By Rick Bundschuh • Kauai Christian Fellowship • Kauai, Hawaii
Like most youth guys, my antenna is always up and searching for some new or different angle of an activity that will attract kids.
During the summer months, taking a load of kids to the beach, lakefront, or river usually draws a crowd – unless of course you actually live near the beach, lakefront, or river. In that case there’s nothing novel or attractional about that event – nothing, that is, unless you take what is normal and mutate it into weird fun.
One day I saw a tourist foolishly bring a large dolphin pool toy to the beach and watched as he was quickly washed up on the rocks. It was then that the light bulb went off in my head and the summer kickoff event in our sleepy beach town known as Inflatable Day was born.
The idea was simple. Go to the store and buy a bunch of giant inflatable pool toys and a half dozen camping air mattresses, and then take over a local beach area with mobs of kids trying to ride these bizarre contraptions successfully to the beach. Oh, and for added fun, they also create havoc on the tourists who may find themselves in the way of a flotilla of whales, dolphins, turtles, and air mattresses.
It’s goofy fun, but it turns into a lot more fun if the surf comes up. Then the scene is a slapstick movie of tumbling bodies, mass wipeouts, and rider-less vehicles.
Naturally, we make sure to have cameras rolling and drones in the air so that everyone can relive the adventure.
The only thing that can get in the way of a goofy event like this are kids who think they are too cool to demean themselves by tumbling down the face of a wave on an inflatable turtle. To counter that, I initially made sure some of the best watermen we had joined the circus which help turn the event into “goofy/cool”.
Now, after a number of years doing this event, all we have to do is mention “Inflatable Day” and the crowd of regulars and their friends show up.
Of course, we schedule a showing of the videos shot and a hot dog feed shortly after the event that always results in a great turnout.
Custom versions of this kind of goofy event can be done on lakes behind speedboats, down rivers, or any place where there is water.