Youth Hunt for ‘Treasure’ during Pilgrimage

Isabelle Striebich of St. James Parish in Lititz props her scavenger hunt wookbook against the solid foundation of a memorial pillar to complete her search.

Learning about the faith and history of the Church was a fun activity for youth attending the Diocese’s pilgrimage. Close to 85 children participated in a scavenger hunt, hosted by the Diocesan Council of Catholic Girl Scouts and Campfire Girls. All youth were invited to participate and explore the Basilica, while searching for eight “hidden” treasures.

“We wanted to put something together for youth during the free time (of the pilgrimage),” said Betty Roksandic, a volunteer with the Scouts. “We wanted to expose the youth to the Basilica so that, hopefully, they will want to come back.”

Roksandic explained that the hunt took place on both levels of the Basilica. Youth were given a workbook passport, with a brief explanation of the items to find, along with a black and white picture. Each participant was also given a sheet of colored stickers, depicting the item to be found. Once the items had been located, the youth had several questions to answer about each item.

At the end of the hunt, youth could show their completed books and receive a commemorative patch, designed specifically for the event.

“We had about 85 kids participate in the hunt, even a few that were not from our Diocese,” Roksandic said. “The kids seemed to find all the places. It’s just something for them to do, so they can come to an event like this and have fun, but also learn.”

“We wanted to give the kids more exposure to some of the details and the history of the Church,” Kerry Walton explained.

“There was so much neat stuff,” said Patti Devlin from St. Joseph Parish in Mechanicsburg. Patti, her husband Anthony and their three children, Dominic, Alexia and Haley, attended the pilgrimage as a family. “This was a great activity for the day and it really got the children involved.”

“We got to learn about the statues and the people they represent,” said Alexia.

Youth were asked to find and answer questions about eight areas of the Basilica in order to complete the hunt. Through the hunt, they learned more about four saints, The Trinity Dome, Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Miraculous Medal and Our Lady of Fatima.

At the end of the hunt, youth were encouraged to participate in a celebratory sing-along.

To view more photos from the scavenger hunt and the pilgrimage, visit our Facebook page at

By Rachel Bryson, M.S., The Catholic Witness