Daily Collegian Story - Groups search for clues in hunt

By Alison Hoachlander - Collegian Staff Writer as Printed in the Daily Collegian on October 16, 2008

Groups search for clues in hunt

James Patterson was prepared to travel wherever necessary, even "under the sea," for the Nittany Pursit scavenger hunt Wednesday night.

He and his team of five were just one of the 43 groups that participated in the campus-wide scavenger hunt.

Patterson (senior-energy, business and finance), part of the Theta Chi fraternity and Omega Phi Alpha sorority team, dressed in all red in an effort to resemble Sebastian from The Little Mermaid while his female counterparts wore sports bras and green spandex to imitate Ariel.

Zach Binder (senior-mechanical engineering) and Jared Case (junior-public relations) dressed like sailors as their part in the group's theme.

Dressing in costumes that corresponded to their Homecoming theme earned group members extra spirit points for their organizations, Patterson said.

Though his team may have looked free-spirited in dress, they took the competition very seriously, he said.

"Our strategy is to keep a solid pace, encourage each other and run fast," Patterson said while he, Binder and Case stretched before their scheduled race.

Participating groups were each given a timeslot, which were in three-minute increments, said Special Events Overall Chairman Fran Roach. There were six stops along the way with activities at each stop, he said.

"Groups are given points based on how well they do at the activities and that gets put into their overall score," Roach said.

Though teams were given either a blue or white route to follow, each set of clues led participants to the same six locations: Osmond Lab, Rec Hall, Henderson Building, Pattee and Paterno libraries, the Berkey Creamery, and the Pollock quad.

Activities included a balloon toss, Homecoming king and queen trivia, an obstacle course and "no alcohol involved" dizzy bat, said Nittany Pursuit Captain Lindsay Jenkins.

There was also "Soak it up," an activity modeled after a game from Nickelodeon's Double Dare, she said.

Most of the 43 groups involved were pairs, so roughly 80 organizations were involved in the scavenger hunt, Roach said.

"A lot of people think that homecoming is just for the greeks, but it's Penn State Homecoming, not 'IFC Homecoming,' " he said. "Any organization could participate."

Scores for Nittany Pursuit were based on both times and total points earned during the event, Roach said.

Club cross country was declared the winner with the quickest time of 26 minutes.

Four teams were disqualified for taking the bus, Roach said.