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By Karla Pomeroy

Karla's Kolumn

When did Easter egg hunts become a competitive sport?


April 15, 2017

When did Easter egg hunts become a competitive and at times, full contact sport?

I don’t recall going to any community Easter egg hunts growing up, but, in my journalism career I have covered a plethora of Easter egg hunts.

When I worked in Lovell there were three in one weekend — Byron, Cowley and Lovell, with Byron and Cowley on the Saturday of Easter weekend and a few hours apart so children could attend both if desired. I remember those egg hunts as fun. Sure there was always a few children who tried to start early, and occasionally a parent or two helping them find eggs ahead of time.

For the most part, however, it was all about fun and finding candy and eggs. As a photographer I usually stand in the middle of the field waiting for the rush of children and I’ll point out some candy or a hidden egg to a struggling youngster.

One hunt in Basin I also stopped a child from picking up something that was not candy but had been left by a dog going through the park earlier.

While some hunts, like Ten Sleep’s and the aquatic center, still have special eggs hidden for special prizes, many hunt organizers have gotten away from special prizes because some children were getting too competitive and thus too aggressive for an event that is just supposed to be fun for all.

In searching for an Easter topic for my column, I did a search in the Associated Press “newsroom” and two stories grabbed my attention and got me thinking about what Easter egg hunts have become — “2 charged after fight during Easter egg hunt,” and “Easter egg hunt nixed because of unruly parents.” According to the AP story in Pennsylvania on the unruly parents, “Deputy Chief Chuck Hipple says there has been a recurring problem of some parents running onto the field despite having been told not to and posing a danger to children. He says it’s not the majority of people but a few people ‘just can’t seem to let the kids have fun.’”

The other, the one in Louisiana, was a “lover’s quarrel at an Easter egg hunt led to injuries and a shattered windshield.” At least it wasn’t a fight about the egg hunt.

The organizers of the hunts organize the events as a community service, a way to give back to the community, to provide something fun for the youth in the community on the Easter weekend. It is supposed to be fun. It’s not a competition of winner-take-all.

In Bakersfield, California, thanks to the police department’s bomb squad, there was an Easter egg hunt for the visually impaired with the bomb squad developing beeping eggs. Now, that’s what hunts are about.

I like seeing children helping other children get candy or eggs, or parents who work with their children to make sure they get an equal amount. I don’t like seeing the attitude of ‘give me, give me, give me” or “get the most at any cost” attitude.

So this weekend, if you head to the aquatic center for the free Easter egg hunt and games Saturday afternoon, or you go to Newell Sargent Park in Worland on Sunday or the Ten Sleep football field on Sunday, go with an attitude of having fun, enjoying a gorgeous spring day with family and friends.

Don’t go with the mentality of an Easter egg hunt being a competitive sport. It’s not. If it were there would be fantasy teams and Vegas odds.

Happy hunting and happy Easter.


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