Gaga Ball Comes to Camp

youth playing in gaga pit

Ga-Ga Ball! The excited chanting of campers experiencing this game for the first time at Shankitunk was music to our ears this summer.  Traditionally 4-Square is the place to be during free recreation time, but gaga proved to be a smashing success that the kids loved.  How did this sensation come to be; a little organization and a lot of love and support from our community. 

Camp Director, Corrine Tompkins, first pitched the idea of a gaga pit to bring life back into the volleyball court, an area of camp that was being under-utilized.  The beauty of gaga is that children of different ages and skill levels can all play at once. Games tend to go quickly meaning that once a camper gets out, they don’t have to wait long for a new game to start.

4-H Camp Shankitunk received a grant from the Stewarts Holiday Match Program to purchase the bracket system and wall buffers for the pit.  Donors and alumni pitched in throughout the year kicking off on #GivingTuesday to raise funds for an ADA compliant door and other miscellaneous pit expenses.  Lumber siding was donated by Pickett Building Materials and Bestway.  The Cornell chapter of AlphaZeta donated funding to purchase sand for the area which was trucked free of charge by Seward’s Sand and Gravel.  Staff worked to prep the site, after which local volunteers helped level out two loads of pea stone donated by local friends of camp.  The final step was assembling the pit. Volunteers helped us get started, but weather forced staff to finish up another day.  A plaque will be installed next summer to recognize the contributions of everyone involved in making this project a success that our campers will be able to enjoy for generations to come.