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Farkel What?!?

11 May

Far.kle ::  Farkle or Farkel is a dice game that has also been called or is similar to 1000/5000/10000, Cosmic Wimpout, Greed, Zonk, Hot Dice, Squelch, or Zilch to name but a few. Its origins as a folk game are unknown, but it has been marketed commercially since 1982, since 1996 under the brand name Pocket Farkel by Legendary Games Inc. While the basic rules are well-established, there is a wide range of variation in both scoring and play.  (sourced from Wikipedia)

A few years ago, we transplanted two youth pastors onto The Well staff team and they had roles in other areas of the church.  Well, you can take the pastor away from the youth but you can’t take the youth away from the pastor and so Jerrod Rumley and Chris Spalding shared one of their greatest inventions.  It is called Farkelball.  They spelled it Farkleball like sparkle, but from a printing error on our part we have settled on Farkel.  The game and the invention of the game went something like this…if I can remember correctly.  They dared to ask the question, “what makes a game truly great?”  The answers were many:

  • There needs to be a winner and a loser
  • Teams build friendship and shared experiences, no loner sports
  • There needs to be a good prize for the winner
  • Though it should not be dumbed down, the playing field should be leveled a bit (i.e. don’t allow the most athletic to always win)
  • Skills like the ability to solve trivia, puzzles, and good hand eye coordination need to be an element
  • There needs to be an element of chance dumb luck
  • There needs to be a chance you could get hurt.  Not a guarantee but a chance helps.  Fear is a strong motivator
All these elements brought about Farkelball.  One part mind game, one part chance, one part risk, and all parts fun.  The game really morphs based on the facilities you have and the resources at your disposal.  Chris and Jerrod mentally painted a picture of what they did and we took it from there.  For us, we transform our North Campus into a night that has an element of grad parties with inflatables, unlimited amounts of food, a course you run that ends in the tent of terror (think American Gladiators with the tennis cannon), and single games that you can play on your down time.  The times and points that the teams of 4 earn add up to an ultimate winner and many losers.  It has quickly become a cornerstone of our student ministry and something we are known for.  Have you ever seen this?  It has become the time honored symbol for Farkelball.
This Friday and Saturday we are hosting our 4th annual Farkelball for high school and middle school students.  In the past four years it has grown to become an event that brings over 200 students, and our hopes are the same for this year.  We take the opportunity to meet kids and their friends, and also tell them about what our summer program looks like in the coming months.  The true heart is to have a shared experience with students and earn the right to build a deeper relationship down the line.  The logo looks a bit different, but never fear, the flaming tennis ball is still around and a big part of what we are doing.  
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