So Long & Thanks For All The GISH...

Since 2011, we have undertaken a glorious mission: alleviate the world’s ignorance, cruelty, and normalcy in the weirdest ways we knew how. Breaking records and shattering the status quo, Gishers have spread inspiring creativity and changed countless lives in over 110 countries. We are so proud of you.
 
Before we say goodbye, we’re planning one final get-together. We’d love for our community to come together, in-person and virtually, for this going away party. Gather local Gishers in your area and join us for a virtual final Going Away Party. Organize your own viewing parties, bring submissions and memories from GISH We will be announcing our 2022 Winners + 2022 Runners-up, sharing GISH submissions, reliving our adventures, and sharing our final thoughts as we close out this scavenger hunt dynasty.
 
Event Date: December 10, 2022
Time: 10AM PT/1PM ET/6PM GMT/5am AEDT (Sunday)
Where: All over the world + Streaming on GISHTV YouTube Channel
 
If you’d like to host a watch party, click the button below and fill out our form. We want to gather together as many Gishers as we can for this last hurrah. Looking to find other Watch Parties? Please use the GISH App, the GISH Bunker and other social media platforms to self-organize your local meetups so we can gather our GISH Community together one last time. 

A Letter from Misha

My dearest Gishers,
 
This past decade-plus of GISH has been absurd, beautiful, and profound. GISH has become a verb, as in, “I GISH with my teenage son every year”; GISH has become an adjective: “Your pastrami hat is very gishy”; GISH has become a noun: “My girlfriend is a dyed-in-the-wool Gisher;” and, perhaps most importantly, GISH has become a community. I have watched countless friendships blossom, marriages form, and Gishers taking care of one another in the most beautiful ways over the years. Without hyperbole, you Gishers have served as a near-constant reminder to me that we don’t have to live as unthinking cogs—that we don’t have to just do what is expected of us in life, but that there are nearly infinite possibilities for how we can live, how we can relate to one another, and what we accomplish in the world. I’ll never stop being grateful for all we’ve accomplished together.
 
GISH started with a lark, a playful little romp I started almost by accident on Twitter 13 years ago. The first Hunt had 300 participants and members of the winning team got a cup of tea. We went from that to a group of tens of thousands in over 100 countries getting NASA to name a mountain on Mars, breaking 8 Guinness World Records, shredding countless buses, helping save the lives of multiple stroke victims, and planting tens of thousands of trees worldwide — and we also helped many wonderful organizations including Giles Duley’s Legacy of War Foundation, our partner who helped us support a hospital for children impacted by war in Afghanistan, fund a team of minesweepers and a mobile prosthetics unit in rural Laos that is still working to this day, and help a community of over 100 Rwandan genocide survivors to build a beautiful, self-sustaining farming cooperative, giving them economic freedom and food security. 
 
But—and this is the hard part to say—I think it’s time for me to take a break from GISH. As much as I love GISH and as much as I love you all, I need to focus my energy, so for the time being I am putting the GISH Hunt on ice. I’m not saying definitively that the 2022 Hunt will be the last GISH ever, but I am also not saying that there will be another. At this point, I don’t know what the future holds. 
 
There is a quote from the poet Rilke that I love: “Everything is gestation and birth.” This is a time for gestation. And when the time is right, something new will be born. I’m not sure what that new being will be, but I am sure it will be good and I hope that you will come with me on that adventure—whatever form it takes.
 
This was a hard decision to come to and it took a mountain of deliberating to get here. It was hard because I love the GISH community, I love what GISH does in the world, and because this means a major change for the GISH team–who now need to find other work and start next chapters.
 
I want to take a moment to acknowledge our small, devoted team who have helped GISH blossom from a seed of an idea into a global force: Philip, my creative partner who guided the Hunt’s growth with his business acumen and playfulness while consistently dialing the weird up to 11—without his brilliance, the first GISHWHES would never have have happened in the first place. Kim Blake, who helped me pull off the very first 300-person Rhino hunt; Tracy, my first GISH gnome, whose technical prowess helped get the Hunt off the ground and keep it going, and who has exhibited endless patience supporting the GISH Community since the beginning; Monica, who brought GISHBot to life and has contributed to a million projects—from GISH virtual haunted mansions and escape rooms to the annual coffee table book to helping foster the GISH Bunker into a thriving community; Olivia, whose brilliant design work brought early websites and coffee table books to reality; Katy, our chief Schwag Gnome, whose endless abilities to source products and manage shipments is only rivaled by her own truly weird creative spark which lit up not only GISH, but Death2Normalcy (you can blame her for the dental chair and the creepy sailor babies); Laura, whose creative designs during the early years were only rivaled by her “Dinomite” SDCC security service; Taylor, whose wonderfully weird writing and social support helped GISH through some of its nascent days; Chris, who has been working on this for so many years, I have lost track—she has managed the Item list for many years as well as being incredible curator of special guests, a creative lead, writer, designer, editor and for a very long time the voice of GISH on social media; Charlie Capen, who has brought his stalwart guidance as VP and (let’s call a stormtrooper a stormtrooper) has been running GISH soup to nuts for the past six years. Charlie has devoted those years of his life and career to GISH and made countless sacrifices to keep this monstrous undertaking afloat; we would not be here without him. Charlie helped GISH thrive as it lost the “whes” and gained live Zoom guests, better accessibility, and a greater global impact. Riley, our spectacular art director and designer who brought so much of GISH’s look and the Gishporium’s merch to life (chances are good you have some small, cherished object in your house that was birthed from her mind); CJ and Lauren, who, with Tracy, masterfully shepherded GISH Winners to some of the farthest reaches of the globe; Michelle, who brought creativity and guidance to the Hunt and the Gishporium through Stands; Kristin, our genius talent coordinator, without whom we never would have had so many fascinating GISH guests and our Zooms would have never gone so smoothly; Chip, for his tireless Gishporium support; Philippe, whose technical acumen helped us birth an app and keep the site up and running (no matter how many times you all tried to crash it)… and my friends, Dave Lavery, my cast mates, my own mother Rebecca, and countless others who I’m probably going to be embarrassed to realize I forgot to list who have provided support and many of the inspired creative Items that you have been subjected to. 
 
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also thank Giles Duley and the team at Legacy of War Foundation; without their badass, selfless dedication to sharing stories of courageous people, we wouldn’t have been able to make such an impact — and without the hard work and support of the wonderful volunteers at Random Acts, we wouldn’t have been able to see those donations through. 
 
Last but not least, I want to thank someone without whom none of this would be possible: ME. 
(Just kidding. This was getting too heavy, and I was tearing up a little.)  
 
No, the people I want to thank the most are you, my gishy Gishers. You are the beating heart of all we have done. GISH was the spark, but you were the ones that carried the flame of good everywhere you went and built it into a source of endless light and hope. We literally could not have done this without you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all. 
 
One more thing I want to add: all of the GISH parts of speech—the noun, the verb, the adjective—will live on. We still have one another, and we still have this GISH Community. Whether through the GISH Bunker or social media or in person, we are still all connected and are still able to come together when the spirit strikes us—and I hope we do. We still have the artifacts of your artistic endeavors and the good work you have done lives on and will continue to have ripple effects throughout the world for all time. There are farms that are thriving in Rwanda because of you, formerly homeless refugees going to college now because of you, a dance school in South Africa that’s churning out graduates  because of you, 70 square miles of critically endangered habitat in Nepal is permanently protected and will be teeming with life for decades because of you, an Indigenous tribe in the Amazon able to replant and thrive again with access to clean water because of you, and a mountain on Mars named in your honor by the US government. You did that, with power that came not from this Hunt, but from the reserves of creative energy and determination to make the world a better place that already exist inside you. Whether there is another GISH anytime soon or not, I cannot wait to see what you accomplish next.
 
Before we put GISH to bed, we’re banging a few gongs before the lights go out: we’re almost done with 2022 Judging and will be making a winners’ announcement soon. We will also be throwing a final blow-out goodbye party in the coming weeks—more on that soon. I hope to see you there so we can celebrate each other and this wonderful, weird family together. 
 
Whatever the next chapter might bring, you will always be my beloved, weird, rebels and my gishy Gishers, and I’m looking forward to the new ways that we can have fun changing the world together—whatever they may be. May we all find ways to GISH on!
 
Love always,
 
Misha