The days of joining our College of Charleston colleagues on the softball field or in the bowling alley for a little fun and healthy competition might be on hold, but that doesn’t mean it’s game over! Thanks to Campus Recreation Services (CRS), there’s a whole new game plan for faculty and staff to get outside, be active and battle it out for bragging rights: the Pandemic Pandemonium geocaching game!
“Because we’re not able to get together for things like the Faculty and Staff Bowling League right now, we wanted to find something else fun and active that faculty and staff can do as a community while still social distancing,” says CRS Director Gene Sessoms. “Geocaching is the perfect answer to that – it’s a fun, competitive and educational little game that gets us outside!”
Geocaching is basically a scavenger hunt using GPS coordinates to lead the way. The first one to complete the Pandemic Pandemonium game will win a stand-up paddleboard trip for two.
“This is the perfect game to tackle with a best friend or spouse – and, for those with kids, this could be a great afternoon excursion and one that costs $0 but is worth so much more,” says Sessoms, adding that the locations in the Pandemic Pandemonium are all below Calhoun Street and have an educational history lesson built in. “How fortunate for us that the peninsula below Calhoun Street is so loaded with sites worth visiting up close!”
Sessoms created the Pandemic Pandemonium game with the following backstory:
You are a young, enterprising real estate agent rummaging through the musty attics of your listing of old Charleston homes and uncover a beautiful antique steamer trunk. Thinking of all the potential artifacts it may contain, you are genuinely disappointed to find only loose papers – and not even those of an itinerant poet like Edgar Allan Poe, but of a lab researcher of all things! Undeterred, you read on and quickly figure the papers belonged to a long-forgotten immunologist who did play a significant role in the last great pandemic of 1918. As you leaf through the fragile pages, you are amazed at the disciplined effort spent identifying countless viral strains. Among them is today’s virus. Can it be that the genetic code is listed here? The pages are not in the trunk. Instead, lying before you are a series of clues that may lead you to the coveted information. Can you work through the clues to locate the code to unlocking the mysterious but desperately needed details? The fate of many now rests in your hands. Time to get cracking!*
To solve the mystery and complete the game, participants must first print out the GPS_Pandemonium Game Grid and find the 25 locations in the grid. Each location has a corresponding statement in its grid square that must be marked as TRUE or FALSE.
There are two levels of participants: adventurers, who will strictly follow the geo-coordinates on the Game Grid, and navigators, who like to work with maps. The navigators may also use the Google map below.
Once the grid is filled with the TRUE/FALSE answers, navigators and adventurers will find all combinations of three adjacent TRUE squares that form an “L” shape. From there, they will follow the detailed instructions to crack the code and determine the latitude and longitude of the final cache.
At the final cache, they will find a small metal container with the answer to the game and the signature log. Before they email CRS at email@example.com with the final answer, participants must sign the log, reseal the container and return it to its location so that the seekers that follow may enjoy the same excitement of completing the game.
For further information, visit CRS’ Pandemic Pandemonium webpage.
*Please note that any reference to COVID-19 is fictional and simply pretext for the storyline.