Since July of 2007, I've been fortunate enough to have a group of friends in my hometown that has pretty consistently gotten together to play day long games with each other once or twice in the summer, minus some little hiccups in the "college" years. It all started in July of 2007...
Matt M. planned this one right after the fourth of July in 2007. (I remember because I had to bleach my hair for the parade that year for "Singing in the Rain") Matt had planned a few of these events before when he was an RA at college, and with some of his other friends from high school so he decided to give it a whack with our group of friends.
His theme was "Survivor Inferno" and the tribes were based of of different cactus names if I remember correctly. Matt had a bunch of games for us to play along with some twists and turns. We played on tribes and then played each man for himself after the merge. We played right at Matt's house in our town. His yard was mostly pool, so he had to get creative with his games and we all got very wet. I remember that it rained on and off all day, and by the time we got to the final four it was it was thundering and lightening outside with really heavy, thick, rain.
The final two were Sydney and I. I won this time around.
Because everyone had so much fun the first time around, Sydney and I took it upon ourselves to recreate Survivor later that month. We planned the entire thing in about three days and it was filled with our cast mates from Singing in the Rain, Matt also played instead of planned- which he appreciated. As a nod to the groups' musical theater connections, we named it Survivor Fortissimo and based the team names off of music theory terms and themed all of the challenge names off of song titles from Musicals. We tried to have a closer balance of male to female players.
We started this one later in the day and, if I remember correctly, it ended between 12:00am and 1:00am. It was really dark and in the middle of summer, so it had to have been pretty late. It was very hot out that day, but the weather did hold. Sydney and I did have to make some last minute changes, as the sun was setting, to an unfortunately timed game that required the players to find and color match tiny wiffle balls in a corn field at dusk... much more difficult that we had intended. And this was before the flashlight apps on everyone's phones. Because of how late it was, the final challenge was incredibly intense as we sent the final three into the woods at midnight sans flashlights to rescue three tied up, blindfolded and hidden players and carry them back to the safe zone.
The final two were Danielle and Marybeth. Danielle ended up winning this one.
(In 2008 or 2009 Sydney planned an Amazing Race for everyone. I was in NYC at the time, so I don't have any pictures of that game. I am told it was very fun, I don't know which team won it.)
In July of 2011, Danielle and I took it upon ourselves to bring back survivor to a slightly different group of friends. College had scattered the original crew a bit, and new friends were made so we revamped survivor using a theme of constellations for all of the games and tribe names. We themed a lot of the actual challenges to have something to do with the particular constellation that the game was named for. We kept the balance of male to female player and had a larger age range and geographical range with our participants than before, it was also interesting because the players did not all know each other and they had to create alliances with people they hadn't met on the day of the game.
The weather that day ran the gamut. In the morning, while we were setting up and giving instructions it poured outside, but by the end of the day it was hot and sunny. We played this one at the previous location that we had played the one before (Sydney's house). Danielle and I focused slightly more on creating lots of twists and really physical games. This was the first time that we saw the men get really far into the game. When we played before the women picked them off systematically after the team games were over.
Matt and Joe S. were the final two. Matt won the game.
In 2012, Matt and I did a show together and he mentioned that he had come up with a rough idea to adapt the Hunger Games into one of our summer game days but we never really did anything with it. In early 2013, I approached him and said I really wanted to help him plan a hunger games for the summer because I loved the idea. The rest is history.
In 2013 we planned two Hunger Games. The first was played by 24 tributes, (up from 16 in Survivor) and we pulled from a big range of friends from different circles and cities. The first Hunger Games was so successful, that we pulled in Taylor to help us plan another one in October 2013 and had 30 tributes play.
You can read about the actual games in some previous posts I did if you are interested.
I am very excited to be in the beginning stages of planning this summer's game with Taylor right now. We have over 40 people who are interested in playing, so it should be a good time. More on that later, everything is hush, hush for the moment.