a wooden cart filled with bags on top of a beach
Casey Arnold, owner of Southernmost Scavenger Hunt, works with a visiting corporate group of clients that donated 75 backpacks, each filled with school supplies, to Samuel’s House for needy Key West kids. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly

Who would have thought a big corporate group — in town for a conference or rewards trip — would turn a fun, team-building scavenger hunt into a charitable endeavor, filling 75 backpacks with school supplies and donating them to Key West kids they’ll never meet?

Apparently, Casey Arnold thought of it a while ago. This week’s donation by an out-of-town company with 126 people staying at the Casa Marina was the 10th corporate giveback Arnold has organized with his Southernmost Scavenger Hunt clients.

This week’s group donated $5,000 worth of school supplies and backpacks, which Arnold incorporated into its scavenger hunt on June 4. The stuffed backpacks were then donated to Samuel’s House, a nonprofit that provides housing and support to Key West women, and families that are facing homelessness, escaping domestic violence or overcoming addiction and other struggles.

Arnold packaged bundles of school supplies in each team’s designated color. A Southernmost Scavenger Hunt employee was positioned at one of the clue locations and would hand each team its bundle as they found their way to that clue. Each of 25 teams ended up filling three backpacks with the supplies during the hunt that took them throughout Old Town.

Southernmost Scavenger Hunt offers a variety of options for all sorts of groups — wedding parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, business executives, company retreats, family reunions or just groups of friends. Teams of two to six people drive golf carts around Old Town, working together and competing with the other teams in other golf carts to answer cryptic clues about Key West’s history and culture, sip outlandish tropical drinks from pineapples or coconuts and find local landmarks, murals and other eccentricities, where fun photos must be taken for proof.

Arnold, who bought the business a few years ago, said he enjoys offering a charitable component to the hunts.

And if you’ve never done one, you’re missing out. (And if you’ve ever cursed the driver of a golf cart for leaving their blinker on for six blocks, you’ll immediately understand how it happens.) 

The island adventures last two to three hours and can be customized in countless ways for each group.

“I love being able to include a charitable giveback into these corporate groups’ hunts, and so many of my clients have been eager to participate and help a local Key West charity,” Arnold told the Keys Weekly, adding that other groups have collected and donated items to Wesley House Family Services for Keys kids in the foster care system.

“This has been amazing, and we’re so grateful to this visiting group for their generosity, the backpacks and supplies, and to Casey Arnold, who has figured out a way to bring together different groups to help local organizations. It’s just a wonderful combination of compassion,” said Maria Protopsaltis, deputy director of Samuel’s House. 

Scout Boats, which will hold its annual Scout Customer Rendezvous for owners of its boats in Key West June 12-16, will also donate backpacks and school supplies during their scheduled hunt, bringing the total to 100 backpacks for Samuel’s House, said Arnold, who added that he’s happy to work with other organizations to determine what items they need that can be incorporated into the group scavenger hunts.

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Mandy Miles
Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.