Every spring, Lawrenceville buzzes with excitement as students prepare for Splash, a campus-wide game of ‘assassin’. For $8, students receive a target—another student they must squirt water on—and a plastic Splash bottle, the only tool they can use to splash their targets. However, each student also has a hunter, someone trying to splash them, whose identity is kept secret. After splashing their target, a hunter is assigned their target’s target and the cycle continues. In essence, splashers must survive till the last one standing while eliminating as many targets as possible. The only rule: you cannot splash someone within buildings or within 5 feet of a door.
With around 580 students signing up this year, Splash has absolutely consumed our campus. Walking between classes, I have seen Splashers yelling and screaming and begging for their lives. I have seen students donning full disguises—sunglasses, masks, and layers of clothes. And in the mornings you might see students scouring the campus looking for hidden revival codes. In the span of just two days, students became fully consumed by Splash.
Why do students enjoy Splash so much? The answer is obvious: it’s fun! As each student is given a Splash bottle and a target, Splash feels as if we are in an assassin game, complete with the intensity and intricacies of the James Bond life, simultaneously eliminating targets and escaping from hunters. Conspiring and forming alliances with students across forms adds a social aspect to the game. It makes each student feel like the main character of an action movie. Memories of the tension, the thrill of the hunt, and eliminating your first target will all last beyond our time at Lawrenceville. Even getting eliminated by your hunter will surely become a fond Lawrenceville memory.
Splash feels more fun than other school events for a number of reasons. First, we are allowed to spray water on our friends. Second, unlike other events with set time and space constraints, Splash remains on campus each and every day, acting as a small diversion from our hectic schedules. Merely watching the chaos of hunters and targets running around between classes never fails to put a smile on students’ faces. And third, Splash occurs towards the end of the year acting like a refreshing reward for the hard-work students have put into Lawrenceville. Splash becomes everything that academics is not—a social event, an outdoor game in the Spring, and a fun intensity to students separate from their academics.
Splash allows us to be the main character of our story. Unlike other social events that have set itineraries and rigid expectations for how students must act, Splash encourages creativity in splashing targets and evading hunters. Many people can be actively engaged in the event and create their own storyline. It is this creative involvement that attracts so many students to play Splash.
Because of its popularity, Splash is a great opportunity to meet and bond with other students. During Splash, it is common for students to contact other students in separate forms to share information about targets and negotiate alliances. Sports teams and Houses also often form alliances increasing the trust and friendship between students. As targets are randomly selected from every form, students explore areas on campus that they have never had an excuse to visit before. Splash allows students to talk to others around them with less hesitation, creating an amiable atmosphere on campus unseen at any other point in the year.
So, Splash is a win for students. But what about in the school's perspective? All the proceeds from Splash go to School Camp (SCAMP), a program which provides 10-12 year old children from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania an opportunity to enjoy a two-week summer camp experience. With 580 students signing up for Splash this year, about $4600 will be donated to SCAMP. While $8 can seem too much for a plastic bottle, especially considering how quickly students get eliminated, students are seldom concerned with the price. The benefits of Splash are twofold: it is fun to play, and students feel they are donating to a good cause by participating. $8 is a clever fee, low enough that most students will disregard it, but high enough to raise a decent fund for SCAMP. Splash seems to be a winning formula for fundraising and fun. Would we be willing to spend $8 on events besides Splash? Splash has some unique allure that makes $8 seem worth it. Indeed, Splash is an opportunity for students to come together, make lasting memories, and support a good cause.
Splash has captured the hearts of students, boosting the liveliness of our Spring Term. Splash fosters a sense of community and camaraderie. It leverages excitement and competition to attract students to participate and donate to SCAMP. Future social events should look towards the success of Splash to find how to attract more students and provide them unforgettable experiences. Our campus seems to love events that use active involvement to generate attention. Lawrenceville students seem also more keen to contribute to fundraisers when the fundraisers are ingrained in a social event. These aspects create the winning formula of Splash, a formula we should not confine exclusively to Splash.