The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School


The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School


The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School


Pedal to the Medal


The Medallion Hunt is an annual tradition at BVN, bringing students closer together to find the prize. With clues scattered across the school, students must decipher riddles and use clever tactics to outsmart competitors. As the fourth annual hunt ended, Chris Ollig, a biology teacher at BVN reflected on how the tradition came to be.

“I grew up in Minnesota, and a lot of communities have winter festivals and carnivals,” Ollig said. “Every year as part of that, each town will have a medallion hunt in the winter. I thought we should do that here.”

The tradition began to grow and evolve in a high school setting, with new competitive aspects enticing students to participate. 

“So we print off a 3D plastic medallion, and we hide it around campus somewhere,” Ollig said. “And we give clues every day on where the Medallion is hidden. It’s an opportunity for students to just have fun going out [and] trying to find it.”

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The clues that are given provide a chance for students to utilize their problem-solving skills in a non-academic environment. However, one of the biggest motivating factors is the prize, featuring a diverse range of treasures. 

“[Students] get about a dozen chocolate chip cookies that I bake myself, a $100 Amazon gift card from the Safe program through the building SROs and a $25 gift card for the Stampede store,” Ollig said. 

For sophomore Gabe Baethke, being the winner of the medallion hunt this year was a memorable experience. Participating gave him a unique opportunity to enjoy the student life BVN has to offer. 

“I feel like the competition gets a lot of people outside and some people form groups like me and my friend and so it’s just a fun activity to bring friends to go,” Baethke said. “Also, it was just a fun way to enjoy the spring weather.”

This hunt proved to be a unique experience for past winners as well, with Junior Janie Stillwell winning the prize her freshman year. 

“I spent a couple of hours on it each day [during] Freshman year,” Stillwell said. “I obsessed over the clues even outside of school and make lists of all the possible ways that they can be interpreted. They have a lot of fun usually, and it’s just really cool to participate in it.” 

Stillwell faced a variety of challenges with forgetting or not finding the object of their hunt. They were eventually able to surpass them by ignoring others and staying determined on their own.

“Working against other people can be an issue,” Stillwell said. “A lot of people would say hey found it, and then they didn’t. So I’d go home and then forget about it, but it would [still] be there.”

While participation is less for this event compared to others that the school holds, students continue to encourage others to join the hunt.

“There’s definitely a lot more support for other activities in the school,” Stillwell said. “I’d look around and there’d only be like three other people searching and it’s for the people who are into it. We have a lot of fun usually, and it’s just really cool to participate in it.”


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About the Contributor
Lilly Copeland
Lilly Copeland, Staff Writer
Lilly Copeland is a junior and staff writer of “The North Star.” This is her first year on staff. She has covered student life and is interested in current events. Outside of the newsroom, she enjoys StuCo, track and playing tennis. She is excited to cover new topics and bring light to issues within BVN.

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