Alex Farrell, a sophomore at MHS and a member of Boy Scout Troop 45, completed his Eagle Scout project on September 17. Alex helped plan and build a Gaga Ball Pit on the Koch School playground. Ms. Clarice Buhler, Koch School fifth grade teacher, approached the Boy Scouts with the idea of creating an activity area on the playground to include more children during recess. “Alex was thrilled to get to head up this project,” said Loutsch. The pit is large enough to hold 30-50 youth.
Members of Alex’s troop and family helped him complete the project after several months of planning and meeting with school officials. Jason Karels’ high school woodshop class prepared the wooden boards for installation.
Gaga Ball originated in Israel. It is a fast-paced, high-energy sport played in an octagonal pit. The object of the game is for players to use their hands to hit the other players with the ball, while avoiding being hit themselves. Players are eliminated if they are hit by the ball. The game is played with a soft foam ball, and combines the skills of dodging, striking, running, and jumping while trying to hit opponents with the ball below the knees. The game is designed for large groups, ideally from five to 30 players. “Alex became interested in this game and project after playing it for several years at Boy Scout Summer Camp and NeSoDak Bible Camp while attending the MHS cross country Camp Fun there,” said Scoutmaster Jeff Loutsch.
Alex and his assembly crew in front of the new Gaga Pit include: (Back l. to r.) Steve Farrell, Assistant Scoutmaster; Wade Falk, Assistant Scoutmaster; Nathan Loutsch; Alex Farrell; Andrew Falk; and Landon Novy. (Front) Jeff Loutsch, Scoutmaster; Noah Falk; Jayden Johnson; Clayton Mork; and Zach Ringsaker.