MRV#1 was on a warm day in August. The teams had to unscramble a ticket that led them to Viera Regional Park. After a not so fast pre-meeting, the teams chose a teammate to get them a starting position. The Game was golf. the longest drive starts first. Problem was, it was a wiffle golf ball and a plastic golf club.
After some impressive and not so impressive drives…the teams were off and running.
Clue one: Viera’s #1
-Now I’ll admit, it was suppose to hold them up a little, but all 11 teams went to VHS. And sadly it took some teams an hour to realize it was refering to Uno’s of Viera.
Clue four: This Place ramps you down, and it’s near by bridge takes you to a place where Douglas Skyhawks may have once flown.
-getting to this clue was a little difficult for the last 4 teams, as the area it was located in was closed around 630pm. so we improvised. Almost all the teams figured this out in a few minutes, and it led them to the Pineda Boat ramp where they had to fish the next clue out of the river in four parts.
Clue Ten: From the top of this eastern twin, you can see the home of the hawks
-the tunnel east of campus was the eastern twin. and what waited for the teams there was a maze built for four. Four kids were taped back-to-back, and had to navigate thru to get the next clue.
Final Clue: What fruit benefits Viera High?
– Actually, the pinapple foutain at the avenues, donates all the money tossed into it, to Brevard County Schools. So technically, It does. This was was finish line. Green team figured this out in about 10 seconds, and finished the race first, an hour before the next team. In the end, Cow print won by a mere 40 points cementing their names at the top of the Wisdom Trophy. And for a historical note, the first ever, last place team was Rasta. (Winners of the Gilded Shoe of Slow)
MRV#2: The Sequel began at noon on February 19th. The teams solved a coded message directing them back to the eastern twin from game one. A quick meeting with the parent drivers and we got into the pre-meeting talk. This game added a “Best Dressed” point bonus at the starting line. The teams were very surprised that they were the judges in this contest for an extra 150 points.
The Theme was a little confusing for the teams to figure out. Sequels. Movie sequels, specifically. Each clue was a poster of a movie sequel. Lord of the Rings2, Star Wars2, Toy Story2..and so on. It took a couple clues, but they finally got it.
You had to look close, but there is a Starbucks logo in the moon. This lead the teams to the Rockledge Starbucks where they had to pick the 1 right poster of 3 starwars posters hanging in a window.
Teams had to find the letters hidden in the characters and subtract 2. The clue read “dres4les”, which lead most teams to the Ross parking lot in Viera.
The clue reads “the key maker is where the mountain resides”, referring to where Mount Viera reside now. A treasure box at this location held the final clue. “ La linea de meta es 2251-117” roughly translates to the “finishline is at 2251-117”. The number just happens to be the address of the Finish Line at the Avenues.
The Race went 10 hours (2 more hours than I planned for) and we held the finishing ceremony at the Pineapple fountain once again. Cow print continued its dominance for a second game, followed closely by Scooby doo and the Teacher team.
MRV#3 Spies Like Us
Mrv3 was held on Saturday August 27th under threat of Hurricane Irene. The Game had been in question, but Irene turned north and spared us a direct hit. The teams clue to the starting line was a picture of a high school senior. They were told to find his parking spot for instructions. The picture was my highschool senior picture, the parking sport was my spot and the starting line was finally, Viera High.
The theme for game three was “Spies like us.” Whether that was actually a spy theme or a secert agent theme, i don’t think we every decided. But none-the-less we threw a few curve balls at the teams right from the starting line. First thing we did was kidnap a team member and unknown to the most of the players until the end, we turned them into double agents.( They worked behind the backs of their team to complete a task that was the exact opposite of the rules we told the teams). Then we set the teams loose in the order in which they finished the registration Challenge.
Clue 1: It was a QR code for an address. But the code was different for every other group.
Clue 2: Was a partially completed ariel view of the Drivers ed course at VHS. This lead them to the first of 6 challenges. A “ropes” challenge where the entire team had to cross a rope bridge built by our ROTC instructor.
Clue 5: “You’ve got
someone following you, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen them too. I’m going to
divert you to a secret location in hopes of them losing your trail…
My friend, Henley
Ashwood, has been in Ventana on a Solitary assignment. He worked out of what
the locals called “the Club House.” He would enter through the Iron Gate that
faced the Village. The password was the slovak word for “Faith”. Find him 600
feet south of the password and turn left. He will help from there.”
All the Bolded words were road names the crossed the road they were on if they went south. This lead them to another challege area.
Finish Line Clue:
North south east west
If you go north, you go over it
If you got south you repeat it
If you look east you see double it
If you go west you fall off of it
This lead the kids almost back to the starting line, and the wester twin (tunnel overpass, west of the school) finally got it’s turn in the game. The cow print team was hot on the trail of the finish line and was even spotted within a half mile (@ the eastern twin) 20 minutes before the first team finished. Their 3-peat hopes were dashed to pieces. Teacher team (silver) finished first and cow print managed topull a 3rd place after driving 8 miles out of the way.
MRV#4: Cowboys vs. Aliens
This game took place on March 3rd, 2012, and yes it was loosely based on the movie of the same name. The players were all cowboys/cowgirls and they were chasing a group of aliens around trying to recover gold from them. This version of the game utilized FACEBOOK as the primary method of communications, negating the need a “phone bank” of staffers to answer questions/give hints. (Worked beautifully, BTW!)
The race began at noon in a western field in the highlands of viera. (clue zero being a Highlander quote)
Clue one: A craft crash landed nearby. It was shaped like a flying wedge and is invisible to the naked eye. The beings were craving food from a nearby building, but several employees fought them off. They require a portable fuel source to aid their injured comrades
– So the portable fuel source, being a “Mobile” fuel source…and craving food and the “wedge”, led the teams to a parking lot behind Viera Pizza(being located at a Mobile Station) where the fist challenge was waiting.
Clue 4: A few years ago the locals said another ship crashed near a road in the area. The government tried to cover up the incident by disguising the crater. We believe you might find the aliens trying to recover the gold from that location. Mr. Anderson once claimed it was a mere half mile north of his establishment.
– The teams found this one with no help at all. I guess Mr. Anderson was quickly tracked down to Anderson Elementary and the park a half mile the the north.
Clue 7: Looking for a large gold deposit, the Aliens landed north of a secure location on the island of their birthright.
– This one tripped up all 10 teams. Took a few teams 3 hours to find it and do the challenge waiting for them there. Birthright= heritage & Secure location= gate house on the north side of Heritage Isle
Clue 9: OK, this one was based on the fact my daughter was appearing in a production of ANNIE. The lyrics to “Your never fully dressed without a smile” were bosted as part of a radio broadcast the aliens were streaming. Two words in the lyrics were altered to direct the team to Bromley Road near Lexus of Melbourne.
The Finish: Team KISS took a sprint to the end in the last 3 clues to take first place. They also were one of the few teams to ever complete one of my scavenger lists (which were all Gold based, for the movie theme). They did every item. and won by the slimmest margin in our games history.
MRV#5: World Traveler
This Game was rescheduled twice due to money issues. The production of this game cost us nearly $3000, almost all of which was obtained thru fund-raising. (a first for MRV) The game finally took place on December 1st, 2012, and, to much celebration, was held at the Walt Disney World Resort. The theme of World Traveler had the teams moving throughout the parks, resorts, and assorted destination areas; arriving, by the end of the day, at the House of Mouse, with roughly 3 hours to spare. We changed the tempo of the game once again, by setting specific times for the teams to arrive at the clues. This really allowed the game to be managed by many fewer people than you would think it would take to run a game of this size. We used FACEBOOK once again to communicate, which worked even better in this format than the last.
Clue Zero: The tour bus picked us up at VHS at 7am and dropped us off at downtown Disney at 8:20am. Game began as they stepped off the bus.
– I had wanted the game to begin at 9am, but with having to drive 45 students and staffers to Orlando, we had to buffer the start time so the remainder of the game would fall into place.
Clue One: Here there be sea monsters….but not at Cypress gardens. (9-920)
– Most Floridians know that Cypress Gardens was sold to and turned into Lego Land. And the Lego Store at DTD has a sea monster out in front. It was also the scene of one of several EXTRA POINT areas. A mason jar was filled with assorted legos, guessing correct, or within 5 or 10, netted you between 200-500 points.
Clue Four: I see London, I see France….but you cannot enter from here.(1130-1155)
– Several teams found the area behind the Boardwalk hotel&resort where you can see both London and France in the World showcase of EPCOT. And there was an entrance to EPCOT, the teams knew they could not enter. (teams the made it to this clue on time recieved a map of the Magic Kingdom, the next stop.)
Clue Seven: Between the worlds of fright and thundering speed, suspends the path that you might need. I’ll hint and huck of places far, though you cannot get there in a car. (230-245)
– Every team found this clue, staffed by Mr. E and his son. The suspension bridge on Tom Sawyer’s Island sits between the Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Mountian Railroad….and you must use a boat to get there.
Clue Nine: A major topic of debate as a world traveler – only civilized people have it at half-past 3, because by 4, it is much too late. (345-415)
– This clue was harder than i thought. Only civilized people have tea at 3:30. And the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland was very late.
Clue Eleven: You’ve been ordered to sail east my boy! Find your riches in the wilds of Florida (500-530)
– This one confused alot of the teams. Most teams did not think to leave Magic Kingdom to find their riches at Ft. wilderness. In fact, No team made it to this clue in time for points. (though several were very close)
Final Clue: Back and Forth, north and south, all day and all night. I’ll climb above and wait a while and take in all the sights. A General craft is where i am, you better hurry up. The end is near for most of you, I’m tired of this stuff. (6pm)
– The ferry boat on the seven seas lagoon, sails north and south all day and night, but only the boat named General Joe Potter had me on board. 5 teams found me in time and recieved finishing points. and this ended the game.
We had several strategies employed by the teams, including blowing off the first 4 or 5 checkpoints to focus on scavenger items; Slow-and-steady progression (hard fought decoding of the clues); teaming up with another team (which has actually happened before); and lastly the “Just going with it” method. The scheme of limited time at the clue locations, kept the game moving and no one was ever out of the race. The scavenger items were huge as far as the points earned, but we threw a few challenge points in there to benefit the teams that hit most of the checkpoints. For example…at the first clue location, White team guessed the “LEGO-in-the-jar” to within 4 pieces and earned a bonus 300 points. And the yellow team was the only team to figure out that CLUE 6 was refering to the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House and earned and burned 300 extra points for their challenge (climbing the tree 3 times, back to back).
In the end, the first ever Parent Team took home the Wisdom Trophy in a close win over Blue team. Their strategy of Scavenger Items paid off big for them as they got several high value items (including the Mr. E picture for 1000pts) and managed to be one of the five teams to get points for finishing. (Also recieving finishing points were Purple, Green, Pink, and Orange) After the game the teams got 4 more hours to enjoy the Magic Kingdom before we headed home. All in all, it was my impression that the teams had a blast, and were just a little past exhausted by the end. The last Disney bus of the day we took together as a group, was very loud at 10:30pm….but the Bus ride home at 11:05 was much more subdued.
MRV#6: March of the Dead
This game was literally though of, planned, and developed in the six days that followed the finish at the General Joe Potter. We hadn’t been planning a 6th game, but this one almost created itself.
MRV6: March of the dead, started pre-noon on a fridged day in the library of Viera High School on March 2nd, 2013. We had sealed up the building like we were in a post-apocalyptic situation and began to draw names for the starting order. Unknown to all but one team (White team, who were actually actors portraying a team) the minute we closed the doors to start the game, Zombies had swarmed the whole facility. We rigged the starting game so that White team would start first, and as soon as they “Started,” zombies were pounding on all the other doors and windows. I told the teams to forget the starting order and run for it! As they emerged into the school’s courtyard, they were greeted with a scene of chaos. White team had been taken down by a pack of zombies, and there were 30 roaming zombies immediately on the attack. The teams had to avoid the zombies, pick up their team pack out in the yard, and make it back to their cars.
The Game ended with Purple team (who had come in dead last in game 5) killing the competition, pretty much the whole night. The scavenger items were plentiful from all the teams, but Purple team had really pulled away at the end. The temperature had dipped into the 40’s and the teams (and myself) spent most of the finish waiting in our cars with the heat running.
I have decided to “rest the game” since most of my players are graduating. But who knows what next year will bring.
MRV#7: World Traveler 2
I must have been crazy…..but at least nobody died. The idea of one last game for 2014 seniors was entirely their idea, but I took it in stride that, even though I had moved my whole family 500 miles north of the MRV battlefield, we could still pull this off.