A long-standing tradition on Dinner Island has been the
Dinner Island Olympics. Throughout
my childhood I remember playing each summer, competing for the glory of having
your name written on the spray-painted beer cans when placing in the top
three. We still have the
Olympics every summer for whatever kids can be found on either Dinner Island or
neighboring islands, but with the creation of our Cabin Weekends, Eric and I
have introduced our friends to the Olympics as well.
I thought I’d create a post on some of the competitions we
have had in the past, in part for other people to create Olympics of their own.
We find between 6-8 events to keep everyone’s interest
throughout. My advice would be
picking some of the following that look good to you and making up the rest as
you go along. Having a drink in
hand is also a fun way to get others to relax as they compete.
Red/Black: Find a deck of cards. The contestant guesses
if the card will be red or black, then the judge flips over said card to reveal
the color. Contestants have 10 chances to score points. Shuffle the cards
so that those card sharks out there can’t figure out the number of red or black in
your chosen stack.
Dice Shoot: Each contestant gets 3 die to either roll
together or separately for the highest score.
Stack Rocks: Send everyone to the beach with a set amount of
time to gather 10 rocks. At said
time, have everyone carry back their rocks to a flat surface and start another timer for a minute
to have them stack the rocks as high as possible. Whomever has the most rocks stacked gets 1st place. If multiple people can stack all 10 then the person whose
stack is the highest places wins the tie-breaker.
Crab Race: This event is perfect to either start or end. Send everyone down to the beach
to unearth their chosen crab.
Everyone can then coddle their crab back up to the table where we draw a
circle on a table (use chalk or something non-permanent). Depending on the number of contestants
you have, you can either start all the crabs at once in the center of the
circle and the first one over the line wins, or you can do one crab after
another, timing each for scores.
Picking the Page Number in a Book: As this event sounds, you
pick the page that a slip of paper has denoted.
Balls in a Pot: Take some small whiffle balls, or as
we always have around, Pickle Balls, and have people take turns tossing 3
into a pasta pot.
Rock Toss: Head to the beach and have everyone select their rock, big or small. Have a stick stuck in the sand and have each person toss their rock to try to get it the closest. Depending on how you feel allow a practice round or best of 3. Have a tape measure on hand to measure the distance from the rock to the stick to determine each place.
Beer Can Bowling: Here’s a way to recycle all those empty
beer cans from the night before.
Set up the cans mimicking a bowling alley and have the contestants bowl
a ball trying to knock down as many as possible in 1-3 tries.
How many XX in XX: You can do this with about anything. We’ve done how many beans in a jar, how
many spokes on our windmill, how many boards in the walk, etc. It’s a good event to be done inside and
gets everyone to reexamine their surroundings a bit more after the game.
Scoring: We create a sheet, see below for
examples, that has each event, and each contestant’s name to keep track. We then assign points for 1st
place and so on. So for example,
if you have 10 contestants, the person in 1st would get 10 points, 2nd
place would get 9 points, etc for each event. Go through and score each event. Decide how to best accommodate tiebreakers. Then add up the points for each
contestant to get the overall winners.
We find it’s best for the judges to do all the scoring with a beer in
hand, hidden in a back room away from prying eyes trying to see if they will be
this year’s winner.
The Awards Ceremony: Medals must be created (note to self:
do these before the Olympics!) and awarded in a ceremony. We award 3rd, then 2nd
and then 1st. This year
a talented friend made our own trophies to record winners year after year. Photos are a must to capture the
winners in all their glory!
What are other events we could incorporate? Has anyone else done anything
similar? We’d love fore more input
as we grow our Olympics.