Friday, July 28, 2006
A Challenge: Now you see me, now you don’t
The recent talk about lost boxes combined with my own thrill at finding Fox Fyr’s downtown mystery got me thinking about “camouflaged” boxes. There is a sub-specialty in letterboxing in which people craft boxes with such cunning they can hide them practically in the middle of the road.
I’m leaving Mid Missouri for a few months to teach in our program in London. Tough duty, but someone has to do it. So before I go, I thought I would throw a challenge to you (and even offer a special prize).
Season of the Unseen
This contest will run from now until Dec. 30, 2006. The prize will be hand-crafted box for your letterboxing supplies. You can look here for a sample of the other boxes I have made.
The aim is to develop the skills that conceal our letterboxes from all but those who have the clues. Boxes will be hidden in heavily frequented places and as we are still learning this art, may indeed be stolen. The key to success will not only entail camouflage, but clues that only a real letterboxer can break and clear instructions on how to retrieve and replace the box with stealth.
Here are the rules:
--All boxes must be placed by Sept. 1 to take advantage of the fall boxing season. But no one will argue if you fudge a little.
-- All boxes must be placed within 10 feet of a trail, pathway or thoroughfare. That doesn’t necessarily mean a hiking trail – it could be a sidewalk, parking lot or even a very public building. Just somewhere where the untutored might stumble upon it.
-- At least 7 people per week must pass the letterbox. The more the merrier. The intent is to test your hiding skills.
-- The box, its covering or camouflage must be visible from the trail (no hiding behind a tree or other barrier). It could be under a rock, etc, but not in a place that you would have to leave the pathway to retrieve it. Again, the intent is to hide the box in the most obvious place possible.
-- Boxes can be camouflaged in any way including outer boxes, fake rocks, camo paint, Klingon cloaking devices, invisibility cloaks, etc.
-- All boxes must be listed on LBNA. Mention something about the contest in your clues. All finders should log their finds.
-- All placers must assume that there is a reasonable chance that box will be stolen or vandalized in the period of the contest. Don’t get so attached to your stamp that you cry when it is gone. Push the envelope – or the box.
-- Take a picture of your box and a picture of its setting in case the above happens.
-- If you lose a box, post a note to the Mid Missouri Letterboxers site.
Of course, the main criterion for judging is that the box survived the test period. But you also get credit for the size of the box, the actual amount of activity on the trail and the creativity of the camo job. Chutzpah and daring will pay. We will vote on the winner at our winter gathering.