Alex Whitmore, Center for Community Engagement Program Coordinator, recently competed in an outdoor survival challenge featuring extreme challenges and alumni from the CBS competitive reality TV show, Survivor.
Whitmore and contestants from across the country spent five days in Macomb, Illinois, going through a fast-paced, accelerated version of Survivor to benefit a local charity. The Survival Challenge fundraiser gives Survivor fans like Whitmore a chance to play the game, raise money for charity, and get a taste for what it is like to be on the show.
“It rained almost the whole time,” Whitmore said. “At night I would search for hidden idols or advantages to help further me in the game (just like in the show) and just try to stay warm under that tarp. …We only got one tarp, my tribe could not make fire the three days I was in the game so I never had any rice. At one point I went 30 hours without any food. When I did have food, it would be one apple and one orange shared between eight people.
“I would say the toughest part for me was the fogginess in my brain. I wouldn’t remember names or get dizzy when standing up. Although I got voted out a few spots before the merge due to a tribal swap where I was not on the right side of the numbers, it still was an unforgettable experience.
“I can say without a doubt this was one of the most fun and rewarding moments so far in my life. I survived literally three days on the ground basically just with a tarp and human warmth. If I gave anyone a piece of advice it would be to do what you love.”
Survival Challenge was created by Bob Crowley, winner of Survivor: Gabon, the seventeenth season of the TV series.