At the beginning of each semester, the AU Campus Activity Board staff splits into groups of two, and each group comes up with new possible event ideas for the semester.
This past weekend, Zach Whitehead, who is a junior on the CAB staff, was one of the staff members in charge of executing an event that he had come up with in December. The event, called Life-Sized, aimed to bring everyday board games to life and took place in the Kardatzke Gymnasium on Friday, Feb. 13. Games such as Connect 4, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Candyland, Sorry, Angry Birds, Pool, Jenga and Twister were all featured in the spread.
“Typically, when we as a staff try to think of new events, we try to think of something very creative, but also something that would interest the entire student body,” Whitehead said. “The first thing I considered was location. I knew I wanted it to be in Kardatzke because it was going to be able to hold a large amount of people, and I also knew it was going to have to be inside due to the weather.”
“I knew of a couple of the board games that I absolutely wanted in the event, but I wasn’t entirely positive about all of the games and the specific layout. A lot of people obviously like playing board games, so I thought that making it life-sized would be a fun idea. My initial proposal was for there to be a different board game on each court in Kardatzke, and the rest of the CAB staff was receptive to the idea.”
Though the idea came relatively easily for Whitehead, making the event come to life took a lot more brainstorming and careful consideration.
“The next step was deciding on the games that we were sure we wanted to include in the event,” he said. “We had a specific budget, so we had to think of a way to include supplies for all of the games that fit our price range.”
“One of the first things we did was contact the head of the physical education department to check to inquire about using their supplies in the P.E. locker room. And luckily we were able to use a lot of their supplies. It probably wouldn’t have been possible without their help,” he said.
Whitehead also had to ensure that the games would translate well from the small size of a game board to the obviously much bigger volume of a gym floor.
“We had to decide how we wanted the game to go in terms of the rules and flow of the games,” he said. “We also had to make sure we had enough space for each one. Specifically, we had to make sure we had enough balloons for Hungry Hungry Hippos, enough spaces for Sorry and Candyland and enough prizes for the winners of certain games.”
Overall, Whitehead was happy with the reactions and feedback that he received regarding the event.
“I was pleased by the amount of people that showed up even with it being Valentine’s Day weekend and given the fact that the weather wasn’t the most ideal. I think a lot of people specifically enjoyed Hungry Hungry Hippos because it was an exciting and physical type of game.”
He also hopes to keep the event going in the future and believes the game has potential to be improved even more.
“It’s definitely an event I would like to do again in the future and maybe even amp it up some more. I think we could change some of the games, and we obviously now have a lot of the supplies, so I think it’s something we can definitely do again,” he said.