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Scouts go ga-ga for the Israeli version of dodgeball

Here’s one for the “unexpected jamboree moments” file.

Yesterday, I happened upon the scene shown in these photos. As the attached sign informed me, it’s ga-ga, an Israeli version of dodgeball played in an octagonal pen.

Participants try to hit other competitors below the knee with a large rubber ball. If you’re hit, you’re out; last ga-ga player standing wins.

This is what I love about jamborees. You hear all about rock climbing, zip-lining, and skateboarding going in, but nobody mentions ga-ga. It’s just another jamboree surprise awaiting Scouts and Venturers around each turn.

I’ll bet most of the Scouts in the octagon yesterday didn’t intend to come over and play ga-ga, but now just try to keep them away.

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11 Comments on Scouts go ga-ga for the Israeli version of dodgeball

  1. We played this game at Girl Scout camp. A Girl Scout built it at the camp for her Gold Award. It was hard to pull the girls away from it!

  2. We have a Ga Ga pit at our camp Joseph A Citta Scout Reservation at Brookville…America’s favorite scout camp!

  3. William Turner // July 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm // Reply

    I also saw this at girl scout camp the last couple years.

  4. Julie Rome-Banks // July 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm // Reply

    In Cub Scouts, I taught ga-ga ball to my den to learn a game from another culture. Its been around for over 50 years. And fortunately it has nothing to do with Lady Gaga.

  5. Nancy Grossman // July 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm // Reply

    My son loves this game. Glad to see it made it to Jambo!

  6. cwolfpack3 // July 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm // Reply

    I couldn’t get my son OUT of the Ga Ga pit at Resica Falls Scout Reservation. It was the most popular place to hang out after meals in camp.

  7. Ralph Wooden // July 18, 2013 at 5:20 am // Reply

    My Scouts have been playing ga-ga since the 1980s.

  8. Sounds like a fun game for all ages, and the rules (which are readily available on the internet) are simple to understand.

  9. James Janis // July 20, 2013 at 11:22 am // Reply

    A ga-ga ring was just built this year out at Ingersoll Scout Reservation

  10. Kaleb Dillard // July 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm // Reply

    That’s awesome! I wish i could have gone this year, stupid work schedule, I’m an eagle scout and i have personally spent some time in Israel but never met any scouts, sadly.

  11. Danny Watt // July 18, 2014 at 7:55 am // Reply

    Yofi! (Hebrew for “nice,” “great.”)

    In 1984 I saw a lively parade of Arab Scouts in the old city of Jerusalem; days later I spent two hours tying knots with two Egyptian Scouts I met on a crowded bus in the Sinai; and Israeli Scouts visit my son’s, and many other Jewish summer camps each year.

    The mission, messages, and teachings are universal… Not to get political here, but to endorse our incredible international youth movement, maybe Scouting and ga-ga can contribute to a Middle East Peace solution?

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