Booty and beasts: treasure hunt rebooted 

The good old-fashioned treasure hunt gets a high-tech reboot for our social-media, GPS-obsessed times when Chase the Cache launches a big booty-search of Docklands.

Organised by youth mentoring organisation Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) and hosted by comedian and Channel 10 talent Sammy J, the October 14 event pits teams of four against each other, armed only with handheld GPS units that reveal the secret locations of treasure hidden throughout the waterside suburb. All proceeds raised from registration fees and sponsorships go towards matching at-risk kids with mentors.

Sammy J, a BBBS ambassador and former mentor, will host the event and lead a crack team of as-yet-unnamed comedians who’ll do their best to thwart participants’ efforts at finding treasure.

“I’m the bad-ass pirate blowing cannons into everyone else,” he cackles evilly. “I plan to follow people around, wait for them to do all the hard work, then pip them at the post. I have no morals and no shame. So long as people learn a few things about BBBS along the way, I’ll have done my job.”

Sammy became involved with BBBS while studying law at university. “I pretty much wanted any distraction, which came in the form of volunteering and comedy.”

He was paired with a young lad who felt isolated at school and lacked a male role model in his life. “BBBS were very good, because I made it clear I didn’t want to be matched with anyone who was into sport, weighing 58kg and not knowing anything about it,” he says. “He was into chess and filmmaking, which is much more my style.”

Sammy says he sometimes felt guilty about how much he got out of the experience. “It was great fun. I’d turn up every week and we slowly developed a strong friendship. When he headed to high school, the change in him was fantastic. He had more confidence, and made more friends. None of that was directly due to me, but the positive benefits are obvious.”

As well as being a hoot on the day, Sammy hopes the hunt will spread the word about the good work BBBS does, raking in much-needed loot for the organisation’s coffers. “It’s a fantastic organisation that makes a huge difference. You can have all the social workers and professionals in the world, but if someone just turns up to hang out, the influence that has for positive change is fantastic.”n  

To sign up, visit chasethecache.com.au. 

For details on Big Brothers Big Sisters visit bigbrothersbigsisters.org.au.

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