A PhD candidate with the University of Northern British Columbia is hoping to send people hunting for gold this summer on Pender Island.
Geoff de Ruiter has started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise $3,600 for the first-ever Pender Island Treasure Hunt.
Anyone who contributes money to the campaign will get a poem to help them on their search. The first individuals to find the gold will get to keep the treasure.
“I wanted to present Pender Island as a fun destination with a novel event that would get people problem solving, and outside enjoying nature. Why not a treasure hunt for real gold?” de Ruiter said.
De Ruiter started creating the campaign over the past three months. He is raising $3,600 to cover the $3,000 value of the gold treasure, as well as the cost of buying the gold coins.
“I thought about using thirty $100 bills, and I am still open to it, but gold just has such an allure and it makes the hunt so much more tantalizing,” de Ruiter wrote on the campaign page.
The person who finds the treasure will also see contact information and will have to send de Ruiter the personal item he left in the bottle.
Those who help fund the treasure hunt but either don’t find the treasure or can’t mak it to Pender Island will get to email their interpretation of the poem along with an estimate location. One of those people will receive a separate gift.
De Ruiter studies bioenergy and carbon management at the University of Northern British Columbia. He plans to attempt to retrieve the treasure on Sept. 21 but if it’s gone, he will announce the winner the next day. If the treasure is still there, de Ruiter plans to use the gold to cover his living and university expenses, including tuition.
However, if de Ruiter reaches $6,300 and the treasure is still on the island by Sept. 21, he will leave the gold treasure so people can continue searching. The extra money will go toward de Ruiter’s education costs.
For more information on the Pender Island Treasure Hunt, visit de Ruiter’s crowdfunding page here. The campaign runs until July 1.