Chaos ensues on the far fields!
Around 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 9, 2012 students gathered in Mercer Field House for what they thought was a campus evacuation drill. Suddenly, 55 prefects covered in paint - half in blue, half in gray - charged in screaming at the top of their lungs, much to the surprise of the rest of the student body! View a video and more photos here
Students were then divided into two teams - blue and gray - and followed the lead of their team's prefects and Headmaster Zack Lehman, who also was covered in paint, out to the Far Fields. The two sides took separate paths to the fields, stopping along the way to paint themselves in their team's color. Awaiting the students at the fields were 12,000 water balloons. The teams lined up facing each other, arms full of water balloons, eagerly awaiting the signal to go. As soon as Headmaster Lehman sounded the air horn, a mass battle cry erupted, and the inaugural "Battle of The Hill" was under way.
|Let the games begin!|
The "Battle of the Hill" was part of the year-long "Quest for the Crest" competition that will feature multiple surprise events throughout this school year. Students will remain on the teams to which they were assigned for this event for the remainder of this year, as well as their entire Hill careers. The objective of the first contest was simple - get as much paint off of the opposing team's members as possible using only water balloons. In less than five minutes, the 12,000 water balloons that the prefects had secretly filled over the course of 48 hours had been popped.
Hill Instructor of Economics Ari Baum, who is in his first year at The Hill, took on the unenviable task of organizing the event. Ari has served as the program director at an overnight summer camp in New York for the past six years, and in 2007 he created a contest known as the "Color War," which is similar to Hill's "Quest for the Crest." Ari's goal in the large-scale team event is to have students understand the values of teamwork and leadership.
"Ultimately, the goal of the event is for everyone in the community to win," he said. "Certainly on the surface, the objective of each team is to come out victorious; however, by partaking together in something so big, intense, and engaging, the community evolves in a tremendously meaningful way. For the 55 prefects who help plan, execute, and lead these huge events, the hope is that their ceilings rise for what they can accomplish and achieve together. The sheer visual of such a large undertaking highlights their outstanding work and commitment to something larger than themselves. When all is said and done, we hope every member of the community, no matter their role and no matter the setting, gains a stronger grasp on what it means to be a part of something truly special and memorable."
So, what can we anticipate from future Quest for the Crest events?
"It is safe to expect the complexity and rigor of future events to increase," Ari explained. "The events undoubtedly will range in appearance and structure, but we certainly will strive to build unparalleled and unprecedented community-wide images that include all of our students contributing and engaging. In the end, the events will allow our students to foster enduring relationships with one another and The Hill."