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Tom Farrell, marketing and public relations intern for the Oak Lawn Park District, shows a QR code for the Oak Lawn Park District's Summer Scavenger Hunt at Lawn Manor Park, 10800 S. Kostner Ave., Oak Lawn, on Saturday, July 10. (Photo by Kelly White)

Tom Farrell, marketing and public relations intern for the Oak Lawn Park District, shows a QR code for the Oak Lawn Park District's Summer Scavenger Hunt at Lawn Manor Park, 10800 S. Kostner Ave., Oak Lawn, on Saturday, July 10. (Photo by Kelly White)

Oak Lawn Park District’s Summer Olympics Scavenger Hunt

By Kelly White

The Oak Lawn Park District is encouraging families to get outdoors together this summer.

In celebration of the Summer Olympics, along with Illinois Park & Recreation Association’s Unplug Illinois Day, the Oak Lawn Park District offered an outdoor Olympic-themed scavenger hunt.

Unplug Illinois Day is held annually, this year on Saturday, July 10. The purpose of the day is to get people throughout Illinois to ditch their electronic devices and plugged into fun and activities at local park and recreation agencies.

“It communicates how parks deliver value in people’s lives and communities, parks provide healthier, sustainable communities, and play provides benefits to all,” Denise Iwinski, Marketing and Public Relations Supervisor at the Oak Lawn Park District, said.

The Oak Lawn Park District’s Summer Olympics Scavenger Hunt served as just that for the local community. The free event took place from Friday, July 9, through Sunday, July 11.

Participants, at their own leisure, were challenged to find clues hidden within Oak Lawn Park District’s many parks and to answer Summer Olympics trivia questions to solve an Olympic Rings mystery.

This is the first time that the Oak Lawn Park District is hosting a Summer Olympics Scavenger Hunt. In year’s past, the Oak Lawn Park District has held scavenger hunts, but this is the first time it is Summer Olympics themed and park district officials said they are hoping to have the unique event become an annual tradition.

“With the Summer Olympics being rescheduled to this year, we wanted to offer an event that ties in the fun and excitement that this occasion brings,” Tom Farrell, marketing and public relations intern for the Oak Lawn Park District, said.

In order to play, participants had to find an Olympic ring associated with five of Oak Lawn’s parks. Participants had to match each Olympic ring color to its designated park by following the directions on a premade clue sheet that was given out through the park district.

Each clue led participants to a hidden QR code in a specific park. A QR code, or quick response code, is a barcode that can be scanned electronically with a smartphone. Once the QR code was located and scanned, participants were then prompted to answer a Summer Olympic trivia question correctly to reveal the Olympic ring color associated with that park. Steps were repeated until each ring color on the clue sheet was filled in.

In total, everyone who played had to visit five different parks, find five different QR codes, and answer five different Summer Olympic trivia questions.

“The Summer Olympics Scavenger Hunt is the perfect event for the entire family to enjoy and participate in,” Farrell said. “This event also promotes Illinois Park & Recreation Association’s Unplug Illinois Day which encourages families to get outside together and have fun while not being on technology. Unplugging from technology is important for everyone’s health, physically and mentally. Being outdoors and unplugging from technology can also help create stronger connections with friends and family.”

Completed Scavenger Hunt packets can be submitted to the Community Pavilion, 9401 S. Oak Park Ave., by Friday, July 23, and can be redeemed for one prize per family. Participants were entered into a raffle prize drawing.

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