After a weekend of campus-, city-, and nationwide pandemonium, Snell-Hitchcock residents emerged the victors of this year’s Scav Hunt. The house’s “Army Dillo” team garnered a first place victory for the second year in a row, triumphing over the Max Palevsky team, “The Audacity of Pope.”
Participants in this year’s hunt danced on the yellow brick road for 5 points, constructed giant papier-mâché volcanoes for 45 points, and created slinkies that slinked up stairs for 25 points. They’ve been judged on their abilities to dice vegetables efficiently, produce the world’s largest snowflake, and perform elaborate song-and-dance numbers in iconic Chicago locations.
In an e-mail interview, Max Gallop, a fourth-year student and a Snell-Hitchcock captain, called the last four days “exhausting, chaotic, and ridiculous.”
“Sunday was the best of my life,” he said. “I love [my team] so very much.”
This year, Burton-Judson (B-J), which tied for fifth last year with “Broover”—a team formed by Hoover House in Max Palevsky and Breckinridge—took third place.
“Our third place finish was basically like winning the entire [S]cav [H]unt for us, given the dominance of Max P and Snitchcock, and our traditional place as the ‘underdogs’ of the hunt,” wrote second-year Sarah Staudt, captain of the B-J team “The War of Southern Aggression,” in an e-mail interview.
This year’s Scav Hunt fostered “more friendliness and camaraderie between all the teams,” Gallop said, even between Snell-Hitchcock and their traditional rivals -—“the hated Palevsky.”
Fourth-year and head judge Jim Ryan also noted the good-natured cooperation among teams.
“One thing I heard from many scavvies this year is that they were surprised how well the teams got along at various points in the competition, and I applaud them for that,” he said.
The Scav Hunt party was also a success, Staudt and Ryan said. This year’s party was moved back to its traditional location at the center of the main quadrangle after jaunts in the Social Science quadrangle and Cobb Hall in previous years.
“Unlike last year, people seemed to really have a good time and embraced the themes that were set out by the judges,” Staudt said.
Ryan said that the location change gave the party “more of a public face.” This year, each team was assigned a boat, like the Titanic or Argo, as the basis for the party. According to Ryan, the boat theme worked well, although he said he was disappointed that the party was not better attended.
“In years past it is our belief that masses of people may have shown up for the free flowing booze, but stayed for the ingenious theme, decoration and location of the party, the latter of which was still very much present this year,” he said.
Although this year’s party proceeded smoothly, Ryan said that there were a few snags during the Hunt.
During the Top Chef Scav Olympic competition, contestants were asked to slice, dice, or cut four or five vegetables.
“Whether due to lack of sleep, focus, quality tools, or proper training, this event put some of the Top Chefs in a position to hurt themselves,” Ryan said. According to Ryan, two contestants cut themselves, and one required medical assistance.
In addition, Ryan said that there was some confusion about the start time of the judging session, during which the teams are awarded points for completed items.
Still, Ryan expressed delight with the overall competition.
“The teams did a phenomenal job this year with a list that did many things different than years past,” he said. He called the judges “ecstatic” at the delivery of four Deloreans—the car made famous in the Back to the Future movie—to campus to fulfill one of the items and said that he was personally fascinated with the working zeusaphone—a solid-state Tesla coil—the graduate and alumni student team (GASH) was able to acquire from the University of Illinois.
As one of this year’s most off-the-wall Scav items, Ryan singled out the “Scav Air” challenge, in which nine Scav Warriors were blindfolded, driven to the airport, and put on planes to Las Vegas. Initially Scav Air was discussed merely as a joke. When Ryan became the head judge, he decided to see if the administration and ORCSA would permit the challenge. Not only did ORCSA provide approval, but the Student Government Finance Committee (SGFC) agreed to confidentially fund the project in full until the Hunt was over.
“I cannot thank [SGFC] enough for sparing us that load,” Ryan said.