By Don Rush
Who doesn’t like the adventure of a treasure hunt? Members of the Oxford and Lake Orion downtown development authorities think many people do and have made April the month for such adventure. Starting Saturday and going for the entire month, visitors to the downtown can look for clues and rubber stamps at various businesses and locations.
“It’s called Letterboxing and it’s something that’s fun for the family,” said Oxford DDA Executive Director Kelly Westbrook. “It’s like a treasure hunt or geo-caching. You go online to find a clue, then you come to town to find the treasure – a box that has a rubber stamp.”
You find clues, she said, by going to the website AtlasQuest.com. You will need to create a “trail name” to play along. Once you find the letterbox, you open it up, then, using your rubber stamp, stamp their logbook, then stamp your own logbook. If you don’t have a rubber stamp and ink pad, just sign your name with a pen.
According to the AtlasQuest website, “Letterboxing combines artistic ability with ‘treasure-hunting’ in parks and forests that the whole family can enjoy. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by following clues to their prize: a rubber stamp—often hand-carved—to stamp into one’s own personal logbook.”
Each week a $10 gift certificate will be hidden in a random box on a random day. “If you see it in the box, it is yours,” Westbrook said.
Between the two towns, there will be about 20 letterboxes hidden.
Lake Orion resident Theresa Rutt hand-carved rubber stamps for both Oxford and Lake Orion DDAs. Oxford had two stamps representing the downtown business district and the original electric trolley in Oxford, the Flint Limited. For Lake Orion she carved a historic Lake Orion Police car and the entrance to the amusement park that was on Lake Orion. “And two ‘bonus’ stamps,” said Lake Orion DDA Executive Director Molly LaLone, “The Lake Orion Dragon and the Oxford Wildcat.”
“The trolley between Oxford and Lake Orion will be running Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 3 to 9 p.m. This is a fun scavenger hunt type of activity, so we hope to see you out and about,” Westbrook said.
Westbrook said this is the second year both DDAs have worked together on the Letterbox program.