We have decided to add a new rule for the Paddle In The Park Contest that excludes previous Paddle Finders from being eligible for the Paddle Finding portion of the Paddle In The Park Contest. Read further to find out why, and how we have created a bit of a new incentive, in the spirit of sharing the spirit of the contest with as many new people as we can, that we think our adventurous Paddle Finders will appreciate just as much.
The Spirit of the Paddle In The Park Contest
5 years ago we created an outdoor advocacy project trying to get more people outside, more often, and we disguised it as a contest. We did this because it’s important. We told people that #RewardsAreOutThere, and we were happy – overjoyed – that everyone agreed. 🙂 Without exception, whether they found a paddle or not, all the feedback we receive basically says the same thing: regardless of the prizes, the true reward was being outside in Nature. This, for us, meant that the contest was a success. People understanding the rewards in getting “Out There” – and getting people to go “Out There” – is what we mean when we talk about the “spirit of the contest”. Your office HR people might call this our mandate or our mission statement or our guiding principle, but whatever you call it, this is from where we start whenever we have a decision to make that might influence the contest rules.
So when it came time to address the idea of whether or not it’s “fair” for someone who has already found a paddle to do so again, in previous years we felt that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. That is, until processing some feedback over the winter regarding why some people weren’t “Out There” looking for paddles. It seems some people felt it would be hard to compete with the “hard-core” hunters, so you could understand that if our goal was to get more people outside more often, we need to figure out a way to solve this. And our solution came from what might seem like an unlikely source, and seems to us to enhance the very “spirit of the contest” that we’re trying to maintain.
What an idea!
It was a couple of Paddle Finders who gave us our latest fun, new idea for the contest. Jeff Bardell and Chris Hocking, both love hunting down paddles, and were very successful at it. 😉 They both reached out to us in messages that it was the fun they were after, not necessarily the paddle itself, and while they were going to be looking, they were merely going to snap a picture of the paddle in situ, send us photos but leave the paddle for someone else to find – but quietly claim the bragging rights. 😉
It’s thoughts and consideration like this that make us love our PITPC community: the idea that you would love to play, but without taking away an opportunity at fun, adventure and mystery for other families and would-be paddle finders. So once again, we find ourselves rewarded with running this contest – and once again, we’re offering up a new reward: The Paddle Finder Hall Of Fame.
Hall Of Fame
In the coming weeks, we’ll be finishing off a new page that will showcase all our amazing Paddle Finders, listing all the paddles they’ve found, basically inducting them into our new PITPC Hall of Fame. How do you get in? Find a paddle. Easy right? 😉 Ha!
And here is the fun part: Any paddle found gets you in our Hall and adds to your total number of paddle finds. Just send us a photo of the paddle where you found it. OH! And make sure you be really careful not to give away the paddle’s location so you can keep the mystery and adventure alive for others.
We’re thinking this solution is pretty win-win. Maybe even more like win-win-win, considering the contest, the previous paddle finders and any new paddle finders yet to be inducted into our new Hall.
Or, maybe it’s reward-reward-reward – because it is the Paddle In The Park Contest, after all. And you just know we’ll have some fun ideas up our sleeves with all of this. We may even reward you for it with a special prize pack, if you play by the rules.
So thanks so much to everyone for making this contest great, for showing it’s important to get “Out There”, for showing there’s some great people “Out There”, and of course, truly, #RewardsAreOutThere!