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HSLP 2017: Day 9

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Reported by Avery Gagne (Maggie L. Walker Governor's School) and Megan McEvoy (Roanoke Catholic School)

Sunday was an atypically relaxed day. The day began with an 11 a.m. brunch of sandwiches, yogurt, and fruit. Afterwards, students were divided into teams of four and embarked on an hour-long scavenger hunt. Some students sprinted all across grounds while others strategically plotted to hit landmarks that were all in a close proximity. Some tenets of the agenda allowed students to truly interact with steadfast fixtures of UVA’s culture and history like the Rotunda and the White Spot. Others, however, poked fun at classic UVA tropes by, for example, awarding points for snapping funny pictures with effigies of Thomas Jefferson. There were also small bonus challenges based on whatever group each happened to stumble upon, including men with beards and “taxation.” In the end, the dream team of Avery Gagne, Nick Begotka, Alex Romano, and Ben Fallica narrowly won the competition.

After the scavenger hunt, we were given a twenty-minute break to relax and drink water before the next activity. Once all of the participants had traveled down to the lobby of Bice, the Youth Program Managers commanded them to travel to the mysterious Ring of Fire (Don’t worry; it was a circle drawn with chalk on the pavement of the parking lot adjacent to Bice). Thus began the water balloon duel!

Each student was equipped with two water balloons. The only objective was to defeat our opponents. The game was extremely exciting to watch as well as play. Some students used subtle tactics, while others relied on instinct. After several duels, the students had finally reached the semi-finals, which pitted Catherine Qian against Claire Melton and Cameron Smithers against Ben Fallica. After a stunning performance, students Claire Melton and Cameron Smithers advanced to the final round. The final, which had every onlooker on their feet, ended with Cameron Smithers being crowned the winner of the water balloon duel.