Test your knowledge of Scav Hunt—and the UChicago state of mind that defines the items—with our true or farce quiz.
Each year since 1987, Mother’s Day weekend has been the mother of weekends on the quads. That’s when the massive University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt, affectionately known as Scav, takes place. Many of the items are as outrageous as the lists are long, and every Scav vet has war stories: chugging a six-pack of Jolt in seven minutes; stripping down to a Speedo and gliding across a Slip ’N Slide; swiping a wax penguin from the Brookfield Zoo.
In our list, Scav items from through the years mingle with items from other hunts (real and fictional). As this year’s troops prepare for battle, we challenge you to this paper contest. Can you sort the real from the faux?
Spot the genuine Scav items.
- Freeze an egg on the sidewalk.
- Play “Duck Duck Goose” with real ducks and geese.
- Go to a book signing and have the author autograph your chest.
- Dress a window mannequin at Old Navy in your own clothes.
- Balance 20 pennies on the end of your nose for at least ten seconds in one try.
- Scale a silo of ice.
- Eat a stack of Pringles vertically inserted into your mouth.
- Simple loaf of bread made with flour, water, and Yeats.
- Nail Jell-O to the wall.
- A “forgotten man.”
- Recite all of the American presidents in order.
- Note from a Pulitzer prize winner with a spelling error.
- Send your Greek legions to sack Troy.
- Clown head from a Jack in the Box eatery.
- Sing the Speed Racer theme song.
- Two-foot tall Leaning Tower of Cookies without any adhesive or supports.
- Live beagle wearing an aviator’s helmet.
- A Hooters waitress reading a copy of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.
- 20 mattress tags, 0 mattresses.
- Functioning toilet-paper jump rope.
- Receipts from five identifiably different businesses called “Fred’s.”
There are Scav soldiers and there are Scav warriors. Which are you? Count how many genuine Scav Hunt items you correctly identified from the list to claim your rank.
18–21: Decorated Veteran
As a judge, you went underground for a year, neglecting schoolwork but laughing fiendishly as you wrote items about edible balloons and fullbody tattoos. As a player, you were in the line of fire: reading Quotations from Chairman Mao while wearing a Ronald Reagan mask; shaving off an entire eyebrow without a second thought; x-raying your insides.
14–17: Average Scaver
You asked your dad for his “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for McGovern” bumper sticker. You helped build a dinosaur diorama. You tagged along on a road trip. But covering your body in Post-it Notes or asking the local mortician for embalming fluid? No thanks.
0–13: Scav civilian
You either (a) spent 17 hours a day at the Reg and never saw Scav, or (b) have repressed the memories—who ate dinner at the Capital Grille with a puppet?
The authentic Scav items are 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 19, and 21. Tally your results (one point for each correct answer) for your score.
- Freeze an egg on the sidewalk. (UChicago 2005, Item 269)
- Play "Duck Duck Goose" with real ducks and geese. (GISHWHES 2012, Item 117)
- Go to a book signing and have the author autograph your chest. (UChicago 2012, Item 104)
- Dress a window mannequin at Old Navy in your own clothes. (Scav hunt item in the movie Sleepover)
- Balance 20 pennies on the end of your nose for at least 10 seconds in one try. (UChicago 1989, Item 18)
- Scale a silo of ice. (Scav hunt item in the movie Cedar Rapids)
- Eat a stack of Pringle vertically inserted into your mouth. (UChicago 1997, Item 10)
- A simple loaf of bread made with flour, water, and Yeats. (UChicago 2011, Item 27)
- Nail Jell-O to the wall. (UChicago 2007, Item 281)
- A “forgotten man.” (Scav hunt item in the movie My Man Godfrey)
- Recite all of the American presidents in order. (UChicago 1987, Item 53)
- A note from a Pulitzer prize winner with a spelling error. (UChicago 1992, Item 247)
- Send your Greek legions to sack Troy. (Tricadecathlonomania 2002, Item 34)
- A clown head from a Jack in the Box eatery. (Scav hunt item in the movie Scavenger Hunt)
- Sing the Speed Racer theme song. (UChicago 1988, Item 268)
- A two-foot tall Leaning Tower of Cookies without any adhesive or supports. (Tricadecathlonomania 2006, Item 160)
- A live beagle wearing an aviator’s helmet. (UChicago 1990, Item 107)
- A Hooters waitress reading a copy of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. (GISHWHES 2011, Item 104)
- 20 mattress tags, 0 mattresses. (UChicago 1993, Item 239)
- A functioning toilet-paper jump rope. (Tricadecathlonomania 2005, Item 177)
- Receipts from five identifiably different businesses called “Fred’s.” (UChicago 1991, Item 182)