Link Crew implements new activity: Goose Chase

Traditionally%2C+Link+Crew+groups+wear+costumes+made+by+Link+Crew+leaders+during+Orientation%2C+such+as+the+Hawaiian+flowers+pictured+above.

Graphic illustration by Emma Cionca

Traditionally, Link Crew groups wear costumes made by Link Crew leaders during Orientation, such as the Hawaiian flowers pictured above.

Emma Cionca

Link Crew has recently introduced Goose Chase, a group scavenger hunt game, to support and engage the Class of 2024 during distance learning. The game uses GooseChase, a mobile app to set up competitive scavenger hunt-like challenges which Link Crew hopes will help the freshman community bond with each other.

Link Crew aims to familiarize freshmen with Lynbrook and help them feel welcomed in their new school environment. Due to distance learning, all of this year’s Link Crew activities have been conducted virtually, including orientation at the beginning of the year. With the online setting came the added difficulty of brainstorming and conducting  engaging virtual activities to do with the freshmen. 

“We would usually have fun activities planned during lunch,” Link Crew Commissioner Natalie Homstad said. “It’s been a lot harder to come up with concrete ideas that would work on Zoom.”

Link Crew commissioners noticed that freshmen were struggling more than in past years, both socially and academically.  One sign they have noticed is that the class of 2024’s grades have been lower than those of previous freshman classes throughout the first semester. 

“With distance learning, I feel like I wasn’t as prepared as I was in middle school,” freshman Allison Wu said. “One of the biggest struggles is time management and focus.”

Goose Chase, which aims to support freshmen by connecting them through fun challenges, was proposed by Link Crew adviser Brittany Stevens after she played the game during the summer. However, commissioners waited until November to start the game because they needed the time to plan out the logistics, such as coordinating a time for all Link Crew groups to meet and participate in the game. They started the game during homeroom on Nov. 28, and every Link Crew group was placed into one of five Goose Chase games, due to the maximum of 100 people per game. 

 Goose Chase encourages interaction among freshmen because of its unique and engaging gameplay. Unlike many other virtual activities, players can see what other players are doing in real time. There is a feed within each individual Goose Chase group, which updates every time someone completes a new task and allows players to keep track of their own scores, as well as competing groups’ scores. In the game, players must complete both individual and group tasks in order to gain points, which are based on the difficulty of the task. The entire Link Crew group must tackle group tasks together in real time, which encourages communication and bonding. One task, for example, requires the Link Crew group to take a screenshot of a Zoom call with all members wearing their favorite Lynbrook gear. Challenges must be completed by the end of the month, and prizes are awarded to the teams with the highest number of points.

“The main point of Goose Chase was to have [the freshmen] interact with their Link Crew groups and stay connected online,” Link Crew Commissioner Jocelyn Chern said. “We’re still trying to figure out the best way to do that because there’s a lot of different aspects that make it very hard.”

Because Goose Chase is a new platform they are introducing to Lynbrook, commissioners have faced a multitude of challenges with keeping the freshmen engaged and continuously participating in the scavenger hunts. Flaws in the Goose Chase algorithm allows many missions to be completed individually, which prevents Link Crew groups from bonding through the game. Despite these challenges, Link Crew commissioners hope that they will be able to overcome them, and that the game will foster a sense of community and positivity within the freshman class. 

“It’s a little competition that anyone can do from the comfort of their own house,” Homstad said. “It’s really engaging because we have a lot of unique challenges, so I think everyone will be able to find something they’re interested in and want to take part in.”