On The Yard


    The 2024 Spring Scavenger Hunt

    By Bill the Goat on March 27, 2024

    The 2024 Spring Scavenger Hunt

    It’s spring at USNA! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the midshipmen are performing their duties all around the Yard with military precision. It’s the perfect time to see the U.S. Naval Academy and enjoy one of our famous USNA tours.


    For a little added fun, we’ve put together a Spring Scavenger Hunt Challenge you can play with your friends. Come explore everything the Yard has to offer and see if you can use these scavenger hunt clues to find some of the hidden treasures. The Naval Academy is bursting with a history going back over 175 years, and you take part in that tradition when you walk its grounds. Let us know what you find!


    Start Here


    The Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center is the place to get started. You can grab one of the USNA walking tours that leave several times daily or take some time to take in the history within the Visitor Center walls. Then, see if you can find the following treasures, hidden in plain sight!


    Scavenger Hunt Clue 1: One of the Best of the Busts

    Can you find the original Houdon bust of one of the most famous officers in U.S. Navy history? There are seven copies of this bust on the Yard. Hint: The original is in an underground spot, where the ocean has turned an inky black. Here you’ll find the final resting place of the man who is immortalized with this lifelike bust. See if you can locate the inscription “J.A.H. 1781” on this bust, which is positioned at his actual height. For extra credit, find the other seven copies!


    Scavenger Hunt Clue 2: Thousands of Pipes That Stretch to the Heavens
    You can find beautiful music throughout the Yard, but this particular instrument is one of a kind, as it draws people from all over the world. Made by R.A. Colby, Inc. and featuring 15,688 pipes, 796 controls, and 522 drawknobs with a five-manual console, it is one of the jewels of the Yard. Hint: It sits beneath a penny colored dome on the highest spot on the Yard.


    Scavenger Hunt Clue 3: One of the Oldest Military Monuments in the U.S.

    With several life-sized statues, this monument is something to behold. Tucked behind a well-known Yard building in a courtyard, it honors six naval officers killed in the war against Tripoli (hint!). It was moved here from the U.S. Capitol in 1860 and now amazes visitors with its scale and artistry.


    Scavenger Hunt Clue 4: Ships of a Different Color

    Crafted by French prisoners of war during the Napoleonic Wars, these miniature ships will astound you with their craftsmanship and attention to detail. This is the largest collection of its kind in the U.S. Hint: They were meticulously made from memory, using bone scraps left over from meat rations and human or horse hair.


    Scavenger Hunt Clue 5: Mahan Hall Mystery

    The War of 1812 is immortalized in these six recessed glass cases in one of the buildings facing the Quadrangle. This same area also plays host to an impressive line of state flags that flank its grand staircase and lead to an old reading room. See if you can find what’s in the cases.


    Scavenger Hunt Clue 6: A Diorama to Remember

    This diorama memorializes the heroism of a USMC captain during the 1972 Easter Offensive in South Vietnam, when he planted and detonated demolition charges under the center of a bridge to keep North Vietnamese regulars from the capital of the Quang Tri province. Hint: You’ll find it near the most famous flag of the Naval Academy.


    Did You Find Them All?


    Let us know in the comments below. And come see them in person. Your visits benefit the midshipmen, since all proceeds from dining, shopping, and USNA tours help fund extracurricular activities like cultural arts, music, theater, club sports, and more. You’re supporting the midshipmen who support our freedom.


    Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely stroll along the walkways or trying to take in as much history as you can handle, the U.S. Naval Academy is an awe-inspiring place to be. Tour for a day, visit for a weekend, or stay for even longer. We are happy to have you on board!


    Take a USNA Tour

    Bill the Goat
    Written by Bill the Goat | March 27, 2024


    Are you a true USNA fan?

    Don’t miss out! Subscribe to get the latest “On The Yard” news and insights!