It was a World Olympics year, and our summer Timber Wolf camp fell during the period of the games. That was enough to stimulate our first Olympic theme day at camp and it was so successful, we've made it a semi annual event. We give our Timber Wolf Olympics a slightly different focus that the official games by stressing the idea of doing your best and basing the program on team rather than individual effort. But, having the real Olympic games as a model the first time certainly helped us set the scene.
A theme day like this can involve the Timber Wolves in a wide variety of activities while also understanding individual Timber Wolf capabilities. . We start by sending each to a different area of camp to plan and design their team flag. Every team has the same materials to work with; a large piece of white cloth , a flag pole, four different coloured markers, and a pencil and piece of paper for each Timber Wolf. We encourage them to incorporate the Maple Leaf and FNE symbol in their designs, and ask them not to use the names or symbols of real countries.
Each Timber Wolf in a team first creates his own pencil and paper flag design. The group then votes for their favorite design and all team members help produce a flag based on the winner. While they work, they also put together a team chant for the opening ceremonies.
Finally its time for the opening. The Timber Wolves draw straws to choose the torchbearer who will lead the parade of athletes. Then, to the theme song from Rocky blaring from a portable stereo, the teams march proudly behind their flags chanting their unique chants as they move through camp to the ceremonies site. After a few brief speeches from the leaders and Timber Wolves, the games begin.
You can choose many different kinds of events, so we'll simply share one of our most successful programs with you. We think it's important to offer events that are challenging, but not so difficult that the youngest or least athletic Timber Wolf can get turned off. To avoid situations in which some of our Timber Wolves simply stand around, we run all our contests simultaneously and strongly encourage those who are waiting their turn to cheer on their teammates.
We organize an event for each group - eight events for eight groups - and allow eight minutes for the activity with a minute at each end to allow for movement between events and any necessary explanation. To signal rotation times, we toot a car horn. Parents work with leaders to supervise and enjoy the various contests.
50 Metre Dash: requires two leaders, lime, stop watch, measuring tape, whistle, paper and pencil, clipboard, and string.
Mark off a start and finish line encompassing 50 meters on a fairly flat surface. Set up a string at the finish line and position one leader at the start line, the other (with a stop watch, whistle and other paraphernalia) at the finish line. On signal, one Timber Wolf at a time races from start to finish. The leader records his time and signals on the next racer. The boys continue to cycle through the racing until time is up, then the leader adds up the best times and records the score.
Football Throw: requires two leaders, paper, pencil, football, hoop, rope.
Hang the hoop from a tree and pace off a suitable distance for the throwing line. We try to put it just far enough away that successful throws are a challenge but not an impossibility. In turn, the Timber Wolves toss the football through the hoop. Give each boy three tries, and continue until time is up. Record the total number of baskets.
Running Broad Jump: requires two leaders, paper and pencil, measuring tape, start line, jump line, rake, sandy beach or soft ground.
Perhaps a leader can demonstrate before each team starts. One at a time, Timber Wolves race from the start line and jump from jump line. A leader measurers and records each distance. Continue to cycle through the team until time is up. Record the total of the two best jumps.
Soccer Course: requires two leaders, paper, pencil, stop watch, course markers (buckets, boxes, etc).
A leader demonstrates the course layout before the contest begins. One at a time, the Timber Wolves kick a soccer ball along the course as quickly as possible. Continue cycling through the team until time is up. Record the total of the two best times.
Long Distance Relay: requires three leaders, paper, pencil and pen, baton (sawed off hockey stick or piece of doweling), stop watch.
Set up a course with individual Timber Wolves posted at various relay points. On signal, the Timber Wolf at the start line races to the next boy who takes the baton and races to the next, etc. Run a second cycle if time allows. Record the best overall time.
Shot Put: requires two leaders, a shot (or another suitable object), tape measure.
Have a leader demonstrate position and method for throwing. Timber Wolves in turn throw the shot and a leader measures the distance of each toss. Continue to cycle through the team until time is up. Record the total of the two best distances.
Obstacle Course: Use the structures and equipment available to you to lay out an imaginative course. Keep safety and the Timber Wolves capabilities in mind. Two leaders can run the course and record the number of Timber WolvesÂ who make it through before time is up.
Ball in the bucket: requires two leaders, three tennis balls, one bucket.
Measure and mark off a suitable throwing distance. Place a bucket at one end and Timber Wolves at the other. In turn, Timber Wolves use an underhand toss to try to put three balls into the bucket. Continue to cycle through the team until time is up. Record the total number of balls that land and stay in the bucket.
After the Games
To determine an overall winner, our scoring system awards five points for first place in each event, four points for second, three points for third, two points for fourth, and one point for all remaining teams. We also awarded points for the best flags. Parents or leaders who have not been directly involved with the flag making activity judge the flags and give 10 points for first, eight points for second, six points for third, and four points for all the others.
At the closing ceremony, we announce the final point totals and make our presentations - gold, silver, and bronze to the sixers of the top three teams respectively, and small tokens to each member of these winning teams. After the top team's sixer takes a victory turn around the ceremony site, the Timber Wolf howl and cheer, we bring the Olympics to a close. But the magic lingers on. We've noticed that, during the remaining days in camp, every Timber Wolf from the leading teams has a chance to wear the medallion presented to his group leader.
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