Campus News

Campus-wide “ambushing” begins

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Don’t be surprised if you see a student sprinting by you over the next few weeks. Monday, March 17 marked the start of Ambush, the annual campus-wide game of squirt gun tag. Ambush traditionally begins the Monday following spring break and continues until finals week. Each contestant receives a squirt gun and a card with the name of his or her target on it. The contestant’s goal is to seek out this person and shoot him or her with the squirt gun. Upon assassinating his or her target, the contestant must then target the person whom his or her original target was hunting.
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Students co-conspire and take extra precautions when venturing outside to avoid being ambushed.
Now, of course, you can’t just shoot anyone anywhere. Upon picking up their squirt guns, contestants receive a packet which includes the game rules. One such rule is that participants may defend themselves by leaving the play area, going indoors or running away. Another legal defense maneuver is to successfully fire upon one’s assailant before he or she fires on his or her target. This allows the person targeted to have one hour of safety before another attack may be attempted. The fun part of Ambush is the many different tactics students employ to hunt down their targets. Some contestants tend to just lay low and try to hide from the person who is trying to hunt them down. Others, however, go all out and use the tactic of aggressiveness. Student Activities Intern Brandon Gerig, junior, said that a total of 154 people signed up for Ambush this year, while last year’s total was 137. He also said last year had three winners, Brett Walter, Abigail Maas, and Hannah Matteson, instead of one winner as usual. Last year, the game was a bit more complicated than usual. Towards the end of the game, Campus Activities had to hire in some “assassins” to kill off some of the people who were just sitting on their targets. This did help the game to move a little quicker than usual, but there were still three people standing when the game was finally called. “I really don’t have a strategy throughout the game,” said junior Kayla King. “I just try and lay low so that way no one can really find me.” King has played each year since starting at Bethel, and she said that the longest she has ever lasted was 5 weeks, during her freshman year. Sophomore Ashlyn Bontrager is playing Ambush for the first time. “I haven’t gotten anyone out yet,” said Bontrager. “But I am kind of paranoid walking around now.” She said that she will likely play next year as well. Senior Brandon Herron has decided to try and go out with a bang this year. “I am a little sad this is my last year playing,” said Herron. “I will definitely miss the constant paranoia and chasing other students around with my water gun. I would really like to win this year, but if not, I will just be happy to say I have participated all four years of being here.” Students are not the only participants in the game; faculty and staff members are encouraged to play as well. This allows for a more diverse group because staff members can catch students when they least expect it. There are three awards available to Ambush contestants. The overall winner receives $100 and is the last person standing in the game. The “Most Lethal” award is also $100 and is given to the person who “ambushes” the most targets throughout the game, as determined by the number of Ambush tags the contestant has turned in to the Student Development Office. Finally, the Staff/Faculty award is given to the last staff/faculty person with the most Ambushes. This award does not receive any prize money, just the respect of the student body. The game is one of intense strategy, and many students express feelings of paranoia while playing. “The Hunger Games” may effectively sum up the spirit of the game with the often-quoted statement, “May the odds ever be in your favor.”
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