I so admire men and women and older kids who willingly spend time, talent and, sometimes, money to ensure that large numbers of others in their community enjoy summer fun and games. Inevitably those larger numbers are divided into small groups which promotes getting to know each other and a feeling of belonging.
I read recently that after our basic needs for food, shelter and warmth, the next need in priority is to feel you belong.
I hope that some of our tried and true fun and games at Amherst Shore might work elsewhere.
At our Amherst Shore Summer Games, we divide into the “bloody” Browns and the Christies who scoff up all other community members who wish to compete. An organizational evening is held on Wednesday to identify an uneven number of games, each to count for a point. On Thursday printed schedules are issued.
Golf starts the Games on Friday. It is one of the games, like Frisbee Golf on Sunday, in which as many people can play as want to but “10 Best Scores; including three women or juniors (jr. 18 and under)”. Because the Christies won handily last year, we had to “spot Browns 34 strokes”: it turned out the Browns won the point without any spotting.
A lot of organization by the representatives from each side went into that one point!
Friday evening is board games. I traditionally play the original Trivial Pursuit with others over 55 in teams of four plus a reader for the other team. Substitutes allow more to play. In other cottages, five games of cribbage, three games of hearts and other games of Trivial Pursuit for under 30 and for Open are going on. Again, an uneven number so one side will gain the point. Different organizers.
And so it goes all weekend: Ultimate on the sandbars, softball, bocce ball, three-legged race, volleyball, all with requirements for both sexes and older players to be on the field. Each game for one point.
A wonderful extra is the 45-minute game of softball for children up to twelve, mixed non-family teams, no score kept. Great to see yesterday’s children coaching.
The final event is a water relay involving swimmers, canoeists, and more. This year the final leg was delivered by paddlers standing on stand up paddleboards (SUPs), trying to manoeuver around human pylons and to be the first back to shore to the cheers of over a hundred spectators on the beach and on the bank.
Surely it is unique that the losing team takes the trophy home. Fittingly, the trophy is a burial urn. The clerk at Carters told me it is her favourite reoccurring trophy to engrave. Why was I in Carters? Yes, the Christies “won” the urn this year.
Another summer I’ll describe the Sand Building Contest and the Mini-Olympics.
To buy my publications, go to the Artisans’ Gallery, Amherst Centre Mall; Maritime Mosaic, Dayle’s, Victoria Street, Amherst; Flying Colours, Maccan; and Main and Station, Parrsboro.
Coles carries My dear Alice.
For my six self-published books and booklets, go to the Cumberland County Museum and Archives and to the YMCA Amherst.
Clare Christie is a member of the Amherst News Community Editorial Panel. She can be reached at email@example.com.