200 adventures in 24 hours: First ‘Questival’ at USC

A collage of students holding Questival stickers.

The USC student experience is vast and exciting and can be defined by a thousand different things. One of those is saying “yes” to over 200 challenges in a 24-hour adventure race. If you put those opportunities onto a well-researched list of more than 200 “missions” and throw it into a 24-hour pressure cooker of a scavenger hunt race, you would get a Questival custom-made for USC students. This past weekend, student teams competed for points to win grand prizes of Cotopaxi outdoor gear by accepting missions of different difficulties, like photo-op scavenger hunts, community service for local organizations, and acts of kindness for strangers.

Since 2014, the outdoor equipment company Cotopaxi has been launching Questivals to “empower people to see the world and make it better” by completing local challenges or “missions” to service communities in under 24 hours, according to Jeffrey Steadman, Cotopaxi’s community engagement director in an interview with Outdoor Sportswire.

In 2024, Questival has been brought into University students’ hands through the collaboration of on-campus club leadership (SC Outfitters, Peaks and Professors, SAGE, Spoon, TACO, EMSC, SC Garden Club, USC Climbing, and USC Triathlon) and local non-profit partners (Ronald McDonald House of Los Angeles, EcoDorm, Guayakí, Skratch Labs, Mountain House, Sunbum, Quinn Snacks, Tony’s Chocolonely, and Sunski) to customize missions unique to the colleges’ areas and are achievable for self-led student teams to complete within 24 hours. The extreme coordination and collaboration behind USC’s first Questival are communication student and Cotopaxi campus connector, Gretchen Rudolph, and her student team who designed, planned and ran the event live through an interactive experience app called Goosechase.

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