Ah Beach Olympics. A 30+ year history at our church. For one Saturday 100+ Middle & High School students come together to form 8 colorful teams and compete in a bevy of events. It's a jam-packed day that starts at 7:30am and goes until 10pm when we return home from the beach. I've talked a lot about the event and I thought it would be cool to share some pictures in an attempt to capture what the day is like.
Thanks Steve Gress for sharing your photos with me.
Students learn what team they're on a couple days before the event. That gives them time to find the perfect outfit to wear for the day.
Dig a hole as deep as possible and create a pile as high as possible. The biggest difference wins. This year it was 6'4". The trick is to use the flag as the center for the pile.
Build & Destroy
The first person builds a sand castle at least 12 inches high. The next person destroys it. Do this 7 times. And yes, there are style points when destroying. First team to finish wins.
You know how this works. The only twist is that it's held over a river running to the ocean. So the loser gets a little wet.
Red Hot Poker
I don't know who comes up with these games sometimes. Everyone has an end of a small rope and there's a trash can in the middle. If you let go of the rope or touch the can, you're out. Last person remaining wins. In this picture, the two guys in pick are trying to get the kid in yellow out. It didn't work; he ended up winning the whole thing.
A team runs through section of sand where balls are being thrown at them. The goal is to make it through without being hit. Good luck with that.
Tennis Ball Launch
About 100 yards away are some cones. Get the tennis ball to STOP in the middle of the cones. Each team is given a bucket of balls and the one with the most wins.
Biblical Sand Castles
This event is held right after lunch. Each team builds a scene from the Bible. Then they read the passage it came from and sometimes include a skit to go with it. Bonus points are given for creative use of beach materials.
One of the crazier games. It's kind of like water polo, but you give the ball to the other team if they pull your flag. The goal is to get the ball into your bucket. There always seems to be a surprise team when we play this. Strategy is critically important!
4-Way Capture The Flag
It's capture the flag, but the area is split into 4 quadrants and teams are paired together. So there are people running all over the place on this one!
Steal The Bacon
Students are around the edge of a square. In the middle are a bunch of balls & noodles. They announce who will go (ex: "middle school girls!") and they run out to collect as many items as possible for their team. Everything is worth 1 point. The large ball is worth 5 points. The guy in the middle is worth 25 points!
Team leaders stand in the water with a bag of noodles. Each team then runs out to grab a noodle. It finishes with a lap around the area. First team to finish wins.
Once it's done, we head back to the grass area, clean up, eat dinner, and announce the winner. This year Orange team won. The winners then get to spray paint the trophy. Yes, it is kind of a creepy trophy, but that's tradition!
After that, the students get to hear a message about Jesus and are given an opportunity to give their life to Him. This, of course, is the big reason for the event. Every year we get to celebrate new people coming to Christ!
On the way home we stop at Dairy Queen and enjoy some celebratory ice cream. I can't wait for next year!