Before celebrating the annual Thanksgiving Day feast with friends, foes, and all those in between, Southern District YMCA School Age Child Care hosted a momentous football field day at Camp Lincoln. Kids from all fifteen sites, which usually act as independent and autonomous kingdoms, came together for one common goal: eternal glory.
The day was filled with activities that encouraged team building and football prowess. Kids went through a grueling challenge course that involved crossing the notorious peanut butter pit, balancing the ever uneven whale watch, and uncovering sacred eggs from the towering eagles nest. If that wasn’t daring enough, everyone also had the chance to strap on a harness and scale a forty foot rock wall! Teams also collaborated on crafting customized jerseys to not only build unity, but as a creative outlet that would release the endorphins necessary to get ‘first downs’ and all that some-such. It’s safe to say that these kids came in as friends, and left as a family.
After enjoying a 5-2-1-0 sponsored lunch and regaining their strength, there was still work to be done for the upcoming ball game. Lifelong football enthusiast and self proclaimed Commodore of Hampstead, Will Sullivan, led a grueling training session to make sure everyone was up to snuff for the afternoon. Will only focused on complex aspects of football such as throwing and catching, because he had high standards for these kids and didn’t want to waste time teaching the basics. Though Will Sullivan showed no bias in training, he did have a very specific end game in mind. He had been training his Hampstead crew in secret plays and strategies for months in hopes that together they would overcome any obstacle the world would throw at them, come YMCA Fantasy Football 2012. This vivacious, tenacious, and occasionally ostentatious group had become known as “The Skeletons”, and possessed what other groups lacked: unity.
The legendary “Pretty Baby”, under the guise of Michael Short, did his best all day to unify his crew “The Last Dragons”. However his very European tendencies made him assume he was playing “futbol”, which made things difficult for everyone. Kingston native and trail mix enthusiast Tighe Blackadar also led a squadron called “The Eagles”, and offered to make an uneasy alliance to fight off the Skeletons. Although Dragons and Eagles are natural enemies, there was no other choice but to fight for the greater good / their own self interest. Meanwhile, dance and zumba experts practiced proper ergonomics and prepared a group of cheerleaders to carol and encourage the players, as well as show off their prowess in the new age promenade-scene.
The game itself saw the always dashing Jake Roy lead the “Eagle Dragons” into the game in the quarterback position, as it would avoid player bias shown by Mike and Tighe. Although the Eagle Dragons were able to put their differences aside and play a heck of a game, the Skeletons experience gave them a clear advantage. The Skeletons had a complete playbook, specific designated positions, and quarterback and coach Will Sullivan strictly endorsed the mantra “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. The Eagle Dragons, by stark contrast, used a more Chomsky inspired, laissez-faire approach, that provided them with fun but lacked in results. The Jake Roy mantra “…try to get open” was a hit with the team though, none-the-less. The Skeletons let up a couple touchdowns, but won by a margin so wide that it cannot fit into this print. Although not everyone won the game, we all enjoyed fighting for our destinies on the beautiful Camp Lincoln sports field, to the chorus of raucous cheer leaders, with our dearest pals. As the ineffable Drew Brees once said, “If you had fun, you won.”
By Michael Short
School Age Child Care Site Director