What a week!
Another Summer Games spectacular on the last full week of competition. The Cobra Team still maintains a slight edge but the Elephant team is closing fast. Just a handful of points separate the top teams as we enter the final week. Here’s a look back on the week that was.
One staple of Summer Games life is an event we call Food Frenzy. Essentially, it’s team competitions that revolve around food. This year’s challenges saw kids guzzling soda, devouring tubs of ice cream and making a general mess of the place.
We also resurrected the perennial favorite Splashternoon, where everyone gets wet in water-themed challenges. With the weather hovering around 100 most days (with high humidity), Splashternoon is a chance to cool off, earn some points, and soak your friends.
Perhaps the most spectacular concept this week we called Frozen Night Games. Of all Summer Games activities in the proud history of the event, this odd one-of-a-kind idea may just stand out as our most ambitious yet. And that is saying something!
We play night games every year and the kids love staying up late, playing hide-and-seek in the mango orchard, flashlight tag, sardines until the sun comes up. But with the monsoon raging all afternoon, flooding the grounds and making a muddy soup across the mission, we decided to play indoors this year.
The night was hot and muggy, with bouts of torrential rain. It was just a typical Indian summer night…until the ice truck showed up. We ordered 150 long blocks of ice, and turned our church house into a magical, if uneven, skating rink! We unloaded the huge blocks in intense rain, with kids and staff helping to guide the blocks into place, the youngest children often riding the slippery sleds as they slid across the cement.
Once the ice was unloaded, we watched “Frozen” while sitting on the ice. We played “Ice Chunk Racing” to see who could slide across the floor the furthest and fastest. We had ice carving. Ice endurance holding. We even hosted the areas first ever indoor snowball fight.
The teams built barricades in the dining hall, prepped “snow” from crushed ice, found shields and then launched in. The resulting melee was certainly the first every battle of its kind in the surrounding area, and left several kids saying: “This was the best night of my life!” Mission accomplished.
The ice is still melting on the grass outside the dining hall, a steaming stubborn white mountain in the intense humidity of an Indian afternoon. I’m sure some who pass by it think it’s a waste. But I don’t know. For $134 dollars US, we were able to create a moment that will live in their minds forever. A story worth telling your grandchildren one day.
Our moto for summer games follows the acronym T.E.A.M. T is for “Try Hard.” E is for “Everybody Plays.” A is for “Act with Honor.” And M is for “Make Great Memories.” For all it’s odd, complicated, imperfect, messy qualities, Frozen Night Games was nothing if not a great memory!