Magic, dance, and art were at the heart of the two-hour adventure that involved over 80 students last month as part of MUM Quest, a series of events this academic year based on teamwork, fun, and fantasy, all with the purpose of engaging students and fostering connectedness among them.
“The Quest was the most mythical and mystical event MUM has ever put on,” said student Alexandria Van Boven.
Planned by alumnus Chris Grace and student Haley Spitzfaden, the MUM Quest was modeled after Harry Potter’s Triwizard Tournament. During the inaugural event six teams of students trekked across campus to engage in challenges. Teams earned points based on the quality of their teamwork, enthusiasm, and achievement of goals.
“A goal of the Quest was for the students to escape the ordinary world for two hours, and cross a threshold to experience something magical,” said Chris Grace.
The Quest commenced with an 8-minute video featuring President John Hagelin reading an alternate history of Fairfield and the MUM campus, based on a 19th-century diary “found” during the demolition of Carnegie Hall. The story involved Freemasons, magic, a uniquely powerful energy vortex in Fairfield that’s in danger of being lost, and the immediate need to re-enliven this vortex by priming three “ley lines” that intersect on campus. The participants had until sundown to achieve this; otherwise, the vortex would be lost forever.
The goal was to re-enliven the ley lines by completing four challenges. The faith challenge involved walking on water. During the art challenge, each team was given a canvas to create a design, with each canvas ultimately becoming part of a larger design.
The magic potion challenge entailed thinking specific thoughts, which then caused a liquid to change color. For the dance challenge, students had to dance in three circles in time with four drummers. For the grand finale, all of the teams gathered under the pine trees at Waterworks Park for a pizza party.
“The Quest was the beginning of a journey,” said Cris Evergreen, student body president. “The first of its kind, it opened me up to the magic of what’s possible when we work together. It was light-hearted and fun. I look forward to seeing what the game masters conjure up for next time.”