May 10, 2007
Vol. 26 No. 16

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    Retrieving this year’s list first of many adventures for ‘Scavvies’ in annual hunt

    By Julia Morse
    News Office

    Get the hiccups. Find a hovercraft. Break glass with your voice.

    These are just a sampling of the hundreds of thoughtful, challenging, creative, humorous and, for non-Scavenger Hunt participants, often seemingly impossible items to obtain, which are on the 2007 Scavenger Hunt list.

    The annual hunt began today and runs through Sunday, May 13, when the event closes with judging at Ida Noyes Hall.

    Other items listed this year are $1,000,000 in cash; an incorrect Trivial Pursuit card; a University of Chicago diploma dated before World War II; a chainsaw carving of a chainsaw; a can of Coke branded in Arabic; a fire truck from a city other than Chicago; a NASCAR racing suit made for President Bush; the best cupcake ever; and the worst hair on campus.

    “There isn’t an item on there I wouldn’t want to see completed,” said College third-year James Ryan, who serves as the Head Judge for Scavenger Hunt 2007. “Everything about the Hunt this year is shaping up to be epic. From the road trip down to the smallest items on the list, there will be fun to be had for all.”

    This year’s event will send teams on a road trip to eight states—the most in Scavenger Hunt’s 21-year history—including as far west as Colorado and Wyoming.

    “Being my first year as Head Judge, I am up to my eyeballs in excitement,” Ryan added.

    At midnight this morning, representatives of each Scavenger Hunt team gathered in Ida Noyes Hall, where they were required to solve a puzzle before getting the list.

    “This year, we gave them blank packets of paper with invisible ink writing on one of the pages,” said College fourth-year P. Claire Gilbert, Judge. “They had to reveal the writing and follow its instructions on how to obtain the actual list—which was submerged in water in Ziploc bags at a different location.”

    After retrieving the lists, teams gathered to read them aloud from front to back—something Gilbert said, “is like Christmas,” and added, “the Scavvies look forward to it all year long.”

    She and her fellow judges try to imagine how people will react when the list is first read aloud for every single item, Gilbert said.

    “Will they laugh? Will the groan? Will someone in the back of the room call out, ‘Yes! I know what they’re talking about!’” she said. “A lot of the items are cryptic. Teams might spend the entire four days trying to figure out what something means. When they do figure it out, the joy is immense.”

    Scavenger Hunt Olympics will be held at noon Saturday, May 12, on the Main Quadrangles. The four-day hunt wraps up Sunday at Ida Noyes Hall for Judgment Day, when all teams present the items they have collected to the judges.