Footprint Digital Christmas Party – Apprentice Challenge One

Published on 4th January 2017

For months, the Footprint team were trying to figure out what our Christmas party would be. Tom B was the only one in the know, and he was keeping his cards close to his chest. All we were told was that it was a secret, which wasn’t much to go on (in fact, it was nothing to go on!) Finally, the day came when he put us out of our misery and stopped our constant guessing games. But it wasn’t as easy as just telling us. If anyone knows Tom, they’ll know he likes quizzes, and this was no exception. By the end of the quiz we pieced together all of our answers- and realised we’d be visiting the Crystal Maze! (although we were quite disappointed that smarties weren’t doled out upon our correct guess- points tend to mean smarties at Footprint).

The Start of Apprentice Challenges

Hannah was definitely the most excited, Alex meanwhile was trying to figure out if she even owned trainers in order to go (the answer was no, she didn’t, que panic ASOS buy). We later found out that we were being split into two teams of eight, and that we would be competing against each other to create a nice bit of competitive spirit in the office. Tom added another big dollop of competition when he told us that this would be the first challenge of five ‘Apprentice style’ challenges that would take place over the next year, with him acting as Alan, and one member of the team being fired after each task (we think he was joking about that part…)

Arriving at the Crystal Maze 

Upon our arrival at the Crystal Maze, we donned our replica bomber jackets, and started talking strategy (we’re not a competitive bunch at all…) There were two other teams (the red and orange teams) competing at the same time as us, so the main strategy was just to beat them. Easy peasy.  Team leaders and team names were chosen – Terry was captain of the greens, ‘Hungry Hungry Hippos’, and Caroline the captain of the blues ‘Hannah Help Me’ (as I’m sure you’ve gathered, names were carefully considered and were in no way the result of a snap decision). At that point it was time to split into our teams and throw ourselves headfirst into the madness of the Maze!

From this point on I can only vouch for what happened to the Hungry Hungry Hippos, the Hannah Help Mes went off in another direction, and their tales of the Maze remain theirs to tell…

The Maze Master 

The Hungry Hungry Hippos started off in the Medieval zone, where we met our slightly bizarre, but utterly brilliant Maze Master (whose name I promptly forgot as soon as she said it). She had a penchant for Wham, wore a funny hat, and carried a small rat stuffed animal which squeaked when it had a clue to give us (which only happened once- the rat’s a bit of a slacker if you ask me). Being leader, Terry chose which team member did which task, and there were choices of Skill, Mystery, Physical, and Mental challenges.

We travelled through Medieval land, into the Aztec zone (which was my personal favourite, even though my shoes were filled with sand by the end) then into the Industrial zone, ending up in the Futuristic zone. Our final destination was the Crystal Dome, where all four teams came together in order to collect as many gold tickets as possible in order to take the victory for their team.

Along the way there was a lot of running about, climbing walls, dancing, and general fun and silliness – also, one of our team members was locked in, but we managed to rescue him by solving a riddle. I’m not going to disclose too much about the games played within the maze – just know that we would all highly recommend that you go! It really is fun for everyone, and a laugh a minute. Our Maze Master really outdid herself and made it such an enjoyable hour and a half!

The Most Important Bit – Who Won?! 

I’m sure you’re all keen to know who won the first point for the apprentice challenge. ‘The Hannah Help Mes’ were crowned the victors of the maze, and they’d had more time in the Crystal Dome after winning 10 Crystals as opposed to the Hungry Hungry Hippos’ 6, also the ‘Hungry Hungry Hippos’ came last collecting the least gold tokens- so it seemed fairly certain that they’d claimed victory. But in a shock turn of events, the ‘Hannah Help Mes’ were disqualified for cheating in the Dome, and their crown was passed over to the Orange team. This scandal meant that Tom B (quite rightly) awarded the point to the Hungry Hungry Hippos – because integrity is more important in our business than little scraps of gold paper! (However, afterwards at dinner the Hannah Help Me’s managed to equalise the points by winning an ‘eat an after eight off of your face without touching it’ challenge- so balance has been restored and there’s no pre-Christmas animosity in the office- phew!)