*Some dramatic license taken
By Bryce Asberg
The rain was falling at eclectic intervals as 5 semi-crazed teens converged on the destination with a single mission: to have fun, and to win enough medals to scrap them for profit. The Asberg Camry burned some more rubber and screeched to a severe halt in front of the Peterson residence. Bryce dismounted and was sent inside with all 243 LBs of his luggage. Smoke was still rising from the dinner table, where a fiery game of cards had just ended (Lilli lost- hence the fire). Goody bags were distributed to all of the quizzers (including Lydia, who was cowering in the corner since she was the one to beat Lilli), containing, among other things, enough gold to incite Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Yet, before you knew it, it was bed time, and David and Bryce were whisked away to the Fisher residence, where we watched part of a James Bond movie (but not all, for fear of nightmares) and had the opportunity to pet 3 adorable dogs, while the girls stayed with our courageous coaches and avoided playing competitive games with Lilli.
The morning came quickly, and after a nutritious breakfast made up of pig products, potatoes, eggs, and cinnamon rolls we made like Paul and set sail for the airport (For those quizzers who missed that part of Acts, it is in the Message Bible). Once on the airplane a curious mix of studying, selfie taking, oreo-eating, phone hacking, and coffee drinking ensued. Also, apparently if you fly Sun Country, you can get non-dairy creamer with milk in it. Because that’s a thing?
We landed later that day in the gloriously-flat region of the United States that is the Midwest. After stopping at a magical place called Mickey’s Diner, where they serve milkshakes large enough to drown elephants, we entered the city where we would be spending the next two nights. Our accommodations were the luxurious, 5-star resort known as “The Holiday Inn”. (In this instance, luxurious and 5-star denote the presence of a water slide in the hotel.)The team left the water slide and watched some nifty-nancy fireworks before retiring to bed, ready for what was to come next.
The next day everyone awoke with the anticipation of awesomeness, as we were mentally and physically prepared for an EPIC day at the theme park Valley Faire. The excitement was tangible as we rode in the van and belted out VeggieTale Songs. Once we had entered the gates of Valley Faire we quickly embarked on our goal of riding as many roller coasters as humanly possible in the span of 5 hours. Unbelievably, we did so without a single occurrence of spilled lunch (which is a good thing, because food at Valley Faire is so overpriced it would stink to lose some), Then came time for the water park, which was similar to the rest of the theme park, except there was water, and a noticeable absence of seatbelts. The day at the park concluded with an inconceivably bumpy roller coaster referred to as the Renegade, and we came back to the majestic Holiday Inn for an evening of Frisbee, Bop-Phrase (what happens when hyper teenagers, bop-it, and catchprase are mixed together) and watching UP. The largest lesson from today was that Bryce can scream higher than seems humanly possible.
After a relaxed morning Monday, we continued on our voyage and came to the Mall of America. Many fun activities ensued in this mall including: mini golf, shopping, and the purchasing of food. For mini golf, we separated into two teams- the team that wanted to play golf, and the team that wanted to have fun (translation- we played hockey on the mini golf course). From the mall we departed to Crown College, the magnificent setting for our week of Bible Quizzing and friendship making. Our time at Crown was divided between ping-pong and Ultimate Frisbee, making new friends and strengthening friendships, and quizzing.
Tuesday morning was the time when we started quizzing. Quizzing at Internationals is an exciting experience, though it can be stressful at times and it certainly has its ups and downs. You must fight to win every question, and it is easy to let yourself get exhausted mentally. At this level of quizzing focus is an absolutely essential characteristic, as is material knowledge, and those two things often are what determine the results of a quiz. PNW weathered the storm well, and after missing the top 9 by one point, we went on to qualify for Consolation championships and got second place in over-time, making us the 11th placed team.
Quizzing is broken up Tuesday and Wednesday by a quizzer activity and a talent show. This year the activity was a viciously competitive game of BINGO that left several quizzers with broken limbs, 8 tables overturned, and nearly all of the losers in tears. And the talent show. Oh what a blessing it is to be a part of the PNW talents show performance. This year’s impeccable performance examined what it would be like if the PNW team was determined in a style similar to American Idol, and it did so while incorporating ring pops, gold chains, a pillow, and tater tots. On Thursday, after quizzing, PNW undertook a near-professional round of disc golf, drove by purgatory*, and watched Jurassic World (during which Bryce fought valiantly to not cry tears of fear).
All of quizzing comes to a climax on Friday. All of Friday is eventful and emotional as many wrap up their quizzing years, but Friday night is downright #explosive! Finals occurs, and is immediately followed by an awards ceremony and an all-nighter! This year’s final was a closely contested match between Great Lakes District, Canadian Midwest 1, and Western Pennsylvania 2. The support of PNW was divided between these teams, and the finals came down to the last, invigorating 4th quiz, in which Great Lakes proved themselves the winner. During awards, PNW was pleasantly surprised to see one of our own, Anna Kong receive the quizzer of excellence award, which she earned for her positivity, her leadership, and her quizzing ability. Right after the awards, Scott and Lilli were ushered back to their dorms, where they earned the privilege of going on a scavenger hunt to find their coaching gifts, which are gifts that are given because of the tremendous wisdom, leadership, and just general excellence that they displayed. This scavenger hunt was a race, and Lilli won. Between the two of them they won such gifts as a pineapple drinking cup, a motion activated clip-on canary, a broken tape dispenser, a glow in the dark grow-your-own zombie, and many other AWESOME prizes.
After the scavenger hunt came one of the best parts of the quiz meet, the all-nighter! Imagine hanging out with 100+ awesome quizzers. Now imagine that it is 2 in the morning and no one has gotten sleep in 19 hours. That is basically the all- nighter, except it lasts all night! Activities include the name-game (for those of you who don’t know, this is a sadistic game where you attempt to traumatize people and beat them with rods while they incoherently yell out names), home-made catch phrase, High School Musical sing-alongs, sausage(the game), basketball, races, RISK, volleyball, ping-pong, and competitive snack-eating. The all-nighter is epic, exhausting, awesome, and all-night!
Finally, with many tears and sad farewells, everyone goes their separate ways. PNW made for the Mall of America yet again, where we fought to stay awake, shopped at a Frisbee store, and encountered many quizzing friends who also visited the mall before heading home. From the mall, we trudged in a half-awake slumber to the airport, where our energy was revitalized only by the presence of a Chick-Fil-A (even though it lacked an ice cream machine).
A fairly uneventful plane ride concluded the travels of the 2015 PNW Internationals Bible Quizzing Team, and we were picked up at the airport by our families. We left from that week with more knowledge, more friends, more experience, and a refueled desire to quiz with excellence for God’s glory.
*apparently it’s a park in Minnesota