How is JungleGym created?
The JungleGym Race Committee began as an after school workshop for 2nd - 5th graders held on Wednesdays from September - June as part of Concrete Safaris' City Surfers after school program in 2012. Children self-select to join and develop all elements of the race, including the theme, rules, course, obstacles, marketing, police and community board support, and any other necessary details. They learn how to create a successful event as well as how to speak publically with community partners new and returning. In 2017, Concrete Safaris was selected as the NYC DOT Weekend Walks provider for East Harlem, expanding JungleGym from a single-day event on Pleasant Avenue and 114th Street and inside Jefferson Park's basketball courts to a 3-day event called JungleGym 2017 Summer Series and held on Third Avenue between 116th and 118th Streets. Concrete Safaris' City Surfers after school program partnered with Open Architecture / New York to build upon its race design curriculum by creating 3D models of Third Avenue and the event itself. Children spent Wednesdays and select Saturdays creating these designs in addition to getting the schools, camps, community centers, government agencies, and local businesses to get active. To the left is an early stage of the 3D model being built by the City Surfers for the 2017 races. In 2018, the event was held on East 116th Street between Lexington and Second Avenues on July 7th, and on East 115th Street between Park and Third Avenues on July 14, 21, 28, and August 11. In 2019, the event was held on 116th Street from Lexington to Second and from Fifth to Park as well as on 106th Street from Lexington to Second Avenues totalling four dates.
Run of Day
Here is the schedule for all three events:
- 11:00 a.m. - Activities start
- Walk-on participants can sign up from 10:30am
- Race waves go off at 11:00am, 11:30am, Noon, 12:30pm, 1:00pm, and 1:30 p.m.
- Prizes and awards will be distributed at 2:30 p.m.
11:00-3:00pm – Sponsor tables and activity stations open for children who are finished racing or are not participating in the obstacle race.
Race obstacles may include:
Army Crawl, Tower Build, Stepping Stones, Egg-and-Spoon Race, Freeze Dance, Hopscotch, Balance Beams, Slip N Slide, Corn Hole Throw, String Lazer Maze, Tape Maze, Tire Obstacle, Sack Racing, Water Bucket Carry, Over and Under Beams, Soccer Goal Kick
Object replication – rebuild specific objects out of minecraft style blocks.
Shape shifter – fit yourself through a series of minecraft shaped hole-in-the-walls
Cliff climb – climb horizontally around a corner
Block blitz – throw balls at a block pyramid to knock them all down
Flower maze – find your way through the low maze. (flowers drawn all over the ground of the maze)
Fitness stations – do 20 pushups – do 20 jumping jacks – do 20 situps
Block farming – fill buckets with blocks for your tower build. Take an empty bucket. Collect a full bucket of blocks and return it to the building site.
Tower build – build a tower using all your blocks. Tower must be at least 2 feet tall.
Block renewal – recycle your tower blocks. Put them back in the bucket and empty the bucket into the wheeler bin.
River crossing – update from stepping stones. Draw minecraft jellyfish in the ‘water’
Potions-tables – water tables
Bridge crossing – updated balance beams.
Photos from past year's races.....