When it comes to the coolest kids’ race on the planet, the Kids Adventure Games can’t be beat. It’s a time when kids put down their phones, tablets and X-boxes to take part in an epic, adventure packed, fun-filled weekend for an experience of a lifetime. The games push kids further to do more than they think they can do; they’re mountain biking on singletrack, belaying down a cliff, then slogging through a mud pit.
The Games are all about challenging the kids, yet meant to teach them to be determined, develop good character and teamwork along with building grit and resiliency. It pushes them out of their comfort zones and allows them to do more than they think they can do. And through it all, the kids learn how to think on their feet – and finish the day with a smile that won’t quit – for at least a week! It’s that much fun!
The Games are open to kids age 6 to 14, with the 12- to 14-year olds having a harder, longer course – none of it marked. Each child is given a map to follow, which they keep in a plastic bag so it doesn’t get wet. Throughout the course, racers are challenged with cargo nets across the river or creek, ziplining, repelling, slip ‘n sliding, slacklining over mud pits, mountain biking and hiking up and down through the trees -– all the while, navigating their way through the course. The teams leave in waves – perhaps three teams at a time, every two minutes. They may start on foot, or on a bike, or inner tube; it all depends on how the course is set up on the mountain. The kids who are the strongest and work well together usually complete the course in just under an hour.
A day or two before the event, the “adventure” racers can take a clinic to sharpen their skills and increase their – and their parents’ – confidence. Each clinic covers the core essentials of the adventures the kids will experience: climbing and rope skills, mountain biking – even managing an inner tube. It’s all about team building. The clinics are all about preparing the kids for the race day by building their confidence, teaching them teamwork and exposing them to some of the challenges they’ll encounter. It gives them a “heads up” so that they’re ready to rock ‘n roll! Essentially, the Kids Adventure Games is about building self confidence and teamwork. A life-long lesson, for sure – and lots of fun to boot!