Summer camp, with a twist: Boys and Girls Club of Collier County attempts world record

As the spinner lands on “right hand red,” 480 hands — that’s 2,400 fingers — strain to reach the red dots on the far side of the playing board. A few soft thuds are heard as wobbly players find that “right hand red” is just a bit too far out of reach.

These 480 kids, who were spread across the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County’s athletic field in all variety of contortions, attempted to break the Guinness Book of World Record’s largest Twister game record this week.

“We decided to do this as something fun for the kids during the last few weeks of summer camp,” explained Cormac Giblin, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County. In front of him stretched a mass of tangled arms and legs, as kids 6 through 18 years old vied for the coveted red spaces.

“We’re playing until we have one kid left,” Giblin added as “left leg blue” is called and a dozen more kids are eliminated.

“It took 40 cans of paint to make the board,” said Greg Kutz, site director for the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County and the man in charge of constructing the on-field board, which was actually 120 regulation-sized boards drawn side-by-side onto the field. That’s 2,880 red, green, yellow and blue dots, spread meticulously over 7,500 square feet — but who’s counting?

Actually, the Guinness Book of World Records is.

Though there’s no current official record for largest Twister game, Kutz believes that the current unofficial record is 420 players. And while the Guinness Book of World Records wasn’t onsite at last week’s event to adjudicate, the Boys and Girls Club plans to send photos, attendance documentation and a time-lapse video to the UK-based organization to prove that their feat actually happened.

Once the second-to-last Twister player finally succumbs to a nasty “right hand yellow” (about 45 minutes after the game was started), the Twister champion is crowned and the campers move into the Boys and Girls Club’s impressive athletic facility for more record breaking games.

“They’re going to do more record setting activities this afternoon,” said Giblin, adding, “like farthest paper airplane toss and longest hula hoop.”

For many of these campers, who have been coming five days a week since the camp started in June, the day’s activities were the perfect way to end a summer that’s been full of fun. The camp, which offers a low cost day camp option and financial assistance for low-income families, boasts a rigorous daily schedule, including educational activities, arts and crafts, dance, swimming and recreation.

But just this week, camp was all about going big, setting records and being the very best — a charge these 480 kids took very, very seriously.

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