Walk 30 paces to Skull Rock and remember to watch for snakes along Gold Creek. Follow the map to the Treasure Trail of coins leading to the treasure of jewels and other booty guarded by a tarantula for centuries.
With the help of a do-it-yourself treasure hunt kit, families and friends can create a treasure hunt adventure customized for the treasure seeker.Children and adults alike will enjoy making up the treasure hunt by creating a map and hiding the treasure chest, said Ted Schrader, general manager of Fantasys & Adventures, a subsidiary of McNeil Packaging and Printing.
"It offers people the opportunity to have fun with their family," Schrader said.
The kit is a wooden treasure chest containing booty items, including plastic gold coins, brightly colored jewels, necklaces, eye patches and pirate stickers.
The hunt designer comes up with a story to accompany the hunt's theme. They use clear stickers to decorate a pirate, fantasy or storybook template map that is provided.
The hunts are best played outside, he said.
"Here, in the canyons of the Wasatch Front it's absolutely perfect," Schrader said.
He compared the parents' excitement to Christmas morning after Santa Claus has come.
"You need to watch the adults. They have more fun than the children," he said.
Schrader envisions the treasure hunt kits becoming a family tradition where mom, dad and kids have a good time.
It all began when Schrader, "Gramps" to seven grandchildren, began making up treasure hunts for his grandson about 15 years ago. At that time, he had just remarried and joined the LDS Church. That was his first time around children.
"It was a new experience to be involved with children, and I loved it," Schrader said.
In April 1995, Schrader's employer in Spanish Fork began to downsize. A friend of his told him to turn his family treasure hunts into a business venture.
So, Schrader left his aerospace job, used all his retirement money and called the small business department at Utah Valley State College to explore his treasure hunt ideas.
Near the end of that year, he got in touch with a toy exporter in Hong Kong who sent him the treasure box and booty items.
In March 1997, Schrader's basement business moved over to McNeil Packaging and Printing in Orem to fulfill a Disneyland order for 500 kits.
In Utah, the treasure kit can be purchased at Deseret Book, Partyland and Gregory's All About Children in Salt Lake. The retail price is between $24.95 and $40.