What do a cow, premium North American beer and a headset from a McDonalds drive-through worker have in common? They were all desired objects of a Winter Term scavenger hunt spear-headed by Senior Jim Woodroffe and first-year Shawn Margles.
The Ultimate Frisbee team provided most of the 30 participants who criss-crossed the country on a 36-hour hunt that gave bonus points for mileage and crossing state lines, not to mention national boundaries.
The ultimate scavenger hunt ended with a party where the best mixed drink earned a 500 point bonus, and teams who successfully coaxed obscure guests to the party were warmly rewarded.
Woodroffe said there were about 80 items on the list. Woodroffe came up with the idea during a car ride from Boston and said the primary goal was to kill time.
"It was basically a scheme to alleviate boredom of Winter Term," Woodroffe said. "There are some things on the list that I can't mention, really."
One adventure Woodroffe described was his group's trip to Canada. "On our way back from Canada, we decided to walk across the border. A man and woman were walking about 100 feet behind us on the bridge. The man started to climb over a fence that is over Niagara Falls. Later, a Security guard asked us if we had seen anything unusual. We said yes, and then about five other security guards walked out of the security building. I think that guy is probably in pretty big trouble now."
Another expedition on the list was a trip to see the movie Spice World. "A couple of groups fell asleep while watching it," Woodroffe said.
While Woodroffe stayed away from the spice of movie life, Margles' team went to the movie. "We went to Spice World, and that was traumatizing."
Within those 36 hours, Obies managed to get on local TV to talk about President Bill Clinton, scrape up roadkill for presentation and see the innards of a silo.
One of the funniest items, Woodroffe said, was to find something "unidentifiable." Groups found an old earpiercer, an old aerator for a fish tank and hunks of metal that no one could classify.
According to Margles, a few professors showed up for the final party, and so did the Avon lady who came equipped with make-up to sell.
"It was a lot of fun. Most people didn't sleep at all," Woodroffe said. "We plan to make this an annual Winter Term event."
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 13, February 6, 1998
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