Each year in an effort to add a bit more excitement to our kids school summer holidays we plan out a massive array of games, challenges, activities, picnics, parties and more; we call this event the Summer Games. Our children compete over the 4-6 week long event in teams seeking to win points that are accumulated over the entire length of the games. The winning team is awarded the coveted Summer Games Cup during a final closing ceremony. It is truly the most anticipated event of the year here!
Rather than playing as individuals, our children are placed in one of four different teams, each represented by a different animal and color that change from year-to-year. Teams fight for honor, glory and the Summer Games Cup! As a part of the Opening Ceremony each year teams create their own Battle Standards and Team Buffs. These are brought to each and every Games event. Points are deducted if Standards are left lying on the ground or not held in the highest respect at all times.
We simply cannot oversell how incredible the games are. Our real objective with the games is just one simple thing: create joyful childhood memories that last a lifetime! You probably wouldn’t believe the lengths we are willing to go to achieve this goal. There have been so many amazing activities over the years, but here are a few of our favorites:
- The Frozen Night event which involved turning our Dining Hall into a winter wonder land with 300+ giant ice blocks covering every inch of floor space. After watching the movie Frozen while chilling out on the ice our kids competed in a range of activities including: ice-sculpting, tobogganing and a gigantic snow fight. Keep in mind, this was all in the middle of summer where the heat was around 49°C (120°F).
- A mammoth 5 day adventure in the Himalayas that included trekking, spotting leopards at night, ghost stories around a campfire and even a massive cleanup of trash at a popular tourist spot.
- Zombie Day, the day a mysterious infection spread across the Mission. Team dressed up as zombies and proceeded to play a myriad of crazy games, eat their meals and just generally go wild.
- Pirate Day, the search for buried treasure took our teams through 4 hours of challenges, obstacles and tasks to uncover clues that finally led to the treasure: a huge chest of snacks and soft drinks buried in the middle of a field.
In addition to their Buffs and Standards each team is given a Team Shield to protect. This shield had to be held on to at all times between 7:00am to 7:00pm each day, if left unprotected shields can be picked up (stolen) by another team. Along with the shield, teams steal one point from the team who lost their shield. Our kids have been known to take afternoon naps clutching their shields to their chests to protect them!
The Medallion Of Power
To keep things interesting the Medallion Of Power is hidden somewhere on the property. Clues are posted daily as to it’s location. Any team that finds the MOP can use it to gain a significant advantage in challenges or at times exchange it for points. The MOP can only be used once before it is returned and hidden again.
As you can imagine, our kids have an incredible time with the Games. Since we launched the program in 2014 it has become the highlight of our year. Our first game ever, “The Scavenger Hunt”, involved our kids receiving a list of 50 items that they had to find from all over the property including things like “Uncle Rick’s Sock”, “A live lizard” and “exactly 1kg of dirt”. It became 5 hours of madness as kids scrambled to complete the list first. This was just the beginning of an incredible journey for us and our children, a journey that is helping to develop amazing attributes in our kids: strength of character, teamwork, an adventurous spirit, life experience and most of all it is just plain fun!