Last Saturday the AwanaGames were held for our area. This is one of dozens – I would even say hundreds of AwanaGame competitions around the United States.
And the world. Awana just celebrated the 10,000th international club.
My sister-in-law (who attends a different church) said that on Sunday she was talking to a lady who attended the games on Saturday (first time ever). The lady was quite surprised at what a big deal it was – and how competitive the clubbers (and coaches) were.
AwanaGames are competitive mostly because there are strict rules and each circle has five watching-every-toe-on-the-line judges to make sure those rules are followed. The same games are played in all competitions – games that are unique to Awana.
If you haven’t attended the games, you are missing mega-excitement.
As soon as you walk in the door, the excitement emulates from the shouts of kids finding their teams, coaches yelling at a wandering fourth grader to get back in line, dozens of girls jumping up and down with their bouncy ponytails tied with multi-colored hair ribbons.
I think first timers are often surprised that this is not a small church gym with some lackadaisical clubbers – this is for real. The AwanaGames we attended had four circles – with a boys and girls team on most lines – so I don’t know for sure, but approximately 25 teams of kids (each team having 10-12 kids). The surrounding bleachers
were filled with parents/grandparents/leaders cheering on their kids.
You can always tell a team who hasn’t been to the games before. While their kids are still wondering what to do, the other teams are done with the relay – especially evident in the three-legged race.
We were on a circle with churches who DID know what they were doing. In fact, if you added up the total number of AwanaGame-participating-years from just that one circle, I’m
guessing you would come up with several decades.
The 11yo said, “That bean bag grab is stressful.” I agreed. I’ve been there and done that. (The third generation of our family playing in the games.) The whole place gets deathly still as the announcer calls out the next n
umber. You can’t make a false start and you can’t NOT run the second your number is called – otherwise you won’t get any points.
The Marathon is the key individual competition with one clubber running six laps. Of course you want your fastest runner and often that fastest runner is also very long-legged, which makes it easy to knock over a pin and … then you’re disqualified. All those months of practice.
Scorekeepers don’t put up the scores for the last couple games. You need to wait until the speaker gives a short talk presenting the gospel – the most difficult speaking engagement in the world. Hundreds of parent sit in the bleachers and a couple hundred restless kids sit at your feet. Saturday’s speaker was good. I especially liked the “We love our pastor”sign that people from his church had made.
And then the scores are announced. (We came in second on our circle.) And the Games are done for another year.
I took lots of pictures, but will only post a few.