Turkey-collecting - it's a different type of homework with a different type of grade.
Come Thursday evening, some 50 Carson High School students will spend several hours driving around Carson City looking for turkeys, hams, frozen pies, instant mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner rolls, cranberries and vegetables.
It's Carson High's annual Scavenger Hunt and will benefit the needy who come to Friends in Service Helping.
Turkeys, the high-scoring item, are worth 400 points, followed by a ham at 300, frozen pies at 200, potatoes at 50, gravy at 25 and cans of vegetables at 10. The high-scoring team of four scavengers from Carson High splits a $200 pot.
Some might say that's gravy.
Last year, student Meredith Adler and her team raised more than 700 points as they tooled around town in her dad's Ford Explorer. They didn't win, but they collected four turkeys and lots of food.
"The back was filled," she said.
Although she won't be able to participate because she's the chairwoman of this year's event, which is sponsored by the student council, she is excited nonetheless.
"It's nice to see how generous people can be," the 16-year-old said. "It's also exciting to see how much food people can load in a truck."
All donated items go to FISH to help with their Thanksgiving Baskets that are proffered to the needy. The scavenger hunt procured more than 40 turkeys last year.
"I talked to (FISH Director Monte Fast) the other week and he was really excited about this," said Meredith. "He really appreciates it when the high school does things to help."
The hunt starts at 5:30 p.m. at Senator Square at Carson High. Shanni Eng, a senior, will be there to start off the evening.
"I wish I did have a plan of attack," said Shanni, a Leadership student body officer and representative to the school board of trustees. "I don't have a plan of attack as of today. But maybe my friends and I will come up with something. We'll probably hit the stores up first and then go to people's homes where their cans are ready."
Some students call stores in advance to ask for donations. Other students barge in during the scavenger hunt to see what donations they can forage at that time.
"Last year, I had a team and two of our parents bought turkeys," the 17-year-old said. "And then we went to other houses, especially the houses of people we knew, since they'd be more generous since they knew us."
Anyone in the school can participate. And freshman and sophomores are teamed up with older students who can drive. Or, conversely, those who will have their parents drive.
"It's a lot of fun to go out," Shanni said. "You see people in different stores. It's really fast paced. You're running in and out of stores and neighborhoods. It makes it more fun to help out your community."
- Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.