Not Finding? Start with Hiding!
For the first year I was in this group, I took my kids on only *two* hunts because those were the only ones we could recognize and had the time to go to. We found both objects. But the number of hunts we passed over was huge.
Earlier this year, we went to the Corning Museum Marbles event and found one marble there, and missed out on at least 10 more we looked for. As the winter broke, I decided to buy some marbles and hide, rather than wait to find. I joined the Marbles And Pendants Galore! group and bought some hiders for between $10 and $20 and my kids hid them in our local area (over an hour from Ithaca). Both were found and people enjoyed the hunts. More importantly, we spread joy by hiding without expecting anything but fun in return.
At the group’s Easter Egg Hunt, my kids hid 3 glass eggs I bought and they found no glass— even with hours of active hunting. However, we had an awesome day being with a lot of interesting people. I looked on ebay for some deals and found some inexpensive handmade marbles and set up more hides. We also went on a “first-timer” hunt because my son had never found a marble and he found it. To top the day off, we hid two more marbles. So far we have 9 hides, 5 finds and at least 20 “nothings.”
If you live outside the Ithaca nucleus like I do, my advice is to buy some handmade glass and hide it close to home. The hides might draw experienced people who may decide to hide in that area, but the idea is maybe it’s better to build up your hyperlocal subgroup, people who hide & find in a small geographical location. I have also set up a hide about 2 hours from home because it was a place I wanted to explore myself (plus another on the road to the Herkimer diamond locations), but mostly I am going to hide in the areas I want to hide— areas I enjoy and and would like to introduce to people.
I think new finders become quickly discouraged because there are many fewer hiders than finders. The only way to balance that equation is to do as much hiding as you do looking. That way you can have fun being crafty and adventurous and spread the joy people have in finding. This is what I emphasize with my kids because they’ve learned that the odds are against finding. With a hide, you are 100% guaranteed to have fun. Plus, as you spend time hiding, you become more involved with the community as a whole and start to learn the idiosyncrasies of the different hiders which might help you find!