All I got was this lousy t-shirt
March 9, 2020 5:48 AM   Subscribe

Tell me about minor feats I could accomplish and receive some sort of award or recognition for doing it.

I just learned (thanks, QI!) that if I drive across Highway 50 in Nevada and get a passport stamped at all the necessary locations, I can get a certificate signed by the governor. I want to learn about more of these "publicity stunt personal challenges." I think the criteria I'm looking for would include:

-"Officially" sanctioned (there has to be some governing body handing out awards)
-Relatively easy for an average person to accomplish (I'm not climbing El Capitan even if they do give me a cheap paper certificate for it)
-Must result in some sort of tangible form of recognition (signed certificate at a minimum!)

So tell me about some dumb things I can be recognized for!
posted by backseatpilot to Grab Bag (26 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
As I understand it, if you visit all 4 Disney World parks in 1 day you can get a certificate for completing the "Disney World Challenge"
posted by alchemist at 6:35 AM on March 9

If you climb the 311 steps of the Monument in London, you get a certificate to go along with your wobbly legs. Much less challenging than El Capitan!
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 6:43 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]

The governors of various US states (e.g. Massachusetts, Alabama, Iowa) will issue citations, certificates, greetings, and the like on request in order to recognize various events such as birthdays, anniversaries, and retirements. In some cases it's unclear whether you need a connection to the state in question, so you could potentially rack up quite a few.
posted by jedicus at 6:46 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if this qualifies as "easy" since you have to play well and get lucky... but I won Fantasy Movie League and got a cool prize (varies weekly, mine was a Judy Garland signed A Star is Born album) and BETTER STILL a T-shirt that is like a movie rating logo that says "WINNER - Inappropriate for Losers". And that's the best thing I have won in a long time.

Des Moines, IA will give you a tshirt/some other stuff if you go to all the breweries in their BrewMoines app!
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 6:54 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]

If you eat ten varieties of Juicy Lucy hamburger from the Blue Door Pub in St. Paul, MN, you get an "I Am a winner!" t-shirt. They call it the BLUCY CHALLENGE. The shirts change periodically, enabling & encouraging your coronary artery disease and shirt collecting.

A fellow mefite has achieved this several times, and even gave me one of the hard-won trophy shirts.

(I know this would require some travel for you, and also a Lipitor Rx. *shrug* Your call if it seems worth it, but the deep-fried tater tots are a strong "yes" vote.)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:12 AM on March 9

You might find something of interest in this previously
posted by mean square error at 7:15 AM on March 9

And it also looks like many mayor's offices will also issue proclamations, certificates, etc on request (e.g. Boston).
posted by jedicus at 7:32 AM on March 9

Some National Parks have a junior ranger program which adults can participate in. You fill out a booklet for doing activities like going on a hike and stopping at vistas, at the end you get a badge. My cousin who is in his 50's does this every few years when he visits Yellowstone and has quite the collection.

Now that I think about it a lot of national parks have some sort of challenge which I don't know about until I get there, I've got a lot of selfies with trail markers that I've shown to ranger to get "I hiked Death Valley!" type bumper stickers.
posted by lepus at 7:39 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]

Some states have aviation ambassador programs with awards for visiting public-use airports. I completed the Virginia program and got the most expensive free leather jacket ever (if one accounts for fuel costs). Nice jacket though.
posted by exogenous at 7:52 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]

One of our local San Diego parks has a 5 Peak Challenge. You hike the 5 mountains in the park (you don't have to do them all at once, though many people do), grab a selfie at each, and you get a certificate and a pin. Hurry though, it's been running for 5 years and they're closing out at 15K participants (there are 14,357 completions to date). Doing them separately is very achievable (finishers include a 3 year old, and a cat), and all at once is still doable if you're in good hiking shape.
posted by natabat at 7:56 AM on March 9 [5 favorites]

In Los Angeles, a restaurant called The Oinkster does a Burger Week challenge every June, where they announce a linuep of one-day-only specialty burgers. If you go every day and get one, you get a prize. I think it's usually a cool tshirt. Here's last year's lineup, where they did a music theme.
posted by erst at 8:18 AM on March 9

If you visit all 50 states, and save North Dakota for last, you can be part of the club.

I think I heard about this on askme a number of years ago. I'm planning to visit ND this summer - it's state #50. WOOHOO!
posted by Ms Vegetable at 8:21 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]

The New Hampshire Fire Tower Quest!
Visit five fire towers, get a patch and a certificate!
posted by Floydd at 8:23 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]

Go on a volksmarch. These are more popular in Europe than in the United States. They are organized walks of varying lengths. You usually do it with a crowd of people. Often you can get a pin or other award.
posted by NotLost at 8:40 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]

You can get the gift of eloquence and a signed certificate for kissing the Blarney Stone.
posted by apparently at 8:50 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]

Saranac Lake is a small town in New York's Adirondack State Park. A number of people visit the Adirondacks each year in pursuit of the Adirondack's "46'er" challenge, a quest to climb all 46 peaks in the Adirondack territory. But that's a lot, so Saranac Lake came up with a bit more manageable goal - climbing only six peaks near their town. All of them are also on the "46'er" list, but they're also easy, and easy to get to; one is even within Saranac Lake city limits. It's even possible to climb all six within a single 24-hour period, for the "ultra-6'er" status.

You get a certificate and a patch, and you also get the right to ring a bell in the town green whenever you want.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:59 AM on March 9 [6 favorites]

I copy from the website:

Honoured Guests: Grindelwald [Switzerland] Tourism honours guests who regularly spend their holidays in the Eiger village.

Grindelwald Tourism honours guests who regularly spend their holidays in the Eiger village. After ten years, recognition is granted. For their twenty years of loyalty, they are named Guest of Honour with a diploma and golden pin. To date, more than 4,000 loyal Grindelwald guests have been named Guests of Honour!
posted by jazh at 9:13 AM on March 9

If you want to get good stuff while also doing something good, you can become a regular platelet donor for the American Red Cross; unlike with "regular" (whole) blood donations, you can donate platelets every 7 days, and you get all kinds of cool swag: pins, certificates, water bottles, hoodies, etc. I couldn't find a direct link to the list of rewards, but if you join the Facebook group "American Red Cross Platelet Donors Group" you can see pictures of people showing off their cool gear.
posted by math at 9:40 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]

If you motorcycle on some number of Wisconsin's "Rustic Roads" you can get a patch and/or certificate.
posted by Wulfhere at 10:25 AM on March 9

(Frequent platelet donors will eventually discover that they end up with multiples of every giveaway, because they visit many times more often than the usual donor. Ask me about my full set of heat-sensitive mugs, box of umbrellas, and other dupes!)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:40 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]

CPR, AED, & First Aid certificate! Easy, useful, possibly life saving. You get a nice signed official card you can carry in your wallet.
posted by ananci at 3:54 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]

McMenamins Passport! It costs upfront, but the rewards range from free tots to a hotel stay. (And there's a t-shirt too.)
posted by vespabelle at 5:31 PM on March 9

Do you have all your swimming badges?
posted by tinkletown at 6:34 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]

If you hike the length of the Old Croton Aqueduct you can get a patch from the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, they use the honor system. I only have 5 miles to go!
posted by Admiral Viceroy at 7:00 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]

The Vierdaagse is a multi-day walking event in the Netherlands that offers several levels of participation and rewards.
posted by neushoorn at 5:52 AM on March 11

If you are technically inclined, you can get a free T-shirt by participating in the Hurricane Electric IPv6 Certification Project.
posted by What is E. T. short for? at 6:03 PM on March 11

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