Leadership RI Statewide Scavenger Hunt Set for August 24 and 25

This year’s event brings new locations and an app with AR clues


hether you’re a life-long Rhode Islander, a new neighbor, or just visiting, Leadership Rhode Island’s annual Statewide Scavenger Hunt (SWSH) will have you searching for clues in places you’ve never thought to go hunting. Now in its fourth year, the endeavor invites teams of one to five people to explore more than 100 unique locations across the state. With each clue, teams uncover lesser-known history and culture, plus earn chances to win prizes.

“We created SWSH in 2020 during the pandemic as a way for folks to connect and explore the state in a safe and fun way,” says Chris Donovan, director of communications and events at Leadership Rhode Island, the host organization. “In the midst of a really isolating time, we had to imagine a creative way to foster a sense of belonging and pride in our Rhode Island community.” The first year was a success and has continued to grow each year since.

At the start of the hunt, teams are equipped with a swag bag, team mascot, illustrated map of the state, and most importantly, the RI SWSH app. In addition to directing teams to real-world locations, the app amplifies certain things with hidden augmented reality (AR) clues; for example, if you set out to find a mural and view it through the app, you see it being painted before your eyes.

With official gameplay taking place over two days, teams are invited to participate for as long or as little as they wish. And with multiple ways to win, there are opportunities to earn prizes for dabblers and game enthusiasts alike. A closing party held at Innovation District Park is an opportunity for explorers to enjoy live music, celebrate with other teams, and claim prizes.

Since its inception in 2020, more than 1,000 players – spanning ages five to 70 – have participated. Each year, the hunt has featured more than 100 clues and locations, with more than half of the clues updated each year. As one explorer

noted, “I’m often told that I know more about RI than folks who have lived here their whole lives, and yet I found lots of delightful things that I plan to return to and explore more of.”

New clues and locations can be largely attributed to the SWSH Creative Partners, who work to ensure RI’s history and cultures are showcased from broad and diverse perspectives. Last year, Creative Partners included Downtown Woonsocket Collaborative, Providence Cultural Equity Initiative, Providence Tour Company, Rhode Island Slave History Medallion Project, and Weird Island Podcast (get ready for unique audio clues!). SWSH is excited to have The Avenue Concept, RI Latino Arts, and the RI Historical Society join the conversation for this next hunt. Thanks to the RI Chamber of Commerce, SWSH will also introduce a new custom app featuring a selection of AR experiences available year-round. Register yourself or a team at LeadershipRI.org/RISWSH



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