‘Survivor’ style date night at BYU museum


Each year, competitors of the television series “Survivor” are sent to exotic locations to test their mental and physical strength in a series of puzzles, games and obstacles. The goal is to outwit, outlast and outplay other competitors to be prized with $1 million  and the title of  “survivor.”

Aside from the money prize, BYU students can participate in similar challenges with other couples to fight for the “survivor” title at the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. On Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m., the museum will be hosting its first date night of the year based on the “Survivor” television series.

“The couples will be split up into four ‘tribes’ and the whole tribe will need to work together to collect the most points and win a prize,” said Diane Kay, the museum’s promotions manager. “The challenges at this date night will test not only their physical abilities, but also their brains.”

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One woman carefully blindfolds her date in preparation for the games to begin
Since 2007, date nights have served to teach students more about the peoples and cultures of the world as well as create a unique opportunity for couples to get to know each other better.

Students are encouraged to arrive early and learn more about the exhibits used during the night to gain an edge when the games begin.

“We find ways to relate all of our date nights with our current exhibits,” Kay said. “This date night will have challenges where minimal knowledge of the exhibits will have an advantage.”

The museum is open to the public during the week and provides opportunities for community members, families and local schools to have an interactive educational experience.The museum is housed in BYU’s first residence hall, Allen Hall, built in 1937. It was first used to house men, then women, then missionaries, but is now home to many anthropological and archaeological collections.

Kari Nelson, curator of education, said they want to see more students visiting the museum aside from just completing school assignments.

“The museum’s charge is to be BYU’s ‘teaching museum,'” Nelson said. “Everything we do is with the involvement of students to give them experience in a working museum.”

Holding date nights increases awareness of the museum and its exhibits, as well as provides fun ways to learn about BYU’s anthropological and archaeological collections.

Debbie Smith, program coordinator at the museum, said the challenges each couple and team will face are not only aimed at teaching students about ancient cultures, but also prove who can survive in the ancient world.

“Students can expect to come to the museum ready for fun challenges they will undertake with their date as well as a tribe,” Smith said. “Be prepared to run and cheer your fellow date and tribe members on.”

Tickets for the date night are available at the Wilkinson Student Center Information Desk and are $10 per couple.

The museum is located on 100 E. 700 North. For more information contact the Museum of Peoples and Cultures at 801.422.0020.

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