AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP — Tromping through the woods two by two, 76 students embarked on the latest adventure at Grand River Academy. The game was manhunt, the latest installation of the Intramural Games on campus this year. For two hours, the teachers and staff hid in the woods on campus. The weeks of anticipation from the students and staff culminated into potentially, the most exciting event of the fall term.
The Intramural Games is a first year program on campus, designed by the residential life committee, to bring a greater sense of community and camaraderie to the students and faculty. The eight teams, each captained by a senior, all incorporate American students, international students and faculty members. Each team receives points for participation and success in the biweekly competitions. For the purpose of manhunt, every faculty member in hiding had a different point value based on difficulty of their concealment. The point value of each faculty member was awarded to the team of the student who found them. Faculty hiding spots ranged in difficulty and creativity; some of which included the roofs of buildings, at the tops of trees, or on the ground in full camouflage.
Thomas Pollak, head dorm master and Ashtabula native, concealed himself in a full body, army style ghillie suit and remained unfound for the entire two hours of search.
“Any time people come together and experience membership of some sort of team, they gain life skills,” Pollak said. “As I was hiding I could hear the students gradually forming a holistic team atmosphere, which, as a dorm parent was fantastic for me to witness.”
“The manhunt game was a huge success,” said Christina Hartz, head of residential life. “For the first time in 100 years, our students got a half day of school off, to participate in the event. Our goal is to build community; so when the students and faculty have fun in the games, it is considered a huge success.”