By TJ Scanlon
GaGa Ball is a fast-paced game similar to Dodgeball, but tamer, because the ball is kept below the knees in an enclosed space. The game originated in Israel and the word “Ga” means hit, or touch, so GaGa means Hit-Hit.
I first experienced the game of GaGa at the summer sports camp I attended, and where I am now a counselor. It involves as many players as can fit in the “pit,” and all different ages can play at the same time. It served as an icebreaker to meet other campers and as a general meeting spot when there was downtime in between activities. I quickly became enchanted with the game and played it as much as humanly possible.
When thinking of ideas for my Boy Scout Eagle project, I immediately thought of GaGa Ball. When deciding where to put a new GaGa Ball pit I remembered that at my camp, 8-11 year-olds gravitated towards the game the most, and were more quickly engaged in it than other ages. I presented the idea to Mr. Ackerman, principal of Lt. Job Lane School, and he quickly agreed that the kids at Lane School would love a GaGa Ball pit.
The project quickly came to fruition thanks to considerable donations from family and friends via a GoFundMe page as well as a very generous donation from Friend Lumber of all the wood I needed to build the enclosure. Many Scouts, their parents, and even former Scout parents were invaluable to me in completing this project.
When I visited Mr. Ackerman for a final signature on my project, he relayed to me that the GaGa Ball pit was a huge hit with the kids; telling me that more teachers had to be assigned to monitor the area during recess and that they adjusted the rules a bit so that more kids could play at one time, and for longer periods. I had left one ball in the pit for play, and had provided six extra balls for storage in the office. The rules are explained on a placard attached to the outer wall.
If you want to play during non-school hours, bring your own dodgeball, or soft foam ball, since the official ball may be kept inside the school during those times. The pit is located behind Lane School near the smaller soccer field, in front of the Project Adventure course in the woods.
Thank you very much to all Scouts, former Scouts, my troop leaders and especially Friend Lumber for helping me to complete this project.