Ahhh the carnival! We all have memories of going to a carnival when we were young. Well, recently I came up with the idea to have a carnival for the Arbutus residents…what fun! I planned, prepared (thank goodness for Pinterest), shopped, delegated and worried for the event. I’m great at finding things I think the residents would love, but not so great at the actual construction of the items. In comes Dan Gehlmann, our beloved van/bus driver. He’s my “go to” when I have an idea and a picture that I want to make reality. Perhaps some of you are familiar with his work- the giant Kerplunk game you may have seen being wheeled around the manor? Yep, Dan built that! So I said with a smile, “Dan I need these for the carnival,” handing over a stack of papers. So Dan being Dan came up with his plans and probably a few choice names for me but he got to work. He made a giant pair of dice, a bottle toss game, and “THE WHEEL.” Everything was falling into place – the games, the prizes, the snacks, volunteers, staff…but then there was the weather! Ugh! This was out of my control. The forecast for Friday was rain. The Carnival that I planned to hold on Friday, June 23 was cancelled and moved to Monday, June 26.
The day had finally arrived, three days later than planned, but it was here…show time! It was a beautiful day for a carnival. Several of us went out and set up bright and early for the event. The games consisted of a Dice Roll, Toilet Paper Toss(into a potty chair!), Roulette Wheel, Kissing Booth (the Hershey’s’ kind), and more traditional carnival games like the Ball Toss, the Pop the Balloon game, and the Fish Bowl and Ping Pong Ball Toss game. And of course there were prizes like necklaces, stuffed animals, pinwheels, pillows, and candy. We were ready!
The first thing we had the residents do was roll the dice for chances to win one of three baskets of goodies. After that they were each given a bag with tickets in them for the games and a bag for their prizes. The residents loved it! They had smiles and what looks of determination as they were playing some of those games. It was great to watch them play the carnival games, filling up their bags with prizes and snacks. We also included a few staff games. I am fortunate enough to work with some great people that help me out at times like this. The residents loved seeing the familiar faces of our staff having fun and maybe making a bit of fools of themselves.
All in all, a good day was had by all at the Carnival. We’ll see what event we can come up with in the fall for the residents! -mf
Contributor: Melinda Frye is the Activities Director at Arbutus