Dedicated to Outstanding Adventures and Superior Scavenger Hunts
Watson Adventures sprang from the mind of Bret Watson, a veteran writer and editor (and occasional stand-up comedian), who started creating scavenger hunts in the early ’90s for friends as a way to share his unique take on the lighter side of museums. As word of the unusual scavenger hunts spread, companies began to ask Bret to let them get in the game, and a business was born.
Since then, Watson Adventures has grown to span the nation, with more than 300,000 people participating in hunts, including employees of more than 2,000 prestigious corporations. All the while, Watson Adventures’ scavenger hunts have received more media raves and other acclaim than any other company of its kind. Below, you can learn more about the creative, clever crew who’ve made our success possible.
Bret found the inspiration to create his first scavenger hunt on a 1993 visit to one of his favorite haunts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Upon discovering humorous details in works of art—like a woman spanking her husband on a medieval brass bowl—Bret realized that scavenger hunts would be a smart, amusing way for his friends to have fun while seeing the quirkier sides of interesting places. Corporate groups soon took notice, and requests for privately staged hunts led to the birth of Watson Adventures in 1999. A Princeton graduate, Bret is a former journalist who has served as a writer and editor at Entertainment Weekly and numerous other magazines. Bret lives in New York with his wife, Nicole, and their two cats, who feel that the hunts could use more mice.
When Julie became Watson Adventures’ first employee in 2001, her friends and family weren’t surprised—she’s always been a lover of games, and she used to organize her own scavenger hunts for friends. Previously she’d spent 12 years in the advertising and publishing industries, working for such companies as Time Inc. and Ogilvy & Mather. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, A.J. Jacobs (Esquire writer and author of The Year of Living Biblically), and her sons, Zane, Lucas, and Jasper. Besides chasing after three young boys, her other hobbies include trying new restaurants and seeing movies (she’s seen every Oscar-nominated film of the last 50 years).
Her love of travel (Morocco! Greece! New Jersey!), combined with her smarts about the arts (she holds a BA in painting from the University of the Arts in Philly and a Masters in Art Education from the City University of New York), make Stacy a perfect fit for Watson Adventures. She has been keeping hunts running smoothly since 2002 and has donned just about every hat within the company. (You may have caught her as a Hunt Host, though don’t be confused—her twin sister, Shannon, also hosts hunts for WA in Boston.) Stacy lives with her husband Mark, daughter Vivian, and cat Stella in Astoria, Queens, where she enjoys toys and a good cup of coffee with a chocolate croissant.
You may not have seen Rachel Duncan’s work over the past ten years, but if you’ve been on a Watson Adventures scavenger hunt, listened to their voicemail, or engaged in video game mayhem on the streets of Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV, you have definitely been in the presence of her greatness. A superstar problem solver, Rachel fixes and manages all of Watson Adventures’ hunt materials, while also managing the public hunts and customer relations. A former marketing guru and current voiceover artist and mom, Rachel doesn’t have to be seen to be appreciated.
Ryan practically grew up in the American Museum of Natural History, certain he would become a world-famous paleontologist. Instead, he went to grad school for journalism and became a writer and editor, which is cool too. Nowadays, if he isn’t writing about or visiting a museum, he’s probably training for a half-marathon, playing a video game, or planning his next cruise.
Danielle comes to us from the vineyards and beaches of Long Island’s North Fork. She’s worn many hats, from graphic designer to elementary school teacher, community recreation planner to children’s publishing professional, but is excited to return to her first love: writing. In her free time Danielle is both bookworm and adrenaline junkie; she can be found skydiving, rock climbing, taking a flight lesson—or doing absolutely nothing at all and loving every minute. An adventurer at heart, she still hasn’t given up hope that time travel is possible. Preferably in a DeLorean.
Emily is a native New Yorker who enjoys art museums, board games and Dolly Parton. After getting her bachelors in Art History from Queens College, Emily interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and proceeded to work for the Queens Museum. Her life goal is to complete the Game of Thrones book series before the show ends.
Jeanie is an organization design wizard with a soft spot for most things cultural, historical, and sentimental. She discovered her love and strength in organization design while working as a film librarian. Jeanie loves to travel and has a deep appreciation for postcards and hand-written letters. You can depend on her if ever in need of postage stamps, whether domestic or international!
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“Thanks again for a very successful scavenger hunt. The group really had a great time, and they were talking about it all day long. Some people are still talking about it today. Thanks for all your help.” —Jenn Kittel, Oliver Wyman (We created a custom hunt for 100 of their employees.)
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“IT WAS AMAZING!!!!! Seriously, the BEST event we’ve had with this group—and one of the best events I’ve ever held. Yeah, I’ll be talking you up with some of my other groups! Mitchell was PHENOMENAL! And Kristi was fantastic. My staff was still talking about how great it was this afternoon. THANK YOU THANK YOU!” —Cengage Learning