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Metal Detector Stories - Less than A Hour

By Mike Vande Voort

It was the usual warm summer afternoon when my wife and I loaded the kids in the minivan, and headed for a local park for a short excursion. My kids love to go there to feed the ducks in the pond while I partake in my favorite hobby, metal detecting.

That day, my Dad was going to meet us there. I always enjoy the times that we go out detecting together, and he must as well, because he keeps putting up with me. When Dad showed up, we got out the detectors, and powered them up. We donned our headphones, pouches, trowels, and probes, and off we swung our way across the large inner city Park to find treasure.

We hadnít been detecting for long (and our empty pouches proved it), when we noticed we had captured the attention of four young kids. They too, had come to the park with their Mother to enjoy the nice afternoon. From a distance, they watched as Dad and myself swung those odd sticks to and fro, only stopping to kneel down and start digging. We noticed the kids made their way to us, and stood quietly for at least a couple seconds before the usual, "Hey, Mister, what are you looking for?" popped out of one of their mouths.

When we told them we were mostly looking for money, the curiosities peaked. They followed us to each excavation, helping dig when we determined that "X" marked the spot. I think the kids had more fun helping dig in the holes than they would have, had they actually found something (which for the most part, we didnít).

I noticed that my Dad was being followed by the oldest of the group, and he was staying right at the heels of Dads feet. Dad knelt down to dig, and his little shadow followed suit. If you could have only seen the look on that young kidís face when Dad dug a silver ring. It was priceless! He acted as if Dad had just dug up a treasure chest full of gold and silver right there at Vander Veer Park! Needless to say, we all really enjoyed ourselves that day, but the story doesnít quite end there.

Today, I visited my favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch with a couple fellow employees. When the waitress seated us, I recognized her as the Mother of the kids we had met at the park that day. So, out of the blue, I blurted out, "So, has your boy been bugging you for a metal detector?" She looked at me as if I was psychic, and asked, "Why yes, how did you know that?" I explained to her that it was my Dad and myself that were detecting at the park when her kids were there playing.

After she realized I was indeed one of the two guys from the park, she went on to tell me about her sonís excitement about metal detecting. Apparently, after that day, he bugged her about getting his own "money stick" until she finally gave in. His birthday present this summer was a brand new metal detector! She says he is having a ball with that thing.

Now, I donít know about everyone else, but hearing that from her was better than any "treasure" we could have dug that day. It is really a good feeling to know that you, in less than an hour, influenced the life of a child in a positive way. I feel confident that, whatever that boy is digging up right now, he is still thinking about that coveted ring he saw that guy at Vander Veer Park dig up right in front of his eyes.