncover DC Scavenger Hunt

Sign up for Camp Nai Nai Nai

Check out Sixth & I

 

The above is a sponsored blog post. The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

DC: The Game

GTJ had a chance to speak with Avi Millman, the co-founder of Stray Boots and creator of a series of DC: The Game. This is one of the latest in a series of city-specific cell-phone scavenger hunts designed to familiar users with locations and fun facts of a new area.

Avi and the Millman family, on the Rome trip that started it all...

You call your project a twist on the original scavenger hunt. Can you explain this?

Yes, we’re actually calling them interactive tours now, since that’s really what they’re more about. The reason we called them a twist on the original scavenger hunt was that a) you’re not collecting things b) it’s all text-message guided rather than on paper and c) most importantly, we provide fun facts about the area as you go, so you learn while you do it all, which makes the whole experience much more than a scavenger hunt.

How much is it/can it be tailored to individual interests?

We actually don’t tailor our tours or scavenger hunts, but each one definitely has a unique flavor. We’ve built each one a bit differently so it highlights what it is about that particular area that makes it unique. When you’re doing a Georgetown Tour it’s centered around the history, but also the shopping culture that’s grown there. The Smithsonian, as the title suggests, is all about the Art, while Penn Quarter is an eclectic mix of history and pop culture.

What was the inspiration behind Stray Boots?

I was on a trip with my parents and sister to Italy in the summer of 2008, exactly 3 years ago, actually. We were visiting all of these amazing sites-the Coliseum, The Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain-and while i was nose-deep in my guidebook, I realized that the whole thing felt a lot like a scavenger hunt. There was this long list of things we were “supposed to” do there, and we were going down one by one checking them off. That got me thinking, couldn’t exploring a city independently be a lot more fun if you turned it into a game (an intelligent game).

How do you determine which sites/attractions/city facts are featured in your game?

It’s a combination of research and really pounding the pavement. We do a lot of research up front on each area, the history, the coolest sights, and most popular, interesting spots. We ask a lot of locals for their input as well via our network of family, friends, and customers. Then I visit the area and spend, quite literally, days walking up and down its streets. Delving into nooks and crannies and finding interesting things to feature, whether it’s bizarre shops, cool murals, obscure plaques, or the like. The best things along the tours tend to be the things that you can’t really find online, the stuff that you can only find by walking the streets time and again and looking for oddities.

Completing challenges correctly earns one points.  Are these just for keeping score or are there other benefits to winning?

If you play with just one group, the points are just for keeping score against yourself. We tell you the total potential number. It’s interesting that people actually get really competitive to get everything right. If you want to split up into multiple teams and make the tour into a little competition, the points will tell you who won. This is great for larger groups like birthdays or some of the other types of clients we get like corporate team-building groups, tour groups, and student field-trips and orientations.

We’re so excited you guys have included DC in your expanded list of cities!  How do you decide which cities are cool enough to get your attention?

Great question. We’ve identified what we consider to be the largest markets for our concept based on population, tourism, and general “walkability” of the city. We’re still old-fashioned New Yorkers, and that means we love to walk. We also think our product is suited to walking more so than driving or biking. That’s why we’ve opted to go with cities where you can go by foot (Philly, DC, Seattle, Portland) over some larger cities that tend to favor driving (Dallas, Atlanta). Geography and seasonality have also played a small factor (launching cold weather cities during the spring and summer, with warm weather places in fall and winter). But we plan to expand to even the big driving towns soon. There’s no reason a Stray Boots tour can’t be everywhere.

I see that you have branched out beyond the scavenger hunt cell phone game and now do events (bachelorette parties, team-building events, etc).  Can you talk more about that? Is that only available for New Yorkers or for all cities where your company features games?

Since almost the moment we started, we had customers who played on their own, and then loved the experience so much, that they wanted to share the experience with others, be it their coworkers during company outings, or their best friend for her bachelorette party. We began to get loads of requests for these types of events, and developed products suited to each. What we’ve found is that there’s a huge market in every city we go to for these sorts of events. In cities other than NYC, we offer what we call “self-start” options for these events, which allow customers to print out instructions we email them, and get started on their own. It’s super-simple and allows us to offer an amazing experience at a fraction of the price of our competition. Throughout the events we provide customer support by phone, which even if we sent someone to the event would be the same type of support since they’re wandering around the city anyway. The feedback we’ve gotten in every location has been nothing but top-notch.

You started this is 2009 and have gotten your sister involved, also. (Awesome.)  How big is Stray Boots? What’s the company structure?  What does the expansion of the game to other cities mean for this?

Noemi has always helped out a lot with Stray Boots, but with a small infusion of capital we received over the winter we were able to hire her on full time. Noemi acutally built our entire technology platform and website from scratch and was only the third full-time employee after myself and my co-founder Scott.  Customers always think we have a team of engineers here, but it’s really a small operation. We’ve recently hired a Head of Marketing as our fourth, since we decided that relying solely on word of mouth was not a great marketing strategy. Given our rapid expansion, we’re anticipating hiring on many more people soon. In fact, we’ve already got two job postings out for an event coordinator and a mobile application developer. In addition to us full time folks, we’ve also gotten excellent contributions from a number of part time interns who have played an integral role in Stray Boots’ development. They’ve been a tremendous asset and have learned a lot about business in the process. We’re always looking for more interns, in case anyone reading this is interested in getting great hands-on experience.

Can DC residents get in touch with you guys with suggestions or additions to the sites/attractions/fun facts for the DC version? If so, how?

Absolutely. We love that. The more feedback we get from customers and potential customers, the better we can make the experience for everybody. Definitely no hubris here.  The easiest thing to do is email us at DC@strayboots.com if it’s DC-related or more generally at info@strayboots.com. We love to hear from everyone!

MR. YOGATO BIRTHDAY SCAVENGER HUNT

Mr. Yogato is turning three years old this Saturday (June 25)…yay!!!  In celebration, Yogato is hosting a free scavenger hunt from 7 – 9 pm. Registration opens at 6:30 and recommended team size is 3-5 people.  FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE HERE.

Why is this relevant to the GTJ website?  It is a little-known fact that the debonair Stephen Rishay (editor’s note:  Richer), a GTJ co-founder, is the only unpaid intern in Yogato history, while the vivacious Noa Levanon, co-editor of the GTJ blog, is part of the exclusive Mr. Yogato 30-Day-Champion club.  Thus, there is a clear (i.e. tenuous) connection between GTJ and Yogato.  With that, here are the top 10 reasons to attend:

1.      The clues are reeeallllyyy fun and involve doing very goofy things…one of said clues might involve a dreidel!

2.      The prizes are amazing, including prize-packs from SpaceX (put an object into a space capsule plus merchandise), Tesla Motors (VIP pack including 4 test drives and merchandise), and Mr. Yogato (we will name a a flavor or combo after a team-member, plus merchandise)!

3.      After the Hunt, there will be an a cappella concert!

4.      There will be free whoopie pies for all contestants (thanks to Berkeley at Whoopsies)

5.      There will be free Capri Sun for all contestants!

6.      Drink specials at local bars following the party for all contestants

7.      It is free!

8.      See addendum below*

9.      See addendum below*

10.  See addendum below*

We are really excited to reach our 3-year birthday and hope to see you there!

*Reasons 8 to 10 have been omitted because I just received an email from Noa Levanon harshly scolding me about missing my deadline for this blog entry.  Thus, I must submit before finishing and hereby retract my earlier compliment about her vivaciousness.

Editor’s note 1:  Steve Davis — the author of this article, and the owner of Mr. Yogato — is a former Jewish guy of the Week and finished first in Round One of Jewish Guy of the Year).

Editor’s note 2:  Since Steve is too lazy to finish out the ten, I’ll try three of my own:

8.  Get in touch with our ancestors by wandering around for a while (hopefully not 40 years… and Dupont is no desert…)

9.  Because a very high percentage of Jews are lactose intolerant, and Mr. Yogato is one of the few yogurt stores in the city to offer free Lactaid pills.

10.  Because the next Afikomen Scavenger Hunt is only 10 months away!  Time to get training!

WaPo Scavenger Hunt! This Sunday

Start your engines!  …  and your creative thinking powers … because it’s time for  The Annual Washington Post Scavenger Hunt.

I played last  year… and got walloped.  The riddles and puzzles are hard, and the competition is intense — a couple thousand people play.

But now that I’ve got a sense of it, I’m “in it to win it.”

The Hunt is this Sunday.  Starts at noon.  Click here for official site.

And if you’re looking for a team to join, go to this facebook to link up with JNet VA and their band of hunters.