I am often asked what made me think of the idea for Treasure Trails. It is a relevant question. For without Treasure Trails, there would be no CherryTop Weddings!
The answer is easy. The idea of the Treasure Trails business has been inside me since I was about 11. It was just waiting for the right moment to burst out of me. For it was then that I spent many happy days with my mum scouring Cornwall looking for one of the 10 golden eggs that Cadbury’s had hidden around the UK as part of a marketing campaign. Two years later, having consumed 403 creme eggs, and undertaken several surreptitious middle-of-the-night digs in well-known locations around Cornwall, we finally conceded defeat. You can be forgiven for thinking that after so much time and expense we would harbour feelings of disappointment, bitterness, or regret. But nothing could be further from the truth. The experience left a burning love of treasure hunts inside me, and more importantly a true insight and understanding of how ‘an adventure’ can bring people together and create wonderful memories. All these years later, Mum and I still laugh at our escapades! So, in a way, I guess from that moment, Treasure Trails was conceived.
However, real life has a funny way of getting in the way. I met my wife, Teresa, when I was 16 years old. The cliché of love at first sight was pretty much accurate! After I became an Army Officer at 19, and we married at 22 we subsequently enjoyed a wonderful 20 years, whilst I was serving in different countries around the globe, and eventually raising our two boys. One of our sons was even born in Cyprus when we were posted there.
Some of the skills I learnt in the Army were attention to detail, a commitment to quality, a sense of humour, and a fearlessness of doing something different. One of the most important though is more of a mantra than a skill, but is something I hold very dear –
“If you are going to do something, do it right and do it right first time”.
I love, and I do mean love, creating adventures, games, puzzles, and trails for people of all ages to enjoy. It is my absolute passion and without wanting to blow my own trumpet, I’m pretty good at it!
Over the last 15 years, I have created hundreds of experiences, and I treat every one of them with the same care, love, and attention, regardless of whether it is a simple wordsearch puzzle or a full-on 3-day adventure in London. My aim is always to put a smile on the face of the person completing the experience, as well as trying to get them to do something different, something that tests them, as well something that makes them feel like they have achieved something. They call this process ‘Gamification’ now. Snazzy terminology aside, it pretty much boils down to this; If you create an experience that people love, they will come back for more.
So, when Alex asked me if I could create a Kids’ Activity Book for younger children at a wedding, I jumped at the chance. I might be 55 years old but at heart I’m only about 7, or so Teresa still tells me, so it was a perfect task for me. I had a good look around at what was on offer and found it to be just okay; mostly booklets with colouring tasks, wordsearches, and crosswords. Not much style, not much fun, not much real aim or incentive to complete the tasks. I decided there was no way I was going to do the same.
I wanted to do something different, cool, exciting, and fun. So, I created the Wedding Day Fun Club, where ‘no adults are allowed!’ The club is hosted by 2 characters who need the children’s help to complete a selection of fun puzzles, activities, and game, to fill up the ‘Fun-O-Meter’ with smiley stickers. The whole experience is delivered to the child in a pack that contains the 12-page booklet, the stickers, colouring pencils, a pencil sharpener, and a surprise gift. Even if I say so myself, it is awesome, and one of a kind!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the Kids’ Activity Pack. I’m turning my attention now to creating more activities for the adults’ personalised booklet, although as you’ll see, there’s a pretty big old range to choose from already. Watch this space!