The Group: Hawk Point (Mo.) Elementary PTO

The Setting: End of the school year. Graduates of Hawk Point, including PTO President Sherry Hill’s husband and Vice President Lisa Suddarth, fondly remembered a “play day” for students to welcome summer. When Suddarth and Hill became officers last year, they decided to reinstate it.

The Idea: After a picnic at a nearby park, students would be divided into groups for silly games and relay races. “We wanted the kids to play hard, get lots of fresh air, get all sweaty and worn out,” Hill says.

What Went Wrong: The group had been on a tight budget all year, so leaders borrowed a lot of equipment, including what they needed for the main event, an all-student tug of war. Participants took up their part of the line, the whistle blew, and both sides began pulling in earnest—until the rope, and the kids, fell apart.

What Happened Next: Fleet-footed volunteers sorted out the surprised but laughing would-be tuggers. “The teams on both sides looked like a bucket of wriggling fishing worms that had been dumped over,” Hill recalls.

The Outcome: Luckily, the injuries were few, Hill says. “We breathed a sigh of relief, retired the rope, and improvised serving snacks a little early!”

Notable Quote: “I think the students had fun,” Hill says. “But since that wasn’t the only thing that went awry, we are still debating the idea of play day this year.”

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