His Hands Hunters – Under Construction (All Solutions and Hidden Videos Revealed)
At the end of a very famous teaching, Jesus says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” This entire treasure hunt was built off of those words. We are all under construction and we get to choose our building materials. Do we choose the life laid out by Christ? Or do we build our life on our own ideas? This hunt was built to draw students into the mystery and joy of following Christ.
Why Did We Do it This Way?
The Covid-19 season has presented many challenges and questions. As the youth pastor, I had to answer the question “what are we going to do for the students?” We couldn’t meet in person, Zoom was getting tiresome, and school had started back up for many. What we needed was some fun and it needed to be socially-distanced, as many families weren’t ready to enter a normal youth group setting. That’s where the treasure hunt comes in. This treasure hunt took families all around Woodstock as they hunted for literal bricks, each associated with a building block Christ gave us in the Sermon on the Mount. Clues were released on Fridays and Saturdays to give families some weekend fun.
In the post below you’ll find the entirety of the His Hands Hunters journey. You’ll find the solutions to the clues, the hidden videos, the locations of the bricks, and the stories of those who found them.
The Hunt is On!
Hidden in this introduction video were quick flashes of letters on the screen. When those letters ,when strung together, spelled out “@hishandshunters” and led the hunters to our Instagram page where the hunt would take place.
Clue 1: BLESSED
These images were accompanied by the verse “Matthew 19:14.” When you look it up, you’ll find that this is Jesus saying “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” This clue led to a QR code hidden on the bottom of the shoe of the little boy statue in front of our church. That QR code led to this video:
Pausing the video at just the right time reveals a URL for another video. This URL leads to a video of Justin from 2007, back when he was the youth pastor. It also reveals the location of the brick…the basketball hoop. The brick was laying at the inside the base of the hoop.
Justin has SKILLZ. I had no idea what to expect from the first clue of the hunt. But after just over an hour the first brick was claimed by Sabrina! This was only the start of the adventure.
Clue 2: TREASURE
Welcome to the stress zone. If anything could go wrong…it seemed like it did. Here’s the clue:
“Sound on! …. .. … / …. .- -. -.. … / — -. .-.. .. -. . / — — …- .. . / -. .. –. …. – / .. -. -.. .. .- -. .-” If you turn the sound on, you’ll hear morse code in the background. When you translate that morse code, you’ll get “his hands online movie night Indiana” This lead to the page on hishands.online for Raiders of the Lost Ark. You’ll notice that the name “INDIANA” is clickable!
When you click on that name, you’ll find the hidden video for TREASURE:
The clue hidden at the end of this video is “a single penny is a…” with the solution being “Copper Coin.” And if you check the description of the video you’ll notice the phrase “on the shelf” is written out. So, the location of the brick is “on the shelf at Copper Coin.” Most people understood this to be the case.
But the entire day went by without a discovery. Texts came flooding in on all fronts. Nobody could find it. One family went to ATLANTA!! Why? I have no idea. I had several people texting me saying they checked the shelf and couldn’t find it. I believed the worst had happened. I believed that someone who wasn’t playing the game had snatched the brick. I jumped in my car around 5 O’clock and drove down to Copper Coin. When I got there it seemed that my fear had been confirmed. The brick was not where I left it. Only two clues in and the game had gone awry.
Disappointed and slightly panicked, I got back in my car. Only to discover a message! It turns out that Carole had snagged the brick while I had been in my car on the way. We must have just missed each other! What a relief! The first weekend of the hunt was a success!
Clue 3: LOGS
Get ready to break out a Bible and the maps app on your phone! Here’s the clue:
“Matthew (NIV) – Direct Message the Decoded Password to This Account” The first picture gives a Bible-cipher that needs an NIV version of the Bible to make sense. Open up to Matthew. The first number determines the chapter. Second number is the verse. Third number is the word. Fourth number is the letter in that word. When fully decoded, you get the word “BRIDGE.” Keep that word in mind. If you sent that word to the account, you’d receive the link to this hidden video:
A freeze frame from the video reveals some GPS coordinates.
The GPS coordinates lead to this location.
If you walk to the back of the parking lot you’ll find a trailhead and….you guessed it! A bridge. The brick marked “LOGS” was on that bridge. I learned after the fact that two families were racing IN THE RAIN to claim this brick. One family pulled up to the trailhead as the other was pulling away, brick in hand. The competition was getting real!
Jonah snagged the brick just in time before the downpour really got real. But you can see that he didn’t avoid getting wet! Weekend 2 was off to a competitive start!
Clue 4: ENEMY
Change is in the air. An enemy shows his face. Here’s the clue:
“YMENE -kcostdooW nwotnwoD” This video, when unscrambled from the backwards words, spells this out: “IT’S TIME TO READ UNDER THE WINDMILL BRING YOUR LIBRARY CARD TO GREENPRINTS TRAIL” with the additional clue of “Downtown Woodstock” in the description…I wasn’t having anyone else drive to Downtown Atlanta!
On the trailhead for Greenprints in Downtown Woodstock there is a little library that is also a windmill. Inside that library was a book called “Under the Windmill.”
The QR code on the back of the book led to this hidden video:
You’ll note that a hooded person briefly shows up in this video. More on him later. If you followed the page sequence within the book you would find the following sentence: “DOWN THE TRAIL ACROSS FROM A BRICK WALL, BEHIND A BENCH.”
This led Nathan (who was just getting off his shift at Waffle House) to find the brick Just before Micah. Another close call!
I went back a week later to recover the “Under the Windmill” book and it had been taken. If you see it on some random shelf or floating around the little library ecosystem, snag it! I’d love to have it back!
Clue 5: WOLVES
Time for a click-stravaganza. Here’s the clue:
When you go to hishands.online and type in the word “WOLVES” in the search feature you will find this page:
Each word was a clickable link. There are a variety of options the links lead to. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. Only a tiny, select few, will unlock the hidden video. Here’s a sample of what you’d find when you clicked the links:
Most links led to cute and silly sheep. Some led to pretty freaky wolves. Some students reached out to me so they could express their dissatisfaction with this clue:
Micah and Cassie weren’t too happy with the endless clicking. But eventually it seems that someone did find the video and solve the clue.
Here’s the video:
A freeze frame within that video reveals this riddle: “The brick you seek is surrounded by bricks that carry their own name. You will find WOLVES within the circle before you reach the water.” This leads to the Downtown Woodstock fountain where the brick was hiding in the bushes. Audrey and Ashlee broke the record and found this brick within 45 minutes! Audrey and her family were involved in the close call for the LOGS brick, so they wouldn’t be beaten again!
But that wasn’t all that was hidden within the WOLVES video…a wolf in sheep’s clothing enters the story.
After Zach and I walk off, that hooded dude shows up again. More on this guy later.
Clue 6: FLOWERS AND FLAME
Bring on the GLITCH! Shadowmad invades the game. Here’s the clue:
“Warm fire, Blue Light, outer wall.” If you’re part of His Hands, you probably recognize the fireplace from the coffee shop area. If you went to the outer wall you would find a QR code that led to the following video. In it, you’ll notice that Madison starts to glitch out, and the hooded fellow (a.k.a. Shadowmad) starts to glitch in.
This Rebus puzzle was hidden among the glitches. The solution to this puzzle is the “Bob the Turkey” statue in Downtown Woodstock. This clue already had some fire, now it’s time to check in the flowers! Micah and Sophia found it after some digging around!
Clue 7: SALT AND LIGHT
A change of scenery…and a close encounter! Shadowmad returns. Here’s the clue:
The true clue is hidden on the darker sticky notes. This is an A1Z26 cipher. It’s an easy decoder where A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. When decoded, the sticky notes read from left to right, saying “Hidden Link Online Ping Pong Click Wrestling” This would direct you to our Ping Pong and God video where a hidden link was waiting. When you clicked on the word “wrestling” it took you to this video:
This one was a record breaker! Manny found the building block within 45 minutes! The building blocks were being found quicker and quicker!
Clue 8: TEETH
Our first overnight clue??? A wild goose chase??? A close call??? This clue came with lots of anxiety, as the brick was hidden in a VERY public place! Here’s the clue:
“Sit beneath this instrument and hear no sound. Look beneath it and the next step will be found.” This is the big blue guitar near the gazebo in Downtown Woodstock. Attached to the underside was a QR code which led to this video:
If you turn on the captions in this video you’ll notice that very few letters are capitalized. If you find all of the caps in the captions you’ll be able to spell out this phrase: “MAPLE STREET SHELF”
This clue wasn’t solved on the Saturday it was released…it went overnight without anyone discovering the location of the brick. But Sunday was a new day and this clue took Nathan, Carole, and Chloe on a wild goose chase. It turns out there is an ACTUAL Maple Street in Woodstock.
Nathan reached out, very confused, standing on a neighborhood street. He shot me a text and I reminded him of the fact that there are other “Maple Streets” in Woodstock. He responded by saying “I KNOW WHERE TO GO”. The only problem was, it was 1:30 and Maple Street Biscuit Company closes at 2pm! Luckily they made it in time to find the brick and to eat some delicious food! Chloe claimed this one!
Clue 9: SECRET
This was the hardest clue of the whole hunt! It’s also the moment Shadowmad takes over the game! Here’s the clue:
“SECRET – @shadowmadhhh” This clue led to an Instagram account for Shadowmad.
The posts on Shadowmad’s account can be unscrambled to discover this video:
Shadowmad claimed that there were no clues hidden within this video, but Zach came through for the hunters. Claiming he was “totally evil,” Zach waves his hand to reveal the word “Blessed.” This leads back to the very first clue. If you followed the paths laid out by that clue, you’d find the brick hiding in the same spot as the brick marked “BLESSED.” You’d also find this extra hidden video attached to the basketball hoop.
Not sure anyone actually found this video! But now ya’ll can see it! Eventually, after another overnight clue and 3 hours at the church back-tracking and retracing the old clue, Colby found the brick! He had to scour the basketball court in the middle of a pickup game. Now there is only one brick left!
Clue 10: GOLD
The final clue may have meant life or death for some of us!! Here’s the clue:
This binary decoded to say “You’vegotmail550mollylane” This is the address for the church. On the mailbox was a QR code that led to this hidden video:
This video was filmed where the final treasure would be hidden. Unfortunately, when I was filming this video I got locked in the outdoor shed…and it was really hot…and I was alone…I started to panic, but luckily, I remembered that Joshua (a staff member at His Hands) lived close by. I gave him a call and he rescued me!
This is me…locked in a shed. Luckily, all death was diverted and the building block was found by Alanis! Alanis had been playing since the beginning. I was glad to see that she finally got one! The clue hidden in the video led to a haystack that sits right next to the dumpster at His Hands.
The End, the Prize, and the Decision
To finish the game, all of the building blocks had to be reunited. On one side of the brick was a single word. When all of those words were reunited and unscrambled, the location of the treasure would be found. The hunters made quick work of this clue and found that the treasure was hiding in the outdoor shed at the church.
Solving the final clue.
Inside the treasure chest was a Bible for each winner, a custom challenge coin, and a gift card for Maple Street Biscuit company! But that wasn’t the end of the prize…
The winners also had to decide amongst themselves as to what they would do with their CASH prize. Between all 10 of them they had $300 to decide on. They could split all of it evenly, taking home $30 each. They could also give any amount of it to Never Alone Food pantry. They could keep $10 each and give $200 to Never Alone, you get the point. The only catch was that they all had to agree on what they were doing.
Instantly and unanimously, they decided to give all of it to help those in need! I was blown away that they came to the decision so quickly, but I’ve learned that I shouldn’t be surprised by the things our people are capable of.
This was such a fun process to plan and play. Covid season has been so crazy. It was great to see our students out in the world just having fun. Sure, there were close calls and I’m sure there was some real frustration. But overall I’m encouraged to see what we are capable of when we keep on seeking. My hope was that students would embrace the mystery and joy of scripture. When we see God’s word as truly important it can truly change us.
Sure, it won’t always be easy. Following Christ will be full of challenges, close calls, and real frustration. But when we keep seeking Him, we will see lasting change. When we build our life on Christ, we will stand firm in the face of uncertainty. “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7