Jan 26, 2010

Students search city for prizes

by Camille Smith

Students huddled in groups of six across the Tilley Student Center, poised to race out and into Lynchburg. At the shout of “go” from the Student Activities announcer, they flooded the exits and poured into the parking lots. This was the scene on Saturday, Jan. 23 at the beginning of the first Hill City Scavenger Hunt.

Associate Director of Student Activities Alese Chandler explained the event during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.

“This is something we have always talked about, trying to have a giant mass campus hunt,” Chandler said. “This is the first one we have ever had, and it is going to be across the city.”

Chandler and the full-time staff of Student Activities shared the idea of the hunt when they returned from Christmas break, and the idea was well received.

“When we presented the idea to our student workers, we had them pick it apart,” Chandler said. “We had them tell us some problems and what could make it better, and at that point creativity was flying all over the office. It was great.”

“We were given the information and we were all really excited about it,” Sarah Turner, a Student Activities student worker and junior at Liberty, said.

Liberty students were excited about the idea of a citywide scavenger hunt as well and came out in droves. Each group of six students was given a booklet of challenges in riddle form. A point value system assigned points by level of difficulty and two hours were given to complete as many challenges as possible. The team with the most points won.

“We didn’t expect it to attract so many students, maybe 100 or so,” Turner said. “Throughout registration it exploded in here and we had more than 400 students show up.”

In all, the prizes represented more than $1,500 in giveaways, including six Mini Flip video cameras, six iPods and six $75 movie gift certificates. While not every team won one of the more valuable prizes, all students received free handouts from businesses that participated in the hunt.
“We were in contact with businesses in the area,” Turner said. “They were pretty excited about the idea and getting involved.”
Businesses such as Lil’ Cucci’s Pizzeria, Little Dickens and Givens Books served as checkpoints during the hunt. Other stops included a mile marker on the Black Water Creek Mountain Bike trail and the Percivals Island sign.

“I think that students were able to see a lot of Lynchburg,” Turner said. “Even freshman came out and participated. They got to see (more of) the city that they go to school in.”

One of the many teams that competed, Team VV, consisted of Jenny Foster, Dominic Davis, Ciji Prosser, James Smith, Tucker Hill and Austin Hagan. Although they did not win, they were grateful for the event.

“I really did appreciate that Student Activities came up with a really good idea like this,” Foster said.

“It was an amazing way to spend my Saturday rather than just cooped up in a dorm watching 90210 reruns,” Prosser said.

Contact Camille Smith at

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