UTAH (ABC4 News) – A North Ogden family has put a unique spin on the traditional treasure hunt as a way to change things up. Little did they know, their idea would go state-wide.
“It’s called HATU NUF,” says founder Shauna Hadley whose friend came up with the name. “It’s Utah fun spelled backward.”
Shauna Hadley and her kids, Kenzie, and Taysen Hadley, were leaving the swimming pool last month when Taysen asked to go find a coordinate a friend told him to find.
“I asked my mom if we could go do the coordinates,” says Taysen Hadley. “Then we ended up at the cemetery.”
After their outing, the Hadleys began talking.
“We decided it would be fun to do something different than Geocaching instead of having to find locations, we could hide stuff and give people clues so they could find it,” says Shauna Hadley. “We wanted to make it bigger and better.”
Getting ammo boxes and putting affordable prizes inside, the Hadleys created a Facebook group and started their scavenger hunt around North Ogden.
The group began growing and more people in other communities wanted the Hadleys to put HATU NUF boxes in their cities.
“This was our very first find and it is absolutely fun,” says group member Michael Rowley. “This group has brought so many ppl (sic) together and many places around Utah that I haven’t seen.”
Rowley says now that he’s participating along with his daughter, he’s going places he’s never been before and feels that this activity is bringing people together.
“It was really fun to find one and refill on our drive to Arizona,” says another group member Shelby Roberson.
In a comment thread asking for personal experiences with HATU NUF, multiple mothers like Collette Searle says they, along with their child[ren] are enjoying it.
“We had so much fun,” Searle says. “We are hiding our box tonight and he [son] is thrilled to know that someone else is going to have fun like we did. And he’s even more excited that he is going to pick the stuff out that will go in the box. It’s a great mommy/son moment.”
As of Tuesday, the Hadleys say HATU NUF is in more than 64 cities around Utah and six other states are wanting to start it, too.
The hunt is meant to get people of all ages outside and exploring their community together.
“You post clues on either Facebook or the Slack app and be like, ‘North Ogden there’s a box coming your way,” says Kenzie Hadley. “Then you post the clues and then everyone in North Ogden or whoever’s in North Ogden will go and find that box.”
Kenzie Hadley says once a person finds the box, they are responsible for refilling it and hiding it for other residents to find.
Because not everyone can afford to price-match the gift they received, Shauna Hadley says they have some sponsors who are helping. She says she wants this activity to be something everyone can participate in.
Prizes range from snacks and small toys to camping items. Some boxes are tailored to younger children while others are for adults 21 and older.
Since the Hadleys began HATU NUF four weeks ago, they say they are surprised at how fast the online community has clung to this activity. They are hoping to keep it going throughout the school year to keep people active, outdoors and connecting with others.
“We’ll see where this goes,” says Shauna Hadley. “It was just a fun thing we wanted to start and it’s just amazing. We love it.”
To learn how to play, click here.
Businesses who are interested in sponsoring a box, contact Shauna Hadley.