Armstrong Auditorium was filled with the sounds of popular orchestral movie soundtracks as I walked into the building. It was the evening of the penultimate day of regular pyc activities, and the whole camp gathered for one of pyc’s more recent traditions: the Bible Bowl.
In previous years, the Bible Bowl was held in the John Amos Field House gymnasium. This year, for the first time, the event was held in Armstrong Auditorium. On the stage, there were four tables, each with three chairs, a buzzer and a microphone. Bible Bowl organizer and director Michael Dattolo stood at a lectern in the middle of the stage. The Key of David screen was on the stage as well, showing Bible questions to the audience to keep our minds occupied while we waited for the event to begin.
Once everyone had arrived, Mr. Dattolo asked the first four girl and boy dorms—1B, 1G, 2B, and 2G—to come onto the stage. Each dorm took one of the four tables. One camper from each dorm sat down at their table. That person was the writer for the first Bible Bowl challenge: the whiteboard round.
In the whiteboard round, Mr. Dattolo asked a question, and the dorms wrote down their answer on a provided whiteboard. After a few seconds had passed, the campers held up their whiteboards, and Mr. Dattolo told them if their answers were correct. A scoreboard on the Key of David screen, which was connected to Mr. Dattolo’s laptop, helped the audience and the dorms keep track of the scores.
Questions for the Bible Bowl covered a variety of topics. There were specific questions from pyc messages and lectures, as well as questions that tested the campers’ general scriptural and biblical knowledge. One question came directly from Mr. Hilliker’s Bible study on the first Friday night of pyc. Other questions covered topics like the number of books in the New Testament and the name of Jacob’s first wife.
After the whiteboard round, dorm 2B had taken the lead. But the other dorms still had a chance to win in the next Bible Bowl challenge—the buzzer round.
In the buzzer round, three people from each dorm sat at their dorm’s table. Each table had a different colored buzzer—green, yellow, blue, or orange. When Mr. Dattolo asked a question, any of the three campers could hit their buzzer to answer the question. The dorm that hit their buzzer the fastest answered the question. If they answered it incorrectly, the question was up for grabs again. After each dorm’s group of three was asked a certain number of questions, they switched out with another group of three from their dorm—and so on, until all the dorm members had gone through.
1B and 2B were faster to the buzzer in the first round, so they answered the lion’s share of the questions. 1B triumphed in the end with a score of 20, but 2B was a close second. After Mr. Dattolo announced the standings from that round, the next four took their places on the stage.
In 3G, 3B, 4G, and 4B’s whiteboard round, they correctly answered questions like: “How was Lot related to Abraham?”, “At Passover, the broken pieces of bread represent what?”, and “On which day of the week was Christ crucified?” Mr. Dattolo elicited a laugh from the audience when he said, “What is deceitful above all things according to the scriptures? Don’t write down your little sister.” After the board round, all four dorms were tied with a score of eight.
Next these dorms had their turn at hammering the buzzers. After a close second round, the men triumphed again as 3B won by answering the last question correctly.
In the last regular dorm round, 6G became the first girls’ dorm to win. Mr. Dattolo then announced the four highest-scoring dorms of the night: 1B, 2B, 3B, and 6G. These four dorms would participate in one last buzzer round to determine the winner of the Bible Bowl.
The men of 2B came out strong in this last buzzer round, maintaining their lead to the end and becoming the champions of the 2015 Bible Bowl.
As the sun set on the horizon, the dorms walked outside the Auditorium and fellowshipped around the Swans in Flight before heading back to their dorms for some much-needed rest.