We planned this one around the release of The Blood of Olympus, the fifth book in the series. The book released two days before the party, and some of the kids brought their personal copies. We also held back three library copies and did a prize drawing at the event so that three kids got to jump the hold line and check out the books that day. But now I’m getting ahead of myself…
Apologies for the lack of pictures – we were too busy to bust out the camera! We had 26 attendees in grades 4-7, and a pretty equal mix of boys and girls.
When they arrived, we had them fill out a slip for the prize drawing and then handed out a Greek and Roman Matchup quiz where they had to match the Greek and Roman names of the gods with their roles. I thought this was going to be a bit of a throwaway activity – we were really just trying to kill some time until everyone arrived — but the kids got really into it. We decided on the fly to go over the answers just because the kids were so excited about knowing them and getting them right. (They even harassed me a little bit about ways I could have made it harder; love it!)
After this, we broke the kids into four teams for a large motor game. We adapted this from a Hunger Games Cornucopia Competition by Gail Huitt at Amity Middle School. (I would link to it, but the original page seems to be gone.) Basically, we used masking tape to make two concentric squares in the middle of the floor. Inside the inner square, we placed objects (one per participant). The kids had to sit outside of the outer square. Once we started, one team member at a time could run into the square to choose an object to use on their quest. Once all the objects were claimed, we read through the Heroes of Olympus Quest script. If a team had the item mentioned in the scenario, they held it in the air to claim the points indicated in the script. At the end, we added up the points earned by each team and then declared a winner. The kids totally got into it, and it was really fun. After each step was read, it got really loud as the teams all clamored to have their points recorded. It was great to watch them shush each other so that we could move on to the next step! We could have done a little better at clarifying whether having two of an item earned double the points – in some cases that made sense, and in others it didn’t.
At this point, we were about halfway through the hour-long program. We introduced the four stations and let the kids roam the stations at will for the rest of the program. It was eerie (and also kind of awesome) how quiet the room got as the kids peeled off to their first station and got got really engaged in the activities. Some of the stations were more popular than others, but all went really well and provided a nice balance of activities.
Station 1: Make your own bottle cap camp necklace. Lisa pre-threaded the bottle caps with elastic to make this a little bit easier. She made camp logos for Camp Jupiter and Camp Half-Blood to glue inside the bottle caps, and we also had some blank circles in case anyone wanted to design their own. We also had pony beads (the black, gray, white assortment was more popular than the rainbow color assortment). The kids made a big deal about counting their beads and bragging about how many years they’d been at camp. This was definitely the most popular station, and also the one that they spent the longest on. We anticipated this and put out two tables for this station; the others had one table each.
Station 2: Demigod DNA Test . Lisa designed a quiz in the style of a teen magazine quiz to determine your godly parentage. This one was also quite a hit with the kids.
Station 3: Use the Greek alphabet to write your name and/or solve a riddle. The Microsoft Word Greek font used for the riddle didn’t quite match up with the font on the Greek alphabet chart, but most of the kids figured out the difficult letters from context.
With 5 minutes to go, we pulled the prize drawing winners and started them on clean up.