Just try to find a stranger scavenger hunt than this

If you were going to start a cult and advertise it in your local newspaper, what kind of cult would it be?

That’s what Eve Brown-Waite of Deerfield had to decide when she joined this year’s GISHWHES competition with several others from Franklin County.

GISHWHES, or The Greatest International (7-day) Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen, began on Sunday and will conclude today. Brown-Waite, along with three Greenfield women, Marcy Gregoire, Reba Rasbury and Lilly DeViolet, has been running around all week trying to finish multiple tasks, including writing an advertisement asking people to join her cult.

“Join the Eternal Optimists,” the ad begins. It concludes with, “Guaranteed passage to Heaven for the first 12 people who join.”

The ad promises anyone who joins will be part of the “in” crowd, and says joining is risk-free, all natural and totally organic.

“Silly,” said local author Brown-Waite, 51. “It’s a combination of having to do nonsensical things and sweet deeds.”

She said she had to make an instructional video on how to repair a damaged marriage using bubble gum, a stapler, canned peas, dental floss and a hair dryer.

Her sweet deed was to photograph herself giving someone a hug. The photo will be included in a large online photo album.

GISHWHES claims it will be the largest online photo album of people hugging to date. The current record is 69,004 hug photos.

GISHWHES was created by American actor Misha Collins, who attended Greenfield Center School and graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School in 1992. Collins is best known for his role as the angel, Castiel, on the television series Supernatural (2005).

GISHWHES has broken several Guinness world records, including the largest scavenger hunt ever and the most pledges to perform random acts of kindness.

Brown-Waite, Gregoire, Rasbury and DeViolet are part of a 15-member team. The rest of their team are in California, New York, Kentucky, Indiana and elsewhere.

I got the hug.

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