Cougstival is back this week with new prizes and new ways to serve

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BYU students, alumni and families gather for a service project making blankets for refugees out of grocery bags at last year’s Cougstival event. Cougstival brings the BYU community together through service opportunities and distributes awards for participants. (Joey Garrison)

Cougstival, BYU’s week-long, service-oriented scavenger hunt around campus, begins Nov. 6 and will continue throughout the week until Saturday, Nov. 11.  

The award list for this year’s Cougstival found on the BYU Alumni website. Students earn points by completing service missions through the Goosechase app. (Alyse Clark)

Similar to Cotopaxi’s Questival, BYU’s “Cougstival” is a week-long scavenger hunt consisting of service opportunities sponsored by BYU Alumni. This is the second year BYU Alumni will host Cougstival.

Every current BYU student is encouraged to download the Goosechase app and sign up for the week’s activities. The app will direct participating students to short, easy service missions they can complete to earn points. 

At the end of the week, the student with the most points will win two free roundtrip flights from Breeze Airways, with dozens of other prizes for runner-ups and students within certain point brackets. 

“I think it’s really nice for students because you can literally do it in between classes … Walking to another class … (you can) give a thank you note to your professor or call an alumni. So it’s nice in that way because it’s so easy to do,” Tess Mix, executive vice president of BYU Student Alumni and an experience design and management student, said.

In addition to the short acts of service available on the app, BYU is also hosting several campus-wide service projects all are welcome to participate in. One such event is an MBA Association food drive in the MBA lounge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

One of the final culminating events of Cougstival will be a service project from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Hinckley Center. Participants will help make mats for refugees and people experiencing homelessness out of recycled plastic bags.

BYU Student Alumni hosted a service event at the Hinckley Center on Nov. 12, 2022 for last year’s Cougstival. Cougstival brings the BYU community together through service opportunities and distributes awards for participants. (Joey Garrison)

“I went into Cougstival expecting to have a bit of fun completing the various missions but was surprised by how fulfilling it was to do a few of the service opportunities,” Jacob Knighton, a BYU alum who participated in Cougstival last year, said. “Cougstival showcased a few on-campus service opportunities like Gym Kids, which I now plan to participate in regularly.”

Mix explained that the BYU Student Alumni Association hopes students view the service missions as more than just a checklist to earn points. She anticipates students feeling a deeper, lasting sense of purpose serving the university and individuals and recognizing the impact they make with each small act. 

“Stepping out of my comfort zone to love others was amazing. I felt like a different person by the end of the week. I want to experience a little Cougstival every day,” Hannah Heydorn said about her experience participating in Cougstival last year.

Although Cougstival is still relatively new, the event has gained attention from other universities and won BYU the CASE Silver Circle of Excellence award. Last year’s event had 416 students participating in 3,492 total acts of service, or 1,450 service hours.

“I am so grateful I decided to participate in Cougstival. At the time I didn’t know that I would grow deeper connections with my family, increase my gratitude for my time at BYU and truly reignite my love for service. From helping refugees to sending simple texts, we can make a difference if we choose to. I’ve never been more proud to be BYU alumni,” Brooke Brady said about her time serving in Cougstival last year. 

The service-themed scavenger hunt begins Monday, Nov. 6 and ends Saturday, Nov. 11. Prizes will be awarded the following week. Download the Goosechase app and sign up today to start serving and earning points!

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