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Monday, May 12, 2008

Scavenger Hunt 2008

The University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt for 2008 just ended. It's my second year participating in it, but I still haven't been able to get over the insanity of the whole event. Even now it seems bizarre to me that just the other day I was watching people swing chickens covered in razor blades at one another ... or helping to hang a gigantic spider web across Hull Gate ... or covering a high-chair with aluminum foil and skulls at 3 in the morning. But that's the essence of Scav and it couldn't have been better!


MacPierce at Scav Olympics

Our team placed fourth, the same as last year, and while we were really hoping to get third I think we had a great run. We had a huge turn-out and people were really excited to participate. A lot of groups branched out and took the initiative on larger projects like the dollhouse dorm or the CTA bus stop barn-raising, and we had many first years get really involved.

While we had the enthusiasm, I think our downfall probably lay in organization and generally losing points on the large-showcase items. We had a new Scav server set up for list management, but it was somewhat difficult to navigate, and the lack of dedicated page captains (like Max and Snitchcock's) put a lot of pressure on the Small-med-large items captains. Also, while we were able to pull together last year's big items in the night prior to judgement: the clown bed and the strandbeest, this year's items were difficult to get together in such a manner. Building the monowheel and zeusaphone boiled down to expertise not will power, and while last year half a dozen individuals could really move things along, this year the smallest thing seemed to be able to bring down an item. What's more, a huge rainstorm the night before judgement disrupted a lot of construction that just couldn't happen inside - like a gigantic paper mache volcano ... though it did rain out FIST, so we're not complaining.


The road trip's car (decorated as the house from Wizard of Oz) caught fire ...

The points boiled down to just a 120 point difference between us, MacPierce and 3rd place - which went to Burton-Judson. The complete breakdown is as follows (you can also check out the video of the final results).

  1. Snell-Hitchcock, aka Army Dillo
  2. Max Palevsky, aka The Audacity of Pope
  3. Burton-Judson, aka The War of Southern Aggression
  4. MacPierce, aka The University of Chicago School of Engineering
  5. Shoreland, aka The Untouchables
  6. The Grad/Alum Scav Hunters, aka FOGIES
  7. The Federation of Independent Scavhunt Teams, aka Heroic Furry Gut Monks
  8. Broadview, aka Vandelay Industries
  9. Hoover/Breckinridge, aka Scav Trek V: The Vinyl Frontier

Overall, I think the experience of Scav will be what I take away from the four days. Both this and last year's judgement left me with some conflicted feelings - sure we were getting validation for doing all of these insane things, but seeing 6 clown beds in a row and having to be evaluated on them, somewhat diminished the kind of unbridled, spontaneous element of Scav that I love. Though ... all right, I will add there were plenty of random outbursts during judgement (like our amazing flute drumline), and seeing the amount of variation possible on any one item was great ... but everyone was so sleep deprived and tired by that point that I have to admit, Sunday just flew by. Now the whole experience seems quite surreal and distant, but I'll try to do a quick write-up on the little items that I really liked.

Either way, I can't wait to do Scav again next year! Check out the 2008 list for all 269 glorious items (not counting the list the Vegas Scav Warriors got), as well as the Judges' blog. Finally, since Scav is all about the little things that celebrate our quirks, here's a video of everyone Rickrolling the judges:

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