CASPER, Wyo. — On Friday night, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming’s gym was transformed into a battleground as dozens of children clashed with swords, shields and plates of armor. Unlike the Middle Ages, however, the weaponry and armor of the Boys and Girls Club members were all handmade out of cardboard.
“It’s a great time,” said Tim Whetham, a youth development professional with the club. “The kids basically spend all of January building their gear, and then on the last Friday of the month we get together and battle it out. Afterwards there’s a big pizza feast, so they like that, too.”
For Whetham, one of the highlights is seeing the kids’ creativity come out during the construction process. Each child’s gear is uniquely their own; some fought with classic broadswords they made out of the cardboard, while others had swords curved to look more like scythes or weapons that were more akin to chain maces. Similarly, each child’s armor had a unique design.
“I love watching them show their creativity,” Whetham said with a smile.
Rather than just hitting each other with cardboard, the Boys and Girls Club members gleefully added a degree of theatricality to the proceedings. If a child was hit in the arm, they had to act like they’d lost that arm for the remainder of that battle. If they got tapped in the leg, they had to limp around for the rest of the battle. And if they were hit in the chest, they were out until the next battle began.
The festivities were open to all members of the club, from the youngest to the oldest.
“Kids from 5 years old all the way up to 18 take part,” Whetham said. “The older teens like to get pretty rough, but they know to take it easy on the younger ones. It’s all in good fun.”