Dover, Vermont is famous for Mt. Snow, a destination of many a seasoned skier. But did you know it’s also a town filled with hidden treasures and Hollywood type-red carpet events?
Enter the Green Mountain Challenge Adventure and Philip Gilpin Jr., an industrious 32-year-old. He is a graduate of Boston University, who spent some time in Hollywood out of school.
When his parents, Phil Gilpin Sr. and Kathy, asked him to come home for a bit to help out with the family-owned West Dover Bed and Breakfast Inn, he noticed one thing: the town, like many others across the USA, needed some activity during the summer months. This reality sparked the amazing brainchild adventure challenge based on true history.
The story goes that many famous Revolutionary War heroes, some of whom amassed great wealth during the war, frequented Dover. One man in particular, General John Stark, known as the hero of Bennington, was a spy for General Washington and was key in the hanging of Benedict Arnold.
Stark was rumored to have buried his fortune somewhere in Vermont, since he wouldn’t want to risk carrying it into battle and let it fall into enemy hands. His treasure has yet to be discovered.
With this bit of history as a starting point, Philip Jr. decided to, as the flyer says: “Create a breathtaking adventure game that challenges you (or your team) to solve a mentally & physically demanding puzzle-based journey through the beautiful towns, forests, summits and valleys of Southern Vermont’s majestic Green Mountains. It’s adventure, fantasy & fortune all for the taking…if you can find it.”
Treasure Hunting for a Good Cause in Dover
But why stop there? Believing it’s always better to share the loot, Philip Jr. decided that this treasure-seeking challenge could benefit the town, provide a nice little booty for the winners, and donate to the “Jimmy Fund,” which supports the fight against cancer in children and adults at Boston’s Dana-Farber Institute. Last year the challenge raised $7,000.
How the Green Mountain Challenge Works
Each year, the adventure runs from early May to mid-September. You can either pay a nominal entrance fee, which entitles you to the clues, a T-shirt and water bottle, or you can opt for a package fee, which includes hotel, entrance & bagged lunch.
They say it usually takes 2 to 3 days to find all the clues. (Give yourself at least 3-4 in total). You can try to do the days consecutively or you can do one day, then come back a week or a month later and pick up where you left off, as long as you do it in the same season with the same team.
You have to take pictures at each clue location to prove you personally were there. You post those pictures on the website to obtain the points.
The grand cash prize total & the amount donated to the Jimmy Fund is updated every weekend, as the pot grows. Teams that finish the challenge go into a drawing pot. Winners are drawn from that pot and the money is split. The winners are announced the beginning of October. Each year the treasure hunt is different so you can return year after year and have a totally different experience.
Word of warning, this is no little kids’ egg hunt with smiley faces. This is an adult “I’m gonna get dirty, sweaty, tired and have to use my brain to find the clues” hunt. It’s perfect for people who like to be challenged.