Dowagiac District Library hosts Selfie Scavenger Hunt

Published 10:15 am Tuesday, April 2, 2019

DOWAGIAC — With the introduction of cellphones into everyday life and the ever-advancing capabilities of the mobile devices, trends and waves have come and gone. Few of the cellphone trends have lasted or had the social media impact like the selfie, or modern self-portrait.

Selfies flood social media feeds of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter every second of the day, so groups and entities like The Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians, the city of Dowagiac and Dowagiac District Library have commandeered the millennial habit to get students out and about during their spring break.

On Monday morning, locals in Dowagiac’s downtown might have noticed a few groups of children roaming the streets with chaperones, lists and cellphone cameras at the ready. The groups were participating in the Spring into Your Local Library 2019 Selfie Scavenger Hunt, an activity funded by The Pokagon Band and City of Dowagiac that followed the parameters of an ordinary scavenger hunt but with the added twist taking a selfie.

Starting at 10 a.m. at the Dowagiac District Library, each group was given a list of 14 items to find around the town of Dowagiac. Some of the items on the list included a sculpture, an American flag, a sign with Dowagiac on it, a yellow car and a Little Free Library. As they found each item on the list, each group had to take a selfie and move on to the next item. The groups had three hours to complete their list, at the end of which they had to return to the library to receive goody bags which contained backpacks, selfie sticks and gift certificates to Caruso’s Candy and Soda Shop.

According to an organizer for the event, Bobbie Jo Hartline, the selfie scavenger hunt was not an effort to encourage children to take more self-portraits, but rather to help them to learn about and enjoy their town.

“The goal of the selfie scavenger hunt is to get out and meet your community,” Hartline said. “They’ll probably discover some things they’ve never seen before. They’ll get to meet some new people today.”

The items on the list were broad so participants would not be confined to only specific places. The scope of options allowed the groups to choose where they went to find items. One item on the list was, “Where can you find your favorite sweet treat?”

Participants could have gone to Caruso’s, Baker’s Rhapsody or anywhere else in the town for a favorite sweet and to take a selfie at the location with the store owner.

Another goal of the selfie scavenger hunt and DDL, according to Hartline, was to get older and younger generations intermingling and having fun together. Hartline sees cellphones, technology and social media as the strength of the children and knowledge of Dowagiac as that of the chaperones.

“Since it’s a goal to mix generations — an older person with a younger person — we thought, ‘How can we mix something that one would be stronger at than the other?’” Hartline said. “They have to pair up with their own knowledge to make a good team to find all of those items. We just thought it would be fun and different.”

For more information about events and activities with the Dowagiac District Library, readers can visit or the Dowagiac District Library Facebook Page.