Boys of Timber Wolf age love it when they have opportunities to use their imaginations, and even more so, when their adult leaders let down their hair and use their imaginations. That's what happened when two of our leaders created a Space Day at our FNE Timber Wolf Summer Camp.
The day started typically with Timber Wolves and their leaders filing in for breakfast. But that's where the routine ended. When they entered the hall, our Timber Wolves found the tables re-arranged into military mess hall style and leaders barking out orders to each other in a very disciplined manner. (Well at last the leaders thought that we had it all together!) Several large posters of the space shuttle and astronauts decorated the walls.
Some of the Timber Wolves ate their breakfast in relative silence, but most bubbled with noisy excitement as they tried to figure out what was going on. Suddenly, with a horn blaring to announce their arrival, two of our more mature leaders dashed into the mess hall in rather unusual dress.
Ursa Major (usually known as Sona) asked for silence so that he could make a major policy statement. At that moment, a capsule appeared to float into his hands. With great pride, Ursa Major and his "twin" Tursa Major (usually known as Baloo ) removed a message from the capsule and read it to the Timber Wolves.
"It is with great honour and joy that we declare today Space Day. As of now, you will be known as 'Space Timber Wolves'. After 1300 hours today, a series of events unlike any ever seen before will take place here on Planet Camp - events that will test your physical and mental strength to the utmost. Only the most hardy among you - those who truly try their best - will succeed. Sometime before 1100 hours, the Great Markvadel will appear. Be prepared!"
At this point, Ursa Major and Tursa Major quickly departed, leaving the Timber Wolves agog with wonder and anticipation. As promised, at exactly 1100 hours, the Great Markvadel, accompanied by Ursa and Tursa Majors, appeared. Looking ugly and sounding stern, he issued a summons for all Space Timber Wolves to gather at the launch pad at 1300 hours sharp that day. We overheard more than one Timber Wolf ask " Thirteen hundred hours? What time is that in real time?"
But at exactly 1300 hours, the Timber Wolves gathered in suitable activity dress to see the Great Markvadel open the first ever Space Day games at camp. His two crazy sidekicks, Ursa and Tursa Majors, explained the rules and sent off the Space Timber Wolves in sixes to their first Space Ride.
As the afternoon progressed, the Great Markvadel appeared from time to time to see how his Space Timber Wolves were making out. Then, when the final event was completed, he summoned the Space Timber Wolves to gather for the commissioning of their leaders as "official officers" in the Space Force.
And what a ceremony it was! One at a time the lucky leaders sat on a chair beneath a bucket firmly attached to a latched board. In turn, lucky space Timber Wolves were invited to do the honours by throwing a ball at a target in an attempt to knock away the supporting wood. Each splash signaled one more newly commissioned officer. Needless to say, the Space Wolves enjoyed every ceremonial moment!
Before bed that night, Markvadel and Ursa and Tursa Major made final appearance to present prizes. All in all, a day to be remembered !
We kept several key factors in mind when planning this day. We wanted a strong emphasis on teamwork and having fun, so we asked the Timber Wolves to simply do their best as part of their team.
We designated a mixture of activities - some physical, others mental, and still others a combination of both kinds of skills. One leader was assigned to each group, not to help (within reason) but to encourage and cheer them on.
Everyone in camp was totally involved in the program. To keep things running smoothly, we made sure we had plenty of leaders to staff the games, record the scores, and correctly point sixes in the direction of their next game. Before the events began, we double checked that all the necessary equipment was in place. The groups rotated through the events, spending eight minutes at each game and two minutes moving from one game to the next. We used a sound system to signal the start and end of each activity.
For the most part, these activities were designed for outdoors in rain or shine, Nature Kim's Game, the skill games of Hit the Spaceship and Hit the Rocket, and the space knowledge games would move indoors if it rained.
|Timed Obstacle Course: At the start of the course, sixes encountered a "log cabin" arrangement of four stacked logs ( 10 cm x 1.8 m ) with three 30 cm diameter rocks inside. Their challenge was to move this space hut over the camp entrance fence to a finish point and rebuild it. They were challenged to transfer the hut over the fence and back as many times as possible in six minutes.||Best two times for first transfer, 10 and 5 points; Top Teamwork, 5 points for each member of the six; Bonus, 5 points for each successive transfer of the "campfire" from one side of the fence to the other.|
|Obstacle Relay : Individual Wolves run a 40 second obstacle course requiring them to walk on a raised beam, crawl, jump, climb etc.||Best three individual times, 20, 15 and 10 points; lowest three team average times, 15, 10 and 5 points.|
|Uphill Obstacle Race: Three cinder blocks with two ropes attached to each were set in a marked circle at the bottom of the hill. Teams pulled the blocks up the hill to a marked circle at the top and back down again, making as many transfers as they could in five minutes. Leaders kept a close watch to make sure Wolves didn't go so fast that they were in danger of pulling the stones onto their ankles.||One team point for each transfer of each block; Bonus, 10 and 5 points to the two top scores.|
|Obstacle Slalom: In a bush area cleared of brush and eye-level twigs beforehand, the Wolves ran a 40 second slalom course relay, using trees labeled with coloured tape as markers. As each Wolf ran, his teammates stayed behind a barrier so that they could not see him race, which meant each runner needed to keep alert for tree markers.||Best first and second individual times on team, 10 and 5 points; Best first and second individual times overall, 15 and 10 points; Best first and second team total times, 25 and 10 points.|
|Nature Kim's Game: Each Wolf had 30 seconds to match 20 labels to 20 nature objects collected on site.||Correct answers minus incorrect answers, Bonus 10 points to the individual on the team with the highest score.|
|Marble Relay: Set 30 marbles at the start point and a tin can at the end point 15 meters away. Barefooted Wolves, in turn, carry a marble in their toes down the course to drop it into the can. The team tries to transfer as many marbles as possible in five minutes.||Total number of marbles in the can; Bonus, 15, 10, and 5 points for the top three teams.|
|Bench Relay: the start point is a large garbage pail placed on the beach 9 meters from shore. Each Wolf has a milk jug. In relay, the cubs race to the water, fill their jugs, and race back to put the water in the garbage pail. The object is to see how much water (measure the depth) they can transfer to the garbage pail in 5 minutes.||The three " deepest " teams, 20, 15 and 10 points for the individual scores of each member of the top team, 5 for each member of the second team.|
|Balloon Relay: Wolves race a 30 second zigzag course around obstacles and over three benches bouncing a balloon on their hands as they run. Each time a balloon breaks or touches the ground, add 10 seconds to the time. Keep plenty of spares inflated and ready to go.||Best team times, first and second, 20 and 10 points; Best individual time on team, 10 points.|
|Baseball Throw: From a distance of 6 meters, each Wolf threw a baseball five times at five targets or various sizes suspended at different levels from string tied to the catcher's cage on the baseball field. The largest target, 1 - 30 cm Frisbee, was worth 5 points and the smallest (a soup can lip ) 25 points. Pot lids of intermediate sizes and point values provided the remaining targets. This was the one "fair-weather only" outdoor event. Organizers designed a similar indoor event for darts and balloons of different shapes, sizes, and degrees of inflation suspended from string attached to a tack board.||First and second best individual totals, 20 and 10 points; First and second team totals; 25 points and 15 points.|
Outdoor or Indoor Games
These activities are easily set up indoors if it rains.
Hit the Spaceship: From a wooden bracket attached to a cabin wall, suspend a tin can with a slight up-tilt from a string and set it swinging. From a mark 1.8 meters away, Timber Wolves with peashooters (straws) and 10 peas try to shoot as many peas as possible into the moving can.
Scoring: 5 points for each pea in the spaceship; Bonus, best scores in each six, 15 and 10 points.
Hit the Rocket: Tack a backdrop sheet against a cabin wall. String fishing line on a diagonal slant in front of the backdrop and attach a tin can rocket on pulleys to the line. Each Wolf has three tries to hit the rocket with small pebbles as it slides own the string.
Scoring: 5 points a hit, 10 points for best individual score on team, 20 points for best total team score.
Space Knowledge: In a maximum time of three minutes over game, Wolves tackle these challenges as a team.
These activities tally as individual scores.
Aim: Set up a cardboard " fence " with three floor level openings, each labeled a different value. Each Wolf has five marbles to try to roll through the openings. Total his score.
Reflexes: Each Wolf has five tries at clapping and catching a playing card dropped between his hands from above. Award 5 points per catch.
For a cool down grand finale, the events moved back to the dock area at the lake for...
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