Pot of gold to beat blues

Finlay searches high and low with his treasure map. 248738_07 Picture: Stewert Chambers

Renee Wood

Healesville families are escaping the lockdown lows through their daily exercise, exercising their bodies and minds by joining a treasure hunt.

A local family has been luring out remote learning pirates by drawing maps that lead to a lollies chest and story book, creating different trails each day.

Madeline Ruffino and her three children, Finlay, Scout and Marlon Schneider, wanted to do something special for locals during a difficult time for all.

“We thought that it would be a great idea to just get all of their friends in on a treasure hunt, to feel like they can do it together, even though they’re separate,” Madeline said.

It’s the second treasure hunt they’ve produced this year in Healesville.

“My friends are struggling with homeschooling…so I just wanted to give them something during the day to get them out, like we do daily.

“I thought, if it could help us, it might be able to help them as well.”

Sum 86 children have been joining the daily hunt to search for the pot of gold since.

Healesville resident Hannah Watson and her family are part of the hunt.

“In the last week I have been to places that I didn’t know existed in Healesville. Really beautiful places breathe taking scenery and lovely walks.” Hannah said.

But for the families, there’s no denying the biggest treasure of all – the opportunity to imagine there’s no pandemic.

“It’s something to look forward to; I mean with the playground closing there’s nothing for them to do,” Hannah said.

“It takes a normal walk that you would take your children on and it just adds excitement and fun to it, which is what the kids need at this time, something exciting to brighten up their day.”

Innocent Bystander is also sponsoring all of the children for this challenge, offering them all a kid’s meal voucher for when restaurants open again.

“It’s fantastic and they’re all about community there,” Madeline said.