Students in COMM 448 organize first ever Scobstacle for United Way


Andrew Ansbrow, a freshman artchitecture major, runs through the Scobstacle course. Ansbrow was at the Slip’N Slide part of the course, where he was doused in holi powder by volunteers

Chad Black, Staff Writer

Students enrolled in Comm 448: Special Topics: Seminar in Public Relations class this semester took their experience at Marywood beyond the classroom by organizing a Color Scobstacle held on April 5 at South Campus.

The group of students in Professor Catherine Bolton’s class spent much of their semester working on a project
that could both benefit the community and encourage the younger generations to get involved with service.

The Scobstacle, which can be described as a color run, scavenger hunt, and an obstacle course combined, is a unique event the class designed in order to help raise awareness for The United Way in Lackawanna and Wayne counties.

The idea was to bring in a younger generation, 18-30-year-olds, so they could learn more about the United Way. Currently, the average age of a volunteer at United Way is at 61.

Students like Brielle Mayle, a communication arts major, wanted to create something that would spark interest and help get the community more involved.

“We felt that this Scobstacle would truly benefit and inspire other students to participate in United Way events,” said Mayle.

Participants were asked to form teams of four. On the day of the event, they found themselves weaving through cones on wheelchairs, playing games inspired by the show “Minute to Win It,” and diving down a Slip’N Slide on a cold and windy day.

After completing an obstacle, volunteers rewarded participants by dousing them with a handful of brightly colored holi powder. Holi powder is used during outdoors festivals to bring more fun to the party.

After getting covered with the holi powder the participants were off to their next challenge.

Maura Nealon, a senior at Abington Heights high school, was glad she could participate in the Scobstacle, which was open to the public ages 18 and older.

“What I enjoyed most about the color run was all the tasks we had to complete. It wasn’t just an ordinary run, there were fun activities. It’s important to take part in events like this to support the community,” said Nealon.

Students in the Comm 448 class hope that the model for the Scobstacle will be used again in the future with United Way and other local colleges and universities in the area.

“We are giving it to them [United Way] and if they want Marywood to do it again next year, they will let us know, but we want to open it up to the University of Scranton to run it one year, Keystone to run it one year, Kings run it one year,” said Mayle.

Everyone who showed up for the Scobstacle was able to speak with representatives of United Way and learn more about volunteering.

However, not everyone who showed up participated in the event. Spectators were also able to enter basket raffles at the event from sponsors with prizes such as Gertrude Hawk’s Candy, Quaker Steak and Lube, Alexander’s Salon and Spa, and the Rail Riders.