How to Host 300 Children on a Field…in the Summer

Step 1. Secure a nutritious and delicious lunch for the kiddos, as well as dozens of volunteers and community partners to make the day run smoothly and enjoyable. Ronald McDonald is a popular invitee to have on the guest list.

Ronald McDonald

Ronald McDonald with kids at Children’s Hunger Alliance 2014 Summer Field Day

Step 2. Establish a dance floor complete with a DJ who knows all of the youngsters’ favorite tunes. If your CEO shows up, they will be more than happy to impart their cultural wisdom on him or her, so said CEO should come prepared with comfortable foot wear.

Mary Lynn Foster dancing with the kids

Our CEO, Mary Lynn Foster being taught new moves.

Step 3. Mobilize rotation stations to keep the kids moving and grooving. Activities can include having them dress in stylish attire and run in circles, transport water using a sponge, or flashing their creativity with arts and crafts.

A girl participating in a relay

Step 4. Help them perfect their golf swing, their basketball shooting and their soccer dribbling. Some kids may be more skillful than yourself. This is normal. To avoid embarrassment, refrain from participating and feign an age-related injury that their young bodies cannot relate to. My personal favorite example is to smack my knee and say something along the lines of “this old knee, after all the miles and miles I’ve put on her, she just can’t take it anymore…”

Boy shooting a basketball

Step 5. If you feel their energy is subsiding, introduce a little more competition. You can assign half the group to be predators (sharks are popular) and the other half as prey (minnows are the preferred snack of Selachimorpha) and watch the craziness ensue. If there is a relay of sorts happening, nothing charges kids up more than shouting “THIRTY SECONDS LEFT!!!” like you’re announcing the start of the apocalypse. Of course, this tactic is also effective when children are only competing again themselves, for instance in the number of sit-ups they can do.

Boys lining up to race 

Step 6. You want the kids to have a lasting impression of your afternoon, give them something to take home. Throwing buckets of water on them seems to be effective.

The kids insisted they didn't get wet enough at the Wet 'n Wild station.

The kids insisted they didn’t get wet enough at the Wet ‘n Wild station.

If you completed all 6 steps, congratulations! You’ve now made 300 friends who will never forget you.

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