The teammembers who do the most for their teams often go unsung, and I'm sorry not to know them better. All I can share with you today are the teammembers who impressed me, or made me laugh, or I'll otherwise remember for some time to come.
Captains Grace Fisher and Chris Strange of Burton-Judson, for their wonderful captains costumes (so thanks also to their costumers!) as well as their excellent combination of tenacity and understanding.
Ryne Weiss of Blintstone, who solved the murder mystery without hesitation and through careful study of not only the evidence at hand but also the personalities of the witnesses and suspects. Honorable mentions here to Carolyn Bolger of Max Palevsky and John Payne of the Grad/Alum Scav Hunt team for their doggedness and excitement. Much love for the Marlowe schtick, John.
Marley Lindsey of MacPierce, a skilled and earnest marksman who never got frustrated with my ad-hoc rule switches or getting tumbled from his shopping cart.
Captain Daniel Booth of Max Palevsky, in whom I saw something of a kindred spirit, and who truly duped me into putting my signature on a page. Also for his amazing display of skill in the first marksmanship event, possibly the single most impressive sight for me this entire hunt.
Blair Thornburgh and Seamus Bartlett of Burton-Judson, for partying like it was 1999 from the first to last dance of the Scav Prom. Blair's Nemo-esque dress was also great and I totally didn't figure that out until 11pm. (Honorable mention: random dude in the coil! You were awesome! I loved when you started absorbing that captain -- it looked really convincing!)
Kenneth Barr, Evelyn DeHais, and Lenny Urbanowski of the Grad/Alum Scav Hunt team, along with their fellow showcase teammembers. They presented, collectively, the most impressive showcase ensemble I have seen in six years of judging and three years of competition. Full stop.
Captain John Bobka of Snell/Hitchcock, who made an excellent Doctor Manhattan, an excellent Navi, and an excellent contact with his team. John, I want you to know that I accidentally stiffed you a few points on the stapler item: you deserved full credit for that, and I forgot that the 5:00 mark was no longer mandatory (as I had originally proposed).
Clara Raubertas of the Grad/Alum Scav Hunt team for her work on the clock, and more besides. Clara gave me some thoughts after Judgment on other ways I could have approached that item, and I can help make a better hunt next year because she did so. I think it's really important that teams pass feedback up the chain, and I apologize to Clara and every other clockbuilder who felt misled by the pointing scheme.
The International House team, specifically Anthony and Kara (sp?), with whom I had the most interactions. We always love to see new teams, and these guys threw themselves at the List with wild abandon, despite being a team of first-year transfer students living in Phoenix House (which I always assumed was only a campus legend). Mad props. Since they weren't even aware that we did HQ visits or that we judged items in the Cloister Club, I feel that this space is safe enough to admit that Kara was certainly this judge's Scavencrush (well, if he had to pick just one).
Much of the Grad/Alum Scav Hunt team, including but not limited to Captains Zach Binney, Meredith Rose, and Robert Prag, and also Sam Perkins-Harbin, Amber Staab, John Laycock, Gretchen Pfau, Will Claybaugh, Alex Fix, Priyanko Paul, Patrick Lange, Alan Mardinly, Jeremy Harris, Ashley Meyer, Daniel Kimmel, Matthias Jamison-Koenig, Loranne Nasir, and Colleen Peterson, in addition to others listed above. I scavved with or against these fine fellows in 2004, 2005, and (most gloriously) 2006. I am so honored that they return each year, that the Hunts I have helped to run since then have had some of the same draw and power that we experienced together as undergraduates. And on a purely selfish note, I am so glad that I get another chance each year to connect with these wonderful friends, many of whom have moved away from Chicago.