Students take part in international scavenger hunt
Even though Halloween may be over, students may see one group of strangely-dressed people completing even stranger tasks around campus.
Six UNH students are participating in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (GISHWHES) along with nine other members from around the world.
GISHWHES first occurred in 2011 when actor Misha Collins - one of the main cast members of the television show Supernatural - decided to break a Guinness World Record for the largest digital scavenger hunt. According to the GISHWHES website, a portion of the proceeds go to Collins's charity, Random Acts, to inspire acts of kindness throughout the world.
"It's an amazing way to meet new people from all across the globe," said Patti Malone, one of the team members.
This year's hunt started on Oct. 30 and ends on Nov. 4. Teams have until midnight to upload pictures and video of their items. The winning team gets a free trip to Scotland to spend the night in a haunted castle with Collins.
The items in the scavenger hunt vary in difficulty. Easier items include taking 50 stuffed animals grocery shopping or playing leapfrog in Starbucks.
Courtney Langer, who completed the stuffed animal challenge, said that GISHWHES gives her "an opportunity to meet new people, pull some awesome pranks and be creative."
More difficult tasks take more effort, such as painting a sad face on an ice rink with a Zamboni and dyes or getting an orchestra made of at least 25 pieces to play the band Kansas's "Carry on My Wayward Son" in a symphonic music hall.
"I've sent out requests to make those two happen, but I haven't heard back yet. Fingers crossed that the replies are positive, though," Malone said.
According to Malone, she was able to draw the sad face in red ink on the ice in the Whittemore Arena around 9 a.m. on Friday thanks to a joint effort with the Whittemore staff.
Some items are not as eccentric, such as donating jackets to people in need or helping people affected by Hurricane Sandy.
"Gathering pledges to perform random acts of kindness before the end of 2012 is actually one of the tasks that we can complete," Malone said.
Malone asks anybody who would like to pledge visit http://cluster.gishwhes2012.com/pledge.php and enter email@example.com for the email address of the person who referred you so the team can get points.
"There's no obligation to follow through with a pledge - but wouldn't the world be a better place if we did?" Malone said. "And there's no having to sign up for an email list."
Team member Kate Trisciani was in charge of making a two-foot by two-foot portrait of Collins's Supernatural cast-mate, Jensen Ackles, completely out of Skittles. She said that while it was an intimidating task, once the six pounds of Skittles were sorted, it was easy for her.
"It was a lot of fun to put my skills to good use and create something I had never thought to make before," she said. "Now I need to get to work on a painting of Misha Collins and the Queen of England in full steampunk garb, riding a single stallion."
As of Thursday, the team has collected around 731 points, although some tasks have the opportunity for bonus points. No team, however, knows what place it is in.
"I guess that's part of the fun," Malone said. "It encourages you to do as many as possible because you don't know if you've got a huge lead or if you're neck-and-neck with another team. You've just got to keep doing the tasks and hope you come out on top."
If anyone would like to help the team, Malone invites students to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Team member Andrew Ouellette, for example, is looking for people to become a part of his 30-person human abacus.
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