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Survivor Event / Church Picnic

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On Saturday, August 23rd, Bruce and Terry Mostrom hosted their annual Survivor Event which included a church picnic, at their home on Rolfe Pond, in Hopkinton, NH.

The event was attended by over 50 people, 40 of which participated (both young and old), in the many challenges which occurred through-out the event. The participants (a.k.a. Survivors) were divided into 4 tribes.

After a reading from the Bible and prayer, the event began with team challenges, including:

  • Relay races:
    • Through the water, around floating palm trees while;
      • Pushing a ball with the nose (the dolphin)
      • Riding a walrus (a blow-up floaty device)
      • “Attempting” to run with flippers on
      • Riding an inner-tube
    • Kayaking:
      • Out to exile island (a floating trampoline in the middle of the pond) to retrieve keys
      • Out into the pond to retrieve the locked treasure chests containing puzzle pieces
    • Puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles…
    • An obstacle course including several stages where Survivors had to:
      • Hop through a hopscotch course
      • Do the army crawl – Dive to the ground and crawl underneath barbed wire (actually, it was just yellow safety tape)
      • Run / weave through a mine field (several orange cones)
      • Leap a sawhorse
      • Walk a 10′ plank, high above the ground
      • Stand a baseball bat on the ground, placing their forehead on said bat and spinning around 3 times
      • Then, while dizzy, retrace their steps back through the course
  • Memory tiles, where Survivors had to find their matching tile hidden in one of 50 burlap bags scattered around the yard.
  • Shooting clay pigeons (attached to a board) with a slingshot
  • Launching tennis balls out into the pond with giant slingshots while tribes competed to retrieve their ball via kayak and be the first to return to shore.
  • Scavenger hunt consisting of several stages where clues where offered leading to the next clue and finally to the 3 hidden immunity idols (1 for 3 of the first 4 tribes to find one).

In each of the above challenges the tribes were awarded points based on their performance in finishing the event (1st ,2nd, 3rd or 4th place).

After the tribe challenges were complete, we were treated to some of the rare food found only in the remote region of Rolfe Pond.

After the feast, a Survivor Swap (a.k.a. a Yankee Swap) was held. At this point all Survivors received a gift. Some gifts were exceptional (large bag of peanut M&M’s, Survivor coffee mug, etc.) and some were, well, yucky (how to cook insects, a can of squid marinating in its own ink, etc.). More importantly, though, was the fact that each gift was worth a number of valuable points. These points became important because at this stage of the event each individual Survivor sought to maximize theirs for fear of being cut from the game.

Once our stomachs had settled from the feast and the Survivor swap was complete, the individual challenges began. The individual challenges included a:

  • Jelly bean spoon race – This event involved Survivors lining up (in 4 separate heats) at the starting line. At the sound of “go” Survivors raced to the other end of the yard and, using only the spoon in their mouth, scoop up as many jelly beans as possible and return them to their assigned dish back at the starting line. This was a timed event (only 2 minutes) and Survivors were awarded a point for each jelly bean in their dish.
  • Bean bag toss where each Survivor had a chance to increase their points based on the success of their tossing 3 bean bags onto a “field” containing 7 rows and 7 columns of squares offering points (from 0 to 10).
  • Note: It was at this point, if the author recalls correctly, that Survivors began being cut from the game based on the number (or should we say lack of) points they had accumulated.
  • William Tell – This event involved 3 heats of Survivors lining up on the shore of Rolfe Pond with an apple on their head. At the sound of go they had to race (actually, walk as steadily and rapidly as possible) with the apple on their head, out into Rolfe Pond, around the floating palm trees and back to shore – without dropping the apple (or using their hands to steady it). Only the first handful of Survivors completing this challenge, per each heat, moved on to the next challenge.
  • Nut stacker – This event required each remaining Survivor to stack 7 nuts on top of one-another using only a chopstick. Only the first 9 Survivors completing this challenge moved on.
  • Cup stacker – This event required each Survivor to bounce a ping-pong ball on a table and catch it in a plastic cup, then place another cup on top of the ping-pong ball in the previous cup and repeat the process until 3 Survivors were able to stack 7 cups, each containing a ping-pong ball, on top of each other.

After the above challenges were complete, there were 3 finalists:

  • Andrew Tripp
  • Josh Connell
  • Evan Bailey

At this point, each finalist gave a heartfelt and/or humorous speech with the goal of persuading the rest of the competitors to vote for them as the sole Survivor.

In the end, there can be only one. This year’s Sole Survivor was Evan Bailey (pictured in the middle of the collage below, proudly displaying his solid gold trophy).



On behalf of the entire church, we thank Bruce and Terry for their MANY hours of work preparing for and hosting this AWESOME event. And, praise God for the time of fun and fellowship that was had by all!

God Bless!

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