Originally Written for “Island Gold Series,”The Crow’s Nest
If you visit Jekyll Island during the months of January or February, it might seem like something is missing. The peaceful beaches, the chill in the wind, the tourists and the locals- they’re all present, but take a second look at the folks around and you’ll notice they’re all searching for something. They’re looking in bushes, behind benches and peering into low hanging oak branches. They’re turning over fallen tuffs of moss and walking trail after trail with eyes probing the surrounding foliage. However, they aren’t looking for something that’s lost, but for something waiting to be found: They are on a hunt for treasure.
Jekyll Island Guest Information Center manager Jerod Myers says the annual Island Treasures glass float hunt revives a would-be forgotten tradition.
“In the early 1900s, fishermen used glass floats on their nets as markers. Occasionally, the floats would break loose and wash ashore for lucky beachcombers to find and keep. Collecting these rare, highly sought after glass floats became a hobby in the 1950s,” says Myers.
Today, Jekyll Island hand-picks artists from across the country to create one-of-a-kind glass floats for its annual Island Treasures event. Each day during the event volunteers deemed “Beach Buddies” hide two to five glass floats around the island for lucky treasure-seekers to find and keep. Each float is marked with special tag and instructions for treasure finders to register their Island Treasures at the Jekyll Island Guest information Center where they will receive a certificate of authenticity and artist biography for their one-of-a-kind float.
New for the 2016 treasure hunt, the Beach Buddies have doubled the number of floats hidden on the weekends.
While Crow’s Nest Team members were out treasure seeking, we caught up with freshmen Kellie Mccaughcry and Sydney Lott, who were out treasure hunting and asked them about their strategy.
“We saw the clues online, so we’re looking anywhere something can be hidden,” said Mccaughcry. “I’m trying to draw from my geocaching experience and look for something out of place.”
It’s also important for treasure seekers to know that Island Treasures are never hidden in dunes, off beaten paths, in locations that are dangerous to reach, or private citizens' property. A map highlighting the best hunting areas on Jekyll has been created to help first-time treasure hunters can be found here.