Have you ever seen a nun giddily flying down a water slide? Or how about a tea party hosted in a junk yard? Or a dinosaur made entirely out of sanitary napkins?
If your a normal person, you’ve probably never seen any of those things. But if you’re one of the lucky few that has ever participated in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, you’ve definitely seen all of those and probably a lot more.
Each year, GISHWHES, a global scavenger hunt hosted annually by “Supernatural” star Misha Collins, donates tens of thousands of dollars to the charity Random Acts and commits thousands of charitable actions around the world … while simultaneously breaking multiple Guinness World Records. The hunt returns again this year from August 2-9, so Zap2it got Collins on the line to talk all things GISHWHES, including special celebrity participants this year that Collins doesn’t have quite a lot of faith in.
Zap2it: You’re about to embark on your fourth year of the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen —
Misha Collins: That was a very clever way of trying to get out of trying to say the acronym.
[laughs] I tried to slip that one by you! Okay, it’s your fourth year of … GISHWHES?
There you go!
Have you changed anything about this year’s hunt to make it bigger or better in any way?
Oh god, you’re throwing down the gauntlet already, aren’t you? I think we’re on track to have it be slightly bigger than ever before, in the sense that there are more people participating. And we have some heavy hitting celebrities who are participating which has never happened before. And I might add, un-recruited. William Shatner is throwing his hat into the ring and is trying to win the scavenger hunt. So that’s bigger in a way. And this year, it’s our ambition to break more Guinness World Records than we have broken in previous years.
How is William Shatner’s participation going to affect the other, non-celebrity teams participating?
Well, probably not at all. [laughs] I have a feeling that the Shatner team is not going to win because it takes a tremendous amount of hard work and devotion to win the scavenger hunt, and I have a feeling that Shatner’s not quite aware of that. But in the event that he does win, I wanted a level playing field and didn’t want people to be discouraged if they’re competing against big wigs like Shatner or Orlando Jones, so I have set it up so that if a team with a big name celebrity on it wins, then the runner-up team is also going to be designated a winner. In that event, the winning two teams will win the prize.
That sounds fair. What is the prize for this year?
The winning team or two teams will be brought to an island in Croatia for the winning team trip. Every year we do a big trip for the winners. The first year was Rome, the second year was Scotland and the third year was an island off British Columbia. This year it’s going to be Croatia. What I do is I choose locations that I want to go to, so it’s really in large part a selfish endeavor.
What has it been like going on these big trips with the winning teams?
It’s been quite fun. The teams that have won thus far are all these people who are really smart, really energetic and really fun. They have a certain joie de vivre. And I think that’s why they have won. Last year, the winning team just had some really fascinating, really cool people on it. I had a great time, sitting around talking with them, picking their brains. Also it’s exciting to see this group of people who are so dedicated that they won, because the process of participating in the hunt and winning takes so much energy, it’s like being in the trenches together and becoming a veteran of some horrible war. When they come out the other side of it and win, they’re just so elated that it’s a pleasure to be around.
Do you have any advice for people participating in this year’s hunt?
I would say have fun and surprise yourself. I think that a lot of people go into it with a bit of trepidation, like, “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to approach strangers on the street, or craft clothing out of food products,” or whatever other weird things I have them do. So I hope that people really let themselves really get into it and surprise themselves with how much they actually can do and expand their horizons a little bit. So let go of your expectations of what it is that you think you can do and open yourself to the possibility that you can be much more. How about that for a long-winded piece of advice?
I’d say that’s some pretty great advice.
And one more thing about GISHWHES that’s pertinent, the registration for the hunt is going to be open until Sunday (July 27). So if people still want to register, they can!
You can register for this year’s GISHWHES here.