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Welcome back Treasure Hunters! Can you believe that we are less than two weeks away from the final Phase I deadline? All school/youth participants who submit correct entries for any of the final three chapters will be eligible to win a $1000 gift certificate for those much-needed supplies. To help you unlock those treasures, let’s take a closer look at a clue from Chapter 7, Tennis:

14. In 2006, the United States Open became the first Grand Slam event to adopt the Hawk-Eye instant replay system. The first instant replay challenge came from an American when he questioned a line call during an August 2006 match. Count the number of letters in his first and last name. Place your answer in 5-H and 7-F.

If you regularly visit the ThanksUSA website, you’ll notice that the United States Professional Tennis Association is a supporting partner of ThanksUSA and we’re happy to share some tennis trivia with TH7 participants. I have heard from a few regular Treasure Hunt players that this chapter has challenged even seasoned tennis players, so let’s get some additional hints for this clue:

** When conducting your search, be careful in selecting key words…particularly helpful for this clue are tennis, hawk, 2006, Grand Slam, and challenge

** Our mystery player challenged a shot hit by opponent Simon Greul

** Despite losing the challenge call, he went on to win the match 6-4 6-4 1-6 6-3

** The Minnesota native we’re looking for is currently one of the highest-ranked American tennis players

Even if you’ve never picked up a tennis racket, you can certainly appreciate the history of the sport. While we’re on the subject, did you know that the USPTA has teamed up with ThanksUSA to raise scholarship funds through Tennis Thanks the Troops? Tennis clubs across the nation will be making donations in support of ThanksUSA Scholarships by hosting Tennis Thanks the Troops events. Many clubs have already scheduled events for Memorial Day weekend, but any day of the week or weekend will work – make Tennis Thanks the Troops part of your weekly schedule or an addendum to an already scheduled tournament. If you are a member of a tennis club, be sure to share this link with your pro…the club raising the most money for Tennis Thanks the Troops will be able to send their pro and one guest to New York for the US Open on August 31!

The US Open Prize includes airfare for two, one night’s hotel accommodations in New York City, plus two (2) tickets to the US Open. To be eligible for the US Open Prize, your check or on-line donation must be received by July 15, 2012. Prize Sponsored by USTA Mid-Atlantic.

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The first two winners of TH7, Phase I, have been selected! I will be announcing the names of our winning classrooms/youth groups shortly, so be sure to visit this blog and check out our Facebook page for updates.

The next Phase I entry deadline is March 15th. All classroom/youth group participants who submit correct entries for Chapter 3 and/or 4 will be eligible to win a $1,000 gift certificate to purchase supplies! New groups can still register and qualify for prizes…click here to register your group now.

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Since the next entry deadline is approaching quickly, let’s take a closer look at a clue from Chapter 3, New Zealand:

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3.  Tahi, rua, _____. What comes next int he Maori language?

ABC’s and 123’s…the essentials of education exist in every culture and introducing children to a foreign culture through language is both fun and engaging. If you are participating in TH7 with a school or youth group, challenge them to count higher in Maori or ask them to research the Maori language and learn a simple phrase. Afterall, He Taonga te Reo!

After you answer the clues in Chapter 3, don’t forget to locate and highlight your answer in the word search. This is a very large and busy word search…answers will be found forwards, backwards, up, down, and diagonally, so take your time! If you get stuck or need additional hints, leave a comment and I’ll help you through it.

Here are some additional resources for solving clues and unlocking the New Zealand treasure:

CIA World Factbook New Zealand – accurate and thorough information

www.newzealand.com/us/ – has a great interactive map so you can explore virtually

www.worldatlas.com – a lot of ads and may be too “busy” for younger children, but still contains accurate information

Your local library! –  even with the internet, our libraries are still a precious resource

As always, I wish you the best of luck and hope you have fun exploring New Zealand through TH7!

 

 

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The Killer Angels (original cover art)

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Welcome back Treasure Hunters! This week we’re going to shift our focus to the second chapter of ThanksUSA’s Treasure Hunt 7, Military Movies. I know that many of our school-aged participants may be a bit young to actually watch some of the material covered in chapter two, but I’m sure that their group leaders, teachers, and parents can help them solve this chapter without viewing the films. Let’s get some hints for solving one of our great clues from Chapter 2, Military Movies:

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8. The 1993 film Gettysburg focuses on battle events as seen through the eyes of prominent members of Union and Confederate armies. The film was based on this author’s book, The Killer Angels.

I know, I know…the chapter is Military Movies and we want you to find the author of a book. Personally, I think you should always read the book before seeing the movie, but here are some additional clues for this question:

** Though awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975, The Killer Angels has originally been rejected by 15 publishers

** This author’s son established an annual literary award in his honor that recognizes ‘Excellence in Civil Fiction’

** At various times, The Killer Angels has been required reading at many military academic institutions

** The author’s final novel, For Love of the Game, was published posthumously and also made it to the big screen

The first Phase I deadline for TH7 is February 16th. All school/youth group participants who submit correct answers for Chapter 1, Taiwan, or Chapter 2, Military Movies, will qualify for the first prize drawing.

We’ll continue to focus our attention on Military Movies leading up to our first deadline. But…if you ever need assistance with any of the TH7 clues, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send a direct email to sherrykoch@thanksusa.org Good Hunting!!

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Thank you to everyone who participated in ThanksUSA’s Summer Stories. Congratulations are in order for the Summer Stories Grand Prize Winner, Valerie Zwirn! Valerie’s name was drawn from all entrants who correctly answered each of the ten weekly groups of Summer Stories clues. As the winning entrant, Valerie will be able to enjoy the works of her favorite authors on her Kindle.

Valerie Zwirn

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“Thank you to ThanksUSA for the opportunity to participate in “The Hunt” each year. It has been an enjoyable experience as well as a learning experience. I look forward to experimenting with my new Kindle. Can’t wait for this year’s Hunt. Thanks again.”

-Valerie Zwirn

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Before we leave Summer Stories, I want to give special recognition to Jamie Smith. Throughout the summer, Jamie drew inspiration from Summer Stories and often left comments about discovering new literature and interesting facts about authors. Thanks, Jamie!

“Another great author that I knew nothing about until now. Thanks for helping me to learn about famous authors and their dedication to their families and their writing!”  – Jamie Smith

Important Reminder: Individual chapter and grand prize winners of Treasure Hunt Six will be drawn at the end of September. Please take a moment to login and verify your contact information…we need to be able to reach you if you win!

 

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There are only two blogs left before the final Treasure Hunt Six Phase I (school/youth group) winners are chosen! I know that many students are preparing for SOL and year-end testing, but don’t forget to submit your answers to the final 3 chapters of TH6. Let’s take a closer look at a question from Chapter 7, Influential Women:

6. Ella Fitzgerald’s first big hit was formed around a childhood poem, but there is nothing inexperienced about this instrument-imitating woman. At age 21, she recorded this song that was later induced into the Grammy Hall of Fame. How many weeks did this recording stay on the pop charts? Add 1 to your answer and place the two digits in E1 and E2.

Here are a few additional hints and facts to help you solve this clue:

Ella Fitzgerald (photo by Carl Van Vechten 1940)

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The poem that became this famous song was first noted in late 19th century America

Those with young children may have heard a modified version of this song on the Backyardigans (one of my favorite shows!)

The song hit the pop charts in 1938

The final Phase I deadline is Thursday, May 19th. If you need help with any of the clues, don’t hesitate to ask! You can leave a comment here on the blog or email me directly at sherrykoch@thanksusa.org. I’d also like to hear your ideas for future ThanksUSA Treasure Hunts. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing as an individual or a school/youth group, let me know which subjects or themes you would like to see in an upcoming hunt.  Best of luck with TH6!

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Welcome back ThanksUSA Treasure Hunters! We are currently in the final weeks of TH6 Phase I. All schools and youth groups who submit correct answers for chapters 5, 6, and/or 7 by May 20th will be eligible to win a $1000 gift certificate to purchase supplies. Our Chapter Four winners, Arnall Academy, are excited about their recent win:

Philip (back), Fender (pup), Ethan, Darcy, & Lydia Arnall

“We nearly missed the deadline for completing what turned out to be the winning chapter for us. But boy, are we glad we made it! Our home-school enjoys participating in such a fun and stimulating activity that supports military families. Lydia and the children called me at work immediately after receiving your phone call letting us know we won. The only downside was that with all the excitement, very little schoolwork got done that morning.” – Philip Arnall

Well, I know that Arnall Academy will catch up on all their studies with the addition of $1000 in school supplies! If you are playing as an individual, you have until August 15th to submit your answers and qualify to win individual prizes. All individuals who submit correct answers for every chapter will be eligible for the Grand Prize – a real treasure valued at $10,000! Visit our Facebook page for photos from our TH5 Grand Prize winner, James Norton.

To help you qualify for the TH6 prizes, we’ll look at one of the toughest questions from Chapter 5, National Parks:

12. What is the name of the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island on the largest (surface area) fresh-water lake in the world?

This clue can make your head spin if you think about it too much! The trick to solving this clue is to work backwards (and maybe draw a picture as you think through it). First, start by identifying the world’s largest (surface area) fresh-water lake. The largest island on this lake is actually a National Park. There are several lakes located on this island – find the largest one.  This lake contains an island (an island on a lake which is on an island that is on a lake).

Remember, if you ever get really stuck on a clue, I’m here to help. You can always leave a comment on this blog or email me directly at sherrykoch@thanksusa.org.  Best of Luck!

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Welcome back Treasure Hunters! We’re only about a month away from our first Phase I prize drawing. All schools and youth groups who submit correct answers for either chapter 1 or chapter 2 (or both) will be eligible to win a $1000 gift certificate! This week, we’ll take a look at a question from Chapter 2, West Virginia:

3. The highest point in the state lies within this stretch of over 900,000 acres of federally-owned land.

View from the highest point you seek (photo from wikipedia)

This is a two-step clue. First, we’ll need to determine the highest point in West Virginia. The U.S. Geological Survey has a wonderful website www.usgs.gov that I highly recommend. This website is a valuable resource for any student or classroom studying geology. Once you’re on the USGS website, you will see a US map on the right and a link that says “Science In Your Backyard.” From here you can get a quick recap of state facts including the state capital, land area, population, counties, highest & lowest points, and even the geographic center.

Once you’ve determined the highest point in West Virginia, you’ll need to name the federally-owned land that this high point is located on.  For this, I recommend another wonderful government resource, the U.S. Department of Agriculture at www.usda.gov. This website is a bit busier and younger students may feel a bit lost while exploring, so let me offer some direction: on the USDA home page you will see a column on the left with a Search header. Type the name of the West Virginia highest point in this search block and click go…you should find your answer right away.

I hope you’re inspired to explore the USGS and USDA sites. What fun facts can you find about your state? Have fun exploring and good luck with TH6!

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