By Moriah Story
Wilson College’s duck hunt continues to grow in popularity among students, and this semester was no exception. Katie Kough, Advisor of the Campus Activities Board (CAB) rose bright and early on March 11 to hide twenty rubber ducks around the campus, and by 9 a.m., students were scouring the grounds in hopes of finding one.
According to Kough, more than half the ducks were found within the first hour of the hunt, and students were eager to share where they had located each little, rubber bird. “People are starting to hunt in groups of two or three,” says Kough. “It’s so fun when they come in and talk about where they looked and where they found it.”
Prizes vary slightly for each consecutive duck hunt, and this year, CAB had a wide array of Wilson gear like blankets, coats, sweatshirts and mugs, as well as snacks and gift cards for those who found the ducks. The numbers on the bottom of each one determined which prizes students got to take home.
The first successful duck hunters of this semester were Oliver Perry ‘20, Noah Wickenheiser ‘23, and AJ Hetzer ‘22, all three of whom have participated in the past. The final duck was found by Courtney Mobley ‘23. Not a stone was left unturned, nor a single duck left unfound in this hunt.
So why rubber ducks? According to Kough, the idea was sparked when she visited another college and saw a poster for a similar event.
“They’re fun to hide and easy to spot,” she says. “They’re not super intrusive and they’re durable.”
Kough admits that as the hunts continue and students participate for multiple semesters, it can be tricky to find new spots to hide the small, yellow toys. She sometimes enlists the help of her coworkers to stash the ducks in places she may not have thought to hide them. The key is making sure any student has a chance to find one, so they are only placed in public areas that everyone can access. Past hiding spots have included the mini refrigerator in the dining hall, beside the salt bucket outside Edgar Hall, and the stick sculpture that used to stand on the lawn.
“Any student can do it!” she says. Despite the competition, all students have equal chances of searching the campus and discovering one of the twenty unique rubber ducks.
This is the third year of Wilson College duck hunting and the tradition will absolutely continue, according to Kough. The first hunt’s grand prize was a home-cooked dinner at Dean Mary Beth’s house, and Kough says she would love to see President Fugate continue with this tradition at his house in the future.
Had Wilson not been required to switch to remote instruction for the rest of the spring semester, CAB would have held many more events in the upcoming weeks, including a concert from John Rush in March, a comedian in April, two more bingo nights, the annual Easter egg hunt and Spring Fling.