Family Survivor Games

Every year for the past...gosh, it's been a while...6 or 7 years, Jeff has hosted the family survivor games/Survivor Jr/Kid Olympics as a way of keeping the kids in the family more active.  You can read about previous years here (2010) and here (2008).  He puts in a ton of planning, researching games for half the year, and the kids all look forward to it.  Actually scheduling it is a logistical nightmare because you're working around the schedules of 4 families and about 10 kids.  This year we managed to fit it in on Labor Day. 

In its earliest incarnation, we had ribbons for the top three finishers in each event.  When we moved to the Survivor theme, in the first year we had kids voted out, but that was kind of contrary to the whole "get the kids moving" theme and left bad feelings in the wake of the votes.  In the past few years, we've gone to a point system.  Teams are scrambled before each event, and then each member of the winning team gets a point.  The kid(s) with the most points at the end of the day wins bragging rights.  Of course, it's not nice to brag, so basically they just get to feel good on the inside. :)

Here's a look at some of the day's fun:

Sword soccer: (new this year)

Jeff explains the rules
One of the most challenging parts of the day for Jeff is just keeping things moving and keeping the kids listening.  He'll start explaining and before he gets out a sentence there are 30 questions that would be answered if they'd just listen to the directions.  Teachers will sympathize.

The blue team has their game faces on...
...while the red team is all about the stragegy.
Game on!!

Battling it out.
 Sword soccer, despite its many opportunities for dissention and unfair play (AKA smacking your opponents rather than the ball), was a success and a lot of fun to play and watch.  All good things must come to an end, though, and soon we were on to "Face the Cookie".

Event 2: Face the Cookie (from Minute to Win It)

Kind of slow to get through the game, but visually hilarious.



J. really struggled, so N (who's freakishly good at this game and
could eat a whole bag of Oreos from his face in a minute) was coaching him.

Next up was the Elephant Relay. You have to knock over a row of cups with a tennis ball in the pantyhose "trunk".  It's harder than you'd think, but good fun to watch your kids run around with pantyhose on their heads.




After that came the Electric Fence.  It started low.  Once the whole team was across the "fence", it was raised 6 inches and they had to cross again.

It started out nice and easy.

Even after being raised the first time everyone got across no problem.

Good to know all N's middle school high jump experience wasn't wasted.

As the fence rose, teams really had to work together to get everyone across.

Lots of teamwork going on.

D. played stepstool

Higher still.  Having tall teammates comes in handy.

If I hadn't been there when he was conceived, I'd swear he's half kangaroo.

Going up....

Around here's where I started to get nervous that someone would get hurt.

I'm thinking this was around 48", but it might have been higher.

He cleared it, but landed on his hip.  We hadn't had any rain for a looong while, so that sand was hard packed.
After both D. and N. cleared the fence by diving over it and landing hard, I made the strong suggestion that we call it a draw.  Both my boys are super competitive (not sure where they get that), and I was afraid someone was going to get hurt.  It's a measure of how hard they landed that both of them were ok with a tie.
The camera battery was running low, but I managed to get a few shots of the next game, where the kids had to try and knock a cone of their opponent's head with a water ball.

Gentlemen (and I use that term loosely), take your places.

Nerves of steel

This was a good shot...except for the fact that they weren't supposed to throw overhand. 
The camera battery cut out about here, so I put it on the charger and took another few pictures with my phone, but after lunch I fell asleep and failed to document the rest of the day.  I hear it was a pretty good time, though. :)


  1. Oh my! This looks soooo fun! hilariously fun! Love your recap here. And the great! The cookies ones are the best! Priceless!! What memories you guys are making!!

  2. This does look like a ton of fun. The kids must love it. Are there any girl cousins?
    Good luck in your 5K today. Have fun.

  3. That looks like such fun for the kids and the memories that they are collecting are priceless. I love it! :)

  4. You fell asleep in the middle of the biggest day on of Family Survivor? Kate, I am appalled....all that high altitude training we did for this day and you fell asleep? Ok, I'll let it slide, only cuz you're bringing beer and wine for our next adventure.

    Looks like a ton of fun, you guys know how to party! I know I could never organize the logistics of something like that...and beings my kids have three cousins, all 10+ years older than them, I'm certain it wouldn't be quite as fun. And I'm definitely sure I'd eat the whole bag of Oreos before the games started! ;)

  5. That looks like a hoot! I can see why the kids look forward to to it. Specially like the cookie pics.

  6. Just stopping by because I saw your post on XLMIC's "Taking it On" about your epic bike ride across MO. Was that on the Katy Trail? I live in Jefferson City and rode a short section of it the other night. Just thought I'd ask.

    Also enjoyed this post about the family games. Looks like gobs of fun. We have a lot (8) of children (my sis-in-laws and me) around the same age that would get a kick out of an event like this. They all live here in town too so we could do it on any given weekend (well, between football games and scout outings and the like).

  7. OMG crazy fun! That high jump got ridonkulous!

  8. So, can I crash the party next year? Because this all looks TOTALLY TOTALLY AWESOME!


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