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Safari Quest is the latest Elmira scavenger hunt

With kids on break from school what better way to keep them occupied through the day than by taking them on a safari through Elmira? Scavenger hunt enthusiast Lori Burmaster Zenker is treating the town to its third puzzle quest, launching Safari Quest last Sunday just in time for April Break.

Zenker says this quest was “very last-minute,” coming up with the idea after finding some useful items while doing a bit of spring cleaning.

“I’ll just say we were cleaning out a storage room at my husband’s church, and there were all these giant stuffed animals – like huge things that you’d win at a fair kind of thing. And so, I just thought if I put one of these giant stuffed animals at every location, then it’s kind of like the hunt. They [have] got to go [and] guess what animals they are supposed to find and then they go look for that animal at each spot. So that was that idea, I get ideas all the time for them but this one just happened to go quickly,” said Zenker. “I just woke up one morning and went ‘oh no it’s [April] Break coming up, so I’ll just do one really quick.’ So, really this one is very simple, there’s only like eight clues, [and] it’s really good for little kids.”

The hunt is expected to take around 20 minutes to complete. The first clue for the Safari Quest is below.

We can jump very high and love to eat bugs. The sound we make is a croak. Can you guess what we are? See if you can find us at the Ann Street park.

HINT- NOT the riding toy frog!

Her last scavenger hunt – the Elmira Christmas Quest – was created in partnership with DJ Carroll and was a big hit in the town, taking families out of their homes over the holiday break in December.

No stranger to these types of events, Zenker says she is always thinking about the next great hunt.

“I’ve done a lot of these kinds of hunts for a long time in different places. Some of the [ideas] I had for the Elmira one [involved] maybe going around and finding and identifying different kinds of trees – that would be more educational, guessing what kind of trees and what kind of animals might live in there. DJ and I have [also] been talking about it for a long time about how could we do like a mystery kind of thing… but we have not been able to coordinate that one,” she added.

One opportunity she thinks she missed out on was having an event coincide with the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival. She says she was not able to find anything similar to an item she really wanted and opted not to run with the idea.

Moving forward, Zenker wants to continue bringing hunts to Elmira for residents to enjoy. In order to keep the fun going, Zenker asks anyone with an interesting item to consider donating them to her so she can use them in her next themed scavenger hunt.

“If anybody has any interesting things that I can borrow for the hunt, that’d be amazing. If somebody had something neat like, my son has this giant sort of orange dinosaur that he won at a fair, and I really want to use it for a hunt, but he won’t let me. So, if anybody has anything cool that I can use that’d be really great.”

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