I love special events. The challenge of entertaining a large group of kids who vary in age is very appealing. Every now and then I'll talk about special events that I ran at camp or plan to run in the future...

Am I nervous about giving away my secrets? Absolutely not! If you take these ideas and turn them into something special, I want to know... The only way we learn as a group is to build off of one another's ideas and ideals. :-)

In addition, my preferred event size is 400+ kids. Yes, that's where I shine... as well as Bryan, my sidekick. Seeing as most people would be intimidated with such a massive group, I'm not worried about giving away anything.

*get on with it!*

Jokes are powerful. Good jokes could bring people together in ways that they never imagined. Whenever I have a group, I love to integrate humor in my speech... *edit* Wow! I had written this whole set of information about a "Joke Day" special event that was somehow lost...


"Joke Day" is a great idea - whether it's a day, an hour or a couple of minutes in between lunch and activity time. A joke can give a willing camper their 15 minutes of fame without anyone dominating too much... and generally the results are surprising. The best way to run such an event is planning ahead (as always). Have staff memorize lots of jokes as well as a couple of skits. *"Down By the Bay" is a good resource to have ready, too*

Encourage the campers to prepare appropriate jokes. Depending on the amount of kids and the formality of the event, the staff should make sure each joke is clean and in good fun. Then, basically, the event is a fast-paced talent show. I suggest using a wireless mic if possible to alleviate the traffic jams from stage scuffling. Break up the event every so often with a skit or a set by the staff... AND... it's incredibly important for the staff to overreact. Laughter is contagious!

I learned the "Monkey Story" from my friend Shawn Hackler and it's a mainstay in my event toolbox. I wrote a similar loooooooooooooong joke called "The Key," which I'll record some day, I'm sure. Anyway, having any of this ready to call upon really helps better the camp (or whatever) experience... because everyone likes jokes - whether they know it or not.

The Monkey Story

Gabe Tells a Joke!

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