Taka Shari Tunaomba. Pastor Jeff Wescott said that’s Swahili for “Live the challenge courageously.”
This is apt name for the event he and the Calvary Baptist Church put on as more and more challenges face citizens, especially today’s students. Between drugs, violence, peer pressure and bullying, there are plenty of things that students will need to face, things that they will have a better chance of getting through if they face them as a team.
“What they’ll be learning is the value leaning on others to get through the challenges of life,” Wescott said. “We’re not created to be alone. We need to be with someone and lean on each other to get through challenges and support each other through these challenges.”
Take Shari is set to take place from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and is aimed at sixth through 12th graders. The event is $4 and includes food and all activities. Registration begins at 3 p.m. The group will meet at the west entrance of the fairgrounds and will take a hayride to the course at Wescott’s 13-acre home.
What better way to teach teamwork and facing challenges together than through a team obstacle course?
“There are 12 challenges or obstacles they’ll have to face,” Wescott said.
“They’re challenging but fun. Anyone can do them because they work a team. They can either come as a team or we just put people into teams to work together when they get here. It has to be a team effort. They all have to get through and will have to help each other.
“Then I tie it all in at the end with life challenges and actually the Bible mentions strength and courage a number of times ... and we tie all of these things together with the activities and team work and relying on each other.”
Awards are given to the team that gets the most points in Taka Shari, which Wescott said has “a survivor feel” to it.
Challenges include a food challenge, zip lining, a crawl maze, “The Wall”, a rope and tire bridge and several new activities including a spider web crossing and cargo network.
Wescott assured all activities are safe and supervised, and a parent’s permission slip is required either online at http://www.iswitchyouth.com/home.html, or at the door the night of the event.
Parents are welcome to come, however they will not be allowed to participate. However, he is planning an adult event for the future due to all of the interest expressed at last year’s youth challenge.
“I passed out fliers for all Norwalk area students from sixth to 12th grade but it’s open to everyone from anywhere,” he said. “They don’t have to be with the church, it’s an event for anyone sixth through 12th grade. They all have a lot of fun with it.”