Fun, thrill, and excitement feels light years away during this pandemic and escaping the dullness and monotony of confinement seems impossible (Wouldn’t you agree?). However, this ‘impossible’ escape was made possible through ‘The Great Escape: SLAMM 2021’. The annual scavenger hunt organized by the five Rotaract clubs of the University of Colombo made its way through the perils of an apocalyptic labyrinth on the 29th of May 2021.
Brace yourselves as I take you down memory lane to the day we brainstormed our way past zombies and viruses to get to safety. The arena for SLAMM was set not only for seasoned Rotaractors but for the freshers of the University as well. Having been an absolute fresher in Rotaract, I felt my adrenaline levels skyrocket, as this was the first official Rotaract event that I attended not more than one week after our orientation.
As a fresher who neither had on-site lectures nor felt the breeze of the University due to the pandemic, I found it very challenging to make new friends. It was absolutely strenuous to contact people in my own batch and getting to know undergraduates from the other faculties was next to impossible. But thanks to SLAMM, I had the opportunity of getting to know people from all the five faculties. As soon as the Organizing Committee informed us about SLAMM, the tips of my fingers typed my name in the list of limited participants without a moment’s hesitation (Thank God I didn’t wait until the last minute. Phew!). The organizers had me on the edge of my seat for days, as they posted daily countdowns leading up to the event!
With all its anxiety and suspense, SLAMM began with a BANG! The event began with the division of all the participants into groups along with a coordinator to guide us through the ‘Great Escape’. Every group was expected to come up with their own group name and their own set of superhero outfits. Therefore, dear Rotaractors, I believe it’s safe to say that the creativity involved was next level. Capes and masks were nothing compared to the costumes armored with frying pans, face shields and sanitizer bottles! These creations which were made within a span of hours made its way to Instagram as well.
The hunt was a straight-out brainstorm. I was really grooved up by the flow of the challenges. They were sectored into different parts to match different faculties and being the fresher that I am, I got to know a number of inside jokes and whatnot of every faculty.
It started off with unlocking a secret folder, at the Faculty of Science, where we had to solve some puzzles which then led to another game where we had to guess the names of the songs that were played via a radio. Continuing on our trail to ‘Justice’, we then entered the Faculty of Law where we were confronted by another set of puzzles which required us to guess the cartoons based on their respective audios (kudos to all the hours spent watching cartoons!). Then came the biggest challenge for me which was the quiz about university stories and jokes related to each faculty. Having been the only one from the Faculty of Arts who also happened to be an absolute novice, was clueless to the point that I had to sing eenie-meenie to get the correct answers (hope none of the teamies see this… oops!). Once we got through that unscathed, we were on our way to the puzzles, riddles, crosswords, and quizzes of the Faculty of Arts. After traveling through the Faculty of Management, we reached a world of Anatomy at the Medical Faculty which had riddles about body parts that I never even knew existed.
After two and a half hours, the challenges that were packed within tight time frames (and the constant alerts from the coordinators!) were finally completed. I would definitely describe those two and a half hours as the most stress I have had in months. The hunt ended with us finding the secret phrase ‘Wisdom Enlightens’, which also happens to be the motto of the University of Colombo. At the end of it all, Team “පැණි Hunters”, were crowned champions of the day! While congratulating the winners, I personally believe that everyone was a winner that evening because friends, memories and milestones were made. The Organizing Committee deserves an ovation for the creativity involved in the process of making this escape truly a ‘Great Escape’. Kudos to them!
The evening ended after a heavy workload for our brain neurons. Everything in that evening from zombies and superheroes to the ‘Great Escape’ was a truly unique experience. I will never forget SLAMM ’21 as it happened to be my very first Rotaract event. For me, that experience was the cherry on top.
For now, we shall heave a collective sigh of relief. Until next time…
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