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Ontario Church Members Hunt for Church History

Teammates received their “Top Secret envelopes” April 7, 2024, to kick off Hunt75.

Members of Clinton (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church went on a history hunt in April, discovering interesting things about their congregation’s past as they participated in Hunt75, one of many 75th-anniversary events designed to help the congregation be “Rooted in Faith, Growing in Hope, and Serving in Love.”

Angela Kaptein and Ann Reinink, working together as the anniversary team, designed a year-long list of ways to celebrate, including the hunt as a Rooted in Faith event, a Coffee House-style worship service as a Growing in Hope event, and a free hotdog supper for Clinton Minor Soccer families as a Serving in Love event.

On the hunt, 16 intergenerational teams of at least four people each were given a “Top Secret envelope” with instructions after church April 7, and sometime before April 18 the teams were expected to submit answers to historical trivia questions hidden at nine locations throughout several small towns in the local area.

Kaptein serves on Clinton CRC’s worship team and helped to set up the church’s website a few years ago. She developed the tech part of Hunt75, using QR codes and the website’s form capabilities to capture the teams’ answers. A list of Google Maps Code Plus codes in the Top Secret envelope directed participants to where they needed to go.

“It’s not a race but a time to learn more about our church’s history,” Kaptein said. She said determining where to send the hunters “was mostly figuring out how far we wanted the people to travel and picking locations that would hold some information that teams might not know or remember. With 75 years of information to work with, it was relatively easy to find the info we wanted.”

Kaptein noted that “since the QR codes are in public spaces—with permission—and passers-by could scan the codes as well to see what they’re about,” Hunt75 could also be a way of sharing the church’s story with the community.

While the hunt wasn’t a race, it concluded with a pizza party wrap-up, conferring prizes on two teams selected by an online picker wheel.

Kaptein said she enjoyed seeing the teams have fun together and watching participants progress through the hidden locations. “One team completed the HUNT on the first day! They even created team shirts!,” she told The Banner in an email. “I’ve got to say that it’s pretty fun to watch the responses come in our forms when the teams find the QR codes and answer the questions.”

Clinton CRC was instituted Nov.19, 1949. It’s part of Classis Huron.

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