Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Free at last...NOT

  In the 3rd and last year of my chairing our church’s fall festival committee, I really wanted to try having games for free. The games are basically cheap amusements geared for little kids. There is a bean bag toss, kick the soccer ball through a goalie painted on a piece of plastic with a hole between his hands, a candy walk version of musical chairs, etc… We also rent a ‘ring the bell with the hammer’ game, and there is pumpkin painting. The price to play any of these amusements is a quarter each. The kids get the money to buy the tickets from the parents and then play and receive some sort of trinket or candy for playing. My premise in wanting to have the games for free was that a) We take in around $300 for the games vs. $2000 for the food that is outside, b) The money not spent on games would be spent on the food instead, and c) free games could be advertised to the whole town and we would get even more money for food and raffle tickets.

  The other reason I wanted to try it is because it is not the type of thing that is normally done (much less thought of) and probably would never be tried in the future. The rest of the committee thought I was nuts at first, but I eventually won them over with my brilliant logic or at least wore them out with sheer persistence and by the beginning of May it was a done deal or so I thought.

  Unfortunately, at the very next meeting a committee member showed up for their first meeting of the year. When I went over all the decisions that we had made, the first time attending committee member managed to talk everyone out of having the free games. Since you can’t lead where no one will follow, I dropped the idea. The main argument seemed to be that once we ran out of trinkets and candy to give the kids, they would have nothing to do. I tried to point out that the kids could still play the games for free, but the general thought of the group was that kids won’t play games without getting trinkets or candy. I’m really hoping that the kids won’t want to get minimum wage for playing the games. If they do, they may be able to file for unemployment after the festival.