Thursday nights are a special time at Project. The weeks are packed with work and trainings, and it’s not uncommon for students to burnout.
But Thursdays are different.
Thursdays are rejuvenating.
Thursdays are socials.
Project socials are weekly opportunities for students to spend time with each other on some sort of crazy adventure or embarrassing escapade. Let me give an example: Last week was this summers’ first Project social. Each room was told to dress its room leader as a Disney character. There were standard results – a prince here, a fairy there – and there were also those who thought a bit more outside the box, like Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast and a paper boy from the Newsies.
Dressing up like characters from our childhood (who am I kidding, we all still watch Disney movies) was simply step one. Next, all 110 college students marched half a mile down the Myrtle Beach boardwalk, 40 of us still fully Disney-fied, to play an 18-hole round of mini-golf. Did people stare? Of course. Did we care? Nah. The confused looks on people's faces adds to the fun.
That was merely one example of a Project social. I asked around to students who have attended at least one Project before to find out which social was the favorite. Three popular responses were Synchronized Swimming, Boat Social, and Broadway Scavenger Hunt.
Let's start with Synchronized Swimming. Throughout the summer, rooms of guys take rooms of girls on group dates (that’s a blog for another day), and Synchronized Swimming is a chance to mix it up. First, the rooms of men have to create a synchronized routine to perform in the pool in front of all the ladies at Project. One female room in particular will be deciding if the routine was ‘worthy of a group date,’ which they always are. The room of girls will then take those men on a group date they have previously planned. This social is always hilarious, and girls love the opportunity to plan a group date, which is a task the men usually take on to bless their sisters.
Another crowd-pleaser is the Boat Social….literally, a crowd of passers-by gathered last year to see what on earth was going on. The different teams on Project break up and plan a skit to perform for the rest of the Project. Here’s the twist: the scene must involve some sort of boat, whether it be a ship, a raft, a steamboat, or a canoe. This boat must be crafted within the allotted two hour period, and the finished product must stay afloat from one end of the pool to the other, while at least one student stays on board at all times. Not your average skit anymore, is it?
That leaves us with the Broadway Scavenger Hunt. In the heart of Myrtle Beach lies a magical place called Broadway at the Beach. I would deem it as a cross between Mall of America and Disney World, but on a much smaller scale, of course. There are countless restaurants, shops, and random attractions scattered throughout the designated area. The social we have come to love is the scavenger hunt in this chaotic environment. Again, we have a twist: the hunt is not just for items, but for people. While groups are attempting to find and take pictures with countless items on the list, students are walking around as ‘bonus points’ if they are found. And let me tell you, the bonus is well worth the hunt. About 20 students from the CCP team dress up in any way they want (hats, sunglasses, fake uniforms, and dyed hair are all fair game) and can walk around as we search for them. If your group spots one, you discretely walk over, ask for the token, and they hand over a small golden medallion. The group with the most points at the end wins.
So that is a glimpse into Thursday nights at Summer Training Project. Socials are wild, a bit crazy, usually embarrassing, and often some of the most fun memories students have at STP. If you want to know more, ask students you know about their favorite socials. And as always, entertaining pictures of our adventures will be posted throughout the summer!