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BW's 'April Reign' is reimagined for 2021 as month-long 'Goose Chase'

Baldwin Wallace University's junior class officers are determined not to pull the plug on the popular BW tradition of April Reign.

In the pre-COVID world, the annual April Reign activities - tug of war and other competitions that involve close contact and draw large, cheering crowds of students - are not possible with campus health protocols in place.

Goose Chase app message on phone screen says "join the game"That's why creativity, problem-solving and determination are required in 2021 - the same skills that will come in handy as the campus community embarks on a month-long wild "Goose Chase" for this year's April Reign.

"We never considered not moving forward with April Reign this year; it was just a matter of finding a way to hold an event that would be fun and safe," says junior class president Abbey Drake '22, who also serves at the BW Student Senate President. "April Reign is a BW tradition we didn't want to lose."

New twist on a beloved tradition

Students face off for a tug contest during Baldwin Wallace University's May Day 1964.The long-running April Reign (known as May Day, back when the academic calendar ended deeper into spring) was designed to build community spirit and allow students to blow off steam near the end of the academic year.

It also helps cure the cabin fever that can come with Cleveland winters. (Snow in April, anyone?)

The pent-up desire to get outside and have some fun is especially strong in this pandemic year.

Wacky weekly "Goose Chase"

Goose Chase challenge collageSo, instead of conceding to COVID, the junior class officers are instigating a month-long scavenger hunt using a free app called Goose Chase. Rather than a two-day event, this year's app-based version of April Reign will last throughout the month.

Starting April 4, every week, participants (individuals or teams of up to five) will receive dozens of brand-new challenges ranging from attending campus events to donating to local causes and everything in between, including some silly (but safe!) stunts and photo poses.

Completed challenges are documented and earn points. Students can watch the action play out around campus and in the app, and weekly prizes will reward the winners.

Drake says students who are fully remote can participate along with residential students, and faculty and staff are invited to get in on the fun, too.

A QR code to register is on flyers around campus, and the app is free to download. Once in the app, players simply search "April Reign" for the BW hunt.

Let the games begin!

Goose Chase logo

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